With Father’s Day approaching, I began thinking about my relationship with my father. I’m the youngest of my father’s 8 children and to the best of my recollection I have never spent a father’s Day with him. I don’t recall making any of those cute little cards in school nor do I recall even buying him a card. Seeing as I didn’t know my father until I was 5, I guess that would explain the first few years, but even after meeting and growing up with him in my life, I still don’t recall ever sending him a card. Conversely, I’ve always given my Stepfather a Father’s Day card seeing as I’ve known him my entire life. We never made that big a deal about it; we just gave him the card, wished him a happy Father’s Day and it was business as usual.
I won’t go into all the details of my life, but let’s just say, I grew up without having the proper male influence in my life. My stepfather; though a good man; was never really hands on and deferred to my mother for the child-rearing stuff. He didn’t give me those “daddy’s guidance” pep talks and looking back it hurt like hell. My biological father was as active as he could be in my life, but he still lacked in giving me the “daddy’s guidance” pep talks too and I was equally hurt by that. As an adult, it seems rather odd to have had both a father and stepfather in my life physically, but not in the ways I needed either of them to be. I guess that’s just the way it plays out sometimes.
After some years of estrangement from my biological father, we’re now speaking and on very good terms. We’ve put whatever issues I had with him aside and are building on the here and now. It’s kind of cool that in spite of his religious beliefs, arrogance, and forthrightness that I can and do talk to him pretty much how I want to. I really don’t know any other way given the fact there’s been so much distance between us and I am an adult, not a little girl now; so he can’t try to raise me now.
In somewhat of his defense, my father resided in London while I lived here with my mother, stepfather and other siblings, so there were many events in my life that he missed by default. He never saw me graduate from high school, college, basic training; or be here for the birth of lil lady. He missed my wedding and divorce too. I guess he could have been here had I invited him to any of the events, but some of them took place during a time when we weren’t in touch. It’s those things that make wonder why he didn’t reach out? As a parent myself, I wonder how I would feel knowing my child was out there in the world and I didn’t try to reach out to her. Honestly, I don’t think I could not try. It would have to have taken a grave circumstance for me not to swallow my pride and do whatever I could to find her. He did try a couple times, but his reasons were somewhat suspect and I just couldn’t deal with it at the time.
I was 39 when we started speaking again and we’ve cleared the air on some of the major issues that caused our estrangement and as I said before; it was better to just start from now than rehash the past.
What I find the most amusing is how I’m now becoming Daddy’s Girl at this stage in my life. My father now resides in his place of birth; Jamaica after retiring and moving from London. When I’m in Jamaica, I can pretty much get whatever I want and do what I want. The best part of him being in Jamaica is having a second home to go to and feel content in that space. We speak weekly and have a decent rapport. We talk about anything that comes to mind and it seems like he wants to make up for lost time as best he can. Though the years will never come back, it’s still nice to have a relationship with him now. I like knowing that I no longer feel the hurt, the pain, the loss, and the disappointment of his not being around. I enjoy the easy banter that takes place between us and his interest in what I’m doing with my life.
I’m praying with all my heart that I’ll get to spent Father’s Day with him this year. I’d like to have at least one memory of he and I sharing Father’s Day before one of us passes.
I guess it’s never too late to have something you thought was alien from your life and to feel something that was equally foreign. Though I never call my father Daddy; it’s kind of nice to feel like I’m Daddy’s Girl. *smile*