My father's not speaking to me again. But I'm ok. He wrote me in March and in his letter there were some references to the past that were just too whatever. So I wrote him back a nice, long, newsy letter and included one paragraph of hey-there-might-be-another-way-of-looking-at-things. I couched it in non-judgement - it really was that, I just wanted him to know that his vision of our shared life is not a vision shared by all involved. He's usually a very conscientious correspondant, so I can only assume his silence is to let me know he didn't appreciate that paragraph. I'm working up the courage to call him, courage I need - not because I fear his reaction but because our phone conversations, even under the best of circumstances, are difficult. We just don't have a lot to say to each other. I give news of the boys and my life here, he gives news of his health and his golf game, and that's about it. We've tried talking about politics but his only news source is Fox News so I spend that part of the conversation feeling like I'm hitting my head against the wall. Talking about the world is worse, when I once asked about travel he replied that he had really no interest in ever leaving San Antonio. He moved to Texas after retirement but he's been a Texan in his heart forever, I suppose. (Diane and others in Texas, take no offense, none is meant.) He did say that the next time I made it back to Illinois, he would drive up. When I mentioned that a plane might be easier he said, "I flew once."
The good news is that I really am ok. Not hurt or disappointed or mad or anything. As I said in my previous post, he cannot give what he does not have, so I don't have any expectations. I'm sad for us a little bit, that our relationship is so fragile that a couple of let's-compare-visions sentences can lead to silence, but I'll persist because I want him to know I love him anyway, even if he didn't like that paragraph and even if he doesn't want to know what the past was like for us. That's what you do with family, right?
It's Ascension Day today, a national holiday, and the bells at the church down the street from my house are ringing right now. I'll take that as a yes.