An Angel That Never Stopped
It was the summer of 1983 and I was 7 years old. I lived with my mother and 4 sisters. My mom and dad had divorced one year before. They never got along and it was always sad to watch those two fight. I often wondered what made people act like that towards one another.
My dad moved out, lived in an apartment in Columbus, Ohio. He was a very courageous man. He spent most of his life fighting. He fought in World War II, fought with my mother, for his children, and later fought with them.
I was a "daddy's girl." I remember when he lived with us, waiting for him to get home because he was a truck driver and worked a lot. I rarely got to see him even before he moved out.
We were not allowed to talk to him, see him or answer the door for him. My mom did not want us to have contact with him. She was afraid that we would want to live with him. There were times we had no food in the house and my dad would secretly come to see us, we would tell him to bring us groceries. She found out and threw it all in the garbage. Sometimes, we would sneak out into the garbage and dig through it so we could eat.
One day, my mom left and never came back. For two weeks, my sisters and I fended for ourselves. We had no food, everyone around us had no idea, there were people continuously coming to the house trying to contact our parents, we could not tell them anything, we did not know anything. We did not want to call the police or children services because we did not want to be split up. The only person in my life that I wanted was my dad.
Late one afternoon someone knocked on the door, I could remember looking through the brown curtains on the door. The answer to my prayer, the one person I had yearned for most. My dad, my true hero, was standing there with groceries. Tears started flowing; I could not get the door opened fast enough. I told him that my mom left, never came back and we were on our second week of being alone and my dad started to cry. He told us "he did not come around because it upset my mom and she would take it out on us.
He filed a suit against my mom, suing her for custody. She never appeared and the courts awarded us to our dad.
My hero worked a full-time job, previously fought in a horrific war, and battled to take care of us. He sacrificed everything; he did what he had to do to take care of us. He made sure we were fed, bathed, clothed and had a roof over our head. I never once doubted my dad and I always felt secure with him. The day we left our old house was the last time I ever felt scared. He would go without before we would, no matter how upset and stressed out he got, he never gave up. I never heard resentment come from him. As we got older, it got harder for him. We always came first. I do not know how he did it, because I have 7 children and often feel my world is in chaos at times.
When I first had children, it was really hard, I moved out because I did not feel that is was right to live with him, he had already raised his children, and I was not going to let him raise mine. Even though it was not his responsibility he still chose to help me. He help buy diapers, formula, clothes and the necessities needed for them. He never let them go without.
I lived fifteen minutes from him, I would take him to work and pick him up. I would call and see him everyday. I often worried about him as he was older.
One day, I called to check on him, it was his day off. My sisters told me he was in bed, which was usual, he worked nights and slept days. I had called again a couple hours later, he was still in bed, and thought that was unusual because with his day off he would sleep for awhile and then be up most of the day.
I told my sister to go in and wake him up, something had to be wrong. That day was the beginning of a nightmare, he had suffered a stroke! He was taken to the hospital, where he continued to have stroke after stroke. I stayed with my dad during the night. He never liked the nurses or doctors touching him and would get really upset. I never liked him being alone either. He would have his good days and his bad days. The hospital told us "there is nothing we can do for him, that he had six months to live, and that he had cancer." We did not think that he had six months to live, we thought it was longer, so we put him in rehabilitation to help strengthen his arms, hands and legs. It was not working, the nursing home told us, the same as the hospital did. We all agreed to take him home and let him die with us.
For days, my sisters and I would take turns taking care of him, some of them would fight because at times it was stressful, and sometimes they were just being selfish. I did my time, because I had remembered what my dad had did for us. My youngest sister was told at anytime, if something changed then she was to come and get me. At 8:00am on April 27th my sister knocked on my door, told me "dad is getting worst" I braced myself for what was going to be the worst day of my life. I made it to my dad's and walked in, found him laying on his side. I said a few words to him and went out on the front porch. My sister came running out and said "dad is dying get in here!" I ran back into the house and telling him "I love you dad, please do not leave, we need you," and I then realized I was being selfish, he had been through so much and for me to ask him to stay for us, that was selfish, it was his turn to do what he needed.
I miss him so much and I think of him everyday. When I am having trouble with my kids or feel I cannot take it anymore, I always shut my eyes and ask him "how did you do it?" and I hear "I had to, it was not a choice." He was a true hero, my 4th child Ronald Leland Weese II is named after him as I felt it was an honor.
2007 Chastity Weese