Saturday, March 13, 2010

Living with a Ghost: Billy Gene Onstead Part Two

A lot has happened since my first post. First I would like to thank so many of you for your comments, emails, facebook posts, and calls! I felt your prayers, well wishes, and thoughts! It was the weirdest mourning I have ever gone through, surreal and full of a variety of emotions.

Since the last post I have heard from my bio aunt and she has had all my comments on Bill Onstead's tribute page removed. Understandable, I wasn't mean, but I was certainly real. Her and her children have since put up TONS of "memories" of him that are so ridiculous I was left reeling. I feel a need to address those:

Her child refers to my father as "the most patriotic man I've ever known." I find this really odd since Bill Onstead was connected to some REALLY bad people from other countries that hated the US. As I said before, my mother saw suitcases of some kind of foreign money and one of his daughters once saw diamonds in a case. He always told my mom that he worked in the "oil business" in Saudi Arabia. She never knew anymore than that. We joke about not saying too much or we might end up "in an 'accident'" but far behind that joke there is a stone cold unknown that always accompanies that phrase.

Her son refers to my father as a "cowboy". I don't find this odd, I find it severely hilarious. Wearing a Stetson and boots does NOT qualify you as a cowboy, and Bill Onstead was never a rancher, never rode in a rodeo, never worked a hard days work in a pasture, or in an arena, or in a dirty stall. Cowboys don't wear Aviators and Italian suits, they don't live in South Africe, Malta, or have villas in Spain, and they don't "marry" young foreign girls under suspicious circumstances while being married to another woman in another country. I was raised on a ranch surrounded by cowboys. I have cowboys in my family that love a hard honest days work, love their families, and know what it means to be a patriot. To call Bill Onstead a cowboy is an insult to all those wonderful, hard working, honest, American men out there who aren't smooth talking imitators, but true to the bone cowboys.

Many more falsities was written about my father...a bunch of hoopla about what a "wonderful" "sweet" man he was. They talk of the unprecedented bond between Bill and Inez, his sister. And instead of saying to Bill's 3 abandoned daughters, "I know he did you wrong but I sure wish he would have allowed you to know the man I knew" she says hurtful things, calls me a liar, says I spin horrible webs of lies, and that I didn't deserve his love.

I was 3 when my father decided to abandon our family. I never asked for it, and in fact over the years I all but begged to be a part of his life. It was always his choice to lie, create weird mysteries and spin lies. And apparently his sister, Inez Onstead, is exactly like him. No wonder they were so close...birds of a feather and all.

It is funny though, I do not feel hate as I write this. Please don't read it that way. I instead feel lucky. Lucky that I was kept out of that mess of a family. Lucky that I never felt what the Onstead and the other two families considered "love". And lucky to have been raised by a wonderful mother, who knew hard honest work, was a wonderful cowgirl, was willing to do whatever it took to raise her children, and never ever abandoned any of us no matter how hard we pushed her away.

If you are an Onstead from Mineral Wells, or are a part of that family in some way, my heart goes out to you, for you have NO idea what it means to be a part of a real honest and loving family. Careful how deep you dig into your family core, for you just might find the web of lies that haunted my dreams for decades.

1 comment:

Sra. Rivera said...

What a great way to look at it, Vina. If you did view "love" at the Onstead family does, you may have been raised to have different values as to what constitutes a good father or husband, and you may not have ended up with Monty. Instead, Momma D and the rest of your family taught you so much, and you have become a wonderful family woman with an incredible husband, and beautiful, loving children. God had blessed you in so many ways with your amazing family, and they are equally as lucky to have you!