Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thoughts about my grandmother's son.

So it has been an eventful few weeks. I found out that my grandmother died. Yeah. She died in October. I found out that she died 3 months before I was notified. So now I would like to issue this statement to my father:

I cannot believe that you would not even write me a card to tell me Mamaw died. I don't know why I am surprised. Throughout my life you have always been too busy to act like I mattered. So why bother to take the time to contact me?

You are many things. You are my father, contributing to half of my DNA. That thought alone turns my stomach. I take solace in that we are not from who we came, but from where we came. I am a product of the house that raised me and those who lived in it and loved me.

I am a wife & mother, a writer, a good cook, a cross stitcher, a scrapbooker, a knitter & crocheter, a pack rat, a clutterbug, a sentimental person who loves most people and animals, and all babies. Not the best housekeeper, not the best singer but I love to do it; I am a list-maker, a planner. I have to plan to be spontaneous. I am a friend to those I know, a lover to my husband and an example to my children. I am all these things and more.

What did you give me? Fear. Distrust. And many examples of how NOT to be.

You are a liar.

***When I visited you one summer you told me that my mother stole me from you and that she was wanted in the state you lived in. Then I went back to school and learned about extradition. I also knew that you always knew our address and phone number, so if she was truly breaking the law, the police could have come and arrested her at any time. So you tried to lie and poison my mind against my mother. It didn't work.

***I wrote to ask if you could maybe send me a little money to help me afford going to my prom. Times were hard at my house and so I thought I'd ask. You wrote back and told me to call you about the prom money. I did and you still never sent any. Thanks.

***You told me that you would pay for my college education. What little college I attended was paid in state grants, and when I wrote you asking for funds so I could study at home, enabling me to better myself and still stay home with my children, you ignored my request. I guess it was too much effort to try to think up a lousy excuse to tell me no, so you didn't even try.

***You told my husband that you were selected as a CPO, but got out of the Navy because you didn't feel like being in anymore. Maybe you thought we wouldn't check? When my husband made CPO, gee, guess whose name is not in any naval record as being a CPO? Yours. And the real reason you got out of the Navy? Because if you had a job, your wages could be garnished and you would have been forced to pay child support. Which brings me to my next illustration:

You are weak. And sad. Your character is sorely lacking. I am looking for the right adjective here and it is just not coming. Let's elaborate:

What kind of a man does not pay child support? You didn't pay it just to "punish" my mother, well we got along just fine. But the obligation remains. I don't know if there is a statute of limitations on seeking back child support especially since I am way past the age of majority. It doesn't really matter because I have no desire to sue. But the fact remains that you owe me (not my mother, because it was for my maintenance, but ME) at least $14,000. I don't need a court of law because I have a brain in my head. You were ordered to pay it and you didn't. You are the worst sort of bottom-dweller--a deadbeat dad. What a shining example of masculinity you turned out to be for my stepmother's sons.

While we are on that subject, let's see. Cheating on my mother with one of her coworkers. That's real classy. Adultery makes me feel nothing but contempt for you. Way to exhibit an utter lack of self control there. You turn my stomach.

Add on not coming to my wedding, and not showing an interest in your grandchildren. One might say that maybe you weren't meant to be a family man. Except you have been married to your co-adulterer and have been raising her kids all these years. So you just didn't want anything to do with *some* of your family. You sure know how to make a girl feel special.

I don't want you to think that you have hurt my feelings by not giving a damn about me, or my family. Because you haven't. I have gotten love & support from my family and haven't felt an empty space where you should have been.

But you do hold my interest. You puzzle me and I find that the more I try to understand you, the more confused I get. So I think of you as a living science exhibit, staring at you in my mind's eye, finding you mildly interesting and impossible to figure out. You are intriguing but only in your lack or morals and decency.

You also piss me off. Mamaw let you move in with her when you moved from your state to hers. You mooched off of her for a month, then moved out and didn't even tell her where you moved. When I visited her, she didn't know your address and you had lived there for months. I cannot believe that you didn't tell me when she died and give me the opportunity to attend her funeral. Then you sold items that were promised to me at birth for a profit. Descriptive words fail me.

You are disrespectful. You lie. You haven't the notion of common courtesy. You make promises that you don't keep. Your word means nothing. It is sad that your brother and his wife have pictures of me and my kids in their albums but you don't.

You are a weaselly sort of person. I was moving cross-country and stopped at Mamaw's house to see her before heading west, and even though I was leaving in the morning, you tried to sell me a car. "Hello, daughter I haven't seen in over 10 years. How about you buy my car?" I don't know what goes through your head, other than selfish thoughts, especially if they revolve around you getting your hands on some money.

Liquidating my grandmother's estate for quick cash fits you to a T. Never mind that I might have liked to have something to remember her by. Thankfully she gave me a quilt she made, or else I'd have nothing in my home that used to be in hers.

Where I am sentimental you are cold and calculating. I'm sure when Mamaw died your eyes turned into dollar signs like a cartoon character's might. What better way to disrespect her memory than by not notifying family of her passing, and selling off everything of hers that had monetary value.

I feel utmost contempt for you. And sad for you, that you will die alone. You reap what you sow.

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