For love or duty?

October 23rd, 2012 by Jan

Ever since I returned from my trip to New Mexico, I’ve been thinking about when I’ll be going back.

Dad is doing quite well right now considering he has some pretty serious heart disease. My brother Art is there now and I know dad is in good hands. Still, Art has plans to leave the first week of November and dad will be living alone for the first time in his life.  He is a strong and willful man, yet with so many changes in his life right now, there is a lot he will need to adapt to.

I told my friend Marian that I would probably be going back to NM towards the end of November. Marian said I was nuts!

Now, she is a good friend who has heard all the horror stories from me about my dad. He is not an easy man to be with and he was not a good father when I needed him the most, so I understand why she would say such a thing. I take her words to heart and she only said that because it’s true.

But, this morning as I sat in the dark on our porch listening to the pouring rain, I told myself it was “my duty” to go back. I have the means and the time and the ability to go back and help. Then the real truth snuck into my thoughts.

I want to go. I may or may not need to go, but I want to.

Perhaps hope springs eternal, but I want the gift of the time to get to know my father differently.

4 thoughts on “For love or duty?

  1. Laura

    Oh, Jan, I know those thought about “duty”. I sometimes feel that way too.

    The yearning for a closer relationship with my dad never goes away, especially since when my mom was dying he suddenly reached out to me and our relationship changed dramatically for some time. After my mom died, life went back to whatever “normal” is, and our relationship closed off again, and I felt it as a loss and a rejection that it has taken me many years to get over.

    Now, as my dad’s health is deteriorating, flashes of that person he was with me for that brief time are showing through again, and I am trying to remember that that person is still in there, no matter how well he has hidden it for so much of his life.

    I hope you get the time you wish for, and have the chance to get to know your dad in a different way.



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