So I heard my father was moving to the US soon, and had intended to invite him round to see his grand daughter for the first time (she’s already nearly 20 months old).
I got a call from him today, and he wasn’t happy about that. He wasn’t happy that after not seeing him for two years, I would invite him round for a BBQ and a chance to meet the happiest little girl I have ever seen. He wasn’t happy that in the past two years I had only called him two or three times, and sms’d him a dozen or so times to wish him happy birthday or whatever – never mind the fact that he has my number and has never picked up the phone to contact me.
He started up some lame excuse that since the divorce from my mother, he has considered me a lost cause, because I “was willing to lie in court and say he hit my mother” – I have no idea where he got that idea from, I had no intention of saying anything of the sort – I had planned to explain, in court, how when I was working with him, he would constantly talk about getting a friend to break in to the house and steal things mum had taken in the separation, which is true.
He reiterated that he considers me and my brother to be lost to him, because we don’t make the effort to contact him at all.
He lied to me about never trying to influence us or use us against mum in any way – the man snooped through my phone while I was helping him so he could find my mother’s new phone number – and he explained that the only reason he stays in touch with my youngest sister is because she has an unbiased view of him, and my mother hasn’t turned her against him at all.
He explained that despite his own feelings, he has never tried to convince my sisters that their partners are wrong for them, or that moving to America and following God was a bad decision for Tara. He claims that was because he didn’t want to meddle in the lives of his children.
He then said that he doesn’t consider me or my brother his sons at all, nor does he consider his only grand children – Connor and Mackenzie – to be his grand children at all.
He asked why I would wait until now, when he is leaving the country, almost on his death bed, to invite him to meet Mack. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was because he never took up the offer to drop by when I invited him the last three times, or that he never responded to my attempts to catch up with him previously. I simply told him because I thought he would like to meet his grand daughter, I thought he would like to see her. That it was all about doing something for him – and it is. I don’t want any thing from the man. He has nothing to offer Mackenzie, me, or Sammy. I explained that I thought it would be great for him to see her before he left the country, and that regardless of whatever happens between us, Mack will know that her grandfather was a man who worked hard to keep a house over his family’s head. I wouldn’t burden her with the negative aspects of my childhood, as there was no need for that, and that regardless of whether he considered me a son or not, he is still my father.
He didn’t seem to like that, saying “I don’t care if you call me dad, Chris, or don’t call me at all”.
Now, this isn’t the first time he has disowned me, in fact, it’s must me the fourth or fifth time now. I’ve never really gone out of my way to reconnect with him, other than the time I heard he was going in for surgery to repair a faulty heart valve – in the past I have left it to him to mend fences and so on, which until now, he seemed to be happy with. I don’t expect anything from him, but he seemed to expect something from me, and thought I had failed him.
I guess this is something I should have seen coming, really. I know him well enough to realise he wasn’t going to make the effort, regardless of how often I invited him to see his grand daughter. I just don’t know how I am going to explain to Mackenzie when she is older why there is only one grandfather and two grandmothers in the photos of her as a child …