Ok, let me just preface this post with a warning:
Information presented will appear to be heavy stuff. To better people than me, it is.
So here goes:
I am one of five of my father's kids. The first three -- all boys -- came from his first marriage. The Pink Power Ranger and I are from the second. He left the first wife. My mom left him.
He wasn't man enough to leave the house when his wife wanted him to, so she left with two kids and no college degree. She has since conquered the world. He lives in an apartment over a coffee shop in the Central West End of St. Louis.
Every time he appeared in our lives, it was a venonomous, vicious emotional experience. And forget child support. He was too busy taking cruises, remodeling the house and dating women who had a creepy resemblance to my mother.
There's more (e.g., stealing our savings accounts, leaving weird p*rn where it could be easily found, getting fired from jobs for harrassing women and stealing), but it's probably nothing original. You get the idea.
At 17, I dropped him out of my life. No big emotional explosion, I just stopped making calls and disappeared. I left town for college and went on to Chicago after that. If I saw him at a family gathering, I stayed the hell away from him. I occasionally cross paths with him at my grandmother's nursing home. That kind of thing. He's smart enough to make polite conversation and stop at that.
My birth certificate shows a female version of his name as my middle name. I changed my middle name when I changed my last name. And my children have absolutely no idea who he is.
PPR has remained close to him. She's fully aware of what and who he is, but has made that decision. I'll never understand it, but we've agreed to disagree and leave it at that.
The brother to whom I am closest has about the same kind of relationship with our father as I do. He caused too many problems with the sister-in-law. Big Bro finally told him that he'd wrecked two of his own marriages, but he wasn't wrecking this one.
The other two maintain friendly relations. Close? I don't know. None of my business. Call it our very own "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy.
But the important thing is that everyone has respected my stance and my decision. They have never, ever questioned it.
Ok, so what the hell, Val?
He's dying of cancer and has one year to live.
PPR is very emotionally involved in this, so my concern is for her. I've encouraged her to get in touch with both of our SIL's, both of whom have dealt with this with their mothers. I've also told her that I'll do whatever she needs me to do.
So here's the question: Am I supposed to do something? I honestly don't feel motivated. I mourned him a long time ago and have been a healthier, happier person without him. I don't feel an obligation to him due to a biological connection. I figure that he blew it. And blew it. And blew it again. And seriously, he's not a normal person.
I talked with U-Dad about this. He said that if I wanted to write some kind of letter assuring him that I was fine, that my life was good and the future looked bright for me and my children, that I'm no longer angry, etc, that that might be fine if I wanted to do some human kindness to a person in his situation. U-Dad agrees with me that he's a stranger at this point, so a Lifetime Channel movie ending is ridiculous.
PPR says that he has a great many regrets in his life, and that I'm one of them.
Being aware that we're talking about a permanent change in our circumstances here, I've removed him from the "block" list on my Yahoo account. I figure that if he wants to reach out, that he's the one on the clock.
Several of you are regular readers with your own pasts and circumstances. And I get to take advantage of being "cyber-friends" while still maintaining anonymity. So if you have an opinion, feel free to share in that poll thing over there. You can choose more than one answer, if you like.
In the meantime, I need to put a little one down for a nap and cajole the older one to practice her piano sometime before her lesson today.
Neither are happy about it!