I need to give you a little background information on Dustyn, Valerie, and Sophie's father and his family. Can you say DIS-FUNC-TION-AL?
Keith, their father, was born in 1962, when his mother was 15 years old. Even though his mother, Pam, married his 21 year old father, Ray, Keith was not a welcome addition. He was, in his younger years, raised by his grandparents, Mary and Lamar. Pam and Ray had another son, Todd, when Keith was 5; Todd was loved by his mother. When Keith was 15, Pam and Ray divorced. By this time, Pam was ready to live her life, so to speak, so the boys remained living with their father. This is when Keith's downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse began. Ray allowed his son's to drink; encouraged it, if you will. Keith never went to visit with his mother after the divorce. He always considered Mary to be more of a mother to him than Pam ever was.
(I won't include all the details of the years Keith and I spent together-that is a blog post all it's own. By 2008, we had been apart for 7 years. By this time, I had worked through MY anger and forgiven him for what he did to ME. What he did, and continues to do to my kids is inexcusable.)
Fast forward to February 2008. Lamar passed away. The kids and I had not seen him in years. He was never very friendly when we did see him. I read his obituary in the newspaper. At this time, the kids and I had not heard from their dad in almost a year. I knew that he had been arrested for living in a vacant house and was on probation. I knew that Pam would never try to track him down, and he had a right to know that the man who raised him was gone. I called the probation department and was put in touch with his probation officer. I explained the situation to him, and told him that I knew he couldn't give me his contact information, but I would appreciate it if he would pass along the news. About 45 minutes later, Keith called me at work. I offered to take him to the viewing and funeral since he doesn't drive. He was 45 days sober at his grandfather's funeral.
We all walked into the funeral home together. Mary was sitting in a chair next to her daughter-in-law. The DIL was telling Mary who each person was as they walked up to her. It was obvious that she had Alzheimer's. I reintroduced each of the kids to her, and told her that Sophie was named after her. I believe I saw a hamster wheel in her head start to turn because she had no clue her name was Sophie! But when she saw Keith walk in the door, she jumped up and hugged him. She knew exactly who he was. She spent the rest of the service asking people if Keith had a ride, would someone make sure he had a ride? Pam hugged all over my kids and said she couldn't believe how big they were (kids do tend to grow in 11 years!) After the service I gave Pam every phone number we have so she would be able to get ahold of us if something happened to Mary. She thanked me for that.
I read Mary's obituary in the online newspaper on Monday. She died on Saturday. Such a close knit family my kids have! It was easier to get ahold of Keith this time as I had saved the last number he had called me from. Again, I offered to take him to the funeral. He is no longer working on his sobriety.
Dustyn and Valerie refused to go to the funeral. Dustyn said he didn't want to see his dad. Valerie said she wasn't going if Dustyn wasn't going. I told them this was about showing respect for their great-grandma, Obviously my teenagers have no respect. I can't image why? Sophie was fine with going, this was the woman she got her super-cool name from after all!
Sophie turned 4 about a week before we left her dad. She doesn't remember living with him. She would spend the weekend with him until I realized that it just wasn't safe for her to be there with his friends in and out all the time. She hasn't seen him much in the last 3 or 4 years. When she has seen him, he has not spoken to her. Not. One. Word. She says it doesn't bother her, but I know it does. When we picked up Keith for the funeral, Sophie climbed in the back seat. He got in next to me and started making small talk. He glanced in the back for a second and then he said, "Hey Valerie! How ya doin'?"
What the fuck did he just say??? He seriously thought she was Valerie. Sophie is 12...Valerie is 17. Sophie is my twin...I could probably disown Valerie (tall skinny bitch!) The look on Sophie's face was like she had been slapped. I said, " That's not Valerie." He looked at her again and said, "It's not? Wow, they look so much alike. Sorry, Sophie."
Just exactly what the fuck was I thinking when I was 17???
So we go to the viewing, and of coarse Pam sees us and says, "I lost your number, I couldn't find it anywhere!" Sophie said, "That's OK, my mom is obsessed with reading the obituaries." *Love ya baby girl*
So now for a *giggle giggle*
There were 2 little old ladies sitting behind us while we were waiting for the funeral to start. They were whispering to each other VERY LOUDLY about how funerals were a waste of money. The one lady said she just wanted someone to dig a hole and throw her in. The other lady said she would like to donate her organs. Seriously? Is there a high demand for 85 year old hearts? In her defense, she said she was probably too old to do that. Now here's the real *giggle giggle* point of this part.
Old Lady #1: "Look at her neck! Did you see that?"
Sophie: **shoots snot out her nose holding in a gut busting laugh**
Old Lady #2: "Do you think that's French?"
Old Lady #1: "I'm not sure. I wonder what it means?"
Sophie: type type type type send
My Blackberry: bzzzz
Me: **reads following text from Sophie**
SOPHIE'S TEXT: Those old ladys really need to learn how to text!
No, Little Old Ladies, it's not French, it's Arabic, and it means
So we went to the cemetery after the funeral. It was raining, so we were in the Mausoleum. The pastor read a really cool poem about the dash on headstones between our birth and death dates. I want to find and post it; even Sophie thought it was deep. As we were leaving, Pam said she appreciated that we came. I told her of coarse we did, after all I have her namesake. Pam looked dead at Sophie and said, "I know, I just can't believe how big you've gotten Valerie."
Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me?
We got back in the car and I dropped Keith off at a mini-mart (I have no clue why). When he got out of the car he said, "It was good to see you Valerie."
**Bangs head on steering wheel**