It was 2010 when I first came to this website. It was the day after the Memorial. I swore I would never attend another Memorial, ever.
My father had called me a few day prior to that Memorial and encouraged me to go. I had been completely inactive for about 4 years at that point. My dad made it sound like the Memorial talk was going to be new, different, and of some great importance. It was none of those things.
Since then I believe I have only spoken to him over the phone a few times. Although he laid off the Witness talk, he was still ending our phone conversations with his weird conspiracy theories, which ultimately implied that "The End" was near. It was like Alex Jones on steroids. As a result, I stopped calling.
A month ago my grandmother died in her sleep. She would have turned 95 this coming September. I found out from my aunt and later my cousin via Facebook posts. I struggled with calling my dad. I wanted to console him and express my sympathies on the loss of his mother.
I tried calling my parents' house. No response. I called my brother who still lives near them. He is completely out of the organization and I figured it would be non-confrontational calling him, but he didn't answer. I called my sister finally. She is my only sibling that's PIMI. She answered and said that my parents were at the afternoon Sunday meeting. She said that they usually go out to dinner after the meeting and before going home. She was on vacation outside the area and had not spoken to our father.
I finally got a hold of my brother. We hadn't spoken but a handful of times since I moved to another state over 10 years ago. We had a good talk. He said our father wasn't really responding to the passing of his mother. I thought that was weird, but not for him.
Side note - my father did not become a Witness until his early thirties. He is the oldest child of a large family. He found out after high school when he enlisted in the military that his father was not really his father. His biological father abandon he and his mother after his birth. His mom re-married immediately as it was scandalous back in those days to be a single mom. Growing up my dad only rarely brought us around his family. He has one brother who became a Witness and he was the only one we regularly hung out with.
Finally, at about 8:00PM local time my dad called me. I told him I was calling to express my sympathy for the passing of his mother and to check up on he and my mother. I wasn't sure what to expect. My father always professed to be of the annointed since he became a Witness. I wasn't sure how all the changes in doctrine and practice would effect his outlook on the organization. I found out pretty quick.
My father immediately replied that his mother was old and it was expected. He made some comment about seeing her again after the resurrection. He made no indication that he was going to travel to her funeral. He made a comment that his family was only their when they wanted something.
I stopped him. I said "Dad, your mother has just died. No matter who you are or how old your are or hold old she is, she is your mother. That means something."
He paused and said "You're right." He then talked about how he had kept in contact with her recently. In fact he had spoken to her on the phone just the week before.
I realized I have rambled on long enough and I should get to my point -
The religion known as Jehovah's Witnesses has stolen a lot from me. It stole a normal childhood. It stole the first 10 years of my adulthood as I regret not enlisting in the military and regret not starting my law enforcement career when I was 21. It has also stolen my parents and my sister from me. However, it has not stolen all happiness from my life.
It wasn't until March of 2010 that I finally cut all ties with the religion and saw it for what it really is. I give all credit to this website and all of you for that. I know I post things on here that people don't agree with or upset people, but I care for each and everyone of you just like family. Family member make each other mad from time to time, but in the end they always stick together.
Thank you all for helping me discover life before it really was too late.