I've written before about the difficult relationship I have with my grandfather. I hadn't actually spoken to him since April until this Friday but I figured since I was getting ready to move back to the States, I should probably tell him I was leaving the country. I also figured it would be easier if I did it since my mother and he have gotten into a few arguments about me in the past year (he likes to complain that I don't call but he doesn't call either, even after I made the effort to go to his birthday party).
Anyway, I called him last night and told him I just wanted to let him know that I was moving back to the States in January. I also told him that my weekends were already booked up and I was still working but maybe he'd be able to drive the hour and a half to come here and meet me for dinner. He told me he'd get back to me.
After that conversation, he called my uncle and started bragging about the fact that I'd called and wanted to see him and was going to visit him. As usual, he misunderstood but whatever.
Well, he got back to me today and asked me what my plan or intent was. And I once again said I thought maybe he could come down here to meet me for dinner. He said he couldn't drive to Grafenwoehr because he just couldn't do that to himself. But maybe he could meet me in Amberg, a town about half an hour away. I told him I didn't want to go Amberg, and I couldn't go to Bamberg to visit him for the same reasons I'd stated earlier and I'd also be shipping my car soon. He explained that taking a train to Grafenwoehr would just be too much of a hassle and he couldn't drive here at this time of year.
I've been in Germany for almost three years, excluding the fifteen month deployment. Even before my grandfather and I had a huge fight a little over a year ago, he never expressed an interest in coming to visit me. Everything has always had to be on his terms. I didn't expect anything to change but I thought I'd give him a chance to see me one last time before I left. I love Europe and living in Germany was a great way to travel to a bunch of different cities and countries I've always dreamed of going to. I will definitely come back to Europe but I am so over Germany. If I'm going to be paying to fly to Europe from the States, I'm going to be going to places I want to see such as Italy and the UK, maybe Spain and Greece.
My aunt and uncle who I am actually relatively close to fly to the States every once in a while so I'll see them then, and I'm sure once I've been away for a while, I'd be willing to make a detour to visit with them in Germany. I won't do it for my grandfather, though. My mom didn't even tell him last time she came to Germany (which was in September to see me) because she didn't want to deal with his drama. I will probably not see my grandfather again, and I don't know if he gets that. It's unfortunate and I realize I sound completely uncompromising but I'd be a lot more willing to give way if he had ever done so in the past few years or ever done anything that actually involved him going out of his way for me, like a real grandfather would do. He has never even tried to learn English, and this is a man that speaks three languages; he never even called me to congratulate me when I got promoted because he doesn't approve of my job and has never gone out of his way to take an interest in my interests. I can't say I'm surprised but I was hoping he'd surprise me, if not for my sake than at least for my mom as way of showing that he would make an effort for his family.