I have been debating on whether or not I’m ready for this post, but I guess I need to somehow get over it and just talk (last night was the first time I actually shared details with anyone that wasn’t present).
I had a rough weekend in Arizona. Really rough. But it was the good kind of rough, I suppose. My dad and I got to spend a lot of time talking and reconnecting. I told him how I felt about the way he has neglected our family in favor of work for the past, oh fifteen years or so. He knew that it hadn’t been great, but he wouldn’t have used the word “neglected” until I started giving the “for instances.” Like last summer, when we were trying to leave Flagstaff to get Alissa back to Denver in time for her check-up and it took him four hours to get his crew their assignments so they could work while he was gone for a week. It ended up throwing us off schedule enough to the point that the drive that took my mom and I twelve hours a week before took us nearly 20 on the return trip, thanks in part to not being in sync with Alissa’s feeding times so having to stop twice as often, and a wrong turn taking us an hour in the wrong direction (and nearly running out of gas in the middle of nowhere). When I recounted that day, my dad got really upset and told me how sorry he was. He had no idea that he was that bad. In his mind, every time he said, “I just need 15 minutes to take care of this,” it only took 15 or 20 minutes. In reality, it was more like an hour or two.
We spent some time talking on Thursday morning because, as he put it, he wanted me to talk to him like I talk to my mom. I told him that I always felt closer to him than I did to her, but for a long time, he seemed unavailable, so I just quit talking. Really, my relationship with my mother isn’t all that great. After all, I was able to avoid talking to her for 10 days just because she had pissed me off. But I guess to him, it’s more than what he has now and he wanted to change it.
We spent a lot of the next two days talking — I never got to tell him some of the things that have been on my mind, but I did share with him a lot of things that have been going on inside of me. We shared a lot of tears (most of his being involuntary), and a lot of deep conversation. Some of it, however, was a little too deep for me. I don’t think that I’m still quite ready to share the details of one of our conversations just yet, as it shook me to my very core, but let’s just say that when your dad starts a sentence with the phrases “I think you’re old enough now to know about this,” and “I haven’t shared this with anyone,” the prognosis isn’t good for a positive statement to come out of that.
All in all, it was a nice visit — my sister and I spent three hours in Kohl’s trying on pretty much everything in the store, even though we each went in for nothing more than a pair of shorts. I got to spend a teeny bit of time with my brother too, out in the cinder pits on the quads.