Thursday, March 19, 2009

daddy's girl

photo by Niall Benvie

One thing that I've learned in the last seven years - life is too short.
There were many times through my twenties and my thirties that I longed for a close relationship with my dad, but it was made very clear during his yearly trips that he enjoyed visiting the men in our family (namely my sister's husband, Dean, and Dale) more than Deb and I.

She and I used to sit in the house while the men sat out on the deck, coming up with all kinds of ideas for a business. In the late nineties, much of those ideas depended on the sale of Dad's Emu farm, which had turned out to be a huge drain on his real estate profits. (Later, when it sold, it became the money he gave us kids in 2004)

In the Spring of 2002 I called him to talk about his yearly trip and to let him know how we were doing (by this time Dale was losing his eyesight and equilibrium) but that must have scared Dad because he never came back. When Dale died we called him, but he begged out of the funeral and we heard nothing more for another two years, until I got the cheque that turned out to be the down payment for this house.

Since 2002, I've often wondered why he's not interested in my life anymore. He's never met Bill or Emily - I'm not sure what he thinks about this third marriage of mine. Some people are very judgemental, others aren't. He hasn't stayed in touch with Jamie, or with my brother, Steve.

It used to bother me a lot, but now I feel he's lost out. My Mom and Step-dad provide Em and Jamie with extended family, and we know we're loved by them. I don't really get upset and I haven't tried to contact him for about two years now. I used to send him pics of the kids and pics of the house, or write when something nice happened, but not anymore. He never replied, never called, and I can take a hint.

On another subject - isn't it sad about Natasha Richardson? I got such a kick out of her character in Maid in Manhatten, and thought she was a lovely woman. My heart goes out to her husband and her children. What a terrible, tragic loss.


  1. I wish there was a way to explain why some people do the things they do, especially when it comes to our very own families.
    You are right, he's the one missing out and that's just sad for him. Maybe someday he'll realize that, maybe he won't.
    That is awful about Natasha, and it's just heartbreaking for her children and Husband. I loved her in The Parent Trap~
    Take care now and I wish you a beautiful day.

  2. No wonder I never heard of her - I don't like any of her movies! That is never something a family should have to go through, though.

    As for your Dad ... some people are inscrutable. Seems like he has major closeness issues, especially with women. Perhaps he grew up in a house where everyone was very distant with each other?

  3. I can't comprehend what you have just written.

    I'm serious. I cannot comprehend it.

    I don't even know what to say.

    I do know my life is richer in knowing you.

    I do not think I am alone in this thought.


  4. Families are so strange - I have been trying to wrap my brain around some of the goings on with my new husband's family and its hard. I grew up with my family intact but I know my mom had a very very strange past -- there are a lot of regrets by all of us for not allowing people in our lives. But for your dad to just ignore seems incomprehensible --- so frikken sorry.

    Yes I am so very very sorry for what Liam Neeson is going to face in the coming, days, weeks -- years. I keep remembering him in the movie Love Actually -- his character has to do a eulogy for his recently deceased wife - makes me sad.

  5. Some people are better at change than others. Some are more judgmental than others too. The only place I'd disagree with you is on 'taking a hint' - Just because someone doesn't call or write, doesn't mean they don't like getting the pictures. While that doesn't make them right and doesn't make you wrong for your decision to stop, it may very well be that it was too much change for him to deal with.

    It's so sad about Richardson! She was lovely and talented and she left behind a husband and two children from such a random accident.

  6. That's the thing with families, their actions can leave you wondering for the rest of your life. It hurts, and it can get you angry too. But in the end, they miss out more than you do. Don't let others actions take away from the happiness you deserve.

    My heart is also going out to Liam and his children, I can not explain the sadness I have for them.

  7. Like the others, I don't understand your dad. But it is HIS loss more then yours I think.

    I had never heard of Richardson either until this morning on our German news. Then they said she was Vanessa Redgrave's daughter? Now, her I know (loved her in "Camelot"). How sad....

  8. i don't think it's somethng you did or didn't do. there must be other issues involved. i won't be speculating about the past, but speaking about the present, i'm wondering if your dad is sick and he just doesn't want you bother you. and may i ask why he does all the visiting? i suggest that you guys pay him a visit soon. as you said, life is short.

  9. At least make sure that you are in his Will!

  10. Weird how you can pick your friends but not your family, life would be so much easier at time without the ties that keep families together

  11. You are right- life is short, and he's definitely missing out by choosing not to be a part of your life. Have you considered writing him and expressing your feelings. Not with an expectation of hearing something, but so that you can let him know what's in your heart, and that he's missing out on some wonderful times with all of you.

    You know- I cried when I heard about Natasha Richardson. How tragic- it shows youjust never know :(


  12. Dad is also pretty absent from my life. But that just means one less Hallmark invented holiday for me to forget because me, I like to look at the bright side.

  13. I'm sorry about your're right, he is the one who is missing out. Still, I think it must hurt. The same thing happened with TB. His real father left his mother and sort of disappeared, seemed to have no interest in TB or his brothers and sister. And although TB loved and respected his stepfather so much, he's told me that he wished his father had been more involved.

  14. I get that Kate. Your dad has obviously made a decision and you have no control about what he does or thinks or say. All you can do is keep your family safe and happy. All the best.

  15. We havent spoken to my husbands dad and stepmom since Reece was probably 2 years old and they have not tried to contact us or anything either but we havent tried to them either..

    Hope you have a great weekend.Miss you

  16. He has chosen a sad path.

  17. Thanks everyone! I'm just not going to try anymore, but I am at peace with it.