Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


A day early

So, I guess I played my Memorial Day hand a day too soon,  but I did have a nice Sunday visiting with a Veteran, my father.  We haven't been able to get together since Thanksgiving, because, well...life.

My dad did 24 years in the Navy...4 reserve, 20 active, and after retiring, did something more heroic than he ever did in the Navy. 

Once upon a time, my step-brother got his high school girlfriend pregnant.  He did the 'honorable' thing(even though my dad and I both tried to talk him out of  it), and long story short, things didn't work out.  Since there was a grand-child produced, my dad and step-mom stayed very involved with the ex, even after she got pregnant from another guy, they let that daughter grow up calling them grammy and pop-pop.

Now...here is where I come across very shallow, and I recognize that.  As the years went on, the two girls mom revealed major levels of being a dirt bag.  My dad and step-mom stepped into this void(my step-brother was not necessarily a dirt bag, he just decided not to be involved).  They spent soooo much time with the other two of their grand kids, the amount of time they spent with my two girls suffered. 

After a few years of that, I actually had the gaul to complain.  I while I know it made me a bit shallow, I felt I had to go to bat for my girls.  The end result of several rounds of conversation was that I expressed my opinion that if things were that bad for the girls, my dad and step-mom needed to step in and seek custody of the girls, otherwise, treat all the grand kids equally.  IF they weren't that bad yet, then I recommended they 'go limp' until things got bad enough they could move in with CPS and take the kids.

Yeah...that went over well.  After that, I kept my opinion to myself.

Given a few more years though, my dad was able to keep enough records of time the girls spent with them, and how often their mom moved and slept on couch's here and there, and lost jobs, and just living life poorly, that they did go to court for custody of the girls.

And won.

So...now, in his mid-60's, my dad, having raised two boys, is learning to raise two girls, one a teen-ager, the other approaching that point.

It's not easy.  It's a lot of time and effort at a point in life where you shouldn't be having to put in the time and effort that way. 

As a result of that, he has only made the 4 hour drive to see us once in the almost three years since we moved to Richland.  Mostly we go to their place, or meet at 'neutral' sites.  Because I can't keep my mouth shut, I tried guilt tripping him earlier in the week, pointing out my wife's mom was coming to visit us at the end of June, and that would be her 4th trip in three years...from Connecticut. 

Yeah...that still didn't go over the best.

But...it did result in us setting a meeting yesterday, and we got both familys together in Ellensburg for a tasty brunch, and a few hours playing at some of the local parks.  My girls got to get hugs from Pop-pop, which is nice.

The two girls(my sisters?) are doing good...not perfect, but 1800% better than they would have with their mom.  Now, I get jealous, because I see them getting away with stuff I NEVER would have been able to get away with around my dad when I was 13.

Someday, I'll grow up. 


  1. I am amazed that they won custody of a "grandchild" that is not even a biological relative. And I'll eat my shirt if your "complaint" wasn't a driving force behind your dad's decision to stop enabling a chronic dirt-bag, and act on behalf of the children instead of a parasitic woman. He has been trained his whole life to serve the neediest, and in this case he has properly defined who really IS the neediest. Due in part to that "training," modern girls ALWAYS get away with more than boys ever could.

    You're plenty grown up. You see reality for what it is.

  2. Your Dad is a fine man. You're not doing so bad yourself, with this sort of self analysis. Age refines a man, after all.

  3. I won't offer any judgments. I'm pleased to know what your elders did. I am pleased that you go to bat for your girls... your family, and other topics. It's a tough world. Sometimes you gotta say it. I am almost certain you were cut from the exact same cloth as your father, which probably makes it interesting, has to. You sure resemble him otherwise too.