Happy Birthday Ghyslaine!!!!!
Kellye - good luck picking out a present for Jake. If I had any suggestions, I'd share - sorry
Well - we went last night. It was just another put down session for Gary. It's just so sad. Gary kept on a happy face, and there was no "confrontation." You'd think after 10 years Dad could say something nice. He didn't offer any money or involvement in family business - obviously he knows Gary too well for that, so there were no decisions to make. At least all that angst was for nothing. I'm sure they'll stop talking again for years. It's so difficult for Gary, and my heart aches for him. The sad, sad thing is that his Dad is a very sick person. Apparently he was a pill addict for many, many years. He doesn't remember chunks of time from back in the 70s. He's been diagnosed as a manic depressive, bipolar - and psychotic? He's on LOADS of medications for various types of mental illness. I thank God that Gary seems to have been spared the worst of the family genes. Gary's Dad doesn't believe that Gary's "clean," doesn't drink alcohol, and isn't on medication for mental illnesses. Gary probably is borderline manic despressive and certainly has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
But the one thing that was clear as a bell to me was that his Dad is intensely jealous of Gary. Gary is brilliant, completely self-made, having left home at 15 and never relied on the family or even ever needed them for anything. Gary is a wonderful human being and always does the right thing by people - we're clearly in love and happy, and I think it is eating away at his father. He tries to make Gary jealous with the money thing, but he just doesn't get it. Gary doesn't care about the money. The saddest part is that all Gary really wants is his Dad's approval (Gary still won't admit that). All he wants is his Dad to say something like - Well - I was a tough father, but you're really done something with your life. I'm glad you're happy. But Dad can't even give him that. His Dad thinks Gary is riding on my coat-tails (I was in business on Wall Street before Gary and I started working together), he thinks we can't truly be happy because he doesn't know one married couple that is, so "whatever," and he found numerous ways to to just be mean and try to undermine Gary's confidence and successes.
Gary's Dad constantly interrupted Gary - it is always about "him," and, quite frankly, didn't let Gary finish a sentence. So all it was was painful and hurtful. But Dad is a sick man, so what is there to do? Give Gary hugs.
So here's how the evening ended. Gary can't play golf anymore because of his back (he was a scratch golfer). He has a set of original Ping nickels. Gary and Dad chatted about Golf for a while, and Gary said he remembered that his Dad used to love those clubs (we acquired these on our own in our early years together when money wasn't so tight). Gary says "I know they're worth something, and I'm not asking because I want money for them - I know you loved the set you had, and you don't have them any more. Would you like me to send you my set as I can't play anymore?" And his Dad smiled and said that would be great. Gary's Dad DOES know how difficult things are for us, with all the medical bills we've had and things being slow in our business! The old coot can't even say - "That's so kind son, but instead of giving them to me, why don't you sell them? I know you could use the money."
And that was it. We were standing at the door by then, and Gary said, Well - it was good to see you Dad. And they hugged and we left. All Gary said on the drive home (almost an hour) was: Well - that's all there is to it. He's a sick, sick man, and I just have to remember that.
My heart is still aching for Gary.
BUT at least that's behind us now, and all the gut-chewing for Gary is over - no more wondering what's up. !!