December 24, 2006

God Bless Us, Every One

Well, I posted my e-mail to my dad on Friday, explaining to him that I don't believe in the church anymore. I expected an e-mail or phone call but got nothing until Saturday at 2:45 p.m. (he was supposed to have driven up to MT from UT on Saturday). He e-mailed my sister who had e-mailed him Saturday morning about her entire family being up all Friday night throwing up, and that he may want to stay at my house if he didn't want to catch the illness they have. Here is what he wrote to Tony and cc'd to me:

So sorry to hear you're having such trouble, just in time for the holidays! [Takes me back to the year I was quarantined at home in Kaysville with influenza the whole holiday week- What a drag!] Misery must be going around. I was up most of the night Thursday after watching the BYU bowl game with my brother Dave, and had a miserable day at work yesterday, so I just slept in today. My jeep's also sprung a leak in the cooling system, and it's not solved with the new upper radiator hose I installed, so I'll have to try something else to fix it. Guess this isn't going the way we'd have liked, huh. How about we just postpone the get-together up your way until we're all feeling better and can have more fun?? I'll use the time to catch up on some much-needed projects, do my taxes, etc. Perhaps I can take a four-day weekend trip up in the next month or two. Let me know if there are any weekends you won't be home, OK? Give my love to all, and get feeling better soon!

- Love, Dad

[Great Grandma will be disappointed that I didn't get her offerings to you in time for Christmas. I'll add that to the long list of things I need forgiveness for. I'll mail you up a Christmas card to hopefully arrive in time for New Year's....]

Great. My dad would rather do his taxes than come up and stay with me. The sad thing is, this may or may not have anything to do with my note to him. It probably does, but not in the way one would expect. I suspect he couldn't care less about my belief or not in the church. He probably cares more what the church expects him to do or feel about me not believing, and is trying to figure that out before he does anything. Or his "long list of things I need forgiveness for" somehow relates to my apostasy...maybe he is thinking this is somehow his fault. But no, I doubt that too. My dad is a very complicated and strange individual. It is impossible for me to know what he's thinking since we don't have a close relationship.

My apostasy can't hurt him more than my choice to have my brother walk me down the aisle at my wedding, while I had my dad say the opening prayer. I may have to write about that some other time.

If he'd rather spend Christmas alone than come up here and be with people who love him, that's his choice. More power to him. And Eric, I still think you and Keith should just do your Christmas Day relaxing and hanging out as planned, and don't worry about being with Dad because you feel obligated somehow... Obviously he'd rather be alone over Christmas. He's a big boy. If he's lonely, let him hang out with HIS parent.


Anonymous said...

So this confounded your expectations, huh?

Well, at least the good thing is you will have relative peace this Christmas.

Wow... fascinating story about the wedding. That's huge. Bet there is a lot behind that.

Anonymous said...

You just have to shake it off. Or avoid TBM family all together. I know that's a crappy solution, but I would rather not spend time with my brother/sister/nieces/nephews etc. than to hear little comments pointed my way. I'm fortunate that my parents are cool about it all, but my dad has been in and out of the church my whole life. The fewer expectations you have about TBM's, the better it is for you. Not that any of this helps, but that's kind of all I can say. There's really nothing any of us can do. They don't get it.

the Cadillac Cowboy said...

Sending lots of love and hugs your way.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, that email reply really is baffling. I smell a bit of morg passive-aggressiveness and fake nicety. Hopefully not.

In any case, the worrying is over now, eh? Get on with enjoying your holiday how you want to enjoy it, without worrying about being judged by some of those choices.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, SML! I consider you one of my blessings!

Janet M. Kincaid said...

As you point out, your dad's a big boy. If he wants to spend Christmas alone, that's his choice.

Having said that, it doesn't lessen the hurt I'm sure you feel. I'd be hurt, too.

And having said that, don't let the turkey get you down! Enjoy your holiday. Merry Christmas, SML!



Anonymous said...

Have a good day and don't let party pooping parents drag you down! My mom is sick again for the sixth year in a row!! Lots of love Montana way!

montchan said...

merry christmas to you too!!!

And your dad sounds a bit passive agressive, me thinks...

Sideon said...

Merry Christmas, SML. Is it a white Christmas up there? Lots of snowy stuff and snowdrifts and icicles?

I hope your day is restful, relaxing, yet full of fun family zaniness. (Right after I post this, I'm going to look up my mulled wine recipe and get stuff together, because this afternoon I'm drinking with friends.)

Hugs and love.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, sending Happy Thoughts and Exciting Wishes your way. Thank you for your blog, and openly sharing your life with others. Sometimes we never know that what we say or do helps others. You have touched my life. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The part about your dad trying to figure out what the church would expect him to do reminds me so much of myself. I am such a fence sitter because of it, too. It's much easier to change sides if you ride the fence.

The ACLU is bad because it's supporting liberals who only want to ruin the family? Bad ACLU! Oh, look, now the ACLU is good because they support Native American's use of peyote and so does the church. Good ACLU!

Blacks are bad because of Cain? Ptui. Oh, now they are good and can have the priesthood. Oh, sorry, did I spit on you? Here, have a tissue.

I am now trying to gain confidence in my own decision making processes to get down off of the fences. I hope I don't break my ankle on the way down.

Cele said...

Despite telling ourselves that we know what is coming, how are decisions and life choices will be accepted and addressed by those we love still means so much and shoots giant gaps in our souls. We always expect our family to be bigger people than they oft times turn out to be.

Lisa I hope for you peace, love, and all that you deserve. Buon Natale!

Anonymous said...

SML, Happy Holidays! So sorry you're having to deal with passive-aggressive dad, my dad is much the same. It's also pretty difficult having made the decision to no longer be the same religion or denomination than your parents brought you up in. It can create guilt or bad feelings on everyone's side...I think it's hardest on the one that changed, like you. But your dad is a big boy and he is the one having to live with himself and his taxes. Hopefully you're getting the support vibes I'm sending you *smile* . I do hope you are enjoying your holidays :)

Jazzy said...


Sorry your Dad didn't make it to MT. I hope T. and family are all feeling better soon.