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Mixed feelings....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

OK, This is a warning.. Some may find this kind of mean... Don't hold it against me please but I need some objective help.
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My mom called yesterday to pass on some news that my aunt wanted my sister and I to know. Our father has cancer and has been given about 6 months.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I hardly know my father. I got an email from him back in Jan. (sheesh, I didn't realize it was that long ago) In the email he tells me he has health issues, that he will always love me, old news about my sister (another long story) and he wanted to know how his grand kids are. Not once did he ask how I was or what I was doing! The last time I had heard from him was shortly after Corey was born so it had been about 11 years since I heard from him before the email.

So, I started thinking about when I had heard from him in the past. I saw him when I was 6 and nothing until I was 24. That was a couple years after my 2nd baby was born. I remember my grandfather (his father), seeing my 1st baby but I honestly don't recall my father seeing him. Then when my first husband and I split up I saw him for about a week- I honestly got along better with my step-mother (who is younger then me) then I did with him. Then the following summer I stopped at his house in MO when I was driving from AZ to NY with the kids. That's the last time I saw him and I was 28 or 29 then. So I saw him at 6, 24, 28/29 and an occasional card, a phone call after Corey was born when I was 32 and the email in Jan of 07 when I was 43.

When I was a kid he was in the army and when he moved to another assignment he would take the child support paperwork out of his file so finance didn't know he had any and they didn't pay it . Then it would take a few months for my mom to track him down and get it started again. I don't recall ever getting Christmas or birthday gifts. Great father huh?

My step dad died of cancer years ago and I remember wishing it had been my father that had died and not my dad. My stepdad was the one I grew up with and who my kids called Papa. He was there when I broke my arm and taught me how to throw a football, not my father. So, now my father has cancer too and I don't know what to do. My DH has thought all along I should call him or at least email him back. I even wrote him a letter but never sent it.

I told him how his email didn't even ask how I was but wanted to know how MY kids were. That how could he claim to have grandkids when he didn't have anything to do with their mother. And that how he always seemed to contact me after I had a baby.

My DH told me to call him and take the opputurnity to tell him how I feel. But now I feel like I would be kicking him while he was down. I actually had been thinking about calling him but now I feel like it would be taken as a pity call or something...

I don't know what to do....
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLCOLMAN 12/8/2007 11:33PM

    I don't have any advice other than to follow what your heart tells you to do. I would hate for you to look back on things with this situation and have regrets. HUGS!

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DDPATTERSON01 12/7/2007 8:32PM

    You poor sweetie. There are so many of us with similar stories that it sadly seems to be the norm anymore. I did not see my abusive sicko father from the time I was 14 until I was 25 and he was supposedly dying. Well, I let my grandmother and aunts pressure me into seeing him (my mother was out of the country and says she would have put the kabosh on that, but no matter, now). Well, he DIDN'T die, dammit. He lived another 8 years and pulled that "I'm dying, so feel sorry for me and...and..." during my wedding and the birth of two of our kids. He knew how to play it to the hilt -- -- if his mother came to visit at the holidays, command appearances were in order, like it or not. Talk about crazy-making.

When he died, I saw a therapist (heck, we ALL did) who had me write a letter and read it aloud in our session. Well, I kicked a chair and danged near broke a window, but I got "it" out of my system and now, well, I just feel sorry for him, not myself, anymore.

So, you do what YOU need to do. If that means talking to him and making nice, do it. If it means screaming your head off at him, do that. If it means not talking to him and hugging your husband wordlessly, do it. It is ONLY about YOU, NOT ABOUT HIM!

Big hugs to you and all of us who have "been there".

For what it's worth -- -- maybe he did you a favor by NOT being in your life. I wish my father had at least paid me that courtesy.

Dana


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FITLIKENIC 12/7/2007 7:24PM

    Cindy my heart goes out to you ((((HUGS)))). Funny how your father sounds like mine, he have me life but he was not Dad. I met my Father when I was 15, My mom and I would phone every couple years so I could say hi before that... that summer we met he thought the way to get me to like him was to buy me clothes, teach me to drive, and tell me he was a changed man ( He cheated and that ended the relationship)... he was still a cheater and liar and thought $ bought love... anyway I told him I was glad to meet him, thanked him for giving me life and that I didn't want to see him again... I'm 36 and have not talked to him since that summer. I made peace by talking to him, as Jenna said how will you will if you don't call/email/write? At this point he knows he's dying, Thank him for allowing you a Step-Father, for leaving you to live your life, get mad if needed, but don't hold it in if it hurts. My Mom just found her Dad after 32 years and he was so thankful she called so he could tell her he left for the good of the children ( recovering alcoholic) and that he walked out to give them a better life than they would have had... if she hadn't called she'd never know.

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JENNA2007CANADA 12/6/2007 8:50PM

    Your situation sounds so familiar to mine with my father. When I heard he was dying I was surprized. He was a heavy drinker and smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day - I thought he was too pickled to die and if he did so what - like you I don't have many memories of my Dad (what I remember most is his morning coughing, and coughing, and coughing). I only ask one question of you - if you don't talk to him are you going to regret it and wish that you had had a chance to say goodbye and thanks for at least giving me birth? Only you can answer that. I bade my father goodbye - don't know if he knew or not but I felt better for having done so. Jenna

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