Today on Father’s Day here in Germany I give thanks to two special men. My birth father and his brother, my adoptive father. Both of theses men have played a vital role in my life and have left footprints all over my heart.
Today, as an adult I’m happy I got to spend the day with one of them and travel to the birthplace where my two fathers along with four more siblings were born. It sure was a trip down memory lane, especially for “dad” who hasn’t been here in many years. I’m still hungry for my family history, for the little tidbits and stories that are still remembered and talked about on occasion with a smile. I’m glad that I had the chance to learn a few of them.
Many moons ago, two people found each other, fell in love and started a family. That’s how I came to be, the end result of love and passion. This is how our little family started and today I am the last carrying on traditions, our way of life, what was important and even what’s in a surname. I carry the family name within my heart. I will always remember my roots and where I cane from. I feel closer than ever to these two people that fell in love and gave life to me. As you celebrate in heaven your 61st wedding anniversary, I cheer you on with a great “happy anniversary” and live and miss you more than ever.
We had another doctors appointment with “Dad” last Monday and one today. He called it my first official family function since he has adopted me. It was a serious visit to address sores that are not healing on his one remaining leg. He claims that it started the same way on the other side and with added complication and an infected artificial knee joint, it sadly ended in amputation above the knee to safe his life. Of course it was our goal to avoid such from happening again. For the first time today we walked a serious road together, side by side, every step of the way since he wanted me to be in the examining room with him.
The visit went decent and much like expected or at least as hoped for. The scary thought of amputation were put to rest and are not on the forefront at this moment. The doctor seemed optimistic that there are other things that can be done to increase circulation and blood flow which therefore will aid the healing process. We have another procedure scheduled next Monday, with a check in prior that was this last Friday. Hopefully it will only be a 1-2 night hospital stay unless surgery is required which could then turn into 1-2 weeks of a hospital stay. We are hopeful and optimistic at this point.
At the end of the doctors visit, Dad made it a point to tell a story before leaving. I have heard him tell this story a few times already, and really he will tell it to whom ever gives him a moment of their time, but today it moved me in new ways, and perhaps it is so because I have returned to the living for while longer after being badly, ill. Maybe I truly heard it today for the first time, in the way he means it and the way it is intended to sound. The doctor already knew that I was his daughter as we entered the room as he introduced me as such, but now at the end of our visit he started to elaborate a little more. “You know I got to be a father once more at the age of 85” he said, leaving a puzzled look on the females doctors face. “Rhapsody here, I made her my daughter 14 days ago. She is the daughter of my deceased brother who tragically lost his life in a work accident in 1974. After the death of her Mom and my wife in 2019, I felt the deep wish to give Rhapsody a family again, a father that she never had and I’m proud to say that she is my daughter now” he exclaimed. As I watched him tell the story, and his eyes light up, I felt with all my heart how much this has meant to him. How proud he is to call me his daughter and it’s something I have seldom felt in this lifetime. It is something I always yearned for. I strived for it with Mom and I know that although she couldn’t verbalize it, I know now that she was indeed proud of me. Yet hearing it and seeing it in action, effortlessly, without even trying was something to behold of. And for the first I saw how touching this story is not only to him and me, but how touching it can also be to those who might hear it. The doctor was in awe and her heart was truly touched. She repeatedly placed her hand over her own heart exclaiming what a wonderful story it was, wishing us several times all the best. Time stood still for a moment amongst a hectic business life to acknowledge a action, a moment, a good deed, something that inspires and restores humanity. Today at least one person was very proud of me and he wasn’t afraid to shout it from the rooftops. It was a seldom felt, a new feeling that was making itself at home in my chest and it felt good. It’s a moment that will always stay with me. Here is to you Dad, we accomplished something truly unique and amazing. Something few can really grasp and understand but…We did it!
You’ve been gone for so many years Dad, and still sometimes it feels like it’s brand new. I’ve missed you for nearly 48 years now, and your loss hasn’t gotten easier over the years. It’s just something I had to learn to live with and accept, yet the hole in my heart it left behind is just as big and the pain burns just as deeply. I am in Germany for your birthday this year and I am close to your final resting place. I don’t know if that makes a difference as I carry you within my heart every day, but I am sure that I will visit you and Mom many times during my duration here, and for sure, I am here today, on your birthday. Happy Birthday Dad…I love you.
I have a feeling that I will have company with me when I come. It’s your older brother who is born just a few days before you…well, and some years. I wonder if you celebrated your birthdays together growing up. I have learned that he has cared for you a great deal, having to come to terms with your loss in his own way and he will always see you as his lil brother. I can see a smirk on his face when he talks about you and I am sure you two have shared some stories of mischief. I hope I get him to tell me a few of those stories while I am here. Just the other day he told me that he found a video of you holding me in your arms while I was still a baby and I’m waiting for him to show me. Maybe I can show him some old pictures of you with your clique and he might know a person or two himself of the people you hung out with in your youth.
I have to confess something and talk to you about something. It’s no secret that I have always shared a special connection with your brother and I never quite knew the exact reason. I can’t pinpoint it to one thing and perhaps it is his sense of humor that closest resembles your own nature, always ready to crack a joke and not seeing life so seriously. Always caring for family above all, and always wanting to protect the ones that mean the most. Maybe it is because he has always treated me with respect, even as a child. Or maybe it is because I saw you in him once you were gone. He became my legal guardian and I never knew it until just a few years ago as I had to dig through papers after Mom passed. He had forgotten all about it and never had to spring into action. Mom always took well care of everything, and there was never a need for him to interfere.
Living in the US, we never got to see each other a lot, yet the connection was there and intensified in 2019 as I was back for Mom’s funeral. His wife was in the hospital at that time and I was able to give him a lift a few times to visit her. We had a lot of time to talk and we got very close to each other, especially once his wife passed just a few months after Mom. We shared grief and pain, an understanding of what it’s like and we leaned on each other. I remember telling him that it felt weird and empty not to have parents anymore. I told him that I felt like an Orphan, and I told him about the paperwork that I had found saying that he was my guardian. The memory of it came back to him and I feel there is more to it, that I simply don’t know yet.
What followed next happened very fast but felt natural. He told me that in that sense he was my 2nd father, that I was and that he wanted me to be a part of his immediate family. I started to call him Dad. It was for the first time since the age of ten that I could use this word, addressing someone close to me and it had a good ring to it. It was bittersweet and it brought to the forefront all that I had been missing all of this years. A father, my Dad, YOU.
It was the beginning of January and I was back in the States as he emailed me an adoption certificate that his oldest son made on the computer, officially adopting me and welcoming me into his family. It looked very professional, almost like it was the real deal, not that I would have known what the official document, if any looked like. I was overcome and I burst into tears as I saw it. I felt very touched, even loved and cared for. I thought it was sweet and generous, but soon I would find out that he was serious about the adoption and wanted to legalize it. Even while I was still in Germany, I remember that he mentioned to family that I was his daughter. Not the daughter of his younger brother, but his daughter. He introduced me this way to other family members like he wanted them to get used to the concept. It felt good to feel this care, the love of a father I never knew, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I enjoyed us being closer and it gave reason to the closeness I had felt towards him all these years.
Two years have passed since then and he has been serious about making it legal through the courts. The legal process has been started and he is hoping that we can finalize it while I am here. I can feel how important this is to him and I can feel a story behind it, but I don’t know the reasons in great detail yet. I do have to wonder about the importance and after all he just turned 85 years young. And because of it, it has also become important to me. He wants to experience what it’s like to have a father daughter relationship before he leaves this world, and perhaps I seek a similar feeling, wondering what it’s like to have a Dad, although I know that in my heart you will always be the one, my true father, the one I miss every day. Now I sit here and I wonder how you would feel about it if he adopted me! You already know that nothing will ever erase you from being my father and the person I have looked up to and missed for a lifetime. And I don’t think that this would be what he wants anyways. He is not here to erase you. Your memory is strong and it lives not only within me but also within him. I wonder what your relationship was like with him. Would you be at ease, knowing your older brother is looking out for me and is helping spread his guardian wings around me.
Dad, I miss you and you too always treated me fair, like an adult, never once raising your hand at me. There was never a spanking, but there was a love that was unconditional and undying. I miss that. Every day, I miss that. I miss you. Now I am here on your birthday, with your older brother, standing at your final place of rest and I wish that I could talk to you and see you again. I am sure your brother has already talked to you about the adoption and I bet he talks to you a lot either way, regardless of the subject. In the end every road always leads back to me and to what I think about it and to what I want. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t consider if this could betray you in any way. I can’t see it and I know my loyalty and my heart and it’s definitely not like I am turning my back on you. I know my heritage and I need to learn more of the reasons. I know I am bringing purpose to his life just as he brings purpose to mine. Still there are a few questions and I need to understand why this is so important.
Happy Birthday in heaven Dad. Each year on special occasions, but really always, I miss you just the same. I miss you as if it was only yesterday that you got your wings. It still is hard not to walk with you in the physical plane, but I am grateful that I got to share my heart with you so closely, especially as of lately, not here but the energetic plane. I feel you know me better than ever and you walk besides me every day.
Because of your guidance I am doing important work. Work that is bringing our family closer in so many ways and it truly is freeing even though we can’t physically hug. There is not a day that goes by I didn’t wish I could somehow feel one of those physical hugs from you. I miss you. Another 3 word sequence with the power to convey it all. I love you more than anything and I am trusting the disruption to guide us home. I am working through ancestral trauma, and I know without a doubt you are proud of me for addressing this darkness.
I don’t think there is anything I could have done that didn’t make you proud of me in some way. It makes me smile to know that I was always, and will be forever Daddy’s girl. The memories I have of us are treasures I carry with me, and which I truly cherish. Today I think of you just a little more and if you see me look up to the sky, nod and wink with a smile, then it’s me, your girl wishing you a happy birthday, telling you that I love you.
March 31st, a special day, your birthday, and also a day I’ve had to celebrate without you for as long as I can remember. How I wish that I could wrap a present for you, to pick out something special or hand make something for you. How I wish that I could hold you tight and hug you while wishing you a happy birthday. So many years have gone by since you left, and still the pain of losing you cuts like a knife and is so strong, especially on days like this, when it all comes back up. Can you believe that Mom is already gone for 6 month? Some days it brings peace to know you both are reunited, and other days it just simply hurts and I know those feelings will never go away. I dearly miss you both.