1. The day you decided at age 54 that trying to be a teenager again was the life for you. Four little pairs of 10 yr old eyes and ears standing there as you said "I stayed as long as there was little children that needed me, now they are grown and I can go." How do you think that felt to two little boys, knowing you were refering to the older children and completely dismissing that they were still little children who needed you desperately? It told them they didn't count, that you felt they weren't worth anything. When you walked away from their mother whom they knew was sick and unable to work. That was when you planted the seed of hate.
2. Waking up the next morning to find out you had deliberately and without any reason anyone to this day can figure out, destroyed our car before you left so we had no transportation in a town where we also have no family to turn to for help and no way to buy another car? That we went two years without a car because of you. That was when you watered the seed.
3. Walking out the door without even telling them goodbye. The seed began to sprout.
4. Telling us you were making the house payments and finding out 4 months later when we got the foreclosure notice that you had not made a single one and it was too far gone for me to catch up. Then the scramble to try and find a place to move to and actually move with no car and no help. The seed sprouted again.
5. Knowing you make a tremendous salary in your chosen profession yet will tell them you have no money and are eating only sandwiches two days a week because your giving all your money to their mother when they ask for a new pair of shoes. They are not stupid, they knew better. Even more so 7 yrs later. The sprouts began to turn green.
6. Receiving huge income tax returns and refusing to give us our half so you can take vacations with your girlfriend to the Bahamas, Lake Tahoe to ski, cruises, etc. They haven't even been to see their out of state family in 7 yrs because we have to support your girlfriends vacation needs. The sprouts began to grow.
7. When they told you their mother was very sick with Lupus, on one of the rare times you answered the phone when they called, your response was to tell them all about your girlfriends diabetes. Did you really think they cared what she could and couldn't eat? The sprouts grew taller.
8. Not being here to teach them to drive a car, watch them play ball and making them have to answer the question "Where is your Dad and why do you never see him?" when they meet a new friend. The sprout has now become a small tree.
9. Seeing them three times in 7 yrs when you live less than 4 hours away and then every one of those times letting your girlfriend not only talk to them like they were stray dogs off the street but once accuse one of them of stealing a ring she mysteriously found later in her jewelry box. Trust me he didn't' have a great need for a ring with her name engraved on it surrounded by a giant flower. Unlike you he does have taste. The tree grew another two feet.
10. By now the hate has even soaked into the one that always thought you hung the moon and made the sun rise every morning. Your daughter. When she got the hysterical call to go pick him up because he was being screamed at by you and your girlfriend over the tacky ring and was so scared he locked himself in the bedroom to call her because she was closer to him in distance than I was, she isn't deaf, she heard every unpleasant and hateful word being screamed at him. It also didn't take her long to figure out your girlfriend made up the whole story. So now she hates both of you, she did at least like your girlfriend a little bit until then, but only because she bought her that jacket for Christmas the year before. Speaking of holidays they have never received a call or card for any holiday since you walked out of this door. Do you really think they want to see all the pictures you post of the holidays you spend with your girlfriend, her children and grandchildren and all the gifts you have gotten them? The tree has now grown three more feet.
11. Does it not tell you something when all the children and I still spend holidays with your family or they with us and your not invited? Did it not bother you that your mother is so ashamed of the way you have treated your children that she even changed churches so the people she has gone to church with since you were a baby don't ask about you? The tree sprouts are growing into limbs.
12. You bought the other children a car when they got their license, but can't even help the other two? The limbs on that tree are getting stronger.
13. Your grandchildren haven't heard from you in 5 yrs now, it really hurt one of them to find out you were in town last week, less than a block from where she lives and didn't bother go see them. The tree is now sprouting blossoms.
14. I don't have the energy to go into all the times you with your big salary have borrowed money from your grown children "until you can get back home and send it back to them" and then stuck them when they make less than a quarter of what you do. The tree has now grown 4 more feet.
15. The day you left your 20 yr old daughter alone in a house with three drunks who tried to rape her killed anything she ever felt for you. Only her quick thinking saved her. A fiance who had no qualms about hunting you down and possibly losing his law license when he beat you to the ground was a bonus. I just regret I didn't get to see him do it. The tree grew 6 more feet that day, the limbs became strong and flowers are beautiful. But beware the fruit.
I have a lot more reasons I could list but if you just think hard enough you will know them without being told. But one thing about that beautiful tree, have you ever heard the song "Lemon Tree?" It perfectly describes the tree you have nourished and let blossom.
When I was just a lad of ten, my father said to me
Come here and take a lesson from the lovely lemon tree
Don't put your faith in love, my boy, my father said to me
I fear you'll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree
Lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of that poor lemon is impossible to eat
Oh and about that college diploma and your cap and gown you left here for "safe keeping", well you might need to write the university and get a copy, as for the cap and gown I'm not sure if they use the same colors now, if not then you're just shit out of luck. All have met an unfortunate end. Not exactly sure how it happened, Jose Cuervo might be able to answer that one for you, I certainly have very little memory of that night.
Uh, the clothes you left here? Yeah, well they are kinda of gone too, maybe the mission I gave them too can round them back up for you. Now this one I remember very well, I did it just to be mean. No excuses.
Oh and another thing, the flag from your father's casket that you threw up in your brother's face so many times because you had it and he didn't? Well, he is now the proud owner of that flag, along with all other memorabilia you left here. It happened on one of those nights when I was doing just what the old commercial use to say "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair!" I just decided to wash away all his belongings too.