This page is in memory of my Father

Eugene VanBuren III


My daddy was a difficult person to love. Does that shock you? Most likely it does.. And yet a truer statement was never uttered. He was an engineer, with a structured mind. He resided in a world that was black and white- no room for shades of gray in his way of thinking. Everything that was real in this life had to be analyzed, charted, and carefully put down on paper in a pretty blue ink. Unfortunately, people do not come in black or white, but rather in all shades of gray. Because of this unique paradox, my father was socially inept. He disliked being in the company of beings that did not conform to his rigid understanding of the world. Eventually he pushed away everyone that loved him, because they did not fit his black/white mold. He was stubborn, he was prejudiced, he was often crude, and he was more fond of his electrical and electronic "toys" than he was of people.

I loved him with all my heart.

This, then, is the story of a special bond, and a tragic ending.

My parents divorced when I was in eighth grade, which was the last year of Junior High School. Since all of us kids were of a reasonable age we were allowed to choose the parent with whom we wished to live. I chose to remain with my father. My elder sister was married, my brother moved out on his own shortly after the divorce, and my younger sister went with my mother. That left daddy and me. I was 14 years old. I took over the household: cleaning the house, cooking dinner every night, doing the laundry, making the shopping lists and the doing the shopping. I fed the animals, painted daddy's room, made him curtains, sewed my own clothes for fun, and wrote the checks for the bills (he had a signature stamp made just for this purpose). I was in heaven, and spoiled my daddy rotten. Dinner was always on the table when he walked through the door in the evening. He told me about his day, and I told him about mine. I told him all the dirty jokes I had learned in school, and how my classes were coming. He told me about the gossip from his work. We went everywhere together, usually linked arm-in-arm.

When I was valedictorian of my Junior High class, daddy gave me a heart shaped diamond ring with a teensy little diamond chip in it. It was my first diamond ever, and I cherished it...

When I got my first motorcycle, daddy helped me take it apart, and watched as I put it back together again, with only a small pile of leftover pieces. Rode it for three years after that, too! When I graduated to my first car he helped me replace the brakes, and change the oil. He taught me to build furniture and helped me hang the huge Japanese style lamp I built. I adored him, and he loved me right back..

Eventually I married and moved out. A divorce followed in a few years, and I struggled to make it. Daddy was always there, but our relationship was changing. He began to withdraw from me. He had lost his job a few years earlier, and never really worked again except for occasional menial jobs of no consequence. He was shriveling up inside slowly, but surely. The biggest rupture came when I had my son, Nathan. Nathan's father was Korean. My father could not forgive this. He had served in World War II against the Japanese, and hated my son with an unreasonable hatred. I moved out of state six months after the birth, deeply hurt by my father's rejection of my precious son. In the next 12 years I saw my daddy only three more times.

Six years ago my father died of a heart attack.
I was living in Texas with husband number three, and four days earlier had been committed to a mental institution for a suicide attempt.

I wasn't there, daddy, to hold your hand.
I wasn't there, daddy, to tell you how much I loved you.
I wasn't there, daddy, to tell you how beautiful Nathan is,
or of the joy he has brought me.
I wasn't there, daddy, when you were in pain.
I wasn't there, daddy, to kiss you goodbye.
I wasn't there, daddy, to tell you I had forgiven you long ago.

I wasn't there, daddy....

and I still wear that ring every single day

Am I forgiven?


Visit the Picture Gallery

Daddy died of a heart attack, and the ensuing complications.
Please visit the following Heart Health links,
and perhaps save your family the pain of death.

Heart Health
Free Cardiovascular Newsletter
Heart Health Tips
At Risk for a Heart Attack or Stroke?
Karen Yontz  Women's Cardiac Awareness Center
The Heart Foundation
American Heart Association

Please sign the Guestbook,
and light a candle for the peace of my daddy
as he resides in the Summerland.

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