Since we stopped talking, I have found myself occasionally evaluating my life without you. It’s sad, but it doesn’t seem strange not to talk to you, and I don’t feel like my life is much different. What a statement about the lack of relationship we had to begin with. There are some things I am missing, though:
1. Disappointment. I am missing the all too familiar feeling that came when you didn’t call, remember my birthday, and finally, when you didn’t want to get to know me.
2.Anger. I have plenty of anger in my life at times, but since we stopped talking, I find myself without a reason to be angry with you. I don’t spend the days leading up to my birthday waiting to be pissed off. I am not angry that you don’t want to talk to me. I am not angry that you can go months without even seeing me.
3. Responsibility/Guilt. I no longer have to rearrange my plans at the last minute when you text to say you are visiting in 24hours. Nor do I have to feel guilty if I can’t make sure the kids are all there to see you. I don’t feel bad if I don’t know you well enough to pick out a meaningful Christmas gift.
4. My siblings. Unfortunately, the only time I ever see or talk to any of my siblings is when we are all with you. Since I am no longer there, they seemingly no longer have time for me. I miss them. All four of them.
5. Hope. I don’t have the hope that things will change. I don’t sit there every time you message me on facebook, telling myself you will start talking to me regularly. I don’t hope that one of these days you will wake up and be sad that you have a stranger for a daughter.
I think about those things, and I try to think about what my kids are missing. I really don’t know you all that well, so what are they missing? A chance to get to know you, and their aunt and uncles. The opportunity to have a handful of additional people in their corner when they need support and strength. But they are also missing the chance that they will feel the pangs of disappointment, sadness, and anger.
Of all the things that are missing, I believe you are missing the most. Your pride, your stubbornness, your unwillingness to change at all, ensure that you are missing out. On alot:
1. The opportunity to know your grandchildren. You won’t know how dedicated and talented one is at sports. You won’t see how the middle child has the most creative and unique view of the world possible. You can’t laugh at the antics of our youngest boy as he tells it like it is in the most innocent way. And you won’t ooh and ahh at the beauty of our girl, the preciousness of her, and the happiness that beams from her.
2. The chance to know my partner for the strong, loving man that he is. You miss out on seeing him hold my hand through every hurdle, to see the kids beam when he is around, and to hear his ideas on life.
3. You miss out on meeting a very good person. A person who cares about helping others, who volunteers, who is kind and loving to everyone, and willing to give everyone (even you) endless chances to change, grow, and become more than they thought they could ever be.
4. The wonderful part of parenthood where you get to be your child’s rock. You have not and will not be there through illness, hardship, or even just the times that are so good they need to be shared!
5.Growth. You miss out on the opportunity to become a better parent, and to learn something from these people you shut out. You miss the opportunity to change how you connect with and relate to your family.
All these things are really crappy. What’s worse is knowing that you don’t even know what you are missing.