Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A Letter to My Father (that will likely never be sent)
How is it possible that only a couple of months after her death you starting looking for other women? What made you think it was ok to share with me your casual viewing on Match.com? Did I need to hear that you were dating? That you had "friends?" Or, Goddess forbid, that you were actually becoming "close" to my Aunt, my mother's sister? What in the hell were you thinking?!
I tried to handle it, expressed on several occasions my discomfort, asked you to not fill me in on details, that I understood you had to move on and live your life but I'm not ready. We, my children and I, are not ready to see you with another woman, in her space, in her home, in our lives. Just because you have moved on, Dad, we haven't. The thing is, you apparently can get another wife, move Mom from the front seat in your Game-of-Life car and replace her with another pink peg. But we, we can't get another Mother, another Grandmother. There was, there is, only one of her. She is not replaceable!
Yet we continued to shut up, look the other way, try to understand..until this past weekend, until you were so distraught over your new girlfriend's absence at a family vacation that you sat in your motor home and stewed. Until I could no longer keep silent about the lack of Mom's things in that RV, from the candles she decorated to the placemats and napkins she embroidered, they were all gone. Tucked away, shoved in drawers, put in their place..just like you are doing to her. Why, Dad? Could the new woman not handle seeing your deceased wife's possessions around her? Or did you not even give her the chance? Why did you think it wouldn't be important to us to have those memories around us? Could you not have pulled them out, even just for the time we were there?
No, instead you sat & stewed, and when that wasn't enough you started criticizing, "picking" Mom used to call it..on me, on my kids, on my Man. When things got heated, when we finally had enough, when we stood up to you, you threw us off your property. In the middle of the night, 2 hours from home, you threw out your daughter. How could you do that? And a better question: what do we do now? Where do we go from here?
These are the questions I ask now, Dad, sitting here awash in memories from the past and still stinging from the hurtful things that were said the other night. I am left to believe the statement I reluctantly made to Beren when she died, "I think that without my mother to reign him in, my Dad will return to the cold, mean man he used to be." I didn't want to imagine it could happen, it was beyond my comprehension that you would desert me and leave me, in essence, an orphan. Doesn't matter that I'm 44, I still need my parents..or, at least, I thought so, until now.
You see, I don't need you anymore, Dad. I'm a big girl now, with my own money, my own home, my own family. I don't have to cower in the corner of my room waiting for your verbal attacks, I refuse to tolerate the abuse and neglect I suffered as a child. If Saturday night is any indication of who you are now, or who you have always been without Mom to make you a better man, I am sorry for you and I forgive you because to do otherwise would only hurt me, but I won't have you destroy me again, and I sure as hell am not going to let you do that to my girls.
I hope I'm wrong, want to believe that you will call me and say how sorry you are, that you are just griefstricken as we all are, that you will change, that we are more important than some bimbo you picked up on the internet or in a bar..but I don't hold out much hope, Dad, because that little girl inside learned a long time ago not to trust you. You taught her well that she's really not important enough, not pretty enough, not good enough. Not then, not now, maybe not ever.