Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raised a Roman Catholic (Part 3)

Okay so I don't feel right about walking away from this story just yet and leaving you in limbo... my Dad was a very well respected man who was brilliant AND cool... not very often you get that combo... but he was also human and made mistakes.  Mistakes that we have all learned from and taken something away from.  I believe we have all forgiven him for his infidelity and though it took many many years after his death for me to deal with it, I have always been proud to be his daughter.

We carried on living in Venezuela watching my Dad walk in and out of the house like it was nothing.  Luckily for us, we made a few friends, Mom made a friend named Andrea a couple doors down where we often went for lemonade and canasta.  I enjoyed watching the local boys play baseball in my backyard and made a friend from Tuscon, Arizona.  Mom made Dad take us to church on Sundays which I guess she thought would make him right again.  The church was beautiful, it had beautiful painted ceilings and large open windows so the birds could fly in and out.

One of the hardest things during this situation was spending time with Dad... I really wanted to because I missed him but felt like I was betraying my Mom too by somehow condoning his behavior.. especially when one day he took me to the local swimming pool to hang out with... you guessed it... his "friend" and her two kids.  Words cannot even begin to explain the mixed feelings I had in this awkward moment when I realized who he was introducing me to... this man had to have gone nuts!  I told Mom because I felt so guilty about it, she was sad and angry.  One Sunday at church, my Mom and I were kneeling down to pray and she told me to go find my Dad because mass was about to start... I went down the aisle to the front door of the church where my Dad was laughing with that stupid woman, what was she doing there??  I was angry she was there, so angry I wanted to punch her.  How could she show up at church when she knew damn well my Mom was going to be there.  I went back to where my Mom was sitting and told her she was there... my Mom was praying and she looked up to look at her as she walked by... the woman turned and smiled at us... the most evil smirk I have ever seen on a woman's face, I will never ever forget that smile and all I could think was, what a bitch.  Protection of my mother was very important during this time and I was so angry with her and my Dad for her presence.

It was shortly after this incident when I begged my Mom to go home to NS, I desperately wanted to get her out of there before Christmas and get her home to my brother who I knew would help me be there for her.  She agreed and we planned to go home.  We left Venezuela on December 9th... which proved to be one of the saddest days of my life, we said good bye to my father who, for the first time, acknowledged his mistake. He was losing what he had left of his family... the defeat showed in his body language as he stood in the window of the airport crying while we walked across the tarmac to the plane... I turned back several times as I sobbed uncontrollably to wave at my Dad.  We boarded the plane and when I got to my seat and looked out the window, I could still see my defeated father with his head hanging low.  I didn't know if I was ever going to see him again... and as it turns out, I never did see him alive again.

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