Saturday, August 18, 2012

Until Death Do Us Part

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Once upon a time there was a girl who searched high and low for her father.  Taking the information she could gather from her Mother, Grandmother and Aunt at a young age, she would search in phone books and as the times changed, and technology changed; she began to search the web.  In her 40's she decided to do yet another search.  But this time would be different.  She would find her Father.  On Father's Day!! (2011)

Upon finding the other half of her family, she began to learn many things.  Some delightful, some disturbing.  Like the fact that she and her half-sisters not only grew up in the same neighborhood but actually went to the same public school!!  When she was in grade 6 her sisters were in grades 3 and JK!!  How could this be???

Is it possible that she had been in the same auditorium singing Christmas Carols and her sisters were sitting just feet away from her and she never knew it!  Yes!!

She also learned something she already knew in her spirit.  So it was really more of a confirmation ... that when she was a teenager she had actually found her Father's phone  number, she called and a woman answered.  The girl asked for her father by name, told the woman who she was and that she was looking for her Father.  The woman spoke in a very soft voice - the kind of voice that kindergarten teachers have - she said "I'm sorry but you have the wrong phone number."

The girl knew in her gut that she had the right phone number.  She just KNEW it!!!

Years later when she had actually made contact with her Dad, she found out that indeed the woman on the phone was Dad's wife!!  And in truth, had she not told the girl that it was a wrong number, that girl could have had her Father in her life for decades!!!!

I am that girl.  The girl who made that phone call.  The girl who was robbed of having her Father in her life!!

A few short months after finding Dad, he began to get ill.  "An enlarged prostate" is what we were told.  Before we knew what happened, we were told that Dad had advanced aggressive prostate cancer, which ultimately spread to his bones and throughout his entire body from Skull to Toes!  In addition to all of his internal organs ... and despite what the last test had shown, I believe that towards the end it began to claim his mind.

The months to follow were simply HELL.  So many questions .... why would I find Dad now only to watch him die???  What did it mean???  Was I suppose to save him??? Donate blood ... organs ... what???? Sadly that was not the reason for the timing.  There was nothing I had that would save his life.  Lord knows that if I could, I would have - in a heartbeat!!

The one and only time I got to be in a same room with my Dad was in May.  I got to look into his eyes, hug him, kiss him, take a picture with him.  Share meals with him.  Pray with him.  Watch a movie with him.  Just BE with him.

Moments and memories I will forever treasure.

Those who have been following this journey know that my half-sister Karen and I were so very close.  I really believed that for a period of time we were each other's support.  Spending hundreds of hours on the phone, googling the latest test results, encouraging each other on Dad's journey.  I truly truly believed that I had another sister!  Especially since my other half-sister turned out to be .... lets just say special.   I discovered from my Dad that she had in fact lied to me about everything!  Made Dad out to be a villain.  To the point where his wife would often ask me why I stayed.  She just could not understand given everything I was told, why on earth I would even speak to them.  I simply said that I am just that person.

I believed that we had become extremely close .... although I will admit that as I watched Dad slowly die ... I could not help but be reminded of how because of his wife ... and that phone call ...  I was robbed of many many precious years that should have been.  Could have been.  If she only told me the truth!!

In the last month of Dad's life I felt a shift.  A distinct pulling away from my sister and ... well ... the family in general.  I brought this up to my sister and .... we had words.  She basically told me that her focus was on Dad and that I was in the loop.   Essentially saying that I was imagining things.  I was not being phased out.

In the months of Dad's illness, I prayed every day.  Several times a day!  In the last weeks I found myself singing hymns.  Everywhere I went, I was singing hymns.  People on the street truly must think me insane!!

Dad went into a coma on August 11th at 4:00 and did not come back to us.  I don't think I slept a wink.... waiting for the call.  THE CALL.  Each and every time the phone rang, my heart stopped!!

August 12th at 6:45PM - I was on facebook .... trying to occupy my mind .... trying to keep myself busy while I waited.  Then it happened.   My sister's status changed.   And it read: "It is finished, the battle is over. It is finished, there will be no more war. It is finished and Jesus has won it.  It is finished and Jesus is Lord!"

I sat there.  Stunned.  My Father was Dead!  I immediately went to her blog where she had been keeping Dad's Cancer Updates ..... and I saw the same writing .... with one additional piece of information.

It is finished, the battle is over.
It is finished, there will be no more war.
It is finished and Jesus has won it.
It is finished and Jesus is Lord!

Dad passed today at 3:45.

I stared at the page.  In Shock.  I could feel the grief rising.  Then it hit me.  Not ONLY did I just learn of my Father's DEATH on a FACEBOOK STATUS.  BUT I learned of it THEE HOURS after the fact!!!

I was gutted.  Felt weak.  I could not believe it.  How could they post a Facebook status before informing his daughter that he had died??!!!???!!!

Another sleepless night lay ahead of me.   I cried and mourned and grieved.  I also began to feel very angry.

The following day - August 13th - I checked the Blog - still not having heard a word from the family.

And I see a link to Dad's Memorial Book.  With the Obituary....

Click to enlarge the image and you will see that not only did I read about my Dad's death on a Facebook Status, But,,, I am not listed among his children!!!

I message Karen,,, I say:  "You omitted me from my own Father's Obituary??"

There was no written reply.  Her response was to delete me from her page and have her husband block me from his!!

I was broken.  Just hurt.  Deeply.  I could not breathe!!!  How could this be???  What had happened???

The following day I messaged Dad's wife to see if she would answer me as my sister had ignored all of my attempts to find out what was going on.  To my surprise Tricia did respond.  My message was short, basically extending condolences.  Her reply was short and all about her .... thanking me and telling me the pain SHE was in.  No offer of condolence in return.

The following day - August 15th - I send a letter to Tricia ... outlining everything .... asking WHY??

WHY did I have to find out my father was dead via a FB status???

WHY was I omitted from my own father's obituary???

WHY was I not welcomed at my father's funeral???

WHY was I being discarded upon Dad's death???

WHY was my treatment so cruel???

I was not even given the dignity of a reply.  Nothing.  But what was interesting is that she had kept me on her and Dad's page.

Sadists I think!!

I suppose I will never get any answers.  I have no idea what their problem is.  When Dad was alive, he said, right in front of Tricia "You are a member of this family."  .... I was told what a blessing I was.  I was told how wonderful it was that Karen and I had become so close.   I was told by Karen how wonderful it was for her children that they had a present and functioning Aunt.  An Aunt who loved and adored them, an Aunt who wanted to watch them grow and develop and spend lots of time with them!!  I was developing relationships with my niece and nephew..... and now for all I know, they are being told that I left.  That I turned my back on them.

When the truth of the matter is that not only was I robbed of my Dad in life .... thanks to Tricia ....

But I am now robbed of my Dad in death .... thanks to all of them.

And equally, in robbing me, they are also robbing the youngest, most innocent involved in all of this.

The whole thing is just so sickening.

If you click the image above to enlarge - you will see the details of the funeral.  Day 1 was tonight - and I was not there .. not in body.  My mind and heart and soul could not have been torn away from that place.  The First Baptist Church in Smiths Falls where Dad was the Lead Pastor.  My ache is palatable.  My pain is distinct.

How cruel to keep a daughter away from her own Father's funeral?  After keeping her from him in growing up.  To discard her like an empty pizza box before his body is even cold!!

Tomorrow is Day 2 of the services and again I will not be there.  I will be miles away, broken.  My heart shattered.  My soul crushed.

I have to say that I do not believe I have ever heard of such cruel treatment as was bestowed upon me this past week.  Probably one of the hardest and most gut-wrenching weeks of my entire life!!

They may be able to stop me from being there when my Dad died.

They may be able to omit me from my own Father's obituary.

They may be able to keep me from attending my own Father's funeral.

Which, by the way, I do not even know if he is cremated, buried ... if so - where??

What they cannot take from me is the FACT that I am his spitting image.

I have his Face.  I have his body type.  I have his hair.  I have his height. His hands. His eyes. Even his feet!!

And I have all of the memories.  He had a wonderful sense of humor.  He was witty.  Intelligent.  Compassionate.  And I am all of these things.

The fact of the matter is that my father is Rev. Donald Stanley Crisp.

Another thing they cannot take away from me!!

I am reminded of one thing in all of this .... that Hippocrates are in abundance.  That those who claim the life of Christ are at times the first to cut your throat.

But in time, I will heal ...  my life will go on.  As I know that my conscious, my soul, my heart are free of guilt and sin.  I could never do to another human being what has been done to me. And because of that; I can sleep at night, I can hold my head high, and I can face myself in the mirror..


Rest in Paradise Dad.

I love you!!!

(Your First Born Daughter)