My Dad – Final Chapter

In this picture I am 17 and that is my Dad. I got married at 17 and divorced at 18. My first husband was Army and couldn’t stay faithful. I will cover that topic another time. I just love this picture though. When we were together it was like no one else existed.

Back to the story…
When I was 19 he was on a trip and he ended up getting arrested on the Mexican side of the border and went to prison in Mexico. My dad wasn’t always the brightest bulb in the box. He attempted to smuggle 50 pounds of marijuana into the USA. His pick-up truck had 3 gas tanks so he hid it in 2 of the tanks. He got caught and taken to jail. In Mexico there is no such thing as a speedy trial and you have no rights. If there isn’t someone on the outside to take care of you they put you in the poor section and literally wait for you to die. There is no 3 hot meals a day or prisoners rights to have toilet paper, bedding, cigarettes, clean clothes. No matter where my dad went he made friends. This is a blessing because his cell mate’s wife took care of my dad too. She would bring them food 3 times a day, clean laundry, toiletries, etc.

He remained in prison in Mexico for a little over 2 years. In that time he had never even had a trial. The United States extradited him to a prison in Texas for tax evasion. I always thought that was ironic. His birthday is April 15th and he hated paying taxes. Owing taxes is what got him back to the USA and due to overcrowding in the prison system he was paroled and sent back to California basically a free man. I was living in Reno when he was released and I remember that he couldn’t wait to get up there to see me. He had to get permission from his parole officer to leave the state. It was great to see him. He was thinner but you could tell that he had a great appreciation for freedom.

My dad came through Reno quite a bit. I got to see him a lot. He loved my husband so we always had a good time. When I had Ryan, my dad made it to the hospital before my mom. My dad lived in southern California and he made it to the hospital to see his grandson before my mom who lived 5 miles away.

My dad was still into dealing drugs mainly marijuana. He had moved up in an organization and was now the shipment scheduler instead of the runner. He kept this lifestyle away from me and my family. Once in awhile when he came through town he would ask me to come to his room and count cash. It was usually in the tens of thousands of dollars. He said it would take him forever to count it all. I could usually do it in about 20 minutes. Thanks to the job I had when I first moved to Reno.

In October of 1994 my dad took my husband and a couple of their friend to Cabo San Lucas to go fishing. Craig and my dad caught a 600 pound sail fish. They had a great time. My marriage was falling apart at this time and my dad knew it. I always respected the fact that just because Craig and I were having problems didn’t mean that him and Craig needed to have problems.

March of 1995 I was pregnant with Hope, she was due July 4th. I received a call from my uncle telling me that my dad was sick. I got on a plane and went to him immediately. He look gaunt and weak. They had just diagnosed him with cancer of the diaphragm. I stayed with him for a week and took care of him and laughed and cried with him. Then I had to get home. He was admitted into the hospital on June 23rd. I had started dilating and my doctor would not let me make the trip. I was distraught. June 26, 1995 (exactly 1 week before Hope was born) I told my dad that it was ok to let go. That Jesus was waiting for him. I told him that I loved him and I promised to be ok. He passed away after I told him it was ok to go. I was still on the phone.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. That I don’t miss him. There are even days that I am angry that it was him that died. Nobody asked me which parent I wanted to lose. It just wasn’t fair. I think his story shows that bad people can still be good. He did yucky things but he loved with everything that he had.

I want to thank you all for your patience, encouragement and your prayers.

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 8:31 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for sharing, Theresa. What a journey!

  2. I know it took a lot out of you to tell that story. You did good!

  3. Love overcomes all thing, even death

  4. It was a good story.

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