Over the years, I’ve learned not to expect a whole lot from my father but yet again he’s got me feeling some kind of way and I’m not sure if I’m wrong for it.
When D and I got married back in December, he’d told me that he was planning on coming. A few days before the wedding, he asked if we could pick him up from the airport a few hours before rehearsal and he also asked if I could find him a more affordable place to stay with his son. I was miffed about how he was handling the preparations for arrival, especially him telling me that he was having surgery the Monday before the wedding but would be coming anyway. There were other reasons as well, but I’m not going to bother going into them. I thought this was selfish…he wanted to make sure to attend the wedding more for himself than for me.
He’d also told D and I that he was going to give us a teller’s check as a wedding gift. The Tuesday before the wedding he told me that his wife had gotten fired from her job again and he needed to cash in the teller’s check so they could take care of things at home and buy food. That would mean he’d be travelling from Florida to DC with about $80 on hand (things were that tight for him). I told him not to travel with such a short amount of money and fresh out of surgery, especially having his 12 year old son with him, but he came regardless.
Anyway, he said that he’d give us another teller’s check when he got his pension at the first of the month. I said whatever…I really couldn’t have cared less about the money. I spoke to him once just after we got back from our honeymoon and he told D how he hoped to get to know him yadda yadda yadda. Well neither of us have heard from him since. He’s sent me forwarded chain letter-type of emails, but hasn’t actually contacted me. My birthday came and went and he never contacted me; never sent me a card. He hasn’t called or written to find out how our new married life is and he hasn’t called to let me know if he’s living, dying, or something in between. I tried emailing him, but I never got a response. I’d call him, but I’m ALWAYS the one to initiate contact.
I’m not upset that several “first of the months” have gone by and he could have sent us a gift or a card. I really don’t care about a gift or money. What I’m upset by is the fact that he hasn’t attempted to see about me. I’m his only daughter and he’ll go on and on and on about how much he wishes he could have been a better father to me, but when he’s given the opportunity he just doesn’t do what he should.
Now I’m questioning myself as to whether or not I’m wrong for feeling bitter. He’s always getting on me when we do make contact because I don’t call him often enough, but dammit the phone works both ways. I don’t understand why it’s my job to find him. You would think that after this many years I’d just be able to let it go, but something about him knowing that I’m married now and close to getting ready to have kids of my own makes me feel like he should be putting in effort. He says he wants to get to know D, but how can he if he doesn’t try?
D and I sit and talk about our future children a lot and he’s often mentioned wanting to be a great daddy, especially to his little girl. Sometimes I get jealous of our non-existant children because I know they’ll have the family I never had and I know they’ll have their daddy (no matter what might happen with us). I know my daughters won’t have to walk up the aisle alone on their wedding days like I did because they’ll know where their daddy is. They’ll have daddy to cuddle up with when they’re sick. Hell, daddy will actually know when they’re sick–something I only got when my mom got remarried (a million thanks to my stepdaddy–he’s my dad). I could go on and on, but seriously I’m bitter.
Maybe he’s hiding because he thinks I want that teller’s check or some other tangible gift. What he fails to realize is the only wedding gift I wanted from him was him, and not just for the half-hour I actually saw him. I’m bitter. Am I wrong?