As it stands …
First of all, I want to thank everyone. Both for the condolences and the reassurances that the internet is still here for me, and that you’ll stick with my little blog, whatever I write about. I know its corny and hokey and all that jazz, but it really, really means something to me. So, the lesson learned here is – if you are ever in doubt about reaching out? Go for it. It’s definitely appreciated.
What he left…
I have so many adventures in the wake of my dad’s death. I can’t tell all of the stories and have this remain a public blog for reasons that will become obvious, but I want to share a bit about what dad’s life looked like when he died. This way you’ll have a good idea of what I’ve been dealing with (both while he was living, and the aftermath.)
My dad lived in Florida. He moved there when I was about 12. I saw my dad pretty frequently (3-4 times a year) and we spoke by phone, I’d say … at least once a week? Give or take. Dad was bipolar, so there’d be weeks where I didn’t hear from him at all, and weeks where he would literally call me 3-4 times a day. But Dad and I have always been close. He used to brag that I was more of his friend than his daughter. This was true. And not healthy. But it’s the truth.
My dad was married to my stepmother for about 12 years. This was his third wife. They separated sometime last year and have been living separately for about a year now, and it’s been pretty amicable.
My dad and stepmom are the parents of my two baby sisters (currently age 10 and 12.) We’re also really close. While technically my half-sisters, I’ve never referred to them as such, and vice versa. Ironically, now that they are a little older, it’s harder to stay in touch. Sure, they have fancy cell phones and Facebooks, but apparently I’m just not as cool as I was when they were smaller. C’est la vie. I speak to them about once every week or so.
When my dad and stepmother split up, he started dating a woman named A. (Well, that’s just her initial, but I don’t know how she’d feel about me using her name.) A. is (ready for this?) my grandmother’s (deceased) best friend’s daughter. A. has always had a crush on my dad. Apparently they were caught kissing as teenagers. (Yes, while my dad was dating my mom – my parents started dating when they were 14/15.)
Anyway, they reconnected sometime last year. She lives in New York. I haven’t seen my dad this happy in a long, long time. This was a good match. So, because she lived in New York, he’s been up here a lot. I’ve seen my dad more in the past year than I have in ages. Which is nice. But because he was in a new, long-distance relationship, it also means I had spoken to him a lot less lately. Which, at the time was good for both of us. I was trying to teach him to be more independent. Now that he’s gone? It hurts.
Also in Florida? My grandma. His mom. Who up until about two years ago, he had been estranged from. But they had made up and I was so glad he was down there to take care of her. Grandpa died about a year ago, and my aunt passed away about 8 years ago. My dad was all my grandma had left.
I know, this is all sad and morbid. I’m sorry. But I will leave you with this picture of the primary mourners at my dad’s funeral. His four kids (two sets of girls, two different moms), two ex-wives (my stepmother and my mother), a girlfriend, the girlfriend’s daughter, and his mother.
Not-mentioned, but also in attendance: an ex-girlfriend from 14 years ago, his childhood best friend Ralphie and my maternal great-aunt Dot.
It was one hell of a funeral.