12/04/2000 From: Paul
"I number all of the cards and letters that I send to
my daughter. I
also occasionally include a small check (and put the same number on
the check). If the check is never cashed she didn't get the mail. If
the check is cashed then I can tell if she endorsed it or someone
else (her mother!). Also, if her mother opens the mail, sees that
there is a check and then gives it to my daughter, then my daughter
will eventually question why her mother is opening up her mail. Ya
gotta out-smart 'em! Get creative while maintaining your integrity."
8/15/2004 From: Paul
"During the early stages of PAS my daughter called me Paul rather than
Dad. Knowing that she was "instructed" to call me Paul, I immediately
told her that I would rather have her not call me anything than to call
me Paul. I told her that I would always be her Dad and I did not
appreciate the disrespect of her calling me Paul. She has not called me
Paul since... except in a couple of letters that I imagine her mother
reviewed prior to mailing them.
By understanding the PAS, I was able to give my daughter an out...
an alternative that she could use rather than disrespecting me. She
would not be disrespecting me or disobeying her mother. It was a win-
win for both of us given the situation."
Ever secretly joke about wishing a difficult ex dead? To
Layla and Tom's dismay - she did die.
04/06/2001 "Yeah, I've been feeling a lot better.
Did I tell you what happened the Saturday after her funeral?
I woke up Saturday morning, and there was this really pretty, expensive looking shopping bag (pink) on the table. You know, the real thick kind
with the cloth handles? Well, being a female, I of course HAD to see
what was in it. I thought maybe Tom bought me something. I lifted the
bag to peek in, and it was very heavy. When I looked in, there was this
good-sized cardboard box. I lifted the box out of the bag and was just
about to open it when I noticed the Funeral Home sticker on the front of
it. IT WAS SUSAN!
I dropped the box and ran to the kitchen to scrub the
top 2 layers of skin off my hands. Where I ran right into Tom, who had
been watching the whole thing and was laughing uncontrollably. He told
me THAT would teach me to be so nosy. I told him HE was opening EVERY
gift I ever receive for the rest of my life.
I think that was the point where we both really started to feel better.
At least, that was there the morbid jokes started. Tom said he had a hard
time holding it together when they spread her ashes the next day. He
said every time he started laughing, he would cover his face, and people
thought he was crying, and would comfort him, which just made it funnier
and...I'm glad I wasn't there."
Layla and Tom