#blackhealthmatters 2017 addiction black men children death depression divorce parenting relationships

Life of Regrets

It is at the end of a man or woman’s life that they really begin to ponder things. Did I live a good life? Did I enjoy it? Was I good person? Did I leave the world a better place than when I found it?

Or at least I hope that is what we’ll do.

I have been thinking a lot about the life yet lived and the mistakes that we make when faced with the possibility of death. No, I’m not dying. I’ve been sick, but I’m recuperating. That’s why my posts have seemed erratic lately. Please bear with me.

But, I told ya’ll last week that my daddy had a pace maker put in and I was worried about him. His family was calling and asking me about a living will and what do I want to do with the surgery and being his decision maker. I started freaking out. What do you mean? Is he conscious? Can’t he make the decisions on his own? I don’t know about the will. He mentioned it a few times, but I’ve seen or signed nothing. Ugh!

I was overwhelmed and frustrated to say the least. I was told they would call me back and they didn’t. I just called the hospital and spoke to his nurse in ICU. He was conscious. He was able to make the decisions on his healthcare. He wanted the pacemaker.

I got answers. I was happy that the hospital was being very concerned about my dad’s health. They took down my phone number and called me. There was a wonderful nurse who told me she was trying to let the social worker know what my daddy needed when he went home. He needed a nurse. He needed help. He didn’t have a phone.

She asked me about my dad’s military service. My dad said he was a vet. He is. He is a vet. He was dishonorably discharged. The nurse said “He told me he wasn’t dishonorably discharged and he has papers to prove it.” I sighed. It was 1:30 in the morning. I responded in exasperation “My daddy is an alcoholic. He’s had a drinking problem all his life or at least for the last 35 years. Too much drinking and smoking. His brain cells are gone. He can’t produce any paperwork and I’m too tired to argue.”

She was sympathetic as I explained that I am the only one of a possible 9 children still speaking to him. One out of 9. That’s his life. So, I have no reason to lie. He’s broke and sick. He’s one of the forgotten. I just don’t know how to feel.

She understood. She listened as I explained that God had told me to forgive my daddy. That God told me that it in order for me to be blessed I had to let go of all the pain my daddy caused by not being in my life. She said “Me too. I know exactly what you mean.” She said she would help him. She would exhaust her resources.

Apply for Medicare. Do everything she can. Thank God for her.

She didn’t have to go above and beyond. It was appreciated. I wasn’t there. I knew at that moment that I needed to go home to see about him.

I talked to him the next day. He was moved to ICU to his own room. I called and heard his voice. He’s alive. He’s able to make his decisions. I told him the calls I received from his relatives. He said that he knew.

I was exhausted. Emotionally and mentally. It’s hard loving a man that you don’t really know. I’ve spent 11 years of my life with this man and 31 without him. It’s hard trusting him to not come in my life and hurt me again. I’m not his only child. I’m one of many.

My dad said that he wants me to contact his other children. To reach out to them and ask them to talk to him. I won’t. I can’t.

I feel that God gave me the message in order to move me from the pain to the promise. He may not have given my siblings that message. It’s not for me to clean up my daddy’s mess. I’ve said to him that he needs to find a way to clean up his own mess. That you can’t ask me to do what you should have done a long time ago. Be a man to your children.

I know that he’s living a life of regrets right now, but I can’t help him. We are all responsible for the choices we make. Good, bad or indifferent, you have to know that there will come a time when payment is due for your negligence. I wish that his regrets were more of the life not traveled, but I know they are more about the man he wasn’t and the forgotten children.


  1. I’m not sure you realize how much of an inspiration you are to other people. Thank you so much for sharing your life with the honesty and openness that you do. I hope your father makes a full recovery and that you heal a little more every day. Your strength is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, sis. I am so, so sorry about this. The fact that you…..you…out of NINE other children have been there for him speaks volumes for the kind of person you are. And you’re right….you should not be there to clean up his mess. He made the mess and he will have to either clean it up or live with it. I also have been touched by the disease of alcoholism….it’s horrible. I have also been touched by the “death-bed” apologies and expressions of “love.” They meant nothing to me…but that’s just me.
    Don’t worry yourself to death about it and don’t feel any guilt whatsoever about not reaching out to the other children for him. That is not your responsibility. If he’s incapable of dialing a number, that’s a different thing. You can dial the number but he is the one who must do the talking.
    Please take care of yourself and I know he’s your daddy but you have to take care of yourself. He made his choices…not you.
    Sending warm hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, sis. We can only do what we can do. You are probably a little mad and a little sad and a little regretful…but you are a wonderful person with a wonderful heart and a wonderful soul. I do hope he can recognize that and take some comfort in that fact.
        If nothing else, he is leaving a wonderful legacy behind…..and that is you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been thinking about you for the last few days. Wondering if you made a trip or if it took a different turn. It’s very brave of you to make your peace AND to give clear boundaries about where your limits lie. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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