September 27th, 2002

WebCam Greg

Dad

I talked about my mom in a post here. Now I'd like to talk about my dad. Two people have inspired me to write this. mark3 for showing me a means to say what I need to say and calimtnredneck for reminding me the importance of not putting things off for later.

I have been putting this off for a very long time, almost 10 years. The fact of the matter is that I have been in denial all this time. See, my father is dead, but I haven't been able to convince myself that he is truly gone. I guess it is the way that he died. My father owned a couple of apartment buildings and he was shot and killed by some teenagers while collecting the rent. I happened to be in the hospital at the time and I didn't find out that my father was killed until after I was released. My stepmother didn't want a service, so the reality of the situation never sank in. I still haven't been able to grieve for him. I don't know how to actually get myself out of this denial. Even as I write this now, it seems more like a story than it does reality.

My dad died thinking that I didn't love him. I know this is true because my dad told this to my uncle and cousin and my cousin told me a few years after my dad died. This is not how I felt at all. I loved my dad, but I didn't tell him. Now it's too late to tell him face to face. All I can hope for now is that he is able to read this.

I'm feeling a little disconnected right now, so I'll stop here and finish this in another post.
--To Be Continued...--
WebCam Greg

Dad - Part 2

My dad abandoned my mom and us kids when I was 4. He just left for work one morning and never returned. The police located his truck, but he was nowhere to be found. Plus, my mom received a call from the bank telling her that my father tried to close out the bank account again. He bought a bunch of suits and charged them to his account.

Here my mom was with no money, no job, and three kids to support with me being the oldest. The creditors were calling daily and things were getting repossessed left and right. My mom was able to get a teaching position and she went back to school to get her degree. My mom was able to get a divorce through the courts because my dad was nowhere to be found.

When I was 7, my dad just showed up one day. He demanded custody of us kids. The courts didn't see it his way, but allowed him visitation rights and had to pay $50 in child support for each of us every month ($150 total). He could see us one day out of the month. That ended up being the first Sunday of every month.

I resented the fact that I had to grow up without a father. I did see him once a month, but that didn't make up for all the father/son activities that I couldn't participate in. I remember telling my friends and classmates that I didn't have a father.

My mom remarried when I was in the 5th grade and I ended up taking his last name. He didn't adopt us, but it was my misunderstanding that changed my name. I had switched schools at that time and when the secretary asked my name, I said Greg Sare instead of Greg Schell. How was I supposed to know that your last name didn't automatically change?

It was this name change that infuriated my dad. He demanded that my mom change my name back and said, "You owe me that much." My mom's reply was, "I don't owe you anything!" and my last name remained Sare. When I graduated the 7th grade, I had my diploma read, Gregory Richard Schell-Sare, so as not to cause another fight between my parents.

My dad had a heart attack when I was in the 7th grade and he had to have a triple bypass. I was scared to lose him again. I realized at that point that I loved my dad.

When I about 16, my dad stopped the visits. I didn't see him until I graduated from high school. What a day that was. My dad yelled at me for not inviting him to the graduation. I didn't invite anybody to the graduation because I didn't know if I would be graduating 'til the day of graduation. My attendance wasn't the greatest and I barely passed. Nonetheless, my dad was pissed, which caused another couple of years to go by without seeing him.

I then joined the Navy and I was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina when I received a letter from my youngest sister Piper. Here is part of that letter:
"Greg, it seems that I am always asking you for something & you never ask me. Well guess what big brother? I need you again. I have a little bit of a problem. On June 23, 1990 I am to become Mrs. Dave D. That's not the problem. The problem is that I don't have anyone to walk me down the aisle. I was wondering if you would like to do that for me? If yes, just call & let me know. If no, don't bother ever coming home again."
Well I did what any big brother would do and walked her down the aisle. Well, guess who was invited to the wedding? You guessed it...Dad! I felt like shit. He was nice and cordial, but you could see the hurt in his eyes. A year later, I walked my other sister down the aisle.

When I got out of the Navy, I tried to hook up with my dad, but we never were able to get together. A year later, he was dead.

My dad and I are both very stubborn people at times. It seems like whenever we were together we ended up butting heads more than anything else. Yes, I resented the fact that he wasn't around more in my life than he was, but I did love him very much. The sad part is that while I was in the hospital, I came to terms with the resentment that I felt toward him and I was going to contact him as soon as I was released. Instead, I was informed that he was killed.

I blame myself for not reaching out sooner and telling him how I felt or feel. I guess that is the main reason I haven't let go. If I continue to deny his death, I will still get a chance to say how I feel to him. I know that it a stupid way of thinking. It sounds stupid to me as I type this here. [tears are welling up in my eyes] I guess what I want to hear more than anything else is that he loves me too. I can only hope that he does.