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Last week was the 3rd anniversary of my daddy’s death.  I still struggle so much with the fact that he’s gone. All day, I just cried and begged, “Daddy, take me with you!”.

This made me remember all the times over my lifetime when I felt that way. I pretty much always felt that way and asked every chance I got. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to just be with my dad…

At 3 When my parents separated, I wanted to go with my dad. At this young tender age, most children can’t stand being away from their mothers. When asked, my 5 year old sister instantly jumped up with “I want to go with you, Mommie!”. This is one of my first memories. I vividly remember wanting to follow suit with my sister and latch onto the natural maternal pull at such a needy age. I know my very first thought was that. I remember the instant I thought to repeat my sister’s desire, I looked at my daddy and just the thought of not being with him created an instant pang of sharp pain in my heart and my gut. Maybe it was the wounded, defeated look on his face? Maybe it was the wise intuition even way back then, that I was extremely unwanted by my mother?  Or maybe it was simply that only with my dad have I ever felt safe and loved? I don’t know what my 3 year old brain was thinking for sure but I vividly recall the sharp pain in my heart at the thought of not being with my daddy. 

Please can I go with you Daddy?

Of course I was forced to live with my mother eventually. And I saw my dad for occasional weekends when mother permitted. My dad took my sister and I on summer vacations to Cherokee Lake, TN with his boat to visit Aunt Maude and Uncle George and fish on the lake.

I loved these vacations! Except my dad would get up at the crack of dawn to go fishing and I’d wake up with him already gone. I didn’t like that! So every night before bed, I’d ask, “Daddy, are you goin fishin early in the mornin?”  Usually my dad would say something funny to direct my thoughts and attention somewhere other than asking to go with him (i chattered to my dad incessantly and played with the minnow bait when he fished… I was not the best to take fishin!). I would know he was avoiding my question with jokes because they were going early to catch fish and I impeded that. So it became like a game between my daddy and me. I’d always ask every night and say, “stop teasing me Daddy and please take me with you in the mornin?”

Please can I go with you Daddy?

Usually, desperate to not miss when he left, I’d try with all my might to stay up all night to catch him leaving and naturally, then I’d oversleep and  not wake in time to insist I go…they’d sneak off while I was sleeping and when I’d wake up and see him gone, I’d impatiently wait til he got back shortly and let him know how mad at him I was for not waking me to go with! He’d tease me about something and we’d laugh and I wouldn’t be mad anymore. …just grateful he was already back…

 As a teenager, living in Hell and dreaming of being loved and safe, I literally lived for my visits with my dad…brief and random as they were under mother’s strict and fierce control… One time I was having a chat with my dad and I desperately told him, ” nothing can ever happen to you Daddy. If it did, there’d never be anyone to love me or kiss and hug me!” My dad of course said this was silly talk that I was loved by many….

I went through a brief period of time during therapy where I acknowledged I was maybe angry at my dad for not saving me from Mommie dearest . That didn’t last long though. I realize from deep within that truly good people with pure hearts have a hard time recognizing evil. I lived with it and still it took years to convince me it was what it really was. I have the heart of my daddy. How could I ever blame him for not seeing evil when he had not an ounce of evil in him ? Of COURSE he couldn’t see it!

So a few months before his death, he was working on his will and called me to discuss it. I remember exactly where I was sitting when he called about this. As soon as the words came out of his mouth I said (as a grown woman now and single mother to two teen girls), “No daddy! You can’t ever go away! Not EVER! I have to go first or you have to take me with you! I just can’t be in this world without you!!!” And I was sobbing. So, my daddy changed the subject. Of course, he could never stand to hear me cry…

Now, he’s gone and just like those crack of dawn fishin trips he snuck without me, he didn’t take me with him!  Only he’s still not back when I wake up in the mornin. I can’t stomp my feet and tell him I’m mad he went fishin without me. He can’t tease me and make it impossible to be even playfully mad at him.  This time, he’s just gone. 

Shortly after his death and after my children turned against me after his funeral, I went to a Christian retreat to deal with this unbearable pain and loss. I don’t know what I think about these things really, I just know lost people in desperate pain will try about anything , so I went.

There, on the last day, I finally shared my grief and they told me the problem was I had “unholy grief” for my dad and my children. And they prayed over me to rid me of this “unholy grief” and the demons they associated with that specific “evil “.

I was mad at this “diagnosis “! WHAT?!??  I tried to accept it though with the hopes that my pain might subside even a little if they were perhaps right.

It didn’t work. I still ask daily, Daddy, please can I go with you?

Is my grief “unholy”? I know many have painfully lost parents way earlier than I and seem to eventually go on about life and living. Why cant I?  

 

(Everyone is looking at the camera. I’m looking at my daddy.) 

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