After Avery was born, my dad insisted on meeting her.
I see my father once every year, usually. Sometimes not even that. He lives 3 hours away, but since he and my mother divorced, we don't have a relationship. He has a very big problem with lying and he verbally abused my mother, my sister, and me. I grew up being called names and being screamed at. He never hit us, but I felt scared that he would because of his problems with anger. He pushed me into a closet once when I accidentally let the dog out. Soon after that, he had an affair with one of our neighbors and my mom moved out.
Anyway, he wanted to meet her. Insisted. My husband pushed me to do it. So on one of our trips home to visit my mom, we told my dad we would visit him. We made plans to call him when we were an hour away and he would pick up lunch and meet us at his condo. It had been over a year since we'd seen him last.
When we got close, I sent a text and didn't hear back. Then I called and left a message. Figured he went to get lunch. We got to his condo, we rang the bell. I could hear the dog barking, but no one came. Called his cell. No answer. Somehow, I remember his work number (I hadn't called it in YEARS). He answered. Was dumbfounded. Made up some excuse about how he didn't think I was coming since I hadn't called when I got close. Told me sometimes cell phones don't work in his town on Fridays (ahem) and added that he works in a metal building (.....)
We brought in Avery and he was like, oh, she's so cute. Then he SCARFED down his food, asked ot take a picture with her, and then stood there, looking at his watch.
It was as if he wanted a picture with her just to PROVE that he had seen his granddaughter. To show it off to his friends, to make it look like we have a relationship.
I try to do the right thing, to send him pictures of Avery. Instead, every time I send an e-mail, he responds with, "When can I see Avery? We'll drive there" (we as in his current girlfriend).
It drives me crazy. The pressure makes me want to RUN THE OTHER WAY.
We just had a similar situation with my sister-in-law. We have had a terrible relationship with her, mainly because her husband is very controlling (to the extent of abuse) and a few years ago when my father in law died, things got very bad (she refused to come home for the funeral saying that no one wanted her there-she came at the last minute and acted like a psycho and still blames everyone else-it's a loooooooong story). Anyway, her husband is in the navy and they move every 2 or 3 years. I couldn't believe that she didn't want to come home when her father was sick. I despise my father, and I still would take care of him if he got sick (and she was a stay at home mom and her kids were in school, so she could have made it work). Anyway, she never even visited even though she lives about 6 or so hours away and it's been very hard to navigate through my mother-in-laws health and depression issues as the only children.
So, out of the blue, she came to visit for a week, with her jerk of a husband. We weren't off school so I only saw them twice in the week. The first time, I walked into mil's house and I hadn't seen my bil in FIVE years and he didn't even look up from the tv when I walked in. We went to a big family dinner one night where we drove an hour away for dinner, past Avery's bedtime, and she invited her friends from high school to it! BUT, she took pictures, posted them on facebook, and plastered her wall with her "amazing family trip" and wrote "thanks for the memories" on my husband's.
Do you remember sitting in the same restaurant and not talking to us?
But, she has the pictures. The "proof." To the external eye, it was a great, wonderful, family trip.
So much of my life is fake.
So much of what people look on and see is not real.
So much of what we do every day, surviving, seems so much easier to other people than it really is.
Sometimes it feels like so much of it is a big lie.
But, of course, there is the opposite. So much of my life is REAL-the amazing love that I feel for my family and friends that care for me. That actually support me. The passion I feel for the students I teach. It's so real I could reach out and touch it, almost.
Life is full of surprises.
I wonder, sometimes, if I would know all this, if I would understand how rich and important life and love is, if I hadn't lost the twins. I would trade it all to have them back.
I miss them.
6 days and it will be TWO YEARS.
Where have those two years gone?
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