January 22, 2007

Flames to Dust...
Why Do All Good Things Come To An End?

I grew up daddy’s little girl – no question about it. I didn’t have to say a word when I’d had a bad day at school, he knew. He knew and we went for a drive to talk until I felt better. When we moved and I thought my life was over, he cried at causing me so much pain. When I went away to college, he walked me to my dorm room like it was the first day of kindergarten.

But things didn’t stay that way…

I remember back in the summer when things had reached a major breaking point with dad. We had reached the first time that he didn’t always take my calls and we found ourselves at the impasse of near constant tension with a dash of argument for good measure. Friends thought I was being dramatic, “it’s just temporary,” they said.

But I knew they were wrong.
My heart doesn't lie.

I cried. I sat on the bed in disbelief.
Our arguments hit me like a ton of bricks.
I sobbed. I stared at the walls and felt lost.
I saw that I was finally losing my dad.

The seeds of disagreement have been there for years. I mean, there’s a reason I have no idea what the multiple remodeling projects at his house look like – I haven’t been there in at least three years, not even a drive by while in town. Hell, it could be longer … I lost count. But back then, the disagreements were small – I started taking the steps to protect myself from his decisions and he quietly let me go, step by step – rarely did it get heated or angry.

Now, I’m lucky to get a screaming match, hang ups, and threats.

I have to say I just don’t understand.

When he decided to marry his current wife, I was absolutely against it – she is a cold, mean, spiteful, selfish, unemployed gold digger that has consistently spent as much of my dad’s money as she could, while sucking the life and happiness out of him – but I was there. More than that, I was IN the wedding. He asked me stand next to him as he married her and as much as it killed me inside to do it, I did it. He said it was important to him, so I did it. Standing in a wedding, as painful as it was, was worth keeping my father.

It wasn’t until Grammy died that the seeds of disagreement really took root, broke ground, and really began to flourish in all their poisonous glory.

But still, he strongly suggested we start looking at houses in May when he was in town for graduation (although my brother promptly inserted himself in the middle of that idea). At that point, I thought I was humoring his fantasy. I didn’t trust him enough to believe it was real.

Obviously it was real … and now I have a house.

In February, I tolerated his wife stepping in front of my mom at the viewing, introducing herself and making sure people knew who she was. I hated every minute I had to spend in the same room with her, but I kept my mouth shut.

In November and January, when I asked for her to be absent from court proceedings so that I could spend time with my immediate family grieving this horrible loss, my dad stood on principle that he “would not tell someone else what to do,” “that if she says she wants to be there, I cannot stop her.” Fight after fight, he now expresses the worst opinions of me that I have ever heard in my life from anyone.

A broken hearted, grieving daughter asks for a reprieve from the interloper and instead, she loses her dad. And in the process, her brother. How … how in the name of everything sacred is that even possible?

So between then and now, I lost the man that bought the house I live in. I lost faith in who he was. I lost the ability to trust him. I lost my respect for him.

How do you reconcile living in a house paid for by someone that you don't even have a cordial relationship with? How do you look yourself in the mirror and accept a gift like that from someone that you can’t look in the eye? How do you get comfortable with the fear that you may be asked to leave on a whim?

As I walk through the valley
of the shadow of LA
The footsteps that were next to me
have gone their separate ways
I've seen enough now
to know that beautiful things
don't always stay that way

Posted by Princess Cat at January 22, 2007 11:36 AM @ 11:36 AM in Way Down Inside // Permalink | TrackBack

This entry reminds me what a brilliant writer you are. It's just unfortunate that it's a non-fiction story, no matter how surreal it feels.

Posted by: dawn at January 22, 2007 02:56 PM

My father and I finally stopped communicating a year ago. Basically what it boils down to is that I wanted to spend time with only him (w/o his wife) and THEY didn't like that idea.

I remember, this one time...after my father's second divorce. He confidently told me, "Never again will I put a woman first over you. You are my daughter--my only child--and you are first."

And even though I was only 13 at the time, I knew he wouldn't keep the promise.

It just took another 13 years for me to finally give up. Amazing that my father went through this same scenario with his own father. Funny how he didn't learn from that--he just accepted that what goes around, comes around.

I know exactly how you feel Cat. Exactly.

Posted by: Dorothy at January 23, 2007 09:38 PM


My dad died on the kitchen floor the week before Christmas. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to live through. If you can, do everything in your power to repair the relationship. If you don't and something happens to either of you, you'll never forgive yourselves.

Or maybe I shouldn't insert my opinion into this..

Posted by: skippystalin at January 24, 2007 12:42 PM