31 Years later and your dying dad shows up

Published October 1, 2016 by dividinguplife

Work kicked my ass this week. My coworker nearly had another meltdown because of the work stressors. She’s been there two years to my four years, and she hasn’t quite gotten that complaints only lead to more work as a cute form of punishment from the boss man so that we understand exactly who runs shit around there. I keep my mouth closed and just keep pushing forward. 

My dad had another scan to see what’s going on with the cancer. His doctor is refusing to remove the remainder of the tumor on my dad’s liver, unless he agrees to get chemo beforehand. He isn’t going to do it, and I applaud his stance from the beginning – he isn’t letting anyone bully him into taking a treatment that he simply doesn’t believe in. After watching chemo kill my patient last year, I can’t say that I blame him. 

I sent him a text the other night to ask him how the doctors appointment went. He said he is going to take a holistic approach to it. “Raiding God’s Medicine Cabinet” he called it. I told him that he was young (49) and otherwise healthy, that he would be fine. He then text me and said that he’d like to have a father/daughter talk soon, that there was much to say. I told him we would meet up whenever, to just let me know. I haven’t told my husband or my grandmother that he asked me to speak with him. For some reason I just can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m convinced that he won’t follow through with it, just as he has followed through with nothing else in my 31 years of living, or if it’s because I want to keep it to myself for the simple reason that my father is reaching out to me for the first time in my life. I have a feeling it’s the former rather than the latter, or maybe a little bit of both. 

If he’s looking for some kind of forgiveness, there is none to give. He signed his rights over to my step-dad when I was five, so that I could be legally adopted. The hellish nightmare that turned out to be, is not his fault. I don’t think there is any explanation he could give to explain why he was in my half-sisters life and never in mine. I don’t know whether or not to broach the question if she is really his kid. We are all adults now, and I honestly don’t know if that has ever crossed his mind. I don’t want to stir a shit-pot for no reason. 

I talked to my grandpa tonight. And by grandpa, I mean the man that took on that role in my life from infancy (my grandmothers old boyfriend/domestic partner) as my grandfather pretty much pulled the same shit on me as my father did, and he vanished from my life with no reason or explanation. I had forgotten how much laughter he can bring to my life, as I haven’t really talked to him much over the years – not since he and my grandmother parted ways and I had to watch it destroy her. I was catching up with him tonight because my grandpa asked how my dad was doing, and my grandmother said she couldn’t talk about it and passed the phone with me. After some small talk and updates, I asked him how his children were doing and so forth. Eventually it led to tales of his childhood that had me howling with laughter. I told him a little about my dad sending me a text (so I guess now that I mention it, I have told someone – just not anyone who lives in this house) and he said “Man, that ship sank a long time ago…” which led him to say something about how he never knew his father. That was something I never knew. When I mentioned that, he said it was something that he didn’t like to really talk about. It made my heart cry, because I understood that he was sharing something with me that was painful to him, to help ease a subject that is painful for me at the moment. I quickly moved on to funnier things, and he regaled me with tales of his mother dating a man that “had more than a few screws loose”, who would help on the newspaper route his mom did every morning. The boyfriend would sit in the back seat, and his mother would have him roll up the newspapers and stuff them in the bag. One morning she said “paper ….” expecting the boyfriend to hand it to her. When he didn’t she got more forceful – “Damnit Walter, give me the fucking paper!” and she turned around to see poor Walter dead in the backseat. Grandpa said “Walter had enough of her shit, he checked out. Mom finished her route though. That she did.” and he screamed with laughter, which made me laugh even harder. It was nice. I miss listening to his stories. He is such a funny man. I can also tell that he is aging. It makes me sad that one day he will be gone. He was there for me as a male figure when all other men abandoned me as a child. 

My dad just text me a minute ago and asked me if I would come to dinner with him and my half-sister for her birthday on Tuesday. I don’t want to. My half-sister and I are friends on Facebook. We comment on things – but that’s about where it stops. I don’t know how I feel about attending her birthday in which he will be there, when he hasn’t attended a birthday of mine since I was 4 years old. I told him I’d have to see what my work schedule looked like. He said he needed me to be there. *Sighs* Why now? Because he’s probably dying???  I’m continuing to text him. I told him I will try really hard to make it. It just makes me sad. Why do I have to go to her birthday dinner when he has never even tried to have one of those for me? I mean, is that petty, jealous shit?? 

And what’s even more awesome is that my half-sister is drop-dead fucking beautiful. I mean, stunning. Perfect body, beautiful face and hair. Makeup applied with an expert hand. I’m this 31 year old fat ass trying to lose weight for the hundredth time in my life. I feel so insignificant compared to her. It’s like, he dumped me off and chose her because she’s the beautiful one. I’m the ugly duckling that people wipe their feet on. I’m the one that takes care of family members when they are too sick to look after themselves anymore. I’m the girl in the shadows that people realize is there when they need something, need someone taken care of, need it all cleaned up. 

I just text him and told him that I needed some time to work through my feelings on everything, especially the importance of my half-sisters birthday being stressed here, and no thought given to mine all of these years. I know me. I will mentally and emotionally shut down right there at the dinner table. My mind will start going a hundred miles an hour, and it will turn on me and tell me I’m not good enough, and the broken family I have is the one I deserve. It will lead to a downward spiral that I’m not ready to go down right now. 


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