My Dad

Discussion in 'The VIP Lounge' started by Jack, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    First, Thanks to CJ for letting me post this, somewhat of a downer subject.

    I need some advice, but y?all need some background first.

    My Dad has taught me many things, the most important of which is to LOVE your children with every fiber of your being. Spend as much time with them as you can, in a positive way and lead their lives by living a good example in your own.

    How did he do this, well he HATED children. I mean, he hated them and yes that includes his own. This taught me what not to do with my own.

    I knew this growing up, and as normal, took the blame for simply ?Being?. My sister who was next in line faired slightly better but only marginally as she was a girl. Then came my brother, holy cow, he was not welcome at all. When I was 17, just out of High School, he kicked me out so I joined the Navy. I still laugh, too young to drink beer or vote, but put a rifle in my hands and ?well you get the idea.
    While I was gone doing my active duty, both of his parents, my grandparents, died. Lovely people they were, so gentle, so giving. I missed saying goodbye. I do not blame myself as I was away and could not, but I do miss the opportunity. Also while I was gone, my dad divorced my mom and she had a nervous breakdown. She is still not right to this very day. I do not know the details as I missed it all, but I got blamed?somehow.

    My sister and I, of need were very close, we were 3 years apart, but almost like twins. Yes we were hated for that. Never the less, while never close to my dad, we kept in touch. I even worked for him awhile. That taught me some real lessons. He remarried and is still married to that person, and another son was had. My half brother. I do not know him well, have not seen him in 20 years. Anyway, One night at a family dinner, my sister went to the lobby of the restaurant and while on the pay phone, she had a brain aneurism burst. I rushed to the lobby as she was coming to and went with her to the hospital for treatment. My dad, never got out of his chair at the restaurant. This kind of put a wedge between us. My sister passed in the hospital and at the funeral, my father and I parted ways as did my father and brother.

    Fast forward to last week, I found out through a mutual friend that my dad had bypass surgery and things went bad. He is on life support and may or may not make it. I am not sad by this per se, but would like to visit him just in case.
    I cannot reach him as he is in the ICU, but I spoke to his wife and she has denied me access to him. She signs the papers and while he is able to shake his head and open and close his eyes he cannot speak. She, reportedly asked him if I could come and see him and he indicated, again reportedly, no. I missed many events in my life and I do not want anything from my dad. I do not want to rehash the past, nor do I want to place blame guilt etc. I just want to spend some time with him?just in case he does not pull through.

    I am torn, should I force this or let it go as his will. I have asked to visit and have been denied, is the book closed and my guilt shed or do I push harder.

    Please, no sympathy here, this is just a question of moral judgment that I am having a tough time wrestling with. Advice would be welcome.

    Thank You
  2. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    Sorry to hear about your troubles Jack.

    However I do think you did what you could, and in this time of family stress, you should leave well enough alone. Perhaps you can write a letter conveying(sp) your thoughts an have it delivered to his room for his wife to read (assuming she will).

    It sounds like the more you push the worse it will get.

    Best of luck.
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Active Member War Zone Member

    Wow, that's a hard question to answer. If I were in your position...

    Ask yourself if you think you'll hurt him by trying to force the issue and visit him. Do you want to do that for yourself, or for him? If you think you're doing it for yourself, and he really would not like to see you... I'd say, let it go.

    But you don't know if you're being told his wishes, or his wife's...

    This is difficult. Good luck whatever way this goes.
  4. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I think the only thing to be done is try and find out if your father really said no. Contact a nurse and say look your his son and can they just do you a favor. Can they ask your father if its OK if you see him and to ask while his wife is out of the room. I can't see any policy violation with that and I'm guessing as his son you have that right. Then if he says that he wants to see you force it however you need to and if he says no then you can decide whether to force it or not. But I would try to take your stepmother out of the equation and see what your father wants. I'm sorry that this even has to be a question Jack. You are a good person and don't deserve this.
  5. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor


    This is a tough one, and I am sorry for you that you have to deal with it. I do understand though as my father and I were estranged for many years and it was only at the very end of his life that we could be civil with one another.

    Bottom line is if he (or whoever has medical power of attorney) refuses you access then it's no use for you to push. Like Alfer suggested, if you feel that you want him to know you care, what about sending a "get well soon" something or other?
  6. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Thank You Everyone for the replies.

    I called the hospital and the nurse cannot help. We are 1,000 miles apart and there is no convincing over the phone. I called my Step Brother and he confirmed that dad said no.

    As such, I will follow the advise given here and leave it be. Alfer is right, the more I push the worse it will get ... for me.

    I have learned another lesson, stay close to friends and family. In the end, they are all that matter. I could not imagine passing alone believing I am right and the rest of the world is wrong.....
  7. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    It's him that is missing something not you. Just leave it alone. Things might change. Things might not. You atleast tried and know that in your heart.
  8. Dan S.

    Dan S. New Member


    Best wishes Jack, I hope you are well, regardless of the outcome.
  9. chad

    chad Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Sorry to hear this. My mom remarried when I was 10 and my step father was very abusive, Lifetime Movie abusive. My mom has remained married to him over the years, it's been over 21 years now. Around 5 years ago he had a bypass, they say he had a stroke during the procedure and another heart attack shortly after. He is still having a pretty rough time and is now in need of another sugery which he refuses. I was in the hospital all day every day while he was in. More to support my mom than anything but he was still glad I was there. His own son was only there for a few moments before he went under, he has only seen him a few times since then.

    After the sugery he became very tender and told me how sorry he was for all of the years of abuse and I believe that he really is. Jack as hard as it may be and as much as he says he does not want you there, I myself would go. You never know what might happen. Even if you get there and he still won't see you YOU will know you gave it EVERYTHING that you could.

    Good luck, I know it is a tough decision.
  10. NathanP

    NathanP Member

    Jack, I'm so sorry about your situation.

    Yep, find peace in that you actually tried. You did everything you could do, it just wasn't reciprocated on the other end.

    Only other advice: If it is truly in your heart to make peace, and it is a driving desire, attempt again, as regret is a hard thing to live with.

    Honestly though, from an outsiders perspective, you've really done your best and you can't really do anything more. It's a completely different situation from your childhood.
  11. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Jack, it sounds like you have done everything you can.

    If your father is that sick, and he still has issues with you--irrational though they may be--seeing you might not be a good thing for him.

    A letter, get-well card, flowers--anything passive to avoid inciting something that may be worse--may be your best, first step. And it may yield further results.

    - Steve
  12. Drew Mitten

    Drew Mitten New Member


    I beleive that if you do push the issue to see him when clearly their is tension and there is a possibility he does not want you to visit only trouble follows. If he wanted you to see him there would surely be a way for him to get that message out there. I am very upset by your story because I can not imagine the pain and remorse you must be going through. I hope everything works out for your Dad. And maybe the thin line he tripped between life and death will make him see what he needs most his his family.

    Good Luck Jack.

    Drew(AKA, Your favorite Mitten!)
  13. Jason Lorette

    Jason Lorette Active Member

    Wow I agree with what Shane've've wrestled with asked if you could see him...all to no avail. Move on with the confidence that you tried...and like you say...relish in the family and friends that you have.

    Best of luck...

  14. Chris White

    Chris White New Member

    On a somewhat different note....

    The hardest thing in the world to do, almost impossible really, is to not become one's parents. Teenagers universally avow that they will be nothing like their parents. Twenty or thirty years later, they realize they embody virtually all the traits, good and bad, of their parents. Admittedly, I don't know you very well Jack, but everything I do know about you tells me you are a kind and loving father. Given your "training," that is an admirable achievement on your part.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Alfer's recommendation. Put your thoughts to paper. That act in itself will be healing, even if it doesn't lead to two-way communication.
  15. Colton

    Colton New Member War Zone Member

    Find peace within and let go. Accept the things you can not change.
  16. Ken McDaniel

    Ken McDaniel Active Member War Zone Member

    Jack, lots of excellent guidance to be found here. He should still be honored because he is your father, but in the end you can only acquiesce to the wishes of the family. Be thankful for the family you have.
  17. NathanP

    NathanP Member

    Very good point Chris, it kind of becaomes a "self-fulfilling prophecy". That's how bitterness works, it's a doozy.

    Best way to go about it is something like this (this is something I deal with lots): "I realize the mistakes my parent has made, I forgive them for it it and humbly move forward to become the best parent I can humanly be. It is not because of my hate for the person that I make this decision".
  18. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Your advises have been weighed and taken into consideration.
    Thank You Everyone.
    Chris, I follow your post very closely. One of the reasons I was able to be someone different from my parents, is that I spent time examining the effect they had on those around them. Both are now older, lonely, although in the case of my dad, he is wealthy, financially.
    I saw how I turned out and the issues I fight on a daily basis and every minute of every day, I have to choose to not follow their footsteps. Thus you are very correct. When I was younger, I did not appreciate the irony of what I was on the verge of becomming. My younger brother never did learn and became a Phd, teaching at some college. Imagine that, a teacher :lol: I mean no offense, just my way of blowing off a serious conversation.

    Anyway, thank You Larry for your call, as well as Mike. They meant the world to me. I will not pursue this meeting. I have reached a calming point and will write a letter and set it aside until I am sure, if every, it should be sent. Until that time, I will let this go and continue to be the man/father/friend I wish to be.

    Everyone who posted, I am in your debt, Thank You. The information on this page has proven invaluable. Yes Drew, yours as well. I mean words such as yours coming from a person that appears to adore his father means the world to me.

    Now back to life and the pursuit of happiness, peace and equanimity.
  19. Stefan

    Stefan Active Member War Zone Member

    My advise is not as deep as some of the others. But the above statement indicates to me that you should push the issue. You made that statement before receiving advice from us. And now that you have heard some advice, it seems you are going to deny yourself of this. If he does die, will you regret not going there and trying harder? If the answer is yes, then I say go and push it.

  20. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    As I have had a "leave it to beaver" unbringing, I can offer no advice. I cannot even relate to what you must be experiancing.

    But if you had to find out about this thru a mutual friend, then I think you have made the right decision.

    If he chose to live without you, then it would make sense that he chooses to die without you.


Share This Page