Like most human beings, I had a father. He was born, lived, married (three times), sired some children, divorced (three times), and died. His name was Dale Eckhardt. Dale Eckhardt was my dad. Dale Eckhardt was my only dad. Like most children, I loved my dad - Dale Eckhardt. My parents divorced when I was only six years old, and from then on I lived with my mom. I didn't get to know my dad very well, but I knew that he was my dad and that I loved him. I visited with him a couple of times while I was young. Dad died when he was only 55 years old, so I didn't get the opportunity to get to know him better as an adult. I was only 25 years old when he died. I'm 56 now.
I know my dad was not saint. Far from it. But still, I loved him. I was blessed with ignorance when it came to my father's shortcomings. He beat my mom, but I never saw it. Or, if I did, I don't remember it. Still, I loved my dad.
My older brother, Ken's wife sends out one of those year-end letters with her holiday cards. This year (well, last year, since it's now 2010), she mentioned that Ken's "father" died in September 2009. That's a lie. Ken's father died in 1979. Ken's step-father died in September 2009. I was quite bothered by that lie. Was it an intentional lie? Yes. Was it a malicious lie? Probably not. Why was I bothered? Because it sends my father, Dale Eckhardt, the father who I loved, into non-existence. And I find that disrespectful. I find it several other negative things as well, but my vocabulary isn't that great. I will say that I was very hurt by it.
But that was a month ago and I'd gotten over it, sort of. Until today.
I was doing some online genealogy stuff and, for some reason, I looked up the obituary for my step-father -- Ken's step-father. I couldn't see the whole obit (the newspaper wanted money), but I could see the first part. In the first part of my step-father's obituary it said that he had fathered seven children, and my name was listed as one of those seven. Well, he didn't father seven children - he fathered four. Three of the children listed are the children of my father, Dale Eckhardt, the father whom I love. My only father.
Now, I don't care what my brothers want to call themselves, or if they want to pretend their parentage is different, but I want the world to know that my father was Dale Eckhardt. He existed. He lived. I loved him. Still do. Always will. I do not appreciate anyone throwing me into a group in which I do not belong, making the father I love non-existent. Making me the daughter of someone I barely even liked. Who the hell do people think they are doing that? Relatives or not, they should know better, and they should be ashamed.
Should I be upset? Doesn't matter. I am. And I'm hurt.