I listened to my father talk about his health, giving up trying to put a word in edge-wise. Instead, I sat silently, chewing the skin off my left thumb. Having a “conversation” with my father was hard work, emotionally. I stepped outside of myself and noticed the gnawing anxiety growing in the middle of my body. I noticed my stomach churning, and my impatience growing. When I was able to ask a question, I asked something I knew would pique his interest.
“So, did you have lunch with Aunt Sandy recently?” I asked.
“Yes, oh, yes!” he said, surprised I knew about it.
“I saw it on Facebook,” I explained.
My dad has not joined the Facebook world. So, mentions of Facebook are amusing to him. I believe my father does not join Facebook or engage in much of the world around him because it does not revolve around him and his issues and his health and his feelings and his ideas and his needs.
My dad continued on, “…It was so funny when I saw my sister and cousins – they were talking about you!”
“Oh yeah?” I asked.
My dad said, “They were talking about how upset they were that you were taking a break from…what is it….your blog? They were so relieved to know that it is just a break and that you will continue it sometime. Is that right?”
“Yes,” I said, laughing, always flattered by hearing that others follow my blog and care to read what I write. I haven’t even seen this aunt or cousins for many years.
My father has never shown interest in reading my blog. In fact, the second time I asked him about checking it out, I believe he said, “Oh, no, I have no interest in that kind of thing.”
At that moment, my son started shouting in the background. I tended to his needs, talking to my son while my dad waited on the phone.
“I’m sorry,” I said to my dad for the interruption.
“Oh, that’s ok,” my dad said. “I always remember your brother shouting whenever I got on the phone! There’s just something about being on the phone. They suddenly need you then!”
“Yes,” I said, chuckling along while trying to wipe up the spill my son had caused.
My dad went on, “You, though, you were always so self-sufficient. So self-entertained. You were a good girl. Well, not that your brother wasn’t…anyways, you know what I mean.”
“Yes, I know,” I said.
We wrapped up our conversation.
Self-sufficient. I am used to making myself this way. It is a way of life. Until you start to feel a little lonely. Then, self-sufficient kind of sucks. But, it appears that the men in my life need me to be self-sufficient. So that I do not mind what it is that they need to do. I am just now beginning to realize this. What this means for the men in my life, I don’t know. I am only starting to be concerned for what it means to me.Follow my blog with Bloglovin