Before its too late, I need to see my dad again

My dad, the man who raised me in the 70's as a single dad, has been diagnosed with dimentia. I haven't seen him in 25 years and just started speaking to him again after 20 years.  I let the childish, bad image of my stepmother keep me away and have now grown up finally. After getting my DNA report, I realized he and my sister are the only family I have left on my paternal side.  And I can detect the dimentia when we talk on phone. He is still lucid mostly, but he forgets things spoken just minutes earlier:

"So, where ya' living now, Kenee?" 

"Oh, I'm in San Jose, dad." 

"Oh, San Jose, eh?  All the big computer guys out there, right?"

"That's right dad, Silicon Valley they call it".. 

"Oh that's great, that's just great"

Then we talk about his high school yearbook I found from Ohio, and how he was a total rockstar, quarterback, MVP, soccer, basketball (at 5'6"???).. we're italian.. 

Then "So, you still live in Orange County, Kenee?" 

"Nope, I moved to San Jose years ago, Dad. Up in Silicon Valley, they call it.."

"OH, San Jose.. I thought rich people lived there! Apparently I was wrong." 


I asked him if he he had a nice 90th bday.. " If I did, I dont remember!"  Then laughs loudly at his own joke. 

When I was 3 years old, my parents divorced.  My mom took my 8 year old sister and left me and my dad,  and he raised me until junior high by himself.  I was an A student but talked alot in class.  I was quite a little handful. When we would drive places in his Cordova, we would play the rhyme game, rhyming word after word until one of us couldn't think of another.  Also, he would leave me little signs around the house; colored construction paper with block letters formed from strips of electrical tape that said "i love you."

But every single night, my banker dad, who's wife left him and took his oldest daughter with her,  that man without fail would tuck me in bed, sit on the bed next to me and read me Highlights books. Every single night. Those are in sharp contrast to the memories formed at my moms.  I will never forget that and can never repay him for the love of the English language I have. He was the best dad a little rambunctious italian girl could ever have. I can't allow the next time I see him to be at his funeral. I just can't. I want to hug him so tight and make sure he knows he was the best dad anyone could ever have. I want to tell him I'm sorry for waiting 25 years to see him. How awful of me.  He raised me better than that. He showed me honesty, reliability a sense of humor and above all else, integrity. Oh, and procrastination too. Lol 

He now lives in Nevada and I want to take my sister and go there for a couple of weeks. Undoubtedly it will be the last time I see him alive, if I make it. My sister and I have never lived together and really need to heal and bond. Our mother told me recently that at 4 years old I was raped by my 17 year old step brother. When she told me how sad she was for his sister, her step daughter, and how she felt so bad that she couldn't help her, I asked her, What about me, mom?  And her exact words were, "Oh get over it. You don't even remember and it's not like you were raped by a grown ass man."

I told my mother never to speak to me again and a few other harsh things  I then reached out to my sister, the stranger, only to find out they were doing it to her for years. She lived with them.

Needless to say, my sister and I have had our share of bad relationships, substance abuse problems, etc..   You know,  exactly what you'd expect of 2 sisters who were separated and raised without eachother, and molested by men who were supposed to be good to them, and with seemingly no one who even cared. (My mom never told my dad, never called the police, and continued to let me visit and be alone with them, where it continued until she divorced their dad because she wasn't happy with him anymore).

I got clean in 2010 with the help of NA.  The bad relationships? Well, there's no Relationships Anonymous soooo..  yeah, i still have a bad picker. But between my mother and sister theres 6 marriages and 5 divorces. I vowed to never get married. Can you say abandonment issues?  I knew you could!  :)

My sister had a freak accident last year and her boyfriend found her laying on the floor with a temperature of 90.3, then was in a coma for 2 weeks. And no one knows why.  Sadly, I didn't find out about it until weeks later.  Still haven't visited her in San Diego. She's in an unhappy relationship too.. and she now has panic attacks. My strong,  outspoken sister, the head cheerleader,  the college graduate, the successful mortgage banker.. she hyperventilated and couldnt speak after about 8 minutes of trying to get her wifi router reconnected via a telephone call with me. It's ok though. I knew what to do. And it was kind of a privilege to experience that part of her, a part she probably tries to keep hidden. But I thought it was important that she see it was ok, she was loved, adored and accepted no matter what! Love is unconditional!!  Someone tell our mom please.  :)  (Our mother disowned and stopped talking to my sister years ago because she was, as she put it, "bat sh*t crazy".. jeez mom, I WONDER WHY?)  Who does that?

So she was the successful, rich but snobby,  rude one. I was the runaway, the punk rocker, the rebel who jumped from job to job to get by..  but the smart, funny, caring one. Now we are both just lost souls, desperate to heal wounds we didn't ask for, invisible wounds but extremely crippling. It took 50 years for us to realize this may be the core issue keeping us from finding the love we both want so badly. 

So I have realized that I will never get from my mom what I so desperately thought I needed in order to heal- accountability, a hug, some sorrow, maybe a sorry... but just a "everything's going to be ok" from a mom who was never there for me. And clearly never will be. 

So it's sister and dad time!!!  Time to hug and love and have some accountability, maybe a little sorrow, a sorry, but definitely an "everything's going to be ok" for my sister and I. 

The money is to purchase a decent but nice used car with air conditioning, one that I can be proud of when I pick up my sister and drive with her crazy butt all the way to our dad.  One that my dad can feel he had a part of helping me achieve.  I just want them to be proud, I want to feel proud. I want my sister to be comfortable. And I want to pay for a nice hotel for us to bond and heal. Please help me do this. I have no other way to be able to accomplish this.

Sorry so long. But I wanted people to know it is something pretty serious for me to do this, to turn to complete strangers and ask for help.  I have no idea what to do to appeal to people or what to expect from this.  

Thanks for just reading this!  

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