Opposite Worlds

As many of you know, my dad’s mom passed away on April 19th. My mother and I took a road trip to Michigan to go to her funeral last Friday. What many of you don’t know is the relationship, or lack there of, between my dad and myself.

My parents got married for a few reasons: my mom was pregnant, she wanted me to know my dad, and she thought she was going to die. But five years later, Mom had yet to be deceased, and they didn’t love each other, so they got a divorce.

My mom and I moved about 15 minutes away from him and his mom (my grandma), but Mom continued to drive me back and forth to the elementary school that was just around the corner from their house. She did this because she still wanted me to spend time with my dad, but instead, I spent more time with my grandma. What time my dad and I did spend together, it was good. We mostly bonded over Golden Eye and Forsaken (both for the N64), and hunting invisible bears with guns made out of sticks.

This time grew short. When fourth grade came around, my mother moved me to a closer school. She always told me to call my dad to come pick me up or at least come over to see me. But after some time, she told me to stop. For four years, my mother had made more than enough effort to allow me to see my dad. When she told me to stop, she wanted him to start making an effort.

It worked for a while, but it didn’t last for long. The time between his calls grew longer, from one month, to three, to six, to never.

My dad never liked my mom. He said she took me away from him, even though Mom wanted me around him. He also didn’t like her boyfriend. These were the two reasons he never came around, or at least, that’s what I’m presuming. He could possibly have more reasons that those.

He became a very angry and pessimistic person, and I became confused and hurt. Even after Mom and I moved to a place five minutes away from him, he still did not come around. Why? What did I do to make him be this way? He says crying to stupid? Maybe if I don’t cry, he’ll like me. Maybe if I do things or stop doing things, he’ll like me more. Why isn’t he coming around? You know, things little kids and teenagers think about a parent who doesn’t come around, even though they are so close.

I never felt the lack of a dad emotionally, because my mother loved (and loves) me enough for five dads. That wasn’t the problem. I just never understood why he never called, or came to see me. Why did your dislike for my mom get in the way of you seeing me? She has never once told you that you couldn’t come see me.

This trip was awesome. I got to see…well, what I needed to see. The total contrast of a life I could of had, verses the life that I do have.

My mother may not be the happiest person on the Earth, but at least she doesn’t think no one is trust worthy, and everyone is out to get you. She isn’t full of hate and anger and negativity and depression. That’s my dad. My mom expects the worse but hopes for the best. She generally keeps a good attitude about situations (unless we get lost while driving, she hates that).

My dad had been living with his mom since I was born. That’s at least 23 years (and who knows how long before that?). That’s not a problem, but it is if you aren’t grateful. He would get so mad at her (his mom). No respect. I don’t know if that changed in the end. Anyway. He can’t keep the house because it’ll cost about $130,000 to buy. And he can’t even pay a phone bill (which is why my cell hasn’t been working for months). He’s very stressed because he has no money. He’s a painter, so he only works when it’s warm out, which is about 1/3-ish of the year in Michigan.

On the other hand, Mom and I are living in this big, lavish, beautiful house out on a lake across from mountains. It’s paid off, and all we have to pay for are the bills. Grandma wanted us to have the house, and we got it. The other house is small, dirty, and dark. He has three months to decide what to do. I guess I’ll find out in a year what he decided on.

The funerals were different. Dad paid for a casket and a funeral service and the minister (wait, how?). It was dark and rainy and dreary, and sad. Very sad. Mom cremated Grandma (her mom), and we had a memorial at Grandma’s church, where her friends shared happy, funny, uplifting stories. It was a bright, beautiful, happy day. All Mom had to pay was a few extra hundred dollars that Grandma didn’t get to.

Two different worlds, and look at the one I ended up in. I think I got the better end of the deal.

Dad blames his attitude on not being around me enough. Well Dad, you know where to find me when you decide to change that.

It was a good trip. I’m satisfied.

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