My grandfather called me tonight, and like any other time, I did not take his call. I will explain it.
When I was born, my grandparents, specifically my grandfather, had custody of me. I never really cared because I spent a lot of time at their house and I loved both of them to death. In 2001, my grandma decided that after nearly 4 decades of marriage, it was time for a divorce. This was possibly the most painful thing that I had experienced in my life at this point, my parents separated the same year and that didn’t even bother me.
This wasn’t something sudden, it built up over time. My grandfather is a gambler. Which is fine when you don’t neglect your other responsibilities. One night specifically, my grandma called and said that something had fallen and cracked her forehead open. She had called my grandfather multiple times, while he was at the casino, and he did not answer. So we had to drive to her house, take her to the hospital, and get her back home after she got stitched up. We had her in the house resting when he walked in the door. He looked at her and asked what happened. Of course, he had missed everything.
Anyway. My grandma moved out when she decided she wanted a divorce. My grandfather still had custody of me at this point, so I continued to go to school in the district that he lived in and my dad would pick me up and take me home every day. I remember distinctly being at his house one day and I overheard him saying to a friend on the phone that he would burn down the house before she got anything out of it. Keep in mind, I’m like 9 or so at this point. I. Was. Terrified. When my dad came to get me, I remember bawling my eyes because of what he had said. I thought he was going to burn the house down with me in it. I can still picture that moment to this day.
After that, I never really spent much time there because I was terrified of him.
When I did see him or spend time with him, he did nothing but tell me, a 9-10-year-old, how my grandma was generally a terrible person. My grandma, to this day, is my hero. He didn’t realize it but I had enough logic in my little skull that I knew he was the bad person. Yet, I continued to give him chances because I knew he was hurt.
Once I got older, 15 or so. I gave up on him. I refused to go to his house for holidays or go out to eat with him or spend any time around him. In fact, until recently, he hadn’t seen me in about 7 years.
I choose not to have him in my life. That is my choice. My family supports me in that because they see everything he has done. He was barely invited to my wedding and even made a show that day. When he left, he told me to have a nice life. Really?!
It’s not to say that I don’t feel bad, because I know he really does love me. However, I cannot have him in my life. To hear him speak ill of my grandma makes me furious, and to make me feel guilty all the time for all he did for me as a child is just too much. He is a miserable man and I don’t want to be brought down. But yes, it does hurt me that he isn’t in my life.
Another example of the type of person he is. Recently my grandma got a letter in the mail from him. He was a napkin that he had made that said “—- and —-, happy 50th anniversary” and he ever so kindly included a picture from their wedding day. I was so angry at him, this was right before my wedding.
Life goes on, right.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius