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Closure and hitting on the closing days of my 30's



Wow, it's been a long time.  I am six months into being 37 years old now- can you believe it? I loved my early 30's, the mid-30's were consumed by the Covid Pandemic, and so far my late 30's have been an interesting ride.

Actually, it's been a long and difficult year for me. For pretty much all of my 30's I've been in a holding pattern- living with my mom at her house, helping her with bills, and working in a movie theater. Even the Covid pandemic didn't really change that much for me, save for some extra money that allowed me to put a down payment on a 2-year old economy car after driving an awful 2006 beater for 6 years. As soon as the COVID lockdowns ended I went right back into working at a movie theater.

My mom got sick in October, and since then she's been in and out of the hospital as she deals with liver failure. (Not even an alcoholic- go figure! We think it's because of her Aspirin usage. And probably just being 76 years old.) One of my sisters has been having my mom stay at her home about 30 minutes south of her home, as she's a nurse and can look over her better than I can. It's been a really difficult, horrible situation to go through.

In March, my mom has been generally stabilizing with some decent medication, but then we got hit with some shocking news- my estranged father I haven't spoken to or seen since 1995 passed away at his home in the American South at the age of 70 from lung cancer. He was a chain smoker, so it wasn't a shocker, but it was shocking to learn that he had kept a Christmas card my sister (the nurse one) had sent him around 2015 or 2016. That is apparently how the sheriff knew to notify us. Funny enough, when the sheriff came to my sister's house, my mom thought it might be about me and I got inundated with worried phone calls from her.

My dad was an abusive drunk who I hadn't seen since I was 9 years old. Apparently he managed to get it together enough to live an out and proud life as a gay man in a Southern resort area town and went on to a pretty decent life. My sister (the nurse one) has been acting as the executor of his estate. He wasn't rich, but he did have a house and some retirement accounts. Since he didn't leave a will, everything's being taken care of in probate, which is going to be an interesting waiting period. My dad and my mother were never technically divorced, and by the law of the state he died in, that means he was married, so that also throws a wrinkle into everything. His house is already up for sale, and the estate sale people pretty much cleared out his house and it's like he was never lived there.

My dad was cremated, and his ashes were interred in a vault at a Veteran's cemetery near us. We did the whole big family reunion and wake for him, and it was an interesting experience. I saw relatives I haven't seen since about 1993. 

Pretty mixed feelings about all this but I think the best way to describe it is that I feel relief. I don't have to wonder if there's going to be some day that I can talk to my dad again, and confront him about what he did, and possibly even try to salvage some kind of relationship with him. I know he's gone, and he's taken all his secrets and motivations with him, and I can let go of my anger at how he treated me as a child. It makes me sad that I have so few positive memories of my father but what I can remember is that he was a prankster who loved travel and cooking, and he kept those passions into the end of his life. Finally, my dad was able to go out peacefully in his sleep after living a pretty solid, if quiet life on a nice sunny street in the American South.

As for me, I kind of just feel like I'm at the end of something. Maybe it's just hitting my late 30's, but I know things are changing again, and I'm not sure to what. I like to think I'll handle it well, no matter what happens. 


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While your mom's illness is sad, and you've had to deal with your father's passing, it sounds like you have a supportive family. In that, you're very lucky. And you've done your fair share of supporting your mom through her illness. You sound like you're ready for whatever is next, as much as any of us can be.

I hope that good things come to you and your family.

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I love that you let the anger at your father go. Doing that must be like shedding a huge weight.  

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19 hours ago, Mark Arbour said:


I love that you let the anger at your father go. Doing that must be like shedding a huge weight.  

It does. At the end of the day, I can be happy for my dad that he found a better life and lived the way he wanted to live. I also can let go of any fear/hope that existed at the back of my mind that he might try to make contact. I no longer need to wonder about him, and I know that he died a peaceful death.

Edited by methodwriter85
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That's a ton of upheaval and distress in a short period of time. You are probably correct in thinking that more change is around the corner. It usually is. You are giving yourself some closure in relation to your father in a very brave way. It's hard to let go of a child's anger. Good luck. 

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