Something I’d Like to Forget

So a recent Facebook phenomena is “30 days of photos”. Each day there is a different prompt and the publisher posts a photo based on the prompt. I like the idea, but do not have the dedication to find 30 different pictures or post every day for 30 days. Anyway, some of my sisters did/are doing the 30 day picture challenge and have posted some interesting images.

One that has actually stuck with me is an image of my dad several days after he was assaulted. They both posted it under “something I’d like to forget”. I just keep thinking back to that night. It feels like so long ago. It changed me so much.

I was the first one to see my dad when he walked in the door. I actually heard him before I saw him. He was wheezing. And when he came in… it was horrifying. I was literally paralyzed. I stupidly asked what happened. I think I called for Mom and Dad called for Cindy, but I don’t remember. One of them told me to call the police. I never thought I would have to call the police for someone in my family.

I was dazed. And I didn’t have time to be dazed. So I helped as much as I could, got out-of-the-way when the police came, and was the rock for my family. I was strong and held it together. I had to. I was the one people looked to for updates and I was the one at home taking care of the kids while Mom was at the hospital. I broke down only once that I can remember. I went to pick up the car from the shop, and, even though they had called to tell us to pick it up, it didn’t start. My dad was assaulted walking home from dropping the car off at the shop. I fell apart. It was the last straw. I cried in the car, all alone, for five minutes before I called home for someone to come pick me up.

Then, like now, I just could not help thinking about when Dad got home: There was so much blood and Dad’s face was already swollen beyond recognition– I am surprised he could even talk. None of my siblings saw him like that. I am glad. I have spent every day since then trying to forget what happened, but it is impossible. I have, for the most part, stop picturing my dad in that state, but I have a heightened sense of awareness all the time. I jump at everything and I find myself more suspicious of strangers on the street than I was before Dad was attacked.

I don’t really know why I am writing about this now. Like everything I write about, it is just what is on my mind at this moment. My dad is so amazing. He has dealt with some pretty difficult realities. He survived  cancer. He has created an amazing family, and works harder than anyone I know to support his family. He is one of the most selfless people I know.

It remains unfathomable to me that someone like my dad could be single out for such a horrific incident. My dad once drove a mentally ill man back to an institution after the man randomly jumped into his car. How can someone with so much capacity for love end up beaten and left lying in the street? I guess I shouldn’t be so amazed: we crucified Christ and he was our Savior.

When that image of my dad came up in my news feed, an image I thought I never had to see again, I was shocked and transported back to that night. It was a sucker punch. I am not blaming my sisters for using that image or wanting to forget that the assault happened. I completely understand. I feel the same way.

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5 thoughts on “Something I’d Like to Forget

  1. you’re wrong though, a little. Molly and Mel did see him a little when he got home. barely, and then mom told them to go back down stairs.
    ridiculous as it seems, i feel guilty about this night; i was sleeping when dad got home, and slept thru the police, and didnt wake up til you called grandma…

  2. Talk about guilty, I was in Florida. And I couldn’t do anything to help. It still makes me sick sick sick. People ask about dad all the time at the dental office (patients) which is hard sometimes cause I’m forced to remember.

  3. I feel guilty too, because I was in St. Paul and could have gone home and didn’t, because Maria said Kendrick was coming and Eric and I weren’t sure just what to do so we just stayed at our place. I still regret that.

  4. guys you didn’t do anything. Don’t feel guilty it was the people’s choice not yours. Like Maria said, its like Jesus. everything happens for a reason.

  5. I was stuck in Morris. I had one class left to attend but all my academic responsibilities were taken care of otherwise. I went to my baby shower the Saturday following the attack and should have packed a bag and just gone home for the week and then headed back up for my graduation ceremony the following Saturday, but instead I went back to Morris after the shower and caught a ride home on Tuesday. I was the only one not there when Dad came home from the hospital. I think about that stupid decision all the time. It seems minimal, but it’s such a big deal to me. I still regret it and wish I could do it over, have that chance back.

    That week I was home though, I drove Dad places since he couldn’t drive. One day we were out over the lunch hour so he asked me to stop at Fudruckers. He bought me a sandwich, which I couldn’t eat fast enough because I felt so stupid that he only had a malt to slurp through his straw.

    I also remembering being with Dad when he stopped in at Epiphany and Mike Lentz told him about a generous individual who was gifting Dad a check. As we were walking back to the van, he was wiping tears off his face saying, “It’s so humbling what people will do.” I was then humbled because I realized how prideful I was in my anger towards the attackers and how forgiving and loving Dad was in such a time.

    A few days later we were at my graduation ceremony and we were taking pictures. Dad said, “I’m sorry I look like this in your pictures.” Meaning, he was sorry I would always remember his attack when I looked at my UMM grad pics. To this day I have not seen a single picture from graduation and I have no idea where they are. I’m torn between the proud memory of undergrad success and remembering Dad’s attack. I think I would rather forget them both than be reminded of one awful, gut-wrenching memory.

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