Friday, October 21, 2016

Montana Aftershock

Holy cannoli, he called. My exact thought at the time was actually HOLY SHIT! On Wednesday night as I was making dinner, my phone rang. I looked and saw that it was a call coming in from Columbia Falls, MT. I assumed that it was Baby Sis and got excited that I was getting an unexpected call from her. And then I answered...

In hindsight, I should have known it wasn't Baby Sis since I have her number saved in my phone, so her name would have actually shown up instead. I never in a million years would have guessed that my dad would be calling. Of course I could tell that he was completely wasted, but that part wasn't a surprise at all.

He called to wish me a happy birthday, something he hasn't done in, ummmm, ever! He said that he wanted to call the day before (on my actual birthday) but didn't know if I'd be busy. Then he went on to say he wouldn't ever call on the day of, always the day before or day after, because he doesn't celebrate birthdays, or any holidays really. (He's Jehovah witness) We talked about Sis and Baby Sis's birthdays, and he said he plans to call them around their birthdays too.

He talked about how we had shocked the hell out of him, showing up on his doorstep when we visited. He said he has thought of us often over the years, that it took him 20 years to finally stop thinking about us every day. He said he just hadn't known how to get in touch with Sis and I. I could have called him out on that, because he really could have found a way if he really wanted to. He knows where our grandparents lived, a house that is STILL in our family. A house that my grandmother actually grew up in herself, so it's been around a very long time. We also have cousins from his side of the family that he could have asked, never mind the fact that his sister (who he lives with) knows how to find us on Facebook. I let that slide over though.

He also talked about my mom quite a bit. He said he owed her an apology. I asked him what he would say to her if he had the chance, what was he sorry for, but he wasn't willing to give any details. He just said that he would apologize. I told him I would pass the message along, although I don't know if I actually will or not.

The phone call only lasted for 9 minutes, so it wasn't very long, but I wouldn't have really wanted it to be any longer either. I was making dinner and the kids were being very loud at the time. Besides, I didn't really know what else to say. Before we hung up the phone, he said he had one thing that he wanted to ask. He wanted to know if I was Catholic. It seemed genuinely important to him, like it was something he'd thought about and wondered often (my mom's side of the family is Catholic). I told him that no, I am not Catholic. I'm not sure why I didn't mention that I was raised Catholic. It might have been because it seemed important to him, but more likely it was because I just really didn't want to dig into the details of my religious upbringing and current beliefs.

When I had the chance, I later messaged both my sisters to let them know he called. They were as shocked as I was! We had a really nice and much needed conversation that night. We hadn't all "talked" in awhile. Even though it was only a (private) Facebook conversation, it was still a soothing balm for each of us. It's hard not being able to see each other.

I'm still mostly neutral in my feelings toward my father, but it was still nice, and completely shocking, that he actually thought about me and took the time (or got the guts) to pick up the phone on around my birthday.


  1. Wow I would have been in total shock as well! Even though he was drunk, that did take guts to call you after all of this time.

    1. I totally think so too, and also think he never would have had the courage without being drunk.

  2. Wow. Wow wow wow. I can't believe he called. Do you think this is going to be a usual occurrence? What does you mom say about your trip and meeting with him??

  3. Oh hun. Coming from someone with a "different" family dynamic as well, hugs. Hugs. Big hugs.

  4. Oh, Amber, I have chills reading this!!! Don't know if anything good will ever come of any of this but it has got to be healing for all of you and maybe mostly for him. As far as your Mom, my first instinct is that you were trusted with a message, pass it on and then it's in their hands as what if anything comes from that. It's been years and years and a whole lot that I don't know but what I do know, this does not surprise me that he called. Again, I just hope that it's healing for you and your sisters as you all would be my main concern in this! This makes me smile though! Love and hugs, Auntie

  5. Oh, Amber! What an emotional whirlwind you've been through! Many hugs.