Letter to my father (part 2)

Part 1 of this letter to my father can be found here.

Now comes the part that is really difficult for me to say. Being open about my feelings or opinions with you is not something I am used to doing. But I have come to a point in my life where I am not afraid to say what I think. I am writing to you instead of talking face to face because I don’t want any drama. I mean no malice, hold no grudge, just need to say it.

During the first three years of your marriage to Connie, I did what I could do be in relationship with both of you. I witnessed what I consider to be abuse in the form of belittling, Connie ordering you around, telling you to be quiet, even physically restraining you by grabbing you from behind and putting her hand over your mouth. But I said nothing because I wanted to stay involved in your life, and knew that if I spoke up Connie would yell at me as I had witnessed her yell at Jeff and at Ellen, and I wouldn’t be able to pretend that it was ok.

 Although I never spoke about it with you, I was struggling in my own life, finally freeing myself from a marriage that was a bad choice from the beginning. I did everything I could do make it seem “normal” but it wasn’t. I allowed myself to be yelled at and emotionally abused, and will never allow that in my life again.

 When you moved closer to me this past summer, I came to visit you often. I called or visited every day while Connie was in rehab after her surgery. I was “a good daughter.”  When she came home, I continued to visit and tried to be of service. I didn’t know a storm was brewing in her heart.

 Friday before Labor day you got attacked by the neighbor’s dog, requiring medical intervention. I didn’t find out until I called you a few days later. When I came over, I was relieved to see it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I listened to you, I listened to Connie, then it was my turn, or so I thought. I told her that this was the sort of situation that I expected to be called about, I would have come over and helped in any way I could. Normal sort of request, I thought, and you are only 9 miles away now.

 Boy was I wrong. Connie, unbeknown to me, had been building resentment because I hadn’t called to check on HER. I called to check on you, visited you, but because I didn’t call HER, she wasn’t going to call me for ANYTHING. This was her response to me, and when she rose to her feet, yelling and coming towards me, I got up and left, as you may recall. I know you forget some things, but you have a lot of snap left.

I know how lonely you were after Mother died. I planned to continue to visit you weekly, as I had during the last months of her life, but you quickly started looking for someone to keep you company. When you announced that you were getting married 2 months after Mother’s death, it was a hard pill to swallow. But I supported you and Connie in spite of the emotional turmoil within me, and in spite of the immediate conflict with Jeff and her attempts to manipulate him through me. I was the one you called, crying, during that time. I was the only one of your children who came to your weddiing Not because I was happy about it, but because I felt it was the right thing to do as your daughter.

You have the right to make whatever choices you want in life, and so do I. All this to say, because of Connie’s actions without apparent remorse, I won’t be visiting any time soon. I can’t see myself in the same room with Connie without some sort of drama, and I don’t need or want that. If I can visit with just you some time, I will do that.

I do pray for peace and happiness for you and for Connie, in this life and in the next.

Sara with Daddy Sept 2012

 

Letter to my father (part 1)

Blogging 101 suggested that I write to my “dream reader” and put a different twist on how I write. My dream reader would be someone who is interested in what I have to say and gives me some sort of validation. So I wrote this in a letter to my father. He is nearly 87 and in poor health, and although what I have written is what I would actually like to say, I probably won’t send it. There would be no validation, and would likely cause sorrow. 

Sara and Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I am writing to you because I need to say some things to you. I’ve called a few times since the incident in September but I just can’t find it in me to visit after what happened. I think about you every day.

Before I get to the hard stuff, I want to thank you for giving me a great childhood. We lived in a nice house and had everything we needed and more. We had the BEST vacations of anyone I know. I often recount some of the adventures we had. The most memorable ones for me were camping in arizona when Jeff was a baby and you broke your leg, horseback riding in Wyoming and catching all those fish, and the best of all, although I didn’t appreciate it as a 12 year old, was the year we went to Minnesota and took that 4 day primitive canoe trip. I know Ellen and I gave you a lot of grief on that trip! But we are now glad for all those good times.

Remember how you would take the three of us girls fishing? I was too impatient to sit there and hold a pole, but didn’t mind putting earthworms on the hooks for my sisters. So it all worked out. You taught me how to clean a fish, and by example you and mother taught us a lot about how to get by, and then took us back to live at ease for the rest of the year.

When I was a senior in high school, you helped me figure out what path to pursue. I am very grateful that you made me make a choice, and that I went to nursing school. Even though I didn’t work for a lot of years while my kids were small, I was able to get a job easily and have a good income.

The worst thing that ever happened to our family was losing Laura. But we held together and went on.

There are a lot more memories. I just want you to know that I am grateful for the life you and Mother gave me, and for the monetary gifts you gave me through the years.

Now comes the part that is really difficult for me to say.

…to be continued

 

Who am I and why am I here?

I signed up for Blogging 101 for the second time. I figure I can keep learning and evolving. I’m thrilled if you are reading this and delighted if you are “following” me.  Here are some “assignment” questions that I thought I’d try to answer, for myself at least as much as anyone reading this.

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Great questions for all of us, right?

I keep a personal journal at penzu.com. I’ve been writing there for about 3 years and it is a place that is completely private.  I write  stuff there just to get it out and sort it out, but I don’t want anyone else to read it, it’s a lot of mush. Additionally, I get emails from Penzu that say “you wrote this a year ago” and it is interesting to see how my life has changed in that period.   I started blogging in addition to journaling because I began to believe that I have a message, something of value to share with others.

My first blog post had a good deal to do with getting through a wall of fear and the uncertainty of life. Thus the name of my blog was right there, I didn’t have to give it much thought. Then I really didn’t know what I was going to write about or how often, but with a title like Embracing Uncertainty I realized that that is a great part of my message. So really I write about whatever is on my mind, and post photographs, mostly having to do with the lake I live by and sunrises or sunsets, like this picture I took tonight.

fisherman in kayak

Although I haven’t yet written about politics or current events, that may happen. I have touched on family, spirituality, creativity, and personal growth, and connected with quite a variety of bloggers. After 6 months I am just beginning to feel a part of the “blogosphere” which is really quite different from social media like facebook or twitter. I’m happy to connect with anyone who wants to connect with me.

The last question is a bit difficult. I’m not sure what it means to blog successfully. Maybe it means that I am consistent and that people read and sometimes comment on what I write about. I don’t have a business that I’m trying to promote here – I just want to share what I have learned and am learning in life, and read about other people’s lives and opinions and experiences. And share photographs.

I thought I would only be writing occasionally, but have found that I really enjoy this, and am more often than not considering what I will write next.  Thanks for being with me on the journey!

PS. I have updated my About Me page.