Today is the first I've seen him or talked to him since my e-mail to him before Christmas. Twice since then I've e-mailed him greetings and asked him if he'd like to discuss my disillusionment with the church, but he never even responded to my e-mails.
Tonight, we exchanged Christmas gifts and he saved the best for last...I looked over and he was holding up a DVD or game, I couldn't tell which since he was across the room. I smiled and asked him to throw it to me...it was a 3-DVD copy of the 176th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I kept the smile on my face and said, "Oh....nice."
"Actually, that's for your sister. I've actually been holding copies of this for each of you since before you RUINED CHRISTMAS FOR ME." I handed the movie to my sister who was beside me on my couch and looked at my dad.
"It was not my intention to ruin Christmas for you, Dad." I said this calmly and clearly.
"The second DVD has footage of me singing in the Priesthood Session of Conference with the men's choir from Brigham City. I had hoped to watch it with you."
"Sure thing, put it in and we'll watch it."
We sat through three hymns before the final song where he is visible near the end twice when the camera pans over them slowly. We had a tense moment when he got upset that my dog barked in the middle of this "spiritual moment," and when he told my dog to keep it quiet, I got to experience again that awful voice he gets when he speaks with teeth clenched in utter controlling, uptight anger. I hate that voice.
They ended up leaving with the DVD of Conference, and I didn't get one. I'm kind of surprised he didn't want to leave one for us.
The choir sang beautifully. We only made fun of a couple of the singers for enunciating so dramatically that it warranted an instant replay or two for laughs. Was that dude yawning or was he just singing?! When I saw my dad on the screen, I made sure to tell him how handsome he looked, and I complimented him on how well they sang, and asked him questions to let him know I was interested in his accomplishment and joy in singing at such a prestigious [to him] event.
Interestingly, the Priesthood Session my dad sang at was the one that had a couple of talks that I thought were highly...how shall I word this?...DISGUSTING.
One was by D. Todd Christofferson who spoke about his dad who saved up for a year in order to buy his wife an ironing machine, because she had had cancer surgery that removed much of the tissue in her neck and shoulder, causing her extreme pain when she used her right arm. He took her to the store to buy the machine, and she asked how he could afford such a thing. He told her he'd been saving lunch money for almost a year in order to do this for her.
"Now when you iron" he said "you won't have to stop and go into the bedroom and cry until the pain in your arm stops." She didn't know he knew about that. I was not aware of of my father's sacrifice and act of love for my mother at the time, but now that I know I say to myself, "There is a man."
Um....yeah. It's a real big man who makes his wife CONTINUE TO PAINFULLY IRON FOR A YEAR in a household with five boys, letting her cry in pain each time, without offering to do it himself instead. What a "sacrifice."
I just threw up in my mouth a little.
The other talk was given by our very own prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley. It was the one in which he said,
"It is plainly evident from these statistics that young women are exceeding young men in pursuing educational programs. And so I say to you young men, rise up and discipline yourself to take advantage of educational opportunities. Do you wish to marry a girl whose education has been far superior to your own? We speak of being "equally yoked." That applies, I think, to the matter of education."
Niiiiiice. I'm not even going to grace this dumbass comment with a response.
Maybe it's a good thing Dad didn't gift me that DVD set after all.
One thing that kept me smiling during the hymns: my non-member brother-in-law kept playing with and laughing at the rubber chicken Dad gave my son for Christmas.
YOU HAVEN'T LIVED UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN MY DAD LOSE HIS LIPS OVER SUCH FOOLISHNESS.