I haven’t written in a while because I just haven’t had anything to say about the Hippy. I know he’s alive and needs more surgeries as I talked to him in August around Hurricane Harvey as he lives in Houston. It was a short call but I learned he was dry and that his surgery was being rescheduled. A week or so later I spoke to him again and learned that the Step-Monster had her hip replaced and that he is very angry with me. See he had learned that I refer to my step mother as the step-monster and was blown away that I would do that. We exchanged heated words along the lines of me asking him how on earth he can act like he didn’t know this as I have done this since I was a teenager. He then said for the first time he was angry that I hadn’t come to see him. I reminded him that I didn’t believe he wanted me to based on all our conversations we had when I was a kid. I also told him I don’t want to see him like this and ruin my good memories of him. I told him that to this day my first thought I have of my Papa Dale is my grandmother calling the house when I was 15 and screaming into the phone saying “where’s Pat” because she was hysterical from finding my Grandfather’s dead body because he had killed himself that day (he was terminal and couldn’t take it anymore). Almost 20 years later and I can still hear her perfectly and only because I answered the phone that day and she was too hysterical to call the cops instead of my dad. I never spent the night at their house again and last year was the first time I had walked in to his old bedroom again. After listening my dad told me he understood and didn’t really say much else. The entire conversation sucked and I deeply regretted it. The only good part was the Hippy saying I didn’t have to refer to the step-monster as “Mom” anymore. This has always been an issue since I was 3 years old. Actually what he said was that I am not good enough to call her mom because I don’t appreciate her but whatever. He refuses to see any side other than hers. He refuses to see why it’s messed up that I would get in trouble for saying she was my step-Mom or refer to my actual mother as my real mom or by Debbie which is her name. I was just a kid. We hung up and I told myself that may be our last call ever. I felt like we had closure. A few weeks later my husband and I where staying the weekend at my husbands sisters house and I had a long conversation with her husband (my brother-in-law) about the Hippy. See we where in Houston and David was shocked I wasn’t going to see the Hippy. I told him all this and he said “so you still blame him from your childhood” and he also felt I was selfish for not going to see him. We talked all night about it and I said I wasn’t angry but maybe I am. I haven’t ever been angry about him leaving for Jamaica. I haven’t ever been angry that he only met my husband one time before we married and didn’t come back until my 5th anniversary. I am sure I sound angry but I’m not. However, I am angry about how my grandmother died and he never had a funeral. I am angry at how he trashed her memory. I am angry he chose my step-mother over me. None of this is why I won’t see him. I truly believe deathbed wishes and confessions are for the dying – not for the living. I for all the reasons above won’t allow that to be my last memory of a father I loved dearly who left when I was 16. Today I am probably the only person in my family that will stop and think about my Grandmother but she was my everything. I have her most prized possession Barney, her shitzu and he is almost 10 years old and every time he gets his bath I take a deep sniff and I feel like I am 5 again and at her house smelling the fresh smells of bathed dogs! Happy Birthday in Heaven Grandma Jane!