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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Vaya con Dios, Old Man

I've just been informed that my father is on his death bed. My father cut off relationships with his 7 living children many years ago. The anger and then the tears came with the process of letting him go many,many years ago for me.

The news came as no surprise. He hadn't even entered my thoughts for years - and then over the last 10 days he had been on my mind almost constantly. I had been thinking about how his death would affect me. I had been thinking - are there positives handed to me from HIM that I would pass to my own girlies? Any positives at all? After ruminating for many days the phone call came from 2,000 miles away - he is on his death bed. The first I had heard of him for a long, long time.

There are lots of negatives with him - lots! I spent a long time concentrating on the negatives years back. How could I not? The family lies in various states of ruin around him. We have each struggled to build some semblance of good with different degrees of success - yet all of us bear the weight of the injury.

Now the time has come to try to extract the positives. I feel that this must be done. I do not know why. It's something that defies understanding and logic. Maybe it's my Catholic brainwashing that says I must honor my mother and my father. I read recently that Jewish people believe that what is said about a person after they die determines how they will spend eternity. (or something like that) I don't wish for the old man to go to hell and misery. I don't wish for the old man to die in pain as he is doing right now.

Like it or not - there is a connection there that cannot be denied. There were a few good moments amidst the bad and that cannot be denied either. He is the smartest man that I have ever met. It is now time to concentrate on the good. I must do this thing - honesty demands it.

All of these good things were taught by his example, by things he did or didn't do. These good things will be passed on to my cherished little ones.

1. Patriotism
2. Respect for veterans
3. Blood and Guts secured our freedom
4. A love of history
5. Rocks - interest in geology
7. The feeblest attempt to reach out means the world - especially to your children.
8. Vulnerability = Strength
9. Spend money wisely

I have to believe that there is some possibility of redemption, even for the worst of us.

UPDATE My father died at 6:00 p.m. Mountain time on Wednesday February 9th. That was really fast and I'm glad he didn't hang around in pain too long. I hope your spirit is healed and flying.


Blogger stephie said...

Monica, I am sorry to hear about your father but I also know (sort of) what you must be going through. My biological father decided after he re-married and had two more kids that I was just a non-issue. He bounced in and out of my life once in a while but I haven't seen him since I was 16 (I'm 38 now). I remember when his appendix burst and my mother kept telling me how I needed to go see him because he could die. I didn't do it. I know it was hard for her to understand but I told her I didn't want him to die, didn't wish him any real ill, I just wasn't going to go to the hospital and pretend I cared about him as a father. He was and still is a stranger to me. I've wondered what I would do if I heard he was dying. I absolutely love and adore his brother (my uncle Dave) but in my book that's no reason to go see a man I don't know and who didn't want me. I guess, what I'm trying to say is, it's okay not to wish ill on a parent who cuts you out of their life, but that doesn't mean you have to actually care what happens to them. Easier said than done but it's taken me a lot of years to get to that point.

09 February, 2005 15:42  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Stephie - thanks so much for leaving your message and thanks for understanding. I really don't want to see him but as you said I don't wish him ill. A couple of people have said I need to go for 'closure' - but I think it's pretty much closed for me with nothing more to be said to each other.

I'm 41 and it took many years for me to get to the point where I had let him go. No malice or ill will, no grieving just acceptance. It was odd to realize that there is indeed still a connection - when he entered my thoughts so much right before I heard about him dying. I hope that he ends up okay in a better place - I really do. I hope that we all can look back on our lives from our deathbed with good feelings overall about the choices we have made.

10 February, 2005 00:40  
Blogger stephie said...

I am sorry to hear that he died. At least he didn't suffer long. I too hope that his spirit is at rest. My thoughts are with you as a fellow "daughter of a man who didn't want to be a father".

10 February, 2005 10:40  
Blogger ALa said...

Just wanted to say sorry to hear about your dad -- I know that you probably dealt with many of the feelings of loss long ago, but sometimes these mixed emotion type of things can be painful when we don't think they will effect us....and I know you have a wonderful family to help you through anything that should arise...

12 February, 2005 19:46  
Blogger ALa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12 February, 2005 19:46  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks Ala and you are right. The reaction for me is another surprise in a week of surprises. It can be hard to contain all of the contradictions at once.

It's very strange - knowing the Old Man is gone.

13 February, 2005 00:57  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


Sorry to hear about your father. I hope you cherish the good memories and forget the bad ones.

I hope you're doing well.

16 February, 2005 15:34  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks Fayrouz. I am doing well and have talked with several of my brothers and sisters. We are all having similar reactions and finding it quite fascinating.

I'll be fine - I already am finer than I ought to be, considering! I have a lot to be thankful for.

17 February, 2005 22:25  
Blogger United Irelander said...

I'm sorry to hear about your father.My condolences.

07 March, 2005 18:13  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thank you Young Irelander - it's very sweet of you to visit and even sweeter of you to leave this comment. I appreciate it and I enjoy reading your comments at A Tangled Web (Great Limey Blog on the sidebar).

08 March, 2005 23:49  

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