Rest in Peace Dad – I Think

I don’t usually get very personal beyond the day’s events in what I write. Today will be an exception so please bear with me.

Today was an interesting day. To explain why I have to back up a few years.

My biological father was a Vietnam veteran. When he returned from the war he was addicted to heroin and opium and to put it simply, he was not a nice man. He hurt my mom, brother and me in ways that only nightmares can comprehend. While you might feel sorry for me, I do not. Though it took years of effort, I managed to put together a career, family and am usually an adequate father. I didn’t let the sickness that took his and my biological mother’s soul and threatened mine triumph in my life. It was close, but at the end of the day, I managed to survive and even thrive. The area in where it affects me the most is the way that I think. If you read the blog entry “The Difference Between Our Walls and Boundaries” it tells the story of how my thinking was effected and the process of how it is being changed.

Fast forward many years. I began the process of trying to find my biological parents. I found my biological mother. I guess to a teenager who grew up watching Montel reunite long lost parents and children and seeing the tearful and happy reunions, it may have pushed my expectations too high. She hepatitis C and was still an active drug addict. She was on probation for embezzlement. I brought her into my home anyway. I asked her to help out  with the baby, and around the house. She found that too much. She stole a couple thousand dollars and a car and sped away accusing me of wanting her to be my slave. In my mind, I was trying to save her. So much so, I was willing to put everything on the line. I would hear from her sporadically in the future usually wanting money. Finally, I put her in a local homeless shelter and told her I could no longer help her. I have not heard from her since. I would have been better off if I had left her where I had found her.

As far as my biological father, he proved much more elusive to find. I knew he knew I was looking for him as I had communicated information to the Veteran’s Administration and they acknowledged the message had been delivered but he had refused to return my contact. I watched the Social Security Death index and he did not show until 1992 I found out that he had died in 1989. Truth be told, what my motives were for wanting to find him were not altogether pure. I was consumed with anger and was extremely bitter.

In 2005 I convinced the editor of the newspaper to give me the information that he had contained in his obituary. I posted to various sites looking for relatives he might have had. I never had any luck. I contacted the relatives I could find with the same name but they were either dead or just had the same name. I got his military file but did not find anything useful.

Fast forward to today. I was going through my favorites and was cleaning out dead and aged links and I came across his obituary. There was his obituary. On a lark I did a search for the cemetery it indicated he was buried in. To my amazement, since I had searched there in 2002, there was now a web site listing the people buried there. One of those listed was my father. There before my eyes, was the gravestone and surrounding area of where he was buried. To be honest, I just kind of stared in amazement. I think, I’m not entirely sure, but I think I felt a sense of ….. grief. I didn’t anticipate feeling that way. And I am not sure why. I am not sure where this is going to go with me.

Time changes things. Instead of revenge and retribution, I actually hope in a way that that man is at peace from the tortured mind that he had. In the least, I hope your suffering has ended. I think I feel that way. I am sure I will have more to say about this another time. But I am kind of processing this all. Thanks for bearing with me.


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  1. #1 by John on December 10, 2008 - 7:44 pm


  2. #2 by Lewis on December 10, 2008 - 7:55 pm

    KellyThank you for sharing your story, May your heart have wings.

  3. #3 by Docextreme on December 14, 2008 - 4:43 am

    Be strong my friend

  4. #4 by Geoff on December 15, 2008 - 3:28 pm

    Kelly. In our company we say we stand on our father\’s shoulders. For some that is positive and some that is negative. Your folks gave you a tough start but it looks like that won\’t be what you offer your kids. All the best for your future and keep hoping.

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