The last time I visited my father was in 2002. The last time I spoke to him was probably 2004 (I ran into him on the rail trail), and the last time I saw him was last summer (I took off before he saw me, so we didn't have any interaction). I've been avoiding him for a long time, and eventually he acceded to my requests to stop trying to contact me. So the letter I received from him a few weeks ago informing me of his diagnosis with prostate cancer came as a bit of a surprise. The letter was pretty short on details; no mention of his course of treatment, his prognosis, or whether the cancer was caught early. When I first read the letter, I didn't feel much emotional response to its contents. Mostly what I noticed was the fact that he'd spelled prostate wrong, and that his grammar and sentence structure were atrocious. Distractions from the real matter at hand, I guess. I harbour at lot of anger towards him, some of which is well placed, some of which probably is not, but the whole mess of it has long since grown stale, and I have other emotions and memories competing for supremacy. Nothing with family is ever linear or cut and dry. My siblings (who have also shut him out of their lives) and I seem to be of a common mind that we should at least send him a card to thank him for letting us know and wish him well with his treatment.
Unrelated to the above, I've been favoured with dreams of wish fulfillment for the past two nights. Wednesday night was rated PG. Last night: G. I'm keeping the details to myself. Dreams are a good road map to where my mind is, but they are ultimately just a map; they are not the territory itself, as I have to keep reminding myself.