Complicated relationship with Dad
Monday, November 19, 2012
For the past many years, I have been eating Thanksgiving at my Dad's house. My stepmother told me that as long as she was able, she would always have Thanksgiving at her house. So I just assumed I'd be going there again in a few days. My sister called me last night and told me that Dad and Barbara would NOT be having Thanksgiving at their house. My sister was worrying that maybe Barbara is ill in some way, but that there was no explanation given to her and when I found out what was up, to let her know. My sister goes to church with them, lives just 3-4 miles away from them and gives Dad his diabetes shot on a regular basis, so she's kind of in the loop.
So I called my dad and he said it's true, no Thanksgiving dinner at their house, and the decision had been made weeks (months?) ago. My younger stepsister's family was going to Vegas. My other stepsister was supposed to be in Vermont working as she has been doing for several months (but she returned home over the weekend). I was supposed to move out of the country (which didn't happen as long ago as August). Dad and stepmother decided to remodel their house this week. I live 50 miles away, and wasn't aware of their plans.
Y'know, the only thing that has me down is that neither Dad nor Barbara bothered to let me know in any way that they were cancelling Thanksgiving. I find out 2nd hand from my sister. My feelings are really injured. My sister is cooking at her house so I guess we'll go there. If my dad and stepmom didn't want to have it, it's okay, I could have had it at my house instead--everyone knows I don't mind cooking.
Dad was very apologetic and blamed Barbara for not calling me. My stepmom is a nice person and wouldn't deliberately hurt my feelings. She had a head injury 11 years ago, and she's not the same capable person she was. I get that. She probably doesn't even know my number or where it might be written down. I don't know if my number is in her cell phone. My dad is in his 70s and he's pretty depressed about having an injured foot. He explained how he isn't in the habit of calling people preferring the written word. I didn't recieve an email either. I hate that talking to my dad makes me tearful almost every time, but my feelings are hurt that he didn't tell me about this leaving it to my sister to relay to me.
Last September my daughter and I met up with my dad at a family reunion on his birthday. This particular reunion is not my favorite as very few relatives that I know come to it any more. But I went for my dad to spend time with him on his birthday. I had greeted him when I arrived and a few minutes later it was time to get our food so I got in line and saw him sitting by my daughter. AFter I got my plate, I sat by my daughter but Dad was not there--I assumed he was getting his plate. I sat at that table with a bunch of relatives that I didn't know and a daughter who had her earplugs in her ears, and he never appeared. I finished eating and looked around the room for him--and he was gone! He didn't even say good-bye! I had driven 50 miles to be with him on his b-day and he just disappeared. I was tearful again and didn't want to put on a show so I left too and boo-hooed for 10 minutes, shaking up my daughter a bit.
I feel so guilty sometimes for not having a better relationship with my dad. I hardly ever call or visit him. He's usually pretty busy too and he and his wife like to travel when they aren't working (Tax season is coming--their busy time). I have knocked on their door to discover no one home many times when I spontaneously visit them. I would visit them more if they would actually invite me as it is a pretty long drive between our houses. I don't think they miss me really even though they'd probably like to see me more.
On the nice tip, my dad just loaned my mom 50,000 to build an addition on my sister's house. My parents have been divorced since 1972, so that was kind of out of the blue. I appreciate that he did that of course as it helps my sister and mother a lot, and apparently he has it to loan. My sister is buying her house from my dad too, so I guess it makes sense for him to participate in expanding it.
I get tired of every time I call or hang with him, I'm in tears though.