As I mentioned Wednesday in my HRT Week 96 Review my future-ex-father-in-law, Fefil, was in town to help out. Well, not even a full week went by before he packed up his car and began his journey home Thursday night.
In his brief time here, I saw him twice for roughly two hours total and actually spoke to him for probably less than 15 minutes. Yesterday he picked my kids up from daycare early and brought them to my house, and that was really nice of him to do. We exchanged cordial pleasantries when I arrived home, he left, and that was that. So all I know about why he left has come secondhand from Few and Fesil.
When he was first floating the trial balloon to come out here, he positioned it as coming out to help his daughters out with childcare, who obviously needed the help and as a permanent move from the Midwest.
When I saw him Sunday, he had backtracked somewhat and said that he was planning to stay until early Spring and then decide if he was going to stay permanently or not. His wife was still back where he came from and her job is stable and she was concerned about being able to find work if she moved, and I’m sure that had something to do with his change in longer-term plans.
But somewhere between Sunday and Thursday Fefil realized that his ability to ‘help out’ wasn’t going to happen the way he wanted it to, and he decided to leave early.
Piecing together what Few and Fesil have told me, his real agenda for coming out here was to proselyte and convert us, (his daughters, his three grandchildren, and maybe me,) to his fundamentalist Christian faith as the most effective way he could ‘help’ us. Apparently, he realized the futility* of that and decided to remove his emotionally extorting, conditionally loving, missionary ass from the scene. (He likely also felt in over his head; he’s no Spring chicken.)
Both Few and Fesil are devastated, as this is a latter-day echo of when he walked out on their mom to pursue another woman when they were children. They both feel hurt, abandoned, and devastated and I don’t blame them one whit.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around it, myself. Intellectually I understand how his worldview justifies this behavior, but emotionally I can’t process his prioritization of service to his death cult above ministering to the living. Unable to save our ‘everlasting souls’ he bailed.
I’m sad that my kids won’t ever really get to know their grandfather now and for Few and Fesil. But, good riddance, and it feels like we all dodged a bullet here. Better to have this come out early than a few months down the road when we were relying on him.
* My eldest, who is 9, is still looking forward to seeing his grandmother again so they can tell her he doesn’t believe in god. Few and I had sent them solo to visit when he was six and she apparently emotionally and maybe physically abused him about accepting her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He returned emotionally scarred from the experience and is now an avowed atheist. Few and Fesil trend towards Buddhism and I’m firmly in the atheistic camp myself, and lean towards the ethos of Japanese Zen Gardens as way to bridge the natural and human worlds and reconcile the duality of the impermanence of human consciousness and the timeless nature of the universe.
Needless to say, Few, Fesil, and myself either ignore or don’t engage with Fefil’s strain of toxic American Fundamentalist Christianity. Fefil has tried to convert me in the past and eventually gave up a few years back with a, ‘We’ll just have to agree to disagree,’ when I debated him into a corner by exposing the logical fallacies his worldview is built upon.