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Monday, 5 July 2010

Saint Fhina of the Fountain...

Fhina has been busy out in the world, hatching plans for world domination (as the politicians plot to close my office), healing the sick (more to follow today), mending broken hearts (mine, a little, more later this week when I have hardened my heart again), buying random items from e-bay (some VW Camper Van mugs for Grizz going off to college), that kind of thing...

Friday found me brokering some emergency dental treatment with my own, much-loved, dental practice for my almost 86 year old, dentist-phobic, father-in-law.

Deep joy.

I have a melange of feelings for this man, who hurt my sickly late mother-in-law and treated her with a mixture of love and neglect throughout her life, pandering to stray women instead.

My husband, GJ, recalls many hours spent trying to get his father to go home with him after school, instead of having to deal with some roving buxom blonde damsel's emergency or another... GJ remains a fiercely loyal partner to this day, (when he isn't wholeheartedly ignoring my chattering, of course), abhorrent of any sign of a straying nature that might bring him near to how his father behaves...

In 1992, My pa-in-law allowed his indulgence for his chaperone and her dogs to overcome any emotion he might feel for my newborn son, when he allowed them into a room in my home where I was feeding Grizz in his bouncy chair, which led to me snatching him up from level with their scrabbling paws and frenzied tongues...

I stashed him in the kitchen, placing him 'out of harm's way', for the dogs were still loose and I did not know them nor how they would behave with my child. My FIL ignored my pleas to take them away, or restrain them.

He followed me into the kitchen, dogs in tow, just as Grizz fell from the spot on the kitchen counter-top, where I would never have set him had I been in full control of my sanity.

We spent two nights in hospital for observation, and I endured the full-on questioning of medical professionals, who were understandably investigating whether I had meant to bring harm to my beloved child.

I have pictures of me holding him tight, his left eye blackened and closed. I think that's what brought him to have one eye that sits slightly higher to the other. You'd never really notice this. Except if you loved him dearly.

I've not forgiven him for that.

...And other wilful deeds.

He once left me and my own mother, and the baby-now-toddler, alone by the side of the road where my car had broken down, because he had something far more important to dash off to with his chaperone. They were passing at the time, on their way to pick up something she'd bought from a charity shop.

In a time before everyone had mobile phones, abandoned, wet, and far from home, I hitched a ride with a helpful stranger, who took me to a safe place where I could call for proper help, and enable my frantic mother, fretful child, and jalopy to be salvaged too...

The dice are not stacked in his favour, my FIL.

He began an affair with the step-mother of my husband's best friend while she was pregnant with his father's child. Weird. Irrational. Hurtful. Unbelievably callous of his adult children's feelings who were still grieving their mother's sudden and too-early death.

In time, she came to her senses and returned to her husband, to make his life a bit of a misery as it turns out...

I haven't forgiven him that.

So, on Friday, when it came to who would accompany him to see my dentist, Mr Painless, to fill out forms and attend to the bill, to ask and answer questions, to re-assure and cajole, to distract him with chatter about the new-found Family Tree while we waited, to soothe him into the chair, and to hold his feet while the dentist administered patient care and Novocaine, and after three stubborn roots and a crumbling tooth was removed, it fell to me, moi, Faithful Fhina.

I am a saint like that.

Sainted Fhina of the Fountain. It's one of those fountains that dogs can lap water from.

I have a big heart.

Watch out.


Saz said...

its the caring peple who get hurt....we who have the feelings, the love and emotions...the uncaring..have hearts of stone and so dont get hurt...lives of nothingness.

saz x


Gigi said...

You are a good daughter-in-law - after all that I don't think I could behave as well.

As Saz said - it's the people with heart and love that end up getting hurt. Sad, but true.

libby said...

You are inextricably linked and probably always knew that any caring needing to be done would come from you....look at it as an opportunity to calmly forgive.

slommler said...

I know about having to "do" these kinds of things. And I applaud you!! Hurts like these are hard to forget and forgive. One must have great self-control not to slap someone silly!!! Ha!
Loving the saint reference and picture. You are, you know?!

Derrick said...

But surely, Fhina, didn't you have a more pressing appointment with your leeks or something to attend to?!!

Anonymous said...

You are a caring person and it's to your benefit that you cared for him. That sort of person simply follows his male parts and never learns of anything else that's good.

Blogs sometimes let us lay it all out and look at it. I hope this did some healing too.

Anonymous said...

There would have been, for me at least, a smidgin of pleasure as the needles penetrated.

Saintly Ffina, indeed.

carma said...

you are a much kinder person than I would have been - what a complete cad.

You are probably wearing yourself down caring for the likes of this inconsiderate boob.

Next time you need to be "otherwise disposed" when he calls for help. BLEH :-(

I truly feel for you as it seems your extended family puts a lot of pressure on you. I'm slowly learning how to escape that pressure from my own extended family...

Something I wrote earlier...

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