It still baffles me that I am so different from my Brother and Sister. We were raised by the same parents, amazing parents. Our Mum and Dad are wonderful compassionate people.
My Mum was always helping people, she would give a bed to any friend in need, a lovely home cooked meal to anyone who may pop round and a kind listening ear and shoulder to cry on to anyone who needed it. She worked as a mobile care worker, going to elderly people’s home to help clean for them, help them with their personal needs, cook for them and more importantly, the part that she really enjoyed, to chat to them. Some of these people had no family, or their family had moved on and almost forgotten them, and she enjoyed talking to these people and alleviating some of their loneliness. She was a truly beautiful person, filled with so much compassion for others. She believed there was good in everyone, even if people proved otherwise. She was always optimistic.
My Dad is also as kind and caring as my Mum and there is no one more important to my Dad than his family, especially his children. I suffer from anxiety and have panic attacks often. I wasn’t able to attend school, at one point I was unable to leave my house. My Dad gave me a tremendous amount of support when I battled to overcome these obstacles. He sat outside the college so I could attend classes, he traveled with me to help me break free of my anxiety restrictions in traveling. He’s sat up with me all night when I’ve been extremely panicky, especially after my Mum passed away. His love and support he gave to me to help me create some sort of life for myself is astounding. Most parents wouldn’t do half of what he does for me and he never complains, he just helps. He does this for any of his children.
So why do my siblings treat my Dad with such disregard? We were raised by the same people, with the same morals, and yet my siblings don’t seem to be able to show any of the gratitude or love owed to my Dad?
I fell out with my Sister December 2011 for this very reason. My Sister then decided she couldn’t talk to my Dad anymore either? She came to our house when I was at work and told him he was no longer welcome at her house by her Husbands orders. But she hasn’t been round to see our Dad since. She has seen him in street and said hello a couple of times, but then she has also seen him and ignored him. I think it’s utterly disgraceful that she could disown her own Father this way. He has done nothing, he was not involved in the argument, the argument was between me and her. And if she wanted to see him and avoid me, she could’ve done so by not banning him from her house or to visit him at his house on the days when I was at work, or the evening’s when I was out. It’s easy to know, if the car is here, I’m here, if not, I’m not and she could visit with our Dad without seeing me. Heck she could phone him!! But she hasn’t, she doesn’t even send greeting cards in the post. I made 3 attempts to resolve the argument between us, and sent countless cards, Christmas, Birthday, but unfortunately she never responded. Fair Enough, but surely she, and also her 3 children (his grandchildren ages 16 and 20) can’t hold my Dad responsible for an argument he wasn’t involved in?
My Brother also makes very little effort with him. He didn’t come round to see him, or even phone him on his Birthday, he was “too busy”. Too busy going to play for a pub darts team… because that’s more important than seeing your Father on his 69th Birthday! Why not invite him down the pub for one drink at least? Why is that too much to ask?
My Brother will hardly see my Dad, except for the nights when my Dad goes and plays darts for a pub team. He never comes to see him, never brings his Children round to see him, despite that they get to see their maternal Grandad a few times every week. He never shows any concern when my Dad is poorly, despite my Dad having COPD which is deteriorating over time.
But when my Brother broke up with his partner after 6 years and she kicked him out, he turned up on our doorstep and didn’t even ask to stay, he just assumed it was ok, and of course it was, because our Dad wouldn’t turn him away. He stayed rent free, free food and anything else required. Never mind that my Dad is retired and living stringently on a pension. It’s not the first time either.
How can you ignore someone for majority year but suddenly just put upon them because you are in need, what about when they need you?
I cannot understand how these people were raised but the same people and yet share none of their best amazing characteristics?
My Dad is my world, I enjoy spending time with him, I like doing things together, going out for the day, going out for dinner, spending the special occasions together. I couldn’t imagine not being there for him when he needs someone to take him to a doctors appointment, look after him when he’s ill or remind him to take his medication. I couldn’t imagine not living with him and still not popping round to see him everyday, rather than to leave him to live in isolation because his children are too selfish to think of their Dad.
It breaks my heart when I hear and see the disappointment my Dad is feeling because his children didn’t come and see, couldn’t even send him a card. That on a Birthday or Father’s Day it didn’t cross their mind to show their Dad that they love him, even if sometimes life is too busy to drop in. I remember a few months back, my dad was watching a detective programme and a family had to go into witness protection and leave everything behind. I remarked about how awful that would be, leaving behind family and friends but he thought that opposite, because he never sees his family, he said maybe if we left, we’d find people who actually cared about us. I hate that he feels that, it’s not fair, he doesn’t deserve it!
He’s a good person, he’s always been there for us, he’s done anything we ever needed and they could have it so much worse, they could have a dead beat Dad who wasn’t there, and didn’t care, but they didn’t, they got an amazing, caring man for a Dad and they can’t even recognise it!
I thought that after our Mum passed away, 7 and half years ago, that they would’ve made sure they cherished the time left with our Dad. We were robbed of years with our Mum as she passed at only 53 years old, and we had so little special times to show for it, there was no warning, she was just gone. I want to make sure that when I look back on the time I spent with my Dad, that I made the most of it. That we did things together, that we made memories that will last a lifetime. And I do!
My Dad and I do little important things together. We go for meals on Birthday’s, we send meaningful cards that say how much we love and appreciate, we go on days out – it could be as simple as going for a walk along the seafront or going out for a few hours and having a picnic outside a castle. We do things together. I make sure that we do things my Dad wants to do. I got him a membership to the English Heritage because it’s something he really enjoys and it’s something we can do together. When he’s gone I want him to know that I truly loved him with all my heart and I want to know that he knew that, not only by the words I said and wrote, but by my actions.
I only wish my siblings could do the same, I feel one day, when he’s gone, they’re going to feel a deep regret… and I really hope they do, because they deserve too!
I hope that the lucky people out there who have a loving parent/guardian, and the even luckier who have more than one, always appreciate them, return their love and make sure that when the day comes you have few/no regrets.
I feel blessed that I was so lucky to have such an amazing woman as my Mum, but she was gone too soon and we missed out on so much. I’m blessed that I also have an amazing man as my Dad and I don’t wanna miss out on stuff again, so I’m making the most of the precious time we have.
(note: I really wish I knew how to write well, so I didn’t just ramble sorry )