A YEAR LATER
It has been one year this week since my father and his wife tossed me out of their house into the night, leaving me without shelter for being approximately twenty minutes late. The blog I wrote about that experience has become my most widely read and commented on blog.
And no matter what I do, where I go, or what I’m talking about if people have read that blog they always ask me, “ Whatever happened with your dad?” “Did your father ever apologize to you?”
The answer is No. I have not spoken or been in contact with my father or any member of his family, excluding one step sister since that night a year ago this week.
However, in an odd turn of events, my father made up with my older half sister who he had not been speaking to for several years prior to that night. Actually it’s not odd. I figured it would happen.
See, my dad has a habit of playing musical offspring. At any given moment he will pull a chair out from one, stop speaking to them and give another their spot.
The man has five daughters. Three of his own, the above-mentioned older half sister, a younger one and myself. Three wives – three girls: And all the guy ever wanted was a boy.
The third wife came with two girls; one of whom he adopted, raised as his own and has not spoken to since I was married to my first husband. And there is another stepdaughter with whom he has had a spotty relationship at best. I like her.
He always gets along with the youngest one. The wife wouldn’t have it any other way. And truth be told he has been a decent father to her. They have a bond he never formed or was able to sustain with my older sister or myself.
So my older half sister and myself are either in or out, but seldom at the same time. We have overlapped for months here and there. But we have both always been aware that if one moves in the other is sure to be moving out. When we have been friendly we have spoken about this endlessly.
In fact even my mother (who in another bizarre turn of events after fifty years of the most acrimonious relationship I can think of has suddenly become chummy with her ex and his wife) would always say, “If he starts back in with her you know your days are numbered.”
The other things she has said about them I’m not going to bother posting here, as I do need things for my next book. But trust me, they were horrific and they went on for decades. My father to his credit never said much against her.
During one period when we were close, after a few drinks he let some things slip. But all in all he was pretty tight lipped, “She’s your mother, respect her.” He never got involved the kind of trash talk she did about him.
Now ~ they are all best friends. Wish they had made that choice when I was a kid, life would have been a hell of a lot easier on me.
The last conversation I had with my father was about how he would never; ever as long as he lived speak to his oldest daughter again.
And I won’t even list all his reasons. Or one of the things he accused her of that I spent a year trying to convince him was totally untrue. The kindest being “Life is too short, she bores me.”
I told him to never say never. Things always change. In the back of my mind I knew the music would have to start up eventually and another round of musical offspring would begin. What I didn’t know was it would be before the night was out.
But alas, when he woke up the next morning after he had thrown me out, there he was an 82 year old guy with five daughters he had either raised or sired and was only speaking to or getting along with one and half of them.
He had to do something.
The one who has been out of the scene the longest is the toughest of the group. I only wish I had her ability to walk away and not look back; he would have no chance there. He was not about to call me up the next morning and say “I made a mistake.”
He threw me out of the house, then drove by my car on the side of the road at night. He knew what he was doing or he has to somehow validate that he does. So the only shot he had was his oldest. I don’t know how long this took. My guess is three to four months. But that is pure speculation.
I also think he had some help from my mother on this – I can’t even begin to explain that in one blog.
But the chair was empty; his sense of self cannot tolerate not speaking to everyone at once. So for the perhaps the tenth time in five decades my half sister and I traded spots yet again. One in – one out.
I think my mother said it best in an email she sent to me 2006.
“I can’t play B. J./T.J. and now T. T. games any more of you’re in today and he’s out, but tomorrow he’s out and you’re in, K’s out, L’s in, Rs out, L’s in, Ts in K’s out etc etc.”
What I find really strange is that she would sign up for another round of this with him, as truth be told she can’t stand him and she despises the wife. So anything they are all doing is for some weird show, or to prop each other up, or to annoy me.
Though I wish them all the best. I really do.