My father came from a family of origin that had no boundaries and would aggressively butt into their children's, grandchildren's, and great-grandchildren's lives. My father and I had a falling out because he made our relationship conditional on me caring for his parents and my mom's parents. These were sexist, verbally abusive, emotionally manipulative, grandparents from whom I kept a distance as I got older. My father became more progressive gender-wise as I grew up, but when the hands-on grandparent care started, he fell into his old family dynamics. My mom didn't intervene much because she wanted to save their marriage. My father's siblings are all divorced because that was the only way for their spouses to set boundaries with their in-laws. Then, in my 20s, my father would become uncomfortable with me wearing short track shorts and sports tanks (normal girl attire I grew up wearing). He said he was uncomfortable with women's bodies. And every time, I wore makeup or modest tanks or well-fitted work clothing, he would turn around and avoid eye contact. I felt betrayed because I came to trust him and saw him change his views on gender during my childhood, and then, he reverted to his old ways during the grandparent caregiving, when he was trying to accommodate them and make sure they lived out their years in peace. He would insist that I observe the religious mourning rituals for my grandparents, but I couldn't because they were either verbally abusive, never accepted me for who I was, or we just never had a relationship to begin with. I feel that my father neglected my needs. We gradually stopped talking over the years. My parents never met the new friends I made in my 20s, they weren't invited to my grad school graduation, they never met my husband, they weren't at my wedding, and they never met my kids. I've been in therapy for years, and finally accepted it. I spent most of my 20s after the estrangement being angry, but then I accepted it. I focused on the ways that I survived without my parents and family, instead of on the anger. And I learned to accept the pain, I guess when your parents die, it lessons but there's always a twinge of sadness on holidays. I realize that my parents were limited people who did the best they could. After the estrangement, there were times I didn't have enough to eat or didn't have a bed to sleep on, but I survived by myself, on my own. I learned to build a life for myself. I have a successful career, a great house, a wonderful husband who treats me like an equal, and a son (12) and daughter (11) whom I am raising in an equal way. We live about 30 minutes away, but I've never seen my parents in years. I've been teaching both my son and daughter how to cook and do some minor fixing around the house. Both are really into sports. I've taught my son to respect women. I've taught my daughter to be proud of her gender and body. We have a childless elderly couple living next door that have served as surrogate grandparents, and my friends have been great aunts and uncles. My husband's family is close-knit, and my kids are a part of their lives. I think my dad saw some photos on a social media account I have and found my phone number online this summer. He said he wants to meet his grandchildren before his death (he's in his early 70s, Mom in her 60s). He asked that I please dress modestly without tank tops and makeup. He also asked that my daughter not wear shorts above the knee and the sports tank tops that girls her age wear. There are no restrictions on my son's clothing. My dad told me that my grandparents are now dead, and he wants to keep the past in the past but not discuss it. He's seen his brother who's in his 80s spend his last years alone because he never re-married (caregiving consumed him). Dad doesn't want to die alone, and he said it would make him feel happy if I helped him with mowing the lawn and gardening. This brought back painful memories.