May 24, 2017 I received another message. This time I was told that my father had been placed on hospice. Immediately I began to make arrangements to get there.
This journey was not only emotional because I was going to see a father that I only needed 3 fingers to account for, but also because there were 2 siblings and several nieces that I would be meeting for the first time. I didn't know what that experience would be like. I didn't know what they would expect. I didn't know what to expect.
I travelled to Milwaukee on May 31, 2017.
As I was on the plane traveling to see my father, I had a whirlwind of emotions. I didn't know what to expect. I had never gone to visit him before. To be honest, I didn't even know what to feel. Being estranged from him for ALL of my life and now being even just a little bit connected was weird. I can count on one hand the number of times I can remember seeing him face to face. Let's see...
- When I was younger and he and my mom were arguing through the door.
- When he picked me up when I was about 11 to visit my grandmother...the only time I remember meeting her and she died not too long after that
- In 2006 or 7 when my brother begged me to let him meet my kids while he was here visiting. Well, he never met my kids because he stood us up in favor of whatever the liquor or ale of choice was. As a result my teenage children have never met their maternal grandfather.
- Ummm...well, looks like I didn't need a full hand... (Unless you add 3 for phone conversations that I remember)