Friday, January 10, 2014

Wishing I Knew....

Prompt:  I never received an answer.

Today's prompt brought to mind something I've been wrestling with for about 17 years now.  From the time I moved away from my hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio, to live here in Fairborn, Ohio, I faced a huge change in my relationship with my father, which had been through its share of ups and downs over my life.

First a little background: I was always the stereotypical "daddy's girl" growing up. When I was young, he would stop downtown on payday and buy me a new dress before he came home...I had a closet full of cute, frilly dresses, and tons of pictures of me wearing them. As I got older, I preferred to spend time with him rather than my mother...I would work in the garden, do yard work, helped him build our back deck, etc.---anything that we could do together, I was all for it.  Even though I wasn't a very athletic child, I even joined the church's women's softball team, just because Dad was the coach.

When I was sixteen, I realized that my father was having an affair, and it upset me greatly. I confronted him about it, and told him that if he couldn't fully be with the family, he should just move out. A few weeks later, when he and Mom sat my brother and I down to tell us they were splitting up, I felt incredibly guilty, as if it were somehow my fault. In spite of that, we managed to still spend time together, although the visits were generally few and far between, and usually ended with me being upset with him or disappointed in him.

Eight months after he moved out, the divorce was finalized....and six weeks later, we read in the newspaper that he had remarried. His new wife and I never got along, and she quickly earned the title of "Wicked Stepmother," particularly after telling Dad that his children were not welcome at "her" house.  Through my college years, thanks to her attitude, and the attitude of my mother, Dad and I had a very limited relationship, mostly phone calls, or meeting for lunch near campus.

After I graduated college and got married, our relationship began to heal again....he would come to visit at our home, and he loved to spoil my son, the first grandchild. Even when we went to Germany with the Air Force, he would write me on a regular basis, and I would call a few times a year as well.  He was there through my divorce and then, shortly after I remarried, I was able to be there for him through HIS divorce---and to breathe a sigh of relief over the Wicked Stepmother being out of our lives.

The next four years were wonderful for us...he was back in my life on a regular basis, and was always a part of birthdays and holidays. The kids had a great relationship with PawPaw, and later with Grandma Jean (whom Samantha called "the teddy bear lady" because of her HUGE collection of teddy bears and teddy bear themed items).  I had great expectations for the future for all of us.

In 1997, we had an opportunity to move and create a better life for our family here in Fairborn. Unfortunately, the relationship with my father didn't survive the move.  Although I called, sent cards and letters, and tried to keep up my end of things, I didn't get any response. I'd get the answering machine when I called, and no responses to letters...our only contact from Dad became the yearly Christmas card.

I have no idea why I don't hear from him anymore (I didn't send out Christmas cards this year, so I didn't get one from him....), but I have had to accept it. At this point, I've decided that it's time to stop trying to force it, and just move on. I'm never going to get an answer, and that is going to be on him, not on me. Whatever happens, I will always love him.

1 comment:

  1. Saw your post on Bloggy Moms, came over to check it out - nice job!


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