Thursday, May 8, 2008

Prayer request

UPDATE#2: First and foremost - THANK YOU all, so much, for your support and for your prayers. It is amazing and humbling to know that there's so much support flowing our way, from so many lovely, like-minded people all over the world. (Uh oh, getting misty...)

I put together a package of photos, a spare birth announcement, and our 2007 Christmas letter to friends as a means of updating him on my little family. After starting and stopping several times, I did not include any sort of personal note, figuring that if he wants to communicate, he will, whether directly or via my brother. This may sound odd, but knowing him, I can pretty safely bet that he will either be disproportionately angry or overjoyed at the sudden intrusion into his solitude after all this time. So I thought it best to let him make the next move. Or not. I guess I'll know soon enough.

He turns 69 on May 30th, so I will try again with a card if I don't hear anything.

SLIGHT UPDATE: After much heavy-handedness, I've got an address. :)

More soon.

Hard to get this one from head to hands.

My dad is in "very poor health," and I am not quite sure what that means - he has not spoken to 3 of his 4 children for 6 years. He has never seen even a photo of the Boy, because I don't quite know where to find him. And honestly, I have not wanted to try - my oldest brother keeps the rest of us minimally informed, against Dad's wishes, and that has been sufficient until now.

He is bipolar - a retired dentist with one of the most brilliant, but brittle, minds I've ever known. He drank to cover up the bipolar stuff, but has been sober since 1982, when he acknowledged the bipolar issue - before it was "cool" to admit to mental issues. About 8 years ago, after about 15 years or so of relative peace and stability in his personal life (he was always a highly gifted professional), he elected to stop taking his medication. Not uncommon in really, really smart bipolar people - they try to "out-think" the disease. This coincided with my [mercifully] former stepmother serving him with divorce papers when he pulled into the driveway, having just closed on the sale of his practice for retirement. He took all the debt and tax liability, leaving him with nothing, while she walked away with over $500K cash. He never recovered, spun into a bad depression, and stopped the meds not too long afterwards.

After a family wedding in 2002, he sent a nasty email to all of us, accusing us of all kinds of awful stuff that I won't bother mentioning, mostly accusing us all of being bad parents - he thought we let our young kids "drink" at the wedding (sparkling apple juice looks like champagne, I guess) which was simply not true. Mine were 4 and 8 at the time.

So, 3 of us made our stand and did a sort of an "e-intervention" in response to his email: get yourself back on track, on meds, in therapy, and in touch with reality, or we can't have you in our lives, accusing us and our kids of crazy crap. Well, what parent likes to get such an ultimatum from their kids? So the silence has gone on. And on.

Until I got the email from my brother today. No more details, save that he is very ill, and may be heading toward the end. I have been beside myself all day. At the time of the wedding and since then, I've spoken with my favorite priest about it, sought guidance and found some peace, but this is the second-worst news I've been dreading.

So there it is. I carry St. Dymphna on my keychain for a reason - now you know. So please send some prayers Dad's way. I am hoping my brother will break his word to Dad and give us more info so we can try and reach him before it is too late. I may not post for a bit - we shall see what transpires, and if I am off to AZ.

14 comments:

DigiHairshirt said...

Kit,

My prayers are with you. My older sister is mentally ill and so I have some sense of what is going on and with what you have to deal. Hang in there - and know that you have done your best, no matter what happens.

Kit Brookside said...

Many thanks, amiga...

Kasia said...

Prayers and hugs going your way, Kit - I understand better than I can 'splain here. :-(

Ma Beck said...

Prayers for you and your family, dear Kit.
:(

I am so sorry.

Philangelus said...

**prayers**

I've heard this is the hardest part when severing contact with a parent, because our hearts seek closure and reconciliation, only sometimes there are so many issues blocking it. I'm so sorry. :(

the mother of this lot said...

I'll pray for all of you Kit. And do your best to find him. Regrets aren't good.

Tara said...

Kit:
This is heartbreaking, I'm praying!

a thorn in the pew said...

I'm praying for your family today. God bless.

LarryD said...

My prayers are with you and for you, Kit. May God be with you.

Adrienne said...

Oh my --- in my thoughts and prayers

matthew archbold said...

My prayers are with you. My goodness. I hope something wonderful can come out of all this pain.

gemoftheocean said...

praying for your family. God bless you.

Dymphna said...

I'll pray to dear St. Dymphna for you and your dad.

swissmiss said...

So sorry to hear about the problems with your father. Such a difficult situation. Praying for you all. Hang in there.