And the tidings were hung…

Well, Christmas came and went…and was–albeit surprisingly–(and thankfully I might add!) quite uneventful. I think that might have had something to do with the fact that my brother was absent this year for the festivities. I know it’s probably horribly wrong to say, but I was grateful for that. I’m sorry, but it’s just a heck of a lot easier to get through the holidays when he’s not there. Where he was exactly, well, that’s pretty much anyone’s guess. Knowing him, probably sleeping off a bender. As usual. You know, I just don’t get him. He’s got three children that absolutely adore him and think he hung the moon. At least, that’s the case with my niece, Angelina, his oldest. I don’t think I’ll ever understand her adoration for him, considering his notable absence in her life. Hell, he wasn’t even there for her birth. The first time he ever laid on her–his own daughter–was from across a visitor’s table in a state prison when she was already a couple of months old. If I recall correctly, he was incarcerated the entire first year of her life. You’d think that would have been a game-changer for him…or a wake-up call, at the very least. You’d think he’d want to do better by his little girl…be a better father to her than our father was to us. But no. She’s eleven years old and he’s still the same self-serving bastard he was then. He’s been in and out of jail so many times in those 11 years that I’ve lost count of all the birthdays and holidays he’s missed with her. As a matter of fact, he has to turn himself into the county in a couple of weeks to begin his 7-9 month jail sentence for his latest–though surely not his last–unlawful infraction. That alone considering, you’d think he’d want to at least be with his daughter and children this year on Christmas–but nope. He was nowhere to be found yesterday. To be honest, I almost pity him…because I know that it won’t be long until Angelina finally realizes the truth and sees him for the deadbeat father that he is…and she will. I know because she’s nearly the same age I was when I finally came to terms with the facts about my own father. It’s funny because people have never understood why and how it is when they ask that I don’t hate my father for not being there when my siblings and I were growing up. If anything, I’ve always just had this sort of feeling of indifference when it comes to that particular subject…which, if you ask me, is actually worse than if I hated my father. At least with hate, there’s emotion. Indifference, however, is a different story. There’s no emotion, no feeling…nothing. I don’t hate my father for not being there. I just don’t. It sounds like such a trite thing to say, but I feel sorry for him because–as my grandmother always says–it was his loss. He wasn’t there and that’s a guilt that he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life. And I know he feels guilty about it because he’s said so himself when we’ve talked. But honestly, even that revelation means nothing. Not at this point. I mean, it is what it is. He can’t go back and get those moments back…just as I can’t suddenly say that his absence overtly affected me. My father not being there was literally something that I always knew. That’s just how it was. I didn’t know any different, so naturally, I just adapted to that environment and understanding. As they say, you can’t miss what you’ve never had. I mean, I survived. All my issues aside, I think I turned out okay–despite him not being there. I mean, I had a good childhood–as far as I can recall it. I was cared for, taken care of, and most important–I knew I was loved. That’s all that really matters. As for my brother, he’s eventually going to realize what he’s lost…and unfortunately, he’ll be too late. If my niece is anything like me–and she definitely is–there’ll be no going back, no forgiving of past mistakes. Just because I don’t hate my father doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven him for not being there, because I haven’t. Abandonment–well, it’s not something that can be simply be forgiven. Especially when it’s voluntary and could have been prevented. My father wasn’t there and my brother hasn’t been–and honestly, that’s on them. It’s ALL on them. As the saying goes, we all make mistakes…and we have to live with the consequences of those mistakes. They’ll have to…one day. Again, and it’s probably a horrible thing to say, but I’m secretly glad that he wasn’t there. Knowing him, he certainly wouldn’t have passed up the opportunity to get in a few jabs and throw some degrading insults my way. He never does.

But regardless of the reason for it, the holiday went well. Angelina was thrilled with the North Face gear she asked for. She wasn’t, however, thrilled with the fact that she didn’t get the iPhone she also asked for. Which is just too bad because–at least for the time being–that just isn’t happening. I did find this one phone service called Kajeet that deals specifically with phones for children that would allow you to limit and track her usage, set other parental controls, and monitor her location in real-time—which pretty much covers  almost all of the concerns and misgivings we have with the idea of her getting a cell phone. Still, we didn’t cave. Not this year. As I’ve ranted in an earlier post, she’s just too young for a phone. I don’t care that the rest of her friends have iPhones and she’s the only one forbidden to have one. Those are just the breaks. She’ll get over it.

Avie loved the “Love You To The Moon And Back” personally engraved bracelet I bought her. She won’t take it off. Emmie wasn’t in the best of moods though because she was sick, the poor thing, but she didn’t let that get her down. She was still her typical, smiley and obnoxious-at-times self. The twinnies had a heyday with their gifts. Just like on their birthday, they loved sitting on their presents and then going to town with the wrapping paper. They are just too funny.

Despite all the “happy”, there’s also some melancholy because time is really running out. In exactly 2 weeks, I’m going to be leaving and moving 900 miles away. Now that it’s all really happening and it’s getting down to the wire, I’m a little anxious–that is I’m A LOT anxious. And sad. I can’t help it. I don’t want to leave everyone. The kids especially. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. But I have to do it. And there’s still so much to be done before then. I still have to pack–I hate packing!–but it has to be done. And I still have to figure out a time to get together with Erin, the bestie, because she’ll never forgive me if I leave before hanging out with her one last time. It’s going to be a stressful two weeks, that’s for sure.

Well, until next time…

Happy Belated Merry Christmas!



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