I drove my niece, my older daughter and my dancer daughter all to Fort Langley Saturday morning. My dancer had to be at the theatre for a lighting and technical blocking rehearsal at 12:45 p.m. She stayed at the studio until her 7:00 p.m. performance.
My niece, other daughter and I explored Fort Langley. I took them to the stores that I thought were interesting and we ate our way around the little town. Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia and is filled with history. Fort Langley is the set for several movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. The yellow Community Hall is one of the landmarks to recognize this city location on screen. We had a really fun and enjoyable day and I am a little sad that this is my last weekend to be here for dance.
We met my brother-in-law for dinner at the Olive Garden at 4:30 p.m. I gave a heads up that Dave would be at the show as they haven’t seen him since our separation. My niece adamantly declared that he was no longer family. My brother-in-law disagreed and they had a bit of an argument over it. He said that his relationship and loyalty was with me as we had a long and close history. He stated that he was not close to David but pointed out that he never had any issues with him and that they had contact with each other on Facebook after our separation. (He had told me that previously and wanted to know at the time if that was hurtful to me that he reached out to him. Several of my family and friends had done the same and it was not hurtful but I learned my ex didn’t respond to the others) My brother-in-law told my niece that he got to choose who he considered to be family.
My niece then felt a little badly that Uncle David was going to be at the show alone and wondered if he should sit with us, of course, she said, with he and I being at opposite ends from each other. My daughter was at the table with us and we were very respectful in our discussions of the social awkwardness and hurt felt by everyone because of this tear in the family. I know from my discussions with my sister the night before that she would not be able to mask her feelings as easily and I was glad she wasn’t able to attend. She feels very duped by my ex. She called him a fraud to me on Friday night citing his praying at all our family meals and then contrasting that to her remembering his come-ons towards her at our last Christmas together (he was involved with Janice at that time already). She said it was wrong on every level. She recalled that he acted all the time like he was this great family guy when it was a lie. She said that she thought it was just the scotch he was drinking at Christmas but that the alcohol just revealed his true nature. Now that we all know, he didn’t have to pretend anymore. She said that she can see now he doesn’t even care about his children and feels the entire 23 years she knew him was just a facade.
When we got to the theatre we stepped into the long line up waiting for the doors to open. Dave was not there and I feared for my daughter that he wasn’t going to end up showing. I popped my head in to the studio so my daughter knew that I was there in the audience for her. My older daughter then said that her dad texted her and he was waiting in the parking lot. He wanted to know who from my family was there. He asked our daughter to save him a seat and to text him to let him know when he could go in. My niece commented that he is afraid to show himself because he knows he did something wrong.
We had extra seats in our row but after my daughter put down her coat she went to a different row to find a seat for her dad. When he came in, my brother-in-law and my niece both waved to him to attract his attention. He waved back and then came up to shake my brother-in-law’s hand and to hug my niece. I was very proud of my family for the kindness they showed to my children’s father. Dave and I, on the other hand, did not acknowledge each other.
It was a proud and emotional evening. A girl sang our national anthem beautifully and powerfully while we all stood and sang along and watched our dancers’ photos appear on the large screen on stage with their name over the maple leaf. I wondered how my ex felt listening to the MC who was a dance dad and had traveled with his daughter twice for Team Canada. He shared about the bond that grew because of those trips together. He shared about his understanding of the stress on the parents involved–the expense, the fundraising required and work that goes into getting kids to rehearsals, costuming, photograph sittings, press interviews, etc. My ex was not a part of any of that.
It was a short show–8 dances in the first half and 8 in the second half with a 30 minute intermission to buy 50/50 tickets, wine raffle tickets (40 bottles of wine to win), and silent auction items with the money raised all to support the team. My daughter’s group danced first so her dad left at intermission. He didn’t get to see her acknowledged at the end in her Team Canada jacket and he didn’t receive the team photo they handed out with all of the notes from the family wishing their dancer good luck on the back–I signed “love mom, dad and (older daughter’s name)” on my note to our daughter.
When we were at the ferry terminal heading back to Victoria we ran into friends. The mom asked our daughter if her dad came to see her dance. She said that he did but he left half way through. Our friend asked “why?” My daughter said it was because she danced first. She said, “He always does that.” I realized at that moment that she isn’t going to remember that her dad was there to see her dance. She is going to remember that he left.