This all started back in April when I failed to send him a birthday card. Yeah I know -terrible right? Not really. Dad was gone on a cruise on his actual birthday so I figured I had time to get the card while he was gone. The next thing you know...life is happening, too much time goes by and I never sent one. Sue me! I think I was a little resentful of the expectation like everyone owes him something. He doesn't really want the card, he expects a gift of money.
I like to give from my heart, not because I am expected to -like it's an obligation or a requirement. I resent the implication that we owe him something. He is my father and I love him simply because of that fact. He brought fun, laughter and music to my life as a child. He was fun dad on every other weekend or whenever. There were times when he moved away when that wasn't even possible. True he was only a phone call away. But now that I'm a parent, I know what kind of sacrifice it takes to raise a child and I know that he did not make those sacrifices. My mother did. I watched her depressed and crying herself to sleep as she tried to figure out how to make ends meet. I know that he did not contribute financially or otherwise on a regular basis. He did what he could when he could. Yes -I could call him for a new pair of shoes or to pay for senior pictures but he wasn't there for the everyday things. And that's o.k. We got by. I never had a hungry day. But to now have this expectation like I owe you my life really just gets underneath my skin.
Well apparently he wasn't done yet. When I got home there was an e-mail, basically cursing me out and calling my mother outside of he name. I don't know what she had to do with his birthday card, but she became a target of his disgust. Could he be jealous of the close relationship I have with her? Well, in the years when my children were young and we didn't have a lot of money...she would send me money or a gift card every year for my birthday. She knew it may be the only chance I had to shop. Where as for him, there have been times, when my birthday came and went and he didn't even call.
He's 80 years old and has diabetes. Who knows how much longer he will be with us. I can chalk this up to his age, perhaps senility. I can try to forgive him but can I forget? Can I continue to allow him to totally disrespect my mother? Can I sit and listen when he continually trashes the men in our family -his sons? I don't think so. Where do we go from here? Today -I don't know.