Wednesday, August 09, 2006

3 Conversations with My Dad

**I just wrote this for the sake of saying it, but I think I'll change it a bit and use it for Weekly Anamnesis # 34. Not the best stuff I could do, but it's applicable.**

Dad was the more spiritual influence in our family. Sure he had a bad temper, but he also had a love of the scriptures. He did his best at instigating family home evening, family prayer, scripture study, etc. I think those things failed because the rest of us, including mom, were just completely non-supportive and would sleep through most of them

As I matured in age and testimony, I would talk with my dad about things I'd be learning in Seminary or Sunday School. I think I was 15 or 16 when I first found out about the priesthood being withheld from black men, and I took issue with it. So it was to my dad that I went. We had a conversation, scriptures in hand, about the curse of Cain and the flood and the mark and all that other BS. I don't remember feeling like I got an answer, or a good one at least, but I do remember liking that I could talk to my dad about stuff like that. I think I was the closest to my dad in that sense.

After I graduated and left home, dad shocked all of us by slapping a divorce on my mom. He called me on the phone to tell me. I couldn't breathe when we hung up. Eric had gone to work, so I had to repeat the conversation over again with him. I went to my job as a waitress later that day, but was no use to anyone. I would go off and find a corner to cry in, and I didn't have the strength to care what people wanted to eat. Within 7 months the divorce was final, and within 2 months after that, my dad was remarried. The respect I had for him dissipated fairly quickly and completely.

My dad then had a son with his new wife. A year later, when my oldest was born, my dad actually said to me, "Thank you for giving me a grandchild who's younger than my son." STILL creeps me out... His son, who's name is Moses (no need to say anything, I KNOW), is turning 8 in a couple of weeks. Dad mentioned something about a baptism, "if he passes the interview". That was funny to me, but dad didn't understand the real reason why.

My sister and I have envisioned the day we tell him about our leaving the church. Dad will approach us to casually mention that he and his new wife have been sealed in the temple. Our part of the conversation will go something like this: "Well, dad, it's too bad we couldn't have been there. We resigned our membership from the church, though, so even if you had invited us they probably wouldn't have let us in." I don't know how he'll take that news. I'm sure he'll feel guilty and possibly angry. He might try to challenge any information we've found out. He might just be sad and weepy. It's tough to predict my dad, I've learned. The only thing we know for sure is that after it's all out in the open, we're going to go have a big party.

13 comments:

Montgomery Q said...

It will hit him like a slap to the face, but it will soon fade, I predict. He's not real concerned about our lives at this stage of his life, I think.

I had a dream last night that Jiana was a mail order bride that dad stole. He never got around to paying for her, and there was big chinese dudes after him.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Rough... (hugs)

Simeon's Peep Stone said...

Dad's are strange. Your dad's not the only lame one out there. My dad's always been a crappy dad. He went apostate 10 years ago and continued to be a crappy dad. Now I'm apostate and . . . he's still a crappy dad. It all boils down to selfishness whether a member or not.

Joseph's Left One said...

Selfishness is the word, as Simeon said. It's funny how Mormons can be completely self-absorbed to the point of dumping their spouse and hooking up with a younger woman, but as long as they have the trappings of Mormonism, they think they are just peachy.

Ugh. Sorry that you have to deal with that.

dfb said...

cynthia e. bagley's post here almost made me cry because I miss my dog, Mel, and she reminded me of how he always said "Ruff" as he came up to give me hugs.

La said...

You need to start your own blog, Dave, and tell funny stories like the one where Dad told you how much he respects the circumstances of your divorce with Am.

And don't forget the part where you pulled over and threw up because of how sick that made you...

:)

Anonymous said...

I fondly recall the Orem city parade in '02. We were all sitting on the parade route waiting for it to start when your dad turns to me and says, "do they have parades back east?"

The man was a "world traveler" of sorts but apparently didn't know that there's a big parade every year in New York.

And let's not forget that everything from parades to Americanism was apparently invented, according to your dad, by the chinese.

Good stuff is what he is.

Eric

Rebecca said...

Any excuse for a party...

Eight Hour Lunch said...

You know, I feel like I'm a rotten dad all the time. Hmm. Maybe not.

Rebecca, do we still need excuses for parties?

mandi said...

I second the Dave blog.

Arizona Expositor said...

Wow LA, what a ride. Go grab a beer and toast your dad and his new sealing. Does this mean he's a spiritual polygamist?

La said...

As sick as it truly is, AZ EX, yes he is a spiritual polygamist. Mom cannot get a temple divorce unless she wants to get sealed to someone else...

Great idea about the beer!! Beer is good for any occasion.

Just one of many said...

La,

Too bad we can't pick our families like we can our friends!