The Human Statistic
The First Time I became a Statistic
As I sat on the edge of my bed contemplating the time difference between the East Coast and the West Coast, the ringing of the telephone brought me back to reality. I peered at the caller ID box and saw the area code 770 and some how I already knew in my heart that this was not going to be a good call. I answered the phone and my older sister had a tone of voice that was so frightening. She informed me that our father was not expected to live through the night. It was Sunday June 17, 2001 and it was Fathers Day.
I had prepared myself for the call to come but it was still devastating to receive. I booked a flight to Atlanta, Georgia without delay. I flew out of Los Angeles on this large silver bird to the home I had left so long ago. I prayed to my higher power to please help get there in time so that I may feel his warm hand on mine just one more time. I was blessed once more in my lifetime and received exactly what I had prayed for, time with my father.
I stood by my father's bedside and realized that he was in agony. I became very conscious of the fact that the prayers I had extended for him to get well were in vain. My father needed to die. This was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. As I stood there I began to speak to him about the time we shared together. I began to thank him for all he had given to me. I thanked my father for for taking me out of South Georgia and giving me a life that only some people dreamed of.
They had told me it was a cold winter morning, November 5, 1956 at 9:00 AM when I entered this world. My biological parents were married at the time of my birth. My biological mother had been only 26 years old and I had been her eighth child. My biological father was a raging alcoholic and my biological mother a pill freak. They had seen fit to do "The right thing" and made sure I had gone to a magnificent home. It was an open adoption where my Mother would provide her with pictures of me as I grew up. Later in life at age 21 years old my parents introduced me to both of them. My adoption was the first time I had become a statistic.
Thank You and Your Welcome
I reminded my father of when he had owned his own private plane, of all the afternoons we had flown with the birds as he had called it. He would say "Scooter lets go fly with the birds" and off we would go to soar with the birds and Angels. We would do this without my Mother's knowledge for she was far too protective of me. These afternoons will remain with me for as long as I shall live.
I asked my father if he recalled teaching me to fish? I was my father's son so to speak and he took me fishing every Friday. I asked him if he remembered the first time he had taught me how to bait my hook? Then it seemed as if he slightly smiled and I wanted to believe that he could hear me. I reminded him how I always turned back into a girl when it came time to touch the fish. This feat I have never accomplished. I recalled to him the time in my life when he taught me to ride a bike. How he always said when I would fall that I was doing damage to his driveway. I informed him I had used this line on my sons, his grandsons. Again, it appeared as if he was smiling ever so slightly.I then apologized to my father for my adolescent years when I really turned into a spoiled brat. You see I discovered boys at age fifteen years old and not just any boy but the boy next door. At age 17 years old I went against everything my parents had taught me. I relocated to Germany with my Southern Boy, got pregnant, and married my Southern Boy. We were a classic example of the theory of Propinquity. I gave birth to my eldest son in Stuttgart, Germany on Monday September 16, 1974. Once more I had become a statistic twice in one year. I asked my father if he had committed to memory his last words he had said when I boarded my flight to Europe. These words of advice had served me well. He had given me a huge hug and had said "It doesn't matter where your at in this world, Scooter just always remember who you are and where you come from." These words of advice have served me well in my lifetime. I also reminded him that I had been a child making adult decisions and I was sure this why I had screwed up my life plans and for this I was sorry.
I also thanked my father for he and my Mother's emotional and financial support throughout my rough first marriage. My first husband began to drink heavily in Europe and before I knew what was happening he had become a violent alcoholic. My life turned into a nightmare, he became abusive and I knew that I could no longer live in this environment. Before I knew it I was pregnant with my second son and he arrived three weeks after my parents got me home from Europe. My second son was born December 23rd, he will always remain my most favorite Christmas gift.
I let my father know that I realize how disappointed he must have been in me. I told him the home he and Mother had provided for me had been fantastic. That what had happened to me had been my own bad decisions. I then reminded him that I had done very well in school. I let him know that I was the one who had chosen survival over success. College was something to be put off and it was for many years. I let him know that afternoon that I knew how proud he was that I was finally accomplishing my dream of college. A dream he had convinced me not to let it slip away.
I spoke with my father of that wonderful July in 1979 when I met the man of my dreams. This man is gentle, generous, and loved me for who was and everything I hoped to become. We married January 16, 1981 at 7:00 PM in a small but gorgeous ceremony, the wedding my father had promised me. I laughed as I asked him if he remembered telling me right before he walked me down the aisle " No man is good enough for his girls." I told my father that wanted him to know my husband makes me very happy. I asked him if he recalled saying that "all he wanted for me was to be married and happy." I let him know he had lived long enough to see that happen in my life and for that I was grateful.
I thanked him for driving from Georgia to Texas to be with me when I gave birth for the third time to my Artist. How I knew he had made the trip in record time. I let him know that May 8,1983 (Mothers Day) had been one of the happiest day of my life. That had been the day I had completed my family. I explained to my father what a wonderful father my husband had turned out to be. I then reminded him he had lived long enough to see all of his grandsons to adulthood and for that we had all been blessed.
As I sat there next to my father his warm hand in mine. I recalled the terrible day that my father, my sister, and I had experienced. Our worlds came crashing down, the day we lost our mother, September 3, 1985. We had lost my mother who died suddenly within 20 minuets of a massive coronary. My mother and I had been very close and I did not have the first clue how to survive without her. I reflected back to the first time I had seen my father cry. I told my father that he would soon be with my Mother again and how happy she must be just to know he would be there by her side soon. I let him know that this was a soothing thought for me, it had not seemed right for them to have ever been separated.
I then took a moment to apologize for not understanding when he had remarried. It seemed strange to acquire a stepmother at the age of 29 years old. Once again I had become a statistic. My father remarried very quickly after my mother's death. At the time I could not understand how he could do that after forty-six years of marriage. I did grow to understand this a little better later on but I never felt comfortable with the situation.
I asked my father's forgiveness for leaving him so suddenly. In November of 1987 we moved to California in the middle of the night without telling anyone. I grew stronger here and my life seemed to have some balance. Life was once more good again.
On April 26,1993, my husband and I were victims of a violent crime. My husband was almost beaten to death and spent 33 days in a coma; I had been held at gunpoint and made to watch. We were blessed with our lives and the perpetrator was blessed with 10 years in prison with no parole. I let my father know that his calls to me daily had gotten me through this very bumpy period in my life. He had prayed diligently for my husband and I
Excuses or Reasons?
I gave my father my reasons for not coming home to see him. I had stayed away for 15 years, mostly due to the fact that my stepmother always seemed to be at odds with me. She preferred to have my father's attention twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. This made it hard on my father to see me and my children. I knew this, so I stayed away and my beautiful sister visited him periodically to make sure he was doing well.
I went home to see my father January 1, 2001. I will never forget the hug I received and the words he whispered in my ear. He had stated "Daddy loves his baby." We visited my Mother"s grave and had an excellent time, just my father and I. It went all too fast and then it was time to leave. I knew in my heart that the next I came to Atlanta it would be for his funeral.
So here I am sitting by my father's bedside knowing this the last time I will hold my father's hand. I am trying to be strong for my father instead of my father being strong for me. I kissed my father goodbye about 15 times and then I left because my father did not want me to see him weak. I walked out that door.
Once that day my sister and I had stood over our father"s bed and she asked if I was OK. I had told her I was good. See I knew we would both be good for he had done a really good job of raising us.
So I left Atlanta and came home to become a statistic one more time in my life. I am now a person who walks alone without parents. However, I will always remain Daddy's Little Girl. John Lennon once made the statement "That life is something that happens when your having fun." "How true that is!