Papa Don’t Preach

This week there has been a lot of thinking about Fathers in our household and outside our immediate family too in fact. With the end of last Monday came the call we knew was coming and the end of a relationship

Mad Dog and Curt

almost 40 years in the making.

We were not caught off guard by the call and the end result or anything that came in between. Mad Dog’s Father called Monday evening outrages at our recent actions regarding Lex’s birthday card. Of course trying to explain our reasoning behind this action was completely lost on Curt. In his mind he is the perfect father, grandfather and man all around. His claims of monthly visits to see Lex and Loki were countered with exact dates of visits over the past year, and then of course the disbelief that we would count each time they were here. He asked for justification to why he would treat Lex and Loki any different than his other grandchildren, believing Mad Dog would never say that we all knew the answer was – Me. The denials were spoken, but when he was called out for it the truth became clear. If Mad Dog was going to bring me up and he was going to drag me through the dirt for my previous actions “against them”.

Me and my Dad

The conversation was a moot point, the relationship has been damaged for a long time and all the attempts at repair were on the part of Mad Dog only. Mad Dog, Gabrielle, Lex and Loki were the only blood that Curt had left in his life and he has driven them away. It is possible that the relationship between Gabrielle and her Grandfather will go undamaged, but even that relationship has been strained over the years. Mad Dog has made it clear that if Gabrielle wishes to continue the relationship, he will support her. It will be her decision and she will need to make the effort with them.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that this is the last result I wanted. I feel that people need to make the most of the time they have with their parents, before they don’t have that parent. I think even with the physical distance between my Father and myself near the end I made the most of the time I had. I honored him and his memory with every action I made at that time. In the case of Mad Dog’s Father I will not be bullied into one man’s delusional look at himself as a good father. I will not apologies for being a parent to my own children.

This all came on Monday at the same time my own Mother was thinking about my Father. The long commutes home after a long day can give a person a lot of time to think. She was thinking about my Dad and all he has missed. As she said, “he missed the best part.” He missed seeing their three children grown-up and how we turned out. He missed meeting our husbands and wife. He missed meeting his grandchildren. She explained to me on her drive home she talked to him, yelling at him that she was as mad as hell that he didn’t take are of himself  and because of that he missed it. He missed them. I understand her feelings, he would have loved this time in our lives. He would have loved Brent, Tiffany and Mad Dog. He would have fallen in love with Lex and Loki on sight. He would have befriended Gabrielle and welcomed her into our family. He would have done everything that Curt should be doing with our family but is not.

Marny, Kylie and their Dad

That same Monday evening I saw on Facebook that friends of mine who recently lost their Father were cleaning out his house. Its a terribly hard job to do, but also in some cases rewarding. That might not make sense, but when you’re doing it, its completely clear. You sometimes find little bits of your childhood and your past that he has saved. Thing that might not have been important at the time, but when you stumble on it years later you can’t believe it meant so much to him that he kept all this time without you knowing.

On that drive home, Monday night, after finding out the end result of the phone call and then again on Wednesday night after my conversation with my Mom and the Facebook post I found myself listening to “The Living Years“. The version I listened to was from Straight No Chaser. Listening to the song I though about the lyrics, the situation we now find ourselves in and what the future will bring. I don’t know the answer to that last one. I think I will just leave you with some of the lyrics. Maybe take a moment to think about your relationship with your Father.

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It’s the bitterness that lasts

So Don’t yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in
You may just be O.K.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

 

 

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~ by Cute Fan Girl on March 5, 2011.

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