OMG, girl we are almost in the same boat...well, kinda...my Dad passed away 8 days ago, Sunday, March 7th, @ 8:24 p.m., and we have not ever seen eye to eye on pretty much anything...however! I was the one who bathed him, gave him his meds, changed his clothes, etc. and slept in his bedroom in a lawnchair for almost 3 wks. when he passed of lung cancer/throat cancer/COPD, and let me tell you Janelle sweetie, it wasn't always peaches and cream with he and I...well, the long and the short of it was that I'm caucasion, he's caucasion, and my children are bi-racial (african american/caucasion) and as you can imagine, when I first started dating, he didn't like it one bit so he decided to berate me and degrade me/pick on me at every turn but I never, ever disrespected him verbally, socially, mentally, physically, etc. even though he was in the wrong, I never stopped loving my Dad and I knew that he didn't have an open mind or heart when I first started dating...BUT, when my children came along, he loved the heck out of them with no reserve even though he continued to down me in front of friends (not just racially, about anything) and family I guess thinking it harmless, but I'll deal with that later...anyway, in those last weeks and days that we talked he apologized for all the wrong he'd done and even prayed that if he got better he'd be a better person, but unfortunately, he wasn't gonna get any better and I didn't really care about apologies or prayers, I just didn't want my Daddy to die...he was young, just turned 62 on Feb 15th and had been battling cancer for 6 yrs which started w/colon cancer and before they caught it with surgery and chemo it got through hes colon wall into his lymph nodes and moved into his throat/neck, and then into his lungs. I never wished any ill will on my Dad for the things he's done/said because I know that that was how he was raised and he had tunnel vision, even though people change he wouldn't for the world, but 3 days before he died when he couldn't talk anymore or even blink, I told him that I forgave him and the last words he ever said/mouthed to me was "I love you too, Baby". Nothing in this world, no put downs, no hatred, no anything mattered except those words and that we were on good terms when he passed.
So Janelle, please know that no matter how much time or space was between you and your Dad, or for how long, God had a plan that in the end was all that mattered...I know I probably sound way off with what I wrote but believe when I tell you I'm feeling you and nothing can take away the pain no matter how far or close you two were...your Dad knows that you love him, I sure get that impression and I don't even know you:) Your heart is in the right place and he knows that, too...for me to show my love for my Dad I just have to keep him memory alive no matter how little or how much you have of him, you'll always be a part of him and him of you...keep your head up and God Bless You