Wednesday, October 12, 2011


When I was growing up, I went to my dad's most weekends. He wasn't a stable home sort of guy. He moved around a lot. I never really thought it was weird, though it was occasionally inconvenient. He lived with friends, with his sister, his parents, sometimes on his own, and with my godfather, who was also separated from his wife.

My godfather had two kids, the same ages roughly as my brother and I. The weekends we spent with them was the best. If we weren't with them, we'd usually be on the couch watching TV shows my dad wanted to watch, sometimes playing Monopoly, we went to the beach a few times, or over to my aunt's in the summer for a swim. But mostly it was with my godfather's family and I loved it.

The four of us had sleepovers, we went bike riding, we swam and tried our hand at skateboarding. We went to each other's birthdays and listened to music. It was wonderfully normal, actually, because so few times did I get to spent weekends with friends from school because my dad had dibs. He'd pick me up early from birthday parties because it was his Saturday. He actually took me to his friends' kids' parties without providing me with a present to bring, and I wouldn't know anybody.

Hanging out with this family was wonderful. They were my friends, and they felt like family. I saw my cousins all the time with my mom and with my dad, I had my godfather's kids.

When I was about 18, my brother, father and I were living together in a duplex around my old neighbourhood. Before I moved away to college, my dad and my godfather had a massive falling out. I never learned about the details. I was inclined to think my dad was blowing things out of proportion, as that is what he often does, but the whys of the matter didn't make a difference. The result was the same. My godfather was excommunicated, as it were, from our lives.

Crossing my father in this matter was a highly charged and volatile situation. There was no changing his mind and I couldn't broach the subject with him without regretting it. So I learned to live without this man in my life. And that had always struck me as unfair, but I hadn't known at the time how to stand up to my father.

Over the years I moved on, sometimes remembering the good times, but didn't know what to do about getting back in touch. Some time ago I found his daughter on Facebook and contacted her. It was nice, though the old intimacy was gone. But that's to be expected. I looked through her wedding photos and was pleased to see her so happy, but sad that I'd missed so much of her life when we had been good friends as kids. Always opposites, but we had called each other "godsisters".

So when I was writing out invitations (an incredibly large and complicated undertaking, even for a small wedding) I decided I was going to mail my godfather an invite and let him know I was getting married and would like him to be there. I found his address and number, the same lovely rural place it was back when I was a teenager, and mailed his invite.

I haven't heard from him. I haven't heard from a handful of people, actually. Some are taking their time, or figure I should just know the answer psychically, or were working out the logistics of travel, and one I let slip through the cracks and didn't even send (I am SO sorry!), and I've begun getting a hold of these people personally.

I called the number associated with the address and in that moment realized why I just mailed the invitation without calling first to reconnect. I wasn't sure if they still cared about me and I was nervous about it. So when I called today I left the most rambling insane voicemail message of my life. I asked if they were who I thought they were, was this the right number? Hi, I'm Jendra, your god daughter and I'm getting married, did you get my invitation? Was wondering if you could come. I hope this is the right number. Here's my number. So, anyway... And it went on like that for much longer than it should have.

Maybe I got the wrong address. Maybe they want to avoid my father. Maybe they don't care about me anymore. Maybe it's too far to travel. I don't know. But if they don't get back to me, I'll have to try again and stumble through another nonsensical round of my foolishness.

Another reason I'm looking forward to the wedding is everything will be done and I can put some of this social awkwardness behind me.

I really hope my godfather and his wife can come. I regret not calling first. I think I was just feeling a little insecure. Sometimes I worry the people I care about don't feel the same way about me.

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