When will I learn? These days, when it comes to you, I have to accept that you will disappoint me. People tell me, pretend he is dead, yet I keep hoping that this will be the year when it hits you, when you confront the mistakes that you’ve made and the people you’ve hurt, when you finally admit what you’ve given up.
Two Christmases have passed, and now this one, and yet you refuse to see it. You cling to the one who has lied to you, the one who has convinced you to discard us, the one whose heart is so closed that not even our kindness could open it.
When you were told that your family misses you, your response was, “I have a new family now.” How do you simply replace people you’ve known and loved your whole life, people who share your blood, for people you’ve only known for two years? Are we that expendable to you? How can you be so weak to allow this woman, this selfish narcissist who loves no one but herself, to cast such a spell on you? She won’t change me, you said, but a mere nine days later, she had. Now you sequester yourselves within a paranoid bubble, certain that we’re all out to harm you. Under her mind control, you’re unable to see that all we ever wanted was to love you.
At least this Christmas, the kids have stopped waiting for you to show up. In a few more years, the youngest won’t remember you at all. The oldest, the one who used to be your golden boy, is angry, still stinging from your rejection. The middle one, your namesake, reminisces about the “good old days” when Gram was alive and you loved us. How can that not bother you? A twelve-year-old should not have to long for “good old days.”
Most days, I can accept this strange path on which we’ve all landed, and feel gratitude for the years we were together, whole, as a family. Other days, the pain is fresh, such as when I see couples with their parents and grandfathers with their grandchildren.
And special days like Christmas.