Monday, May 18, 2009
Fathers and daughters
My daughter has a lot of issues with her father mainly to do with his actions which led to the break-up of our marriage when she was quite young as well as what she went through during the times that we got back together and then broke up again. Very unsettling for the children. I provided as stable a lifestyle as I could for the kids but obviously there was some fallout. So Robynne doesn't really contact her father and mostly doesn't answer his sms's back.
This weekend however my ex had to travel in his vehicle to do a job in the fair Cape. He left home in Gauteng at about 11.30am and travelled through to Laingsburg in the Cape which is as far as he got after 14 hours of travelling. He slept at a service station until 5am and then continued through. I sms'd him Robynne's street address which he programmed into his GPS. This was still over 200kms from her townhouse so he only arrived on her doorstep at about 8am via the rather adventurous route as directed by said GPS. I had warned him that if he wanted breakfast he should take it with him as her larder is skimpy at best, food being rather low down on her priority list. He ended up taking her little car out to get a few groceries and I had a bit of a laugh at the thought of that as I have also driven her little car. He is rather tall and large and her car is rather small (Chevy Spark). You actually bump you passenger with your arm as you change gear. She loves her little car but we had a giggle as we imagined having to use a crowbar on him just to get him out of the car. After breakfast the two of them decided to go together to his worksite in Langebaan which is about another 100km further on from where Robynne lives. She ended up driving his bakkie and got compliments from her dad on her driving. They spent the day meeting his relatives who live in the area and doing a bit of sightseeing and then Robynne also drove back to her little townhouse where her dad spent the night. He got to see where she lives and works and they got on like a house on fire. He respects what she has done with her life and I think she enjoyed seeing her dad. Some of the animosity melted away.
He often goes on and on about Robynne and Dael and their attitudes to him. But this relationship has a lot to do with how he talks to them and treats them. Absence does make the heart grow fonder and as they grow older and get on with their lives, he has started to show them a lot more respect for their accomplishments. As he talks to them as adults, their feelings to him soften and they have a little more time for him.
As he travelled back to his worksite this morning, he phoned me and was happy at having spent this quality time with his eldest daughter. Although he often causes the rifts between himself and his children, he never understands why his actions have caused these results. I am happy that my daughter and her dad spent this time together. Robynne commented to my sister recently that for all her dad's faults he would never deny her access to his house and he would always go out of his way to help her out of trouble. Although she has been hurt by him she does love him.
There is no such thing as a lost relationship but compromise, compassion, understanding and respect go a long way to healing lost relationships and hurt feelings.