|Photo courtesy of my Uncle Mark Boyle's blog. My biological father is|
on the left, Mark is in the middle, and my Grandpa Joe is on the right.
I'm writing this blog post because I feel a sort of obligation to myself to at least try to put into words how I feel. This blog has basically been a diary of the last four years of my life, and I find it sort of therapeutic to just spill my thoughts into actual words that I can look back on. So... here I go.
I'm just going to write.
I haven't seen my biological father (Scott) in 30 years. I don't know how old he is, I don't know if he remarried after he and my mom divorced, and sadly, I don't have any good memories of him. He left my brother (Scotty) and I when we were babies, and my mom was forced to raise us on her own. He never paid my mom child support, and caused my mom a lot of stress when they were married. The last and really only memory I have of my biological father, was when I was about five years old. This memory is still very vivid. I was mad at my mom about something that she wouldn't let me do, so I told her that I wanted to call "my dad" and go live with him. I remember my mom picking up the phone, dialing a number, and handing me the phone in anger, saying, "FINE. YOU call him."
I couldn't understand why my mom was so angry, because on the other end of the phone I had my biological father telling me how much he missed me and my baby brother. He asked me if I liked stuffed animals. I said yes. Without hesitation, he promised to send me a bag filled with stuffed animals, and I happily hung up the phone. I waited for those stuffed animals every day for a month.
They never came.
Growing up, I had a really hard time understanding how the person who helped create me, wanted no involvement in my life. Sadly, I later learned that my biological father is/was a drug-addict and alcoholic, who basically lived homeless for much of his adult life. He lived life chasing his addictions. It was his addiction that had him wondering the streets, and virtually unreachable when his mom (my Grandma Joni) became ill with, and eventually died from lung cancer. He didn't even attend her funeral.
Fortunately, we've remained close with my biological father's side of the family (my Aunt Laura, my Uncle Mark, and my late Grandma Joni). They've respected my brother and my wishes to not have contact with our biological father, but I'm grateful that they kept us updated with the prognosis of his illness. My biological father spent much of his adult years connected to a colostomy bag, after his organs started to rebel against his many years of drug and alcohol abuse. He lost his almost life-long battle with addiction, and died of liver cancer just about a month after being diagnosed.
Although I feel like I've had my own closure on my relationship with my biological father, my heart hurts for my Uncle Mark (his brother), Aunt Laura (his sister), and my Grandpa Joe (his dad). I know they are all hurting, and my thoughts are with them. While I've spent so many years feeling angry toward my biological father, and while there are still questions I have that will never be answered… I am thankful for him. Without him, there wouldn't be a me, or my brother. Part of me feels sad for him. It's sad that he never took the opportunity to embrace the gift of being a father. He missed out on two amazing weddings, and the birth of his beautiful grandchild. It's incredibly sad how addiction can take over, and cause a person to be absent from so much life and greatness.
My Aunt Laura once told me that while my biological father was a sh*tty dad, he was an amazing brother. The tragedy in this entire situation is that my brother and I never got to know "that" guy. But I think my brother and I got the good end of the deal, because we have an incredible step-dad who loves us like we are his biological kids. HE is our Dad, and always will be. I am so incredibly thankful that my Dad (Dale) decided to enter our lives, and help shape us into the productive members of society that I feel my brother and I are today. I'm also thankful for my mom. SO thankful. While she kept us from the hurt and pain that would have been the life with our biological father, she kept us connected to his brother, sister, and mom who are still a part of our lives today.
Anyway. It's always sad when someone dies. But, what's even more sad is the sense of loss my brother and I felt growing up, knowing our birth-father wanted nothing to do with us. Part of me wishes the entire situation would have been different, but that same part of me is thankful that is wasn't.
Rest in peace Scott T. Boyle.
Your daughter Melissa