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So I called to wish my father a Happy Father's Day moments ago

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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:25 PM
Original message
So I called to wish my father a Happy Father's Day moments ago
He wasn't there and I got voice mail.

I told him Happy Father's Day and that I'd talk to him again some time vioa voice mail.

It was the first time I've called my father in more than ten years. The last time I talked to him was for about three minutes and I hadn't talked to him in eight years then.

I hate this fucking day.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm so sorry. I hope that, at some point, you'll be able to reconnect
with your father. It would probably be good for both of you.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. It just sucks
I nhad given up on it all years ago. He was never there when I was a child and only ever checked in with me when he was fighting with one of his wives.

Last time I saw him face to face, he showed up on my doorstop ecxpecting me to let him live mwith me because he and wife # 3 were fighting. I told him I go to great expense to live alone at that time.

That was more than twenty years ago.

I spoke to him briefly just before I was about to be married. This is my one and only wife.

Recently he's been trying to get ahold of me and my brothers.

Apparently, he's dying.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Again, I'm so sorry.
Edited on Sun Jun-20-10 07:52 PM by MineralMan
I will say this. My ex-wife had a father who was irascible and abusive. He was an alcoholic. After my ex-wife's mom died, I told her that her father, despite his bad showing as a parent, was still her father, and that he'd die someday. She was already experiencing a lot of guilt about her mother, another alcoholic, who had been part of the whole thing.

I said to her that if she didn't make a heartfelt attempt to make some sort of reasonable relationship with her father, she'd have a terrible time with the guilt she'd feel when he did die.

Not too long after that, our marriage ended...on decent terms...but it ended. I moved on, as did she. About three years later, her father's alcoholism caught up with him and his liver began to fail. She had done what I suggested, and had formed a reasonably polite relationship with him. As he approached death, that relationship let her provide some support for him in his final illness.

After he died, I attended the funeral. I had, after all, been his son-in-law for 14 years. At the funeral, my ex-wife, with whom I'd maintained a polite relationship, told me that I had been absolutely right. Her father, forced to stop drinking, had made amends with her for his failure as a parent, and his last months were spent building a new, final relationship with her. She was grateful that she had been part of that, and was grateful to me for my advice.

If your father is truly dying, don't be stopped by an answering machine. Call again. Then call again. Try to establish some sort of relationship with him. You may be surprised. It may benefit both of you. I'm not saying it will work. It may not. But, if it does, you'll be glad you make the effort, I guarantee.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Blame Miss Dodd
When I was growing up in Spokane they always ran a story of how it started.

so we were always reminded that no matter how great a present you bought or how great a card you color your Father's Day present and card will never measure up to Miss Dodd's Father's Day gift of starting Father's Day.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father%27s_Day#United_Stat...

In the US, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Its first celebration was in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910.<39> Other festivities honoring fathers had been held in Fairmont and in Creston, but the modern holiday did not emerge from those.

Modern Father's Day was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington, who was also the driving force behind its establishment. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington.<1> She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The first June Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA, at the Spokane YMCA.

Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.

In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and traditionally male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.

More phone calls are made in the United States during Mother's Day than during Father's Day, but the percentage of collect calls on Father's Day is much higher, making it the busiest day of the year for collect calls.<40><41> Also, calls during both Mother's Day and Father's Day tend to last longer.<40>

Father's Day is accompanied by a smaller total number of phone calls, greeting cards and gifts than Mother's Day. It is speculated that this is due to the greater number of households with a mother than households with a father (due to single mothers), to the greater role of mothers in unpaid household labor, and to different personal or societal expectations.<41>

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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. The last time I talked to my father was on fathers day
18 years ago. He dropped dead 2 weeks later.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Yeah, apparently my father is about to die
First time the man actually tries to make contact with me was a few months ago to tell me he's dying.

I never returned the calls.

Today, after a six pack of beer and two cosmopolitans, I worked up the courage to call him.

He wasn't there and I only goit his voice mail.

Fucking should have expected it.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. You sound like you're angry at him
for not being home. If he wasn't expecting your call, why should he be waiting around?

I just hope he's not in a hospital some where, and do hope you find your courage again to try. I think you'd both feel better.

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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I was going to say the same thing
The OP has the right to be angry at his father for things that happened in the past. But OP shouldn't be mad at the father because father wasn't home at the exact moment that the OP called.

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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Actually, I am relieved n/t
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Try again.
:hug:
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I just poured a glass of wine
and am about to give it another shot.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. I got a happy father's day text message from my son
It was nice, I am pleased.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sperm donors aren't real fond of today either...
Just sayin. Pain accompanies wanting what isn't there. It doesn't discriminate among the wanting.

My father was dead for three years before I knew it and my children knew the whole time.
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Ruby the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. You did the right thing. No question, difficult, but good on you for reaching out.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. You're not the only one with Father's Day pain, WeDidIt...
My mom divorced my biological father when I was one year old. That was 45 years ago. I've spoken to him briefly over the phone just 2 minutes in my entire life, when I was 16 years old. He spent that time lecturing me to be a good boy and make good grades in school. I was on the Honor Roll at school. I helped keep my brothers alive and well while so mom and dad wouldn't have to worry about us while they worked. I told him "You don't know me. And at the rate you're going, you never will."

That was that. Haven't heard from him since.
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Agreed, I fucking hate this day.
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lanlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. you are not alone
I talk to my father once every 5 or 6 years. He has 4 children and is estranged from every one of them. He has no interest in his wonderful grandchildren. He doesn't deserve anyone's affection.

So f**k him.
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
16. I don't have much to add
to what has already been said. 20 years and still a lot of anger. You've moved on but he's dying.

The only advice I can give is too try to get past the anger long enough to ask yourself how you would really feel if you really didn't give it your best shot to connect, even superficially, with you Dad now that he seems to be dying?

Woulda, coulda, shouldas are tough things to deal with, pariticularly with extranged family members.

My Dad died when I was 18 and I regret we didn't have a few more decades to piss each other off.

My Mom lived with me for the last 7 years of her life and she was annoying, judgmental and difficult, but I would do it again.

Because I would hope that my kids would give me that second, third or fourth chance if it ever came to that.
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Golden Raisin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. Totally understand.
This day can be very rough. My father was cruel and abusive. The anger comes back every Father's Day.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
19. Well, at least you tried.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Gave it two shots, in fact
It'll be interesting to see if the calls are returned.

10 to 1 says I get no return calls.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
22. I called my father; got his voicemail saying he's been dead for 16 years
I don't think he'll call back.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Sadly
I think you are more likely to get a call back than am I.

:(
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
24. My dad died 10 years ago. n/t
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