I would say hands down the worst part of being an adult is when you have to do something because it is the right thing to do, even when you don’t want to do it. Well that was today so let me explain.
The Littles live with their maternal grandfather. Their paternal grandfather died unexpectedly this week and the wake was today. I cannot stand the Little’s father, he makes my skin crawl and half the time I want to strangle him. BUT he does love his kids and within his limited capacity does try to be a good Dad. Why do I not like him, well he is full of himself and tends to tell people what to do instead of asking them if they could do something #mypetpeeve.
So his Dad dies, and the Little’s Dad gets this news in rehab. I cannot imagine the pain of losing your father, but I was VERY concerned this might cause a huge relapse. I thought I should go as a show of support for the Littles and for the Dad. I didn’t want to go because he irritates me so much. I hemmed and hawed and talked to different people about it. Part of me thought screw this I am not supporting him and the other half of me thought well no one deserves the pain of losing a father. My BFF gave the final answer that made my decision though. She said to me “What if you going to the wake was the thing that helped keep him sober. All these years him knowing that you care for his kids and that you cared enough about him even though he relapsed a few times since you first met.” OK yes idyllic thinking but I could not shake it, what if me being there did make a difference for the positive?
I went to the wake and pondered how I would introduce myself to the family. I knew none of them and was not sure if they would know of me either. I thought of a hundred ways to not say “foster parent”. I get to the head of the line and I introduce myself and tell the gentleman standing there “My name is ANYM, I help to take care of Little Man and Little Bit.” The Little Great Uncle took my hand and pulled me hard into a huge bear hug. He said “OMG thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity. Thank you for always helping to take care of them.” His eyes filled with tears and he introduced me to his wife “Honey this is ANYM, she is the foster parent of Little Man and Little Bit.” She grabbed me into a huge hug too and thanked me repeatedly.
Down the line it went until the family all knew that “the foster mom” was here showing support to Little’s Father. They all cried and thanked me repeatedly. They pointed out how its been four months sober so far and didn’t he look good. I agreed he did look pretty good and relayed I was glad he had some sobriety. When I got to the Little’s Dad, he was in shock. Absolute and complete shock. He repeated over and over again “Wait you are here. Why are you here?” I hugged him back and said “I wanted to tell you personally that you and your kids are in my prayers. Losing a Dad must be hard and I wanted to show you I do care and am praying for all of you.”
The Little’s Dad cried when he heard this. We talked for a few moments and I made sure to acknowledge his sobriety. I reminded him of resources and encouraged him to talk to someone about his loss. He said that he wanted to get back into his kids life and wanted to do the right thing. He voiced concerns about remaining sober. I encouraged him to work his program and reassured him that I did know he was trying hard.
In my heart I know I did the right thing. I know compassion is the route I am supposed to take and to care for my fellow man. I am glad I put my feelings to the back of my mind to do the right thing for sure, but it still stunk. It seemed to mean a lot to him so that is what matters and truly I do not hate him. I cannot understand his choices but I am not him so that will have to be all right.
In the meantime, prayers of comfort will be sent so all can get through this really rough time. Yes the Littles are all right.