Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day....Part II

Today I honor my father who I never had the chance to see or meet. My father has always been my protector throughout my entire life, even while I was in uterine. When my mother and father learned they were pregnant my father knew that they had to run away to be able to keep me. A plan was in place and one dark night they took off for unknown territory.

Their destination was Idaho where they could of gotten married, but when they arrived all they needed was a note from both of their parents giving permission for the marriage. They didn't have that and my father said that if he had known they needed that he would of forged one. From there they headed to Reno/Las Vegas to get married. They had a road trip fit for hollywood, with robbing liquor stores, stealing cars and sleeping in neighborhoods in their car.

When they arrived in Nevada they also learned tha they couldn't get married. A bit distraught at the dim news my father remembered that his cousin was coming in on a navy ship in San Diego in a few days. He knew that his friend would help them get married. So, off to San Diego they went. Their trip was hard. My mother was early in her pregnancy and not feeling the greatest. They had little money and hardly no food, but they were determined to save their little family and ME.

When they arrived in San Diego they had a few days until his cousin's ship came in and so my Dad decided that he was going to take my Mom and ME to disneyland. He had robbed a liquor store to get the money and his beloved Slow Gin. I can imagine at how glorious their day at Disneyland was. For one day they had no worries, no fears and were able to be the kids they were and enjoy the time together. When I heard this story I was so moved by this gesture of my father to provide my mother with some relief and fun. I was also struct with the thought that that was one of the last times we were all together.

The next day the cousin arrived and he did indeed agree to help them. He was having a party at his house that night and told them to come over and get some food and rest. They went and stayed for a little bit, but my mom was uncomfortable being there and she wasn't feeling the best either. So they left for their nightly routine. My father felt it was safer to sleep in safe, quiet neighborhoods and this night was no exception. He drove to a nearby neighborhood and parked the car like he usually did and they went to sleep. They were awoke in the night by a policeman asking about what they were doing. Many questions later they were taken into custody and taken to jail. One tiny mistake changed the course of all three of us forever. He parked on a one way street the wrong way.

They were in the LA area for many months until the police, feds and parents decided what to do with them. They were finally sent home to Washington and that was the last time we were all together. My father still instilled in my mother that it will be ok and he will figure something out to save his treasured family, but the system and parents sealed our fate.

In the end my father was shipped to live with an aunt in Idaho and was not allowed contact with my mother. The months were agonizing for both of them, but my mom held onto the hope that when I was born my father would return and they would be able to figure out what to do. My mother never heard from him again, letters were intercepted and after months of being worn down by my grandmother my mother had no other option then to give me up.

After I was born and adopted my father was allowed to come back to Washington. Upon his arrival he tried to find us, but he was told that I had died at birth. To this very minute my heart breaks at how devastated my beloved father felt. My mother had been married away and sent to Kentucky and I had died. He had no one left and he was inconsolable.

Not much is known about my father after that, but a few bits and pieces. He quickly got married and I believe had 3 replacement children. He turned into a hard alcoholic and in 1974 (I was 10) he committed suicide. It is my belief that he was so tormented by the loss of my mother and me that he just couldn't exist any longer. He was going through a divorce at the time and I can relate to his despair because I have been at that same very spot several times.

My abuse started when I was 9 and my dad died a year later very close to my birthday. I think that the reason I never wanted to find him was because I knew deep inside he wasn't there. He was never even a thought to me and I believe that's because he had died. I know with a certainty that he has been my guardian angel and protected me from my terrors in the night. He watched over me and still does to this day. I feel him around me daily and I KNOW he is with me. His picture is the only one I have on my night stand and when I travel he goes with me.

When my mother and I were reunited she looked up my dad's family and went and talked with them. They still thought I had died and were shocked in the new discovery of their niece. They were excited, but you can imagine the shock. My uncle was so kind in giving my mother pictures of dad and gave her 3 of my father's favorite Elvis albums. Those albums are my most precious possessions. I have gotten bit's and pieces of my father over the years and everything I learn or receive I treasure it.

My father's passion was music and he LOVED Elvis. He would sing to my mother, play the guitar and sing to me. Music was his release, just like it is to me. I received this gift from my father and I treat it like a fabrege egg, priceless. I love how he is apart of me and the things in me that are like him. I love my dad.

Today on Father's Day I just want to say to my daddy that I love you and thank you for being my daddy and loving me in a way only a father can love. You are my hero and I look forward to the day when we can be together again. I love you! Your little Beth.


Grace said...

Debbie, what wonderful thoughts and comments you made about your Dad...even though you never met him...he obviously has impacted your life in so many good ways. You have some good memories now through your Mom. nice post

Grace said...

i was thinking again as i read this...was Beth the name that your father wanted to name you if you were a girl? Sorry I didn't pick up on that the first time

Debbie said...

My name would of been Elisabeth Ann and they would of called me Beth.