Thursday, November 08, 2007

An Ethical Dilema

I've mentioned before that I haven't spoken with my father in quite some time. I can't tell you why because I don't know the answer to that myself. My parents were divorced when I was very young. I would see him every second weekend, and when he moved away, I would be flown out to see him. I adored my father when I was little but when I was about thirteen he stopped calling.

I've made contact with him a couple of times over the years. I told him I was getting married, that he has a grandson, that I'm not looking for anything from him. Each time ends the same way. The contact stops as quickly as it began.

It used to be very upsetting for me but I've come to terms with the fact that he doesn't want to be a part of my life, my family, and that there is nothing that I can do change that. I know that I've done all I can and that's all anyone can do.

Mister K has similar issues with the maternal side of his family. His mother used to bake pies for him every week, we would drive up to his grandmother’s house and he would mow the lawn. They had what I thought was a nice relationship. I'm not exactly sure what changed everything. It may have been that she resented that he reunited with his father (her ex-husband) combined with the stress of tragically losing her mate, sadly, we're not exactly sure.

When we were getting married we sent his mothers side invites. Every member from that side of his family declined to come (which was not unexpected). His mother took the opportunity to write a hurtful note on the RSVP card, which basically said 'have a nice life'. When his grandfather died, Granny K begged his brother to be a pallbearer. He refused. When Granny K fell ill they did not visit. When she passed away, they did nothing. The poor thing never understood why her grandson didn't want to be family.

His mother called yesterday to say that his grandmother, her mother, is in the hospital and not doing well. It's hard to know what to do. After all of the pain that they have already caused for Mister K it's hard to see him struggling with this decision. Should he visit her? Should he confront his mother? Should he just be satisfied with knowing that his grandmother is ill? Should he extend the olive branch again and risk being hurt all over again?

It's easy to say, "Of course you should make amends! That's your grandmother!" or "How would you feel if she died?" but it takes more than blood to make people 'family'. Family IS incredibly important to us because of our experiences with our parents. That is what makes this a particularly difficult dilemma. I can't imagine letting anything get in the way of my relationship with my son. I'd go to the ends of the earth for him. Even when Mister K and I are at heads we know that we can depend on one another. I might get angry with them, I may not like what they do, but I'll love and care for them always. It's a pretty terrible feeling when you feel you can't depend on the people that are supposed to love you the most. I don't want my little family to be hurt any more than they have been, especilly not by people who have hurt us before.

This is going to be a tough one.