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WWYD RE: Dad's B-day?

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My dad and I's relationship is strained to say the least. It's a long story and not really worth getting into, but he makes ZERO effort to have a relationship with either me or my children. If *I* make the first move (a phonecall, invitation, etc...) he will gladly oblige and acts completely normal and involved. I have 2 half sisters with him (18yr and 16yr). I moved out of his house when they were 4yr and 2yr. He typically does not call on my birthday (though he did this year), he does not send birthday cards/presents to my children, he has a history of coming to town and not even telling me. Two years ago at Thanksgiving time, my grandparents (his parents) called me and invited my family to Thanksgiving at their house saying "Your dad said you probably wouldn't come, but I just wanted to see if maybe you'd be interested." Um....why wouldn't I come? I was also told once by my now 18yr old sister "it's hard to get involved with someone who works so hard to push you away". I've NEVER pushed them away. I have felt offended that they never go out of their way to participate in OUR lives, and that I *always* have to take the initiative and consequently have sometimes just not done it, because I'm tired of it.


ANYWAY....today is my dad's birthday. I knew/know that. I had planned on calling after my kids went to bed......even though I didn't really WANT to. I just got a Facebook message from my 18yr old sister saying "Hey-I know it would mean a lot and be a total surprise if you gave dad a call tonight". Now, I feel like crap. If I don't call, it's a sign of how I'm pushing them away and don't want them involved in my/our lives (which is not the case.......though I get so tired of putting in all the effort and getting nothing in return). If I DO call, it will look like I did it because my sister told me to.


So.....do I call? Send an e-card? UGH!!!

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Ugh, my sister does that to me too. I would still call, and I might just send back a fb message to sister saying "I was already planning on it, but thank you for the reminder".



Go ahead and call. It will probably only take a few minutes, but I would bet it would make his day. And you never know if that relationship could turn a corner and become important again.


(I know that I don't know anything about you and your father, and that it is probably very complicated...this is just my first gut reaction. I lost someone close to me last year, and I wish I would have called more often and all of that.)

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Well, I've been trying to be "the better person" and make the "right" first moves for 15yr and it's gotten me nowhere, so I doubt the relationship is going to change anytime soon. That being said, what about a text msg? Kind of a compromise....and we have done a little texting (2-3 times) over the last year or so.

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Kristen - there is no wrong answer here. Only you know if it is appropriate to honor your dad by remembering his birthday. If speaking directly to him would be awkward or even worse, then it might not be the best for him or for you. If you can manage 5 min. of light "Happy birthday" chat with a couple of anecdotes about his grandkids mixed in, then that would be fine. If an e-card is the way to honor him but keep some distance then that's great. Same for texting or a e-mail note or even a belated snail mail card or letter.

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