Phyl's Flashes

Feb 2009
2:03 AM PDT

Daddy's Girl

Got a call from Lisa yesterday. I love her, she's always shown me that she cares about me and she's such a genuine person. I am proud of her, she's overcome some pretty challenging hurdles in her life. She has a good heart, she's easy to be around, she's very funny and she has a comfort about herself which makes you feel the same when you're with her.

She's been my stepsister forever, well for her it's been like forever because she was 6 when my dad met her mom, I was 16. I was busy with my life when my father decided that it would be ok for him to move out of the house where he, Bear and I were living together and�go move in�with Shirley and her two kids that were still living�with her.

I didn't spend very much time�over there, I think I can only remember one invitation from Shirley to come eat with them. It wasn't long before they all moved from SF to Petaluma which put a 1hr. drive between us which only served to justify our growing distance.

As the years went by and�I�began my family I started to realize that my father didn't really seem to care about participating in that. He was busy with his new family. Shirley's children kept him busy,�Lisa was the baby in the house and the last to move out.�She had a good thing going there which didn't go�unnoticed on the visits we'd make a few times a year. I'd�hear the special nicknames they had for each other.�I'd notice their inside jokes,�and the bowling trophies�on display.

I don't know when exactly, I knew that she�was my Daddy's Girl, and that she thought of him as her dad. It wasn't a conscience thing, it just sort of became part of the story as time went by. I don't think I resented her, as I don't think I do now. I know that once in awhile I'd feel jealous but it wasn't ever something I couldn't handle. I was used to being in the�background of my father's life. I was used to getting�his leftovers, used to chasing him.

In our conversation yesterday I felt the love and respect that I have for her and at the same time the old jealousy tweaked my heart a couple times. I hope she didn't know, I don't want to make this time any harder than it�already is for her�(grieving the loss of her mother). I want to be supportive. I want to fit in. She called to make sure that I knew that my family�is considered included in the hour before the memorial starts�for "the kids" to be part of an "unvailing" of the urn that�Dad selected and no�one has seen yet. I appreciated that because Dad had mentioned that that was going to take place but the way he phrased it, it sounded like that was going to be a time for just Shirley's kids. I could respect that if that's what they wanted, like I said, I'm used to the background.

If you were listening to�my end of that phone call you wouldn't think there was anything difficult other than the obvious ( ie;memorial plans)�but I felt the familiar�tap on�my shoulder of the "other me" that had to take the phone and do the responding while Lisa told me the stories of how she's there for him and how he is turning to her.�

I had to tell her that he's pushed me away, that he told me, "You don't need to keep checking on me." I was comforted by her encouragement that�I need to ignor that talk from him and go see or call him anytime I feel like it, in fact,�he's told her the same thing.�She made sense, he doesn't know what he needs and we just want to show we care. I was impressed with her maturity in that knowledge.

In time, I'm hopeful that I can find my place with my father without having to push Lisa aside.

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