I haven’t spoken to my father since I was 16, and am not sure if I ever want to, again. My issue is that he has been placed on hospice and given four months to live, and I want to be sure of my decision, as it is a big one in terms of future guilt and logic.
When I was 16 I walked in on my father cheating on my mother. He tried to pretend he wasn’t, but we both knew that he was, and since that day I have loathed this man. I was very much a Daddy’s girl until this happened, and I miss my dad, or who I thought my dad was, but can not find it in my heart to forgive him, or try to figure out his motivation.
I am now 49 years old, and I know my time with my father is limited. I just don’t want to move on simply because he is ill, and I don’t believe in those types of “passes” on bad behavior. It was my father, in fact, who taught me that our character is us, and what we do is who we are, so what does that make him, what does this make me?
Please advise, Violet, and, no rush, but his clock is ticking quickly.
You have held your father accountable for his poor choice for over 30 years. From your letter, I infer, you have not properly spoken about this transgression, nor attempted any kind of reconciliation.
I believe you are letting your pride get in the way of what is best for you, as well as your father, and that would be to forgive, use the last bit of time wisely, cherish the time you have remaining to build a real relationship, and allow your father to leave this world in peace.
Since you, yourself, are nearing half a century of experience, I am positive you’ve made mistakes, including those you regret. Allow your father to speak of his mistakes, and his choices, allow your father whom you placed and then removed from a pedestal back down to earth to share your life, while you can, and he is able.
It’s time to forgive and move on, for both of you and your peace of mind. You did not mention any grandchildren/your children, but if there are some, in the picture, the relationship and time to know their maternal grandfather is also important, and should figure into your decision.
In peace and hopes for your future,
Dear Violet is a relationship advice column, covering both domestic relationships and familial relationships, as well as friendships. If you have something you want to get advice about, write in and get a third party, no ax to grind perspective. Welcome to Violet’s world. Send questions, comments or concerns attention: Ask Violet c/o Gonzales Inquirer at firstname.lastname@example.org.