Monday, September 29, 2008

Richard Bruce Keller II

I think it's funny how life takes you by surprise sometimes. My biological father died almost 2 years ago. It had been 5 years since I'd seen him. If not for my cousin I really doubt I would have even known he was sick. And by the time I found out-he was really sick.

At that time I was really amazed at myself that I felt nothing. Really nothing. The last time I ever saw my father was Christmas 2001. I was visiting Pennsylvania from college and had stopped by my aunt's house where everyone on that side of the family was. I took my cousin Julie along from my mom's side of the family as my personal buffer/body guard! My dad was playing cards with some people at the table. When I walked in he said, "what's up?" and went back to his card game. He never got up and never even looked my direction. And I found it really amazing that I was with the man who created me and felt invisible. A few minutes later he said, "how are things at the university of Tennessee?" Right dad. At that point I had been at Asbury College in Kentucky for over 3 years. And I decided right then and there that I was done. I was done trying to maintain a relationship with this man, I was done caring, and although I would always forgive him and respect him for the position he held in my life, he would no longer be a part of my day to day thinking. And somewhere in my spirit that day - I moved on. I had to.

So, it caught me off guard this morning when I found a picture of him I was using as a bookmark. It literally took my breath away. I have no idea why and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. He missed so much. He missed the opportunity to be in relationship wtih 3 children who adored him and 2 wives that would have. My dad was the funniest, greatest guy-he just couldn't commit to anything especially relationships. If you needed something-he'd give you anything, but if it was a relationship you needed forget it. He was the epitome of a fair weathered friend. That's not an insult-that's just who he was. He would have been the best bachelor you ever met-he just had no business committing.

And I suppose somewhere in my heart I held onto the idea that one day he would call, or write, or find someway to restore a very broken relationship. I suppose to some degree you have to hold onto hope to survive. But now it's too late. I don't know why almost 2 years later today it feels final-like he's really gone. And it's weird where you notice it. I was filling out some forms today and it asked about family history. Father deceased? Yes or no. It was weird to circle yes. I don't know why. And then the Dr. said when reviewing it, "I'm sorry for your loss." I thanked him but it seems like I lost him a long time ago.

I don't know. It's strange how the soul adjusts at different times. When he passed away, it was a crazy time for a few months in my life with a bunch of little things and I think if I had taken the time to really grieve at that time I may have lost it. But now I'm at a point where I can process the loss and move on. Whether I think so or not, it does affect me and to some degree it always will.

In a fiction happily ever after world I wish he would have called a few years ago and we could have had that time to mend and restore and renew our relationship. I even wish he would have called when he was first diagnosed with lung cancer or then a year later when it had spread. I wish while he was in his right mind we would have connected. I think it was selfish of him not to do that. I'm not angry or bitter or upset at this point because I believe that's the only way he could cope was to avoid it, but I still wish he had. It might not have made a difference, but then again it might have.

His obituary described him as the best friend anyone could ask for. It didn't say anything about him as a father. I find that interesting.

Okay, that's enough Dr. Phil for today!!

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