Tale of Two Dads
Hat tip to Mocha Dad. His post partially inspired this post.
One day in early 2005 I received a strange knock on our front door. The knock itself wasn’t nearly as strange as either the messenger or the message. The person at the door was a Tacoma Police Department chaplain, and as it turned out, a pastor that a few years prior had discussed us joining the staff of his church at the time. As strange as that was, though, it paled to the reason he was here: my sister in MT, who at the time did not know how to reach me, had contacted TPD to get in contact with me, because her father–my stepfather/adopted father–had died. He offered condolences, assuming I’d feel grief-stricken. But I was not. I was more caught off guard by the strange circumstances.
The reason there was no grief is because I never really knew him in any kind of personal connection sort of way. He had adopted my older sister and I when I was like 6, after our mother had married him. But he was an alcoholic, and as time when on, was increasingly violent and abusive. I left when I was 13. (As an aside, this is not an easy task when living 20 miles from the nearest town and it being a cold fall night…but that’s another story).
Fast forward to earlier this year. I had finally located my sister (from my biological dad’s remarriage) that I’d met very briefly once in 1990 on Facebook, only to find out very shortly afterward that our dad was dying. I had plenty of reasons to be angry, to not care…but instead asked to have a message passed on to him…a message of forgiveness. And from what I was told (he was unable to speak for quite some time before his death), he smiled. And passed away the next day.
Thanks to some wonderful help from readers, friends, people on twitter and Facebook, I was able to fly across the country to be there for the funeral, and spend some time with his widow. In those short few days, I learned so much about my father and about the whole situation with he and my mom divorcing, and with the adoption, and with the struggles with it all. In that short time, I came to know more about him than I ever really knew about the man whose last name I now have.
Hat tip to Mocha Dad. His post partially inspired this post. One day in early 2005 I received a strange knock on our front door. The knock itself wasn’t nearly as strange as either the messenger or the message. The person at the door was a Tacoma Police Department chaplain, and as it turned out,…