I’ve been wanting pictures more than anything lately. Anything to remind me that I’m not losing my mother all over again. I want pictures. I want videos. I want anything to keep her memory alive. So of course, I turned to her family for anything they might have. I was able to get some photo copies from my aunt (my mother’s sister) and a scrapbook with a few photos from my cousin. The one person I believed to have photos galore would be her father. My biological grandfather. More like, Grandpa Liar. I haven’t nor will I ever have a relationship with someone who has built his life on a lie. I won’t go into details, because that’s meant for another story and perhaps somebody’s else’s story altogether to tell.
I’ve spoken to him three times in the last 8 years. He’d like to pretend it’s only been two-three years since my mother’s death, but that’s only because he’s so fake he doesn’t know what the truth is anymore. The point is, I’ve tortured myself just dialing his number and hanging up. The first time we spoke was at my uncle’s graduation last May. The second time was shortly after Thanksgiving. I went to his home and brought up the idea of gathering photos of my mother. He, of course, talked my ear off about unimportant things and nothing to do with why I had entered his home in the first place. He claimed he had boxes full of photos, he would just have to dig out. The third time I called him right before Christmas to remind him of what I had asked him, he claimed he only had a manilla folder an inch and a half thick of photos that he gave to my mother.
He’s a liar. He’s a pathological lying son of a bitch. And I’m not going to sugar code anything. My mother’s side has done plenty of that in the last 20 years. I don’t need to add to it. He’s the pure definition of a narcissist. He’s cunning and deceitful. And above anything else – he’s a rapist who’s roaming free.
When I told my sister I had visited him, her first reaction was. “Be careful, he’s dangerous.” It’s true, however I’m not scared of him. When I told my father I was attempting to get these pictures and videos he encouraged me to do so and in the quickest way to avoid having to ever speak to him again.
I”m trying everyday to build the courage to call him again and work around his bullshit, however – before I do that I’m going to outweigh all of my options and speak to any other family member who could possibly have photos of my mother when she was young and also anything of when I was little. But sometimes I feel like my family is impossible. That they don’t realize how important this is to me, and how much I feel joy when I see a photo I’ve never seen before, or one I don’t remember. And suddenly memories come back to me and I have something to hold onto when I feel like there is nothing left.
All the photos I had were stolen from me. There wasn’t much to begin with, but they were ever so special to me. And if this lesson has taught me anything it’s to take more pictures than not — and keep pushing through even if it feels like you’re breaking.