The portrait is proceeding nicely. I worked on it most of the day with sporadic breaks here and there...you know, the kind of breaks that sustain life like lunch and dinner. I got one of the two faces done. I always like to wait overnight and look at it again the next morning with fresh eyes ~ sometimes it reveals mistakes that I didn't see as I was drawing. You know I'll post it on here when it's finished. What artist doesn't love to blatantly beg for praise?
Have I mentioned lately how much I love not having to cram church into my Sundays? I have had so much less stress without the weekly primary presidency meetings, sharing time preparation, phone calls from the primary president (who loved to re-hash decisions we'd made over and over and over). I'm just so glad that I don't have to do it all anymore. Not that I resented it before, just that now I can see how much of my life was sucked away into it, and it's a real relief not having it to do anymore.
I found out my dad is coming up from Utah for Christmas. I know Christmas is on Monday this year, so he'll for sure be here Sunday, and expecting us to attend church. He needs to find out that I don't believe anymore. The only way we communicate is through e-mail, and it feels weird to consider sending shocking news like that via e-mail to a parent.
A few things that could happen:
1. If I do e-mail it, there is a strong possibility that he will mass forward my explanation to every single family member I have, plus all the extended family on his e-mail list. Cousins I haven't talked to or seen in 20 years. He will most likely request that each of them put me and my family in their prayers, since our eternal souls are at stake. I can also imagine he'd do this with a regular letter scanned into the computer. He will find the most God-awful picture he has of me in his vast arsenal and will attach it to said e-mail.
2. He will come armed with as much information, books, pamphlets, and persuasion as he can to try to lead me back into the fold. I think my sister and I (who are the only ones out of his 7 children who still attend church) were his only hope. His shining stars. I'm not sure if this is presumptuous to say, but I think he felt that. Last time he came to visit, he went to church and sat in Primary with me to watch me teach sharing time. He had that same proud father look he used to get when we'd give youth talks in Sacrament Meeting.
His method will be to try to corner me and keep me in the conversation until I capitulate. He has tried doing this numerous times with talking about my mom, his ex. Like the time this spring when he found out that she was living with a boyfriend (a month after it had been going on) and he pulled my sister and me into my bedroom and said, in a hushed voice as if there were a dead body before us, "Did you know your mother has MOVED IN with a man?" My sis and I looked at each other and it was all I could do not to roll my eyes. Um, yeah, we knew it a month ago. I was good at shooting down any talking about her. I think I said something like, "I've never seen her more happy and that is the most important thing to me. I only want her happy." He tried a couple times to get us to say something and finally I just said, "This life is all about free agency, right? She needs to be allowed to choose her own life for herself." Don't make me say it, Dad. You could have kept her, but you blew it. BOTH times you were married to her.
3. He will wield his well-honed control freak nature and tell my kids to go get ready for church. Now. Then we will have a big fight. Of course, if he's a good LDS priesthood holding man, when my husband interjects and says HIS KIDS are not going, then he'll probably back down without a fight. Maybe.
4. He will leave sticky notes all over my house with reminders to choose the right. Once when I was 16, a friend came over and saw the notes. I had become used to them (translate: had ignored them for years). She and I went through the upstairs alone, and found 34. "Lint causes house fires" written directly on the dryer in permanent ink. "Lock door at all times" on the front door. "Hang Towels Up." "Turn off lights" by every light switch. "Keep fridge door closed." "Re-line garbage can." "Flush the toilet." "Wash your hands." Actually, the first four are the only ones I remember for certain. I do remember the number correctly, though. How embarrassing. And no, I'm amazed to report he never thought of writing one that said "Breathe in, breathe out."
5. He will most likely stay with my sister, and I worry that he will not talk about it at all with me (once he tries and I tell him I have nothing to discuss), but will keep my sister up every night until 2 a.m. trying to come up with reasons for how I could have had this horrible tragedy happen to me. Poor Tony. I suggest you say like I do. "I'm not discussing this. If you want to discuss it, please discuss it with Lisa." Then when he tries again, I will tell him there's nothing to discuss. I've done it and I know I'm doing what's right for me and my kids. No offense to you personally, Dad.
My sister still goes to church, even though she says she may believe the things that led me to leave it. So she'll be the one to take Dad to church on Christmas Eve, I guess.
6. He will blame my apostasy on the fact that my mother is OPENLY LIVING WITH ANOTHER MAN. Wouldn't he shit if he knew that the guy my mom lives with IS MARRIED???
Wish me luck, I'm going to need it. Just another fun thing to add to the holidays.