Sunday, June 21, 2009

on father's day

I wonder about you.

I wonder what you've been doing for the past eight years. I wonder if you were ever happy. I wonder if you'll ever be happy. I wonder how you can live with a person for so long, and then just walk away. I wonder how it's possible to (and I'll use your words here), Just not think about them, part of the them being me.

I wonder what happened to you that getting involved with another woman, an inmate especially, seemed like a good idea. I wonder why you talked about the guards who screwed the inmates in such derogatory terms, while at the same time, you were falling into that. You knew the statistics about STDs and AIDS and all of the versions of hepatitis that fester in a state prison, and you subjected my mother to the danger.

You know that I've been a parent for over six years now, and you never bothered to contact them. Which is fine with me, because really? Explaining to a child a) that there is another grandpa; and b) that he just up and moved away one day... well, it's not easy and it's not fun. Also? It doesn't make sense.

Nothing you have done has been easy. And yes, I could make a list, but what's the point? It matters, but it doesn't.

I wrote you a letter and told you that I couldn't have a relationship with you if you were going to lie to me. And I haven't heard from you since. I don't even know what it means, that you haven't tried. Are the lies better? Or is it something else?

Here's what I want you to know: I'm great. Really, I am. My husband and kids? Also wonderful. We are happy and doing fine. I forgive you for the way you treated me, my mother, and my brothers. But I don't miss you, and I don't want to talk to you.

Sincerely,
your daughter

13 comments:

  1. While your daughter is terriffically well adjusted about the whole thing, I will likely knock your teeth out of your stupid head if I ever find you on my porch.

    Sincerely,
    Your Son-In-Law

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  2. (alittleroominmyheartforyoumydear)

    Powerful. Honest. Sad. Beautiful.

    Hugs for you, Pamela. And maybe a restraint for the Mister (although I understand where he's coming from!)

    Peace,
    IG

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  3. Some poignant words and profound feelings there, Pamela. I warm to your honesty, and I sense pain yet caried.

    I like the hnoesty of forgiveness: you're not going to make him pay (and remain a slave to your hurt), but you don't want him on your front porch, either. Fair call.

    Thanks for the post.

    Dave Groenenboom
    @DaveGroenenboom
    Lead Pastor,
    RedlandsCRC
    Brisbane Aust

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  4. ...and I need to proof read better {:(P}

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  5. I hope that anyone holding hurt feelings against their father for imagined or insignificant wrongs will read your post and realize how lucky they are. Since you have been able to reach a place of forgiveness and release the hurt after all you have been through, I hope it will help someone else, who is still holding on to their pain, reconcile with their Dad.

    And I hope that the person you were addressing in your post today (I won't call him your father - because I noted quite clearly that you did not) gets on a right path. Not for your sake (you're doing fine without him) - but for his.

    And I hope The Mister had a great Father's Day! (Without the need to resort to physical violence against anyone; although, I suppose there could be a sort of primitive satisfaction combined with closure that could result.)

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  6. I talked to Dad tonight. He is happy and doing well, albeit growing older. I dare say he is even growing a bit more wise and gentle. You should consider that he is also feeling hurt - I know, I know - he is the one who left and caused everyone else the pain. But it was out of pain, confusion, and frustration with things that were beyond his control and understanding, and far beyond our knowledge. Not that it makes it right, but in a fallen world, well, it just is.

    He thinks of you often and wants to know your kids, but he has certainly felt the rejection from you (and the rest of our family and whole friggin podunk cow town for that matter) and walking back through that rejection is hard. Not an excuse, but still a reality. He has listened when you told him to stay away in letters and words. And he reads your blog and knows what he will face from you and Jon should he show up. I understand the protective husband thing, but sometimes the most protective thing is to be supportive during the pain of reconciliation instead of offering a right hook to the tooth.

    I often read you writing about what Jesus would do on this blog. I'm just glad that Jesus didn't threaten me with dental rearrangement should I show up on his doorstep, with the wrongs I have done, with my overwhelming shame, and with my fears of rejection. Fortunately for me, and for all of us, God came to us while we were still sinners and offered reconciliation and redemption. And He did it again and again as we rejected Him, failed to respond to Him, and even lied to Him. And He still does it despite our many constant screw-ups. You might try the same path - it is a hard road to travel but you might be amazed at what you learn about yourself and your relationship to (not with) God along the way. Approaching it in this way may really be the closest thing you come to in life to walking in Christ's footprints, and it would be a shame to lose that opportunity.

    I hope you understand that I'm not trying to be a know-it-all. I'm just sharing a bit of truth that I have learned from my journey down this same path.

    Your Brother,
    Josh

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  7. How does one leave a comment after that last one from your brother. I imagine today won't be easy . . .

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  8. I think the likelihood of any dental rearrangement is 0%.

    And the only boundary I set with him was this: I cannot have a relationship with someone who lies to me. When you're ready to be honest, let me know.

    And he didn't. And he hasn't.

    As for what he would face from me? I honestly have no idea how I would respond if he just showed up at my door. I'm confident I have never spoken in a threatening manner, or promised disrespectful behavior. I am not the one threatening dental rearrangement.

    I was just saying I wonder about him. And I have questions. And I forgive him. Even so? I don't really want to talk to him. It's not out of spite or hate or anything other than the fact that I am just worn out from this part of my life. I'm tired of being the whipping boy, I'm tired by the passive-aggressiveness, I'm tired by the strained relationships.

    You sought him out for a relationship, and that is honorable. I don't feel like that is anything I'm up for, or called to do, right now. Maybe sometime.

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  9. Man, don't ever take the short route. Laying out my dental plan was just an abbreviated summary of my feelings on the whole thing. For eight years I've been in the passenger seat of this whole ordeal and not in any place to have an opinion. (And for real... the last time there was any fisticuffs in my life was before I could drive.)

    My role in this whole thing has been strictly on the sidelines for most of a decade now. I'm not the one that she talks to about it, which is fine. But every time this gets brought up by one family member or another I would mostly like to shove everybody backwards off my porch.

    But I don't do that sort of thing. I mostly sit still and take things in the chops and wait for them to get better. It's a better investment of my time to make sure the next generation knows how to act.

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  10. I didn't call my dad.

    Why?


    I don't know?

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  11. Wow. And Wow. Hugs to you, and Josh, and The Mister.

    Considering the Diva now LIVES with his dad and couldn't bother saying Happy Father's Day...even after the steak dinner...and the card from Shortman in plain sight, AND hearing me call my Dad...I think maybe we should just do away with Mother's Day AND Father's Day.

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  12. It's weird being an adult and seeing your parents and their mistakes from that perspective. Unfortunately, growing up doesn't always make it easier, and doesn't always make it ok.

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talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.