Wednesday, November 12, 2003

When It's Time to Give Up.

I've written a little about my father (4/11/03 entry) before and I've mentioned that I've spoken to him only twice in the past 7 or so years. The day I finally gave up trying to have a relationship with him was pretty much the exclamation point at the end of a long, sorrid, rambling, life sentence.

I've also written about my brother, Roger, in an earlier blog entry. I think he was born after my parents divorced. I'm not real sure of this because I don't exactly know when they divorced. They hadn't lived together in a long while and from age 5 until I was around 14 I have a pretty sketchy memory about many events. Anyway, to get back on the subject, Roger was not my father's son. I have no recall of how I first learned of this, nor have I ever known who Roger's father was. My mother still used my father's surname so that name was on my brother's birth certificate, the same as my sisters and I.

When Roger was killed in a car accident my mother was still able to live on her own even though she was disabled with R.A. The night he was killed I brought her to my house because I felt she didn't need to be alone and also so that we could go the next morning to make arrangements with the funeral home to transfer my brother from the morgue and to handle the funeral.

It was a very emotionally draining day, but I specifically remember my Mom's replies to the funeral director's questions. When he asked her about survivors and mentioned the father of the deceased, my mother's reply was "none". I realized with certainty then that my brother had died never knowing who his father was.

I do not remember talking to my father during this time but I do remember speaking with my stepmother once when she called to offer their condolences.

On the morning of the funeral, as I was dressing, my husband called me to the phone. My stepmother's first words when I answered were, "What have you done?" Being the emotional wreck that I was that morning, all I could say was, "what??" She then began yelling at me about the obituaries being announced over the radio and how upset my father was because his church group would think he was terrible because he hadn't acknowledged his son's death. The conversation was not making sense to me so I finally asked, "What in the HELL are you talking about?"

Then things started coming clear. When the funeral director had sent the obit to the radio station, he had listed my father as a survivor. I was past upset by this time but I remember telling her that she was out of her everloving mind and I couldn't believe she would call me with such bullshit on the day I was going to bury my brother and I hung up on her.

After I'd calmed down a little, I began to realize that they really believed that I had done this and I was so worried about my father thinking I'd do something to hurt him that I called and asked to talk to him. I asked him if he really thought that I had given that information to the funeral director and he said yes. He told me that I'd done it so that people wouldn't know that my brother had been a bastard. Then he said the words that made me realize just how tired I was of forgiving him and how trivial my sisters and I were to him. "Do you think, if Roger were my son, I would ever have let anyone or anything keep me away from him?" I was so hurt that I could barely breath when I told him, "You found plenty to keep yourself away from my sisters and me", then I hung up the phone.

Later that day I discovered that Roger's on again-off again, drug addicted wife had given the director the information that I had been dressed down for.

I tried once, about 18 months ago to renew some sort of relationship with my father, but then he showed his disgust to my daughter about having biracial children and I decided the pain he caused wasn't worth the bother. I just don't have the energy to deal with him anymore and I've never believed in happy endings.

I realize that this must read like a Peyton Place script but truthfully, there were times in my life when I felt as though I were one of the main characters!

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