I used to enjoy a good road trip. Maybe I still will on Thursday, when the spouse and I start heading northward to pick up my mom's old piano. We'll be stopping along the way to see my dad in the hospital. I haven't seen him or my mom in three years. He's being hospitalized near where my sister lives in North Carolina.
I have kind of a complicated history with my dad. We didn't get along for much of my childhood for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest ones is that he's an alcoholic who grew up during the Depression era. Consequently, he often treated me like a farm animal. He often didn't have a lot of respect for me as a person... although there were times when he showed some glimmers of pride in who I was. But most of the time, he treated me kind of badly.
Maybe that's part of the reason why I get so upset with my husband's estranged daughters. They have a loving dad who would have done almost anything to have a relationship with them... at least until they became so incredibly alienated that they wouldn't so much as speak to him. I guess I should feel sorry for them, since they are missing out on a wonderful father, courtesy of their mother's selfishness and crazymaking. But while I'm very angry at their mother, I'm also angry at those girls-- even as I understand the difficult situation they're in.
In any case, I guess I can credit my dad with always being around and being a decent provider. He has some redeeming qualities. He did honorably serve his country for 22 years. Many people like him, even if I haven't always.
It will be bittersweet to see the house I grew up in, pretty much empty. I never actually liked the house that much, but it is where I spent most of my youth. This may be the last time I ever go up that way for a long time...