Bet you thought the saga with my father was over, huh? Wrong!
So, first, we had the letter I sent, followed by the thoughtful text he sent…and then silence on the western front.
When we had the family event for my brother’s birthday, I asked my brother if he wanted to invite his father (even Mommy thought it was a good idea). My father decided he would do his own thing with Mitch.
A couple of days before my operation, my father called to wish me luck. It was a very abrupt phone call with no other discussion permitted.
I decided to send some of the photos of my brother and his son (at the birthday party) to my father, as my brother would never do it and I thought he would like them. I didn’t attach a message – they just were.
So, a couple of days ago, I receive an email from my father:
When I was in rehab, you had a letter delivered, which everyone in the room read, attacking both Yvonne and myself over things you know nothing about. We are very upset about this, and therefore if you want any sort of relationship with me or Yvonne, you will write and have delivered both a letter of apology to Yvonne and myself. Dad.
I waited a day (as suggested by my Mommy) so I wouldn’t overreact then replied:
Yes, Dad, I sent a letter marked PERSONAL to you; and you chose to share it.
The letter was not meant as an attack on either you or Yvonne – it was a missive to you (and you only) describing my feelings; the letter was an explanation of how I feel. And I will not apologise for my feelings.
After much thought, I believed that this was the only way for me to communicate to you my point of view. I spent a lot of time and emotion writing that letter so that you could understand me. It upset me to write the letter but I thought it was necessary as it was becoming impossible to approach you alone, and in a non-emotional state (every phone call with you ended with me in tears).
I had hoped that the letter would encourage you to acknowledge my feelings; and allow us to talk about them and your reciprocal feelings. But I guess not.
P.S. I sent the photos because I thought you might want some photos of your son and grandson. Don’t worry – I won’t do it again.
Today, I received a reply. My first thought when I saw the email was ‘leave me alone!’
The whole reason I wrote the letter was so I would no longer be stressed by the situation and here it is, encroaching on every day. And, in my recuperating state, I just don’t give a damn. I hurt so just go away!
Anyway, his email:
Firstly, Yvonne has been my partner for over 20 years, and we do not have any secrets.
Secondly, I do know the difference between writing about feelings and unsubstantiated rhetoric. Writing that Yvonne is alienating me from my friends and that I am only staying with her because I have nowhere else to go is uninformed bull and just plain nasty. This is what I want the written apologies for, after which we are willing to sit down and discuss your feelings and anything else you might want. Dad.
I just want this to end – I had already come to terms with the fact that I would be upset to not have a relationship with my father; but that was more because he is my father, not because of the wonderful, supportive person he is in my life. I have had the time to think about it all logically and unemotionally and decided that I really wasn’t going to be missing anything. But it seemed that this was never going to be over and I would have to deal with the stress of it forever.
So, my reply,after thinking about it for a day, just in case I am being overemotional or overreacting or just plain over it:
As I said in my original letter, concerning the two statements for which you request an apology, ‘…that’s just my psycho-babble – I could have it very wrong…’ and, obviously, you think I have; so, yes, I apologise (you can have that in a written letter).
Nonetheless, I wanted to talk, about the topics in the letter, with you alone (hence the personal letter). It has nothing to do with having secrets from Yvonne. It has to do with how you and I relate to each other.
You have made it clear that you are not interested in ever ‘choosing me…’ so, I guess, following receipt of my written apologies, we will endeavour to preserve some sort of relationship.
And I have two pretty, little pink envelopes with two pretty, little pink cards inside that say:
I am sorry that some of the comments in my letter offended you. It was not my intention.
As I said in my original letter, the comments, which you have described as unsubstantiated rhetoric, were ‘just my psycho-babble’ and that ‘I could have it very wrong.’ Obviously, I did; and I apologise for that.
Can it all be over now? Please?
P.S. For those who were worried, my shoes are all lined up like soldiers along the wall now thanks to my Mommy and Henry (her other half).