It was my father’s birthday today. Not that I celebrated. I doubted whether or not I’d send him a message or not. Given the fact that he has not sent me or my sister anything (text, mail,…) for our last couple of birthdays, it was a logical thing to ask myself. In the end, I did not write him anything, realising that it wouldn’t make any difference anyway. He hasn’t made any effort to get in touch with me, so why should I bother?
He turned fifty today. That’s twice my age. He was my age when I was born, and things were still looking up for him. His second child, me, though spending quite some time in the hospital due to a severe and almost deadly bronchitis, pulled through and for all he knew, his happy little life would continue like this. Six years later, he was divorced. He turned bitter and lost himself in a spiral of self-pity, anger, alcoholism and pessimism. He would never get out of it and he would try to use my sister and me to hurt our mom, something he managed to do for a while with vicious lies and childish behaviour.
Some people grow up with a father they can look up to. I grew up with a sad & selfish drunk. Right now he’s been forced to retire because of some conditions he has which are all directly or indirectly caused by his fondness of beer (short-term memory loss and things like that). He only eats biscuits and drinks Coke, 6 days a week. My grandmother is trying to get him to move into her appartment building so that she can be there to make sure he eats decent food, but he’s not cooperating. The poor woman shouldn’t have to deal with that, she spent all her life looking after 5 sons and one (unpleasant) husband, until he died ten years ago, but since then she’s had to deal with my dad quite a lot. It’s easier to turn your back on your parent than on your child, no matter what he has done. Every time I see her, I try to tell her that she did all she could, that’s she is not to blame. I’m not sure she believes this.
What will I be like in 25 years? I have spent all my youth trying to deny any resemblance to my father, but of course, I know that there must be some. The only advantage I have is that I can learn from his mistakes. It’s funny how life can turn out: my mother is completely the opposite: she’s 49 right now and while my father’s been wallowing in self-pity, she’s moved forward, had some relationships (bad ones too) but never lost her positive spirit. Maybe that’s why my mom and dad just weren’t meant to stay together.
I can wish him a happy birthday here: "Happy birthday, dad". He knows this journal exists, but he’s never shown enough interest in me to actually go read it. It’s up to him to prove me wrong.
(I don’t feel bad or anything, on the contrary, I just had to write this down, because it was a prominent thought today)
This double photo may or may not be linked to the above "tale of interest". I will leave the interpreting up to others. I have done enough of that now. I always give away too much when I post a photo. There shall be no more of that! Tss, me and my words!