Sunday, May 11, 2008

i came home to a box on my porch

and it was from my father. i picked it up and carried it inside. my face must have said it all because boyfriend immediately asked, "what's wrong??" i just shrugged my shoulders and said, "this is from my dad."

"i'll get the wine."

in all honesty, i was planning on drinking some wine when i got home from work anyway, but it's far more fun to point fingers and be like, "you totally drove me to drink!!"

i opened the box. there was a small note inside saying "here are some picture, etc thought you might like them."

and boy were there pictures. i think every picture that he owned was in that box. well every picture that included my family at least. there were pictures of me as a kid. my sister's wedding. our family pets. lots of pictures of blake and my neice and nephew. so you know, his grandkids. really old pictures. not so old pictures. all of them, including the negatives.... there in 1 box.

i looked at every single picture. that apparently he doesn't want anymore. or doesn't care about anymore. or doesn't want to have to look at anymore.

and i ask you- how am i supposed to take that? do i think of it like, well gee thanks for sending me the pictures instead of throwing them away (although i wouldn't have known any different)? or am i justified in feeling like here is just another example of how he's written off our family, namely me? i mean, he obviously doesn't want them anymore, right? and that's kind of the bottom line- no matter how he tries to justify it (or say it was a nice gesture), the bottom lines was he didn't want them.

so i don't know how to feel. and i'm wondering how you would feel? how would you take that? if your dad, who didn't come to your wedding, who you've barely spoken too since he left your mom for another woman 4 years ago..... how would you feel and what would you think it meant to get a box full of pictures in the mail?


Alison said...

I would be hurt. It's hard to rationalize what he was thinking though. Did he keep any? I bet he did. Did he make copies of any of those? What's strange to me is that if this new woman knows that he just gave all of his family pictures to you, what kind of woman would want to be with a man like that?

I know it's hard and it's really not my place to say anything, but I think you should talk. Just the two of you. And, I'm sorry this is happening. :(

Missy said...

I would probably feel all the bad parts of what you said.

I would want to feel the upside, like how the photos are yours now and you can treasure them. And that they meant more to him than he could throw away.

Mel said...

I'd probably think it was a guilt trip. "Here, I'll give you everything, because I am that awesome and giving."

Or else, and this is a long shot and you can dismiss it as a far-off and faint possibility, he's unloading his worldly goods because he is sick or mentally distressed.

Or else he's just a jerk and did all the bad stuff you said in your post.

I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Ok, don't hate me for saying this, but it doesn't sound like he can win with you no matter what, right? So if he gave them to you GREAT! If he would have thrown them away you would have missed out on all those pics.

Maybe he IS writing all of this off because he feels like no matter WHAT he does he's never going to be a "dad" to you and thought he'd send the pics, hope you enjoy them and let you go.

OR maybe he just thought you'd like to have them. Period. No meaning behind it.

You won't know unless you talk to him about it but I wouldn't put too much worry behind it unless you really care why he sent it. :) Just my 2 cents.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

Maybe there are some he picked out that he really liked and kept?

I obviously have no way of knowing. I'm just throwing that out there, like playing the proverbial devil's advocate.

Ali said...

wow. i don't even know. i'd probably drink and cry.

Jenna said...

I'm glad you have the photos and that he didn't just junk them. But, judging from what I have read in the past, I wouldn't give him credit for giving them to you. I'd say forget about everything else, and be happy you've got the pics.

Nice Beginnings said...

You and I both know there is an underlying reason for why he sent the pictures back. Unfortunately, you will probably never know. If he is like my father.. even if you were to ask him why- it would be a lie or some bs story that makes no sense!! It sucks and I am sorry. A glass (bottle) of wine should help. LOL.

j.sterling said...

anon.. i am LOL.. you are right, he probably can't win with me. it's true. but that's because everything with him has been one lie after another- one excuse and non-owning up to anything rationalization after another.
maybe he did just send them to send them. but that meant he didn't want them anymore. which i suppose is fine- just weird. he could have sent them to my mom. not sure why he sent them to me. i basically don' and that's the honest truth.

Karen said...

I would feel horrible. But at the same he is probably reaching out in some horrible awkward way. I am sorry you are going through this.

Andie said...


Piece of Work said...

Your dad is pretty enotionally infantile, from all I've read here of him. He's trying to hurt you, but in a way that he can get out of if you try to call him on it. (What? I thought you would like the pictures. I was trying to be NICE. -he'd say something like that). I think whoever said earlier that there IS a reason but he will never admit it is right. He wants to hurt you because you have hurt him by trying to make him take responsiblity for the shit he's been throwing around. He's not about to take responsiblity, so instead he's going to try and hurt you, in an effort to make you stop.

I'm really sorry. It's absolute shit.

Lisa said...

What a shit. I would be hurt, even though its been a few years....he's your father. He may have left your mom but you're still his daughter. I always thought Frenchies line in Grease was so true:"the only man a girl can depend on is her daddy"....until this past year. What a crock of shit. Hugs to you....

Daddy Dan said...

It's probably not it, but do you think he may have scanned them or copied them before he sent them to you. I know, unlikely, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

hard one there ... very hard indeed

i think people shoud forgive their fathers - regardless of what mistakes they made - because we all make mistakes ... and some of us do not have fathers to be estranged from - and miss them when they are gone.

from the movie 'smoke signals':

"How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting doors or speaking through walls? For never speaking, or never being silent? Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs? Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it. If we forgive our fathers, what is left? "

texas math said...

Would it make sense to pick up the phone and call your dad to thank him for the pictures and stuff...and then see where the conversation leads from there?

Evil Witch said...

Holy shit, what an asshat.
I could be wrong but these things aren't usually some innocent "nice" gesture.

Jennifer said...

I know this comment is late to the party, but another thought to toss out there... I don't have kids but I'm old enough to have 20-ish-something kids, so maybe your dad is close to my age. Recently I've been going through all my old photos and wishing I had someone to send them to. Sorta feeling like: I want to simplify, lighten my load, and give away all these albums, yet I don't have anyone to give them to who would actually appreciate them.

Maybe your dad still loves the photos, but realizes he won't be around forever and he knows that you will take care of them... and you'll pass them down to your kids too when the time comes.

My mom bequeathed to me all of her albums and carousels of slides more than 10 years ago for that reason. And bummer for me that I don't have anyone to hand them down to, so I have 2 file cabinets full of them now!!!

Debra said...

Hi, just stumbled upon your blog from Virginia Belles blogroll.

Dad's are complicated. My dad didn't talk to me for over 10 years, then he and my mom got back together for a few months, broke up, and I didn't hear from him for over 20 years.

It took my brother dying in 2006, and a funeral to bring dad and I together. We had 18 wonderful months before my dad died of a brain tumor September 2007.

I cursed him for so many years for his lack of caring. I never received one birthday card or letter in my life, let alone a gift. He ignored both my daughters births and never responded to any of my Father's Day, Birthday or Christmas Cards.

But, when I took him to Stanford Hospital last year, and his health started dwindling, he told me he loved me 3 times. The only 3 times in my life, and it made me cry.

My point is, don't give up on him. Sometimes it takes something tragic to bring a family together. Or maybe something different, like the birth of a baby.

If you have children, maybe he gave you the photos as a Mother's Day gift? Whatever his reason, be grateful you got them. I only have 18 months of photos of my dad. Not enough considering he was 72 years old when he died.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have a couple of problems with this and I hope I don't sound like a massive bitch or anything.

But, Jenn, WHY would he give you pictures of BLAKE? His own grandchild? I don't get that.

I mean, ok, he wants to write you off, he doesn't want a relationship with YOU... but how does that effect how he feels about BLAKE?

Look, I can say this because my dad, is a serious dick. He comes across as Mr. Wonderful Sweet Guy and "OMG, I just LOVE your DAD!" kind of guy... but, let's just say, he and I don't talk much. AT ALL.

And yet, my kids are important to him, they are the only grandchildren he has. He never misses a birthday (even if he just drops off a gift).

So, quite frankly, and I apologize tremendously for this up front.

I think your dad kind of acted like an asshole right there.

What kind of a grandpa returns pictures of his GRANDCHILD?

There's no surer way to stab a mom in the heart, right?

To me, sounds like this was a bit spiteful and he was trying to hurt you.

Possibly because (like my dad) he got his ego bruised when you didn't approve of his actions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn. It's Vi. I just read this and I wanted to tell you that I know exactly how you feel. My mom and I once didn't talk for 4 years. About a year into our fight she sent me a box filled with everything from my life. All the pictures, every one of my report cards, every.single.thing that she had ever bothered to save that was part of "our" life together.

I have no doubt that we would have made up much earlier if not for that box. I couldn't believe she just erased me from her life like that and honestly, now that we are "close" I still resent that fucking box. I have never mentioned it to her and I wouldn't give her one scrap of paper out of it.

I'm sorry your dad did this to you. I'm sure that it is some sort of nice gesture but I couldn't really tell you how to see the bright side.