My Katie Calls

The morning after my father died, I was on my way to church. I needed to spend some time in the Adoration Chapel to pray, and to get myself centered again. Bill’s daughter, Katie, asked if she could go with me. As we were pulling out of the driveway of my mother’s house, my phone rang and it was my daughter, Katie. I hadn’t seen, or heard, from her since she was in the hospital cafeteria with the man she met the day my father had his stroke. She had a surprised tone to her voice on the phone, as she asked me “Mom, where is grandpa”? She said she called the hospital and they told her he had been moved to the Hospice Center but when she got to hospice he wasn’t there. I said “he’s dead, Katie, that’s where he is”. She became angry and asked why no one bothered to let her know. I told her she seemed more interested in being with the man she met up with at the hospital than she was with what was happening to her grandfather or her family. I told her if she really wanted to know what was going on, she would have been there with us. She started stumbling for words and said “no, that’s not… it, I’m sorry”. I just said “yes, you are sorry” and I hung up.

I had been through so much with my parents, and my father in particular, over the past few years, and the events surrounding my father’s death had drained me of the stamina I needed to deal with my daughter, Katie, who required constant intervention and attention. I just didn’t have anymore in me to give to her, and I was hurt that she never seemed to be there for me or my family. I love my daughter, Katie, but I don’t know how to get through to her, I keep thinking she will outgrow her immaturity, but at thirty-nine years old I don’t see it happening. I believe she is into drugs and I know for sure she drinks way too much. I’ve asked, pleaded, and begged her to get help but she doesn’t seem to think she has a problem. I decided I can’t help someone who doesn’t want help and I can’t continue to exhaust myself trying. I won’t play into or support her addictions and  I am not equipped to manage her addictions. I pray for her, but I had to love her enough to let go, let her hit the bottom she needs to hit, before she will hopefully seek the professional help she needs.

When I returned from church, friends, family and neighbors were gathering at my mother’s house again. People were bringing in food and just wanting to be with us to show their love and support which was very much appreciated. As will happen when someone dies, family and friend who knew the person will often begin taking trips down memory lane. There were many trips down memory lane to take in reference to my father.  I will share a few of them with you here:

One of my brother’s brought up how he remembered the BBQ’s/Swim Parties mom and dad had at our home when we were growing up. It became a tradition, that my dad started, to gather up all the beer cans and trash, sneak out from the party unnoticed, and put it in someone’s car before they left the party. He did this once to my brother, Tommy, who was married and had his own home. When Tommy found the trash in his car the next day, he took it back and dumped it in my father’s front yard. Well, no one could EVER get one up on dad. So, dad stuffed all the trash into a pair of jeans and a plaid shirt creating a scare crow like dummy, tied a rope around its neck and hid it. Then, at the next party, when it got good and dark, dad slipped out from the party, tied the dummy to Tommy’s car and pushed it up under the car so Tommy wouldn’t see it. When Tommy and his wife left the party, the dummy was dragging behind the car and looked just like a real person. People were honking and screaming at Tommy to stop because they thought it was a real person. When Tommy saw the dummy, he was furious! Tommy waited until he knew mom and dad weren’t home, then he nailed the dummy to mom and dad’s brand new front door! Now, dad wasn’t going to just let that go, so he hid the dummy somewhere, I never knew where, but when Tommy left to go to Vietnam a few months later, he wrote home saying how he missed everyone, even the dummy…and yep, you guessed it…dad sent the dummy in the mail to Tommy in Vietnam! We never saw or heard about the trash dummy again.

Next: More Memories

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nikki
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 04:35:20

    This story is so much like my cousin, Lucy. Love your website and thank you for sharing your story.


  2. Gotham Girl
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 13:38:04

    Love the “dummy” story! xoxo


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