Christmas and catching up

Last month, my Son and Daughter both had birthdays. My son’s was ignored by Mom, but not my Daughter’s. We got a few calls that were inappropriate, but not quite as vile as they had been. Mom sent a few small gifts to both kids, with an obvious emphasis on my Daughter. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a generic ‘thank you’ card? Both kids signed and sent them back.

Around the same time, a family friend called. She had been to see Mom & Dad at the cabin, and just wanted to know how I was doing. I know her well enough to know that she was probably encouraged by mom to call, but that she wasn’t calling as an ‘agent’ of Mom (covert or otherwise). We chatted briefly, and that was it.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Mom called and filled our machine again with the same vile trash she always says. We changed the home number again, which put an immediate stop to it. Mom was left with just my work and cell numbers, which she proceeded to call quite a bit. I have to clear the office voicemail, but the messages left on my cell I put off. If she is the only one that has left a voicemail, I’ll go weeks without checking it.

About a week before Christmas, Mom called, and her voice sounded really rough. She said that Dad was on his death bed, and at home. She was still at the beach and would remain there. He had been very ill, had lost 20+ pounds, and that the doctors hadn’t been able to figure out what was wrong with him, even though they had taken 19 vials of blood. I eventually called and left a message, which he returned later that evening. Coincidentally, about half an hour before Dad returned my call, his neighbor called asking me to check on him as well. The neighbor reported that Dad had been working all day picking up leaves out of the ditch out front, and he didn’t think it was healthy. As I suspected, Dad’s illness had been GREATLY exaggerated. He had a reaction to the flu shot, and had been sick for a week, with a slow recovery for another week. The neighbor had seen Dad out front cleaning the ditch when he left that morning. Dad had worked for a while, and then gone back inside, run a quick errand, and went back to finish the ditch before it got dark, which was about when the neighbor got home. Dad talked briefly and brought me up to date on all the small-town happenings at the beach, and that was it. Neither of us are prolific talkers on the phone, but it was strange how ‘normal’ it was, considering that the last I had heard from him was the letter that he sent.

On Christmas Eve, we got a package that Mom had sent for the kids. My wife and I checked through it, and found nothing that we felt we needed to keep from the kids. It wasn’t the strangest collection of stuff I’d seen Mom give as a gift – that honor belonged to me, when our Daughter was about 3 years old. Mom gave me a ‘Bag-O-Trash(tm)’, which included an old car tail light, an empty burlap bag, and a coaster holder without the coasters. This package had some normal stuff (shirts for the boys, a calendar, etc), but also included some abnormal stuff – restaurant packets of crackers, and a Transformers sound book for my 10 year old. And also a set of hat & gloves that were about 5 years too small for any of them.

Also included was a note and a card for my Daughter, (not all three). They said in part (bold indicates underlined):

“You’re the prettiest granddaughter inside and out. At least you always were!!! Hope you still are

“We both HOPE to live long enough to see you again – Remember we’re in our 70’s although you missed my birthday”

“Hope you at least still go to church. God must be sad that we can’t be together”

“your Mommy never liked sharing you with us anyway”

“Hope you always keep your American Girl doll for your children – Hope Mommy won’t give it away like she’s done with so many of your things!!

Someday God will hopefully punish your parents for their cruelty to us

We had the kids open that on Christmas morning, before breakfast – which gave them a chance to talk about it if they wanted. Their observations were: my Daughter had gotten the bulk of the stuff – not that they were being greedy, it’s just obvious who the favorite was; the note made them feel bad; and some of the stuff that Mom sent was really strange.

Breakfast was followed by our normal opening of presents, which fixed their mood and we had a pleasant remainder of the day. That afternoon I called Dad. The initial part of the conversation was more gossip from the beach, and he also wanted to know what airline the canceled credit was for – he’s thinking of taking a holiday in Feb. He didn’t ask, so I offered to let him talk to the kids, which he did. He hung up after he had finished talking to my youngest son. I really don’t know how to take it, that he didn’t ask to speak to or see the kids. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since he’d been home for a few weeks and hadn’t bothered to call. The last that I heard directly from Dad prior to now was the letter that he sent me back in July.

Oh, well. His loss.

~ by namegoeshere on December 29, 2007.

One Response to “Christmas and catching up”

  1. Well, I can certainly see how you might be in need of some form of regular catharsis. Good luck!

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