I just got off the phone with my father and I find my heart in a circle of emotion. I normally would wait and balance my thoughts before attempting to share. I never want to bash or say/write anything out of whim thinking. I never want to be hurtful and regret it later. But I find that today....maybe writing will help me stop the spinning.
Without having to re-hash everything, this post link can explain our past pretty well if you are curious and feel confused.
Since my step-mom passed away a couple of months ago, I have been trying with renewed vigor to communicate with my father. I want to let him know that he is not alone and he still has so many blessings in his life. When I was with him for the funeral, I noticed that there were no pictures of us anywhere. So, a few weeks ago I sent him a package of our new family pictures framed and ready for him to display. I chose frames that could be either used in easel fashion or be put on the wall, frames that would compliment his decor (not that decor would cross his mind). I figured that by doing this, it would make things easy for him with no "to do list"...gotta get to the store and buy frames to hang those pictures, gotta find the nails so they can go on the wall.
Then I called to let him know that a special package was on the way so that he could be looking forward to it. He seemed excited.
He has now had the box for three weeks, but couldn't take the time to call and say a word about it. When I asked about the pictures today, he said he loves them and has been enjoying them.
He has had them for three weeks......
I wanted to yell through the phone, "Dammit Daddy, the phone works both ways! How can you have tears in your voice as you call me your angel and say love me as we hang up from my phone calls....but you can't even pick up the phone on your end for a quick hey I got it bye?! Why do I always have to be the strong one and push this relationship forward? Why do I have to be the grownup? Why do I always have to be forgiving and have the grace? Be my parent for a change!"
Why isn't there an ounce of comment with, "Hey the girls have really grown since I was able to see them 4 years ago. Wow they are beautiful. Gosh they remind me of when you were a little girl. I wish we lived closer so I could know them more."
No, I didn't say anything of the sort. It would be counter productive and push him away more I fear. Anger rarely serves a positive outcome. Instead I commented on how glad I was that he had gotten the box and was enjoying the pictures. Then I changed the subject and brought it around to things I knew he could discuss.
The communication between my father and I has always been rocky. I know he loves me and just doesn't know how to say so. I know that he would like to have daily conversations with me but can't find the energy to pick up the phone and do so. I know he fights with regrets at not being there for me and doesn't know how to move on from that...to let go and move forward. As he wrestles with his insecurities, I daily have to let go of the thoughts that say I am not good enough for his time. I know it is a lie and I push it away and move forward.
Why do I have to be the one that is the grown up, the one who guides and bears with grace when it would be easier to put myself in a protective wall?
Because I am the one who sees the truth. I see his pain thru the veil of my own. If I wait and stomp my foot saying that I will not budge until he makes the first move forward....that serves no purpose but self-indulgence.
Because I see the circle of what is going on, it is my job to be patient and wait it out.
Wait for how long? I guess that doesn't really matter. He may never completely come around from his mountain of perception and I am not responsible for that.
I am however responsible for my own actions...for doing what I know to be right to the best of my abilities.
Thank you God once again for your guidance and patience with me. I am better now.