19 May 2008

On becoming Daddy’s Girl

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*



Don said...

i can identify with this post, blu. not from a father standpoint (he died when i was young) but from a mother standpoint. i haven't seen my moms in over 8 years, but i started having a phone relationship with her and my brother about 2.5 years ago. and you know what? like you stated it's never too late. eventually i will see her, and i hope that the daddy's girl in you will get the chance to see your dad.

on another note, today is my youngest daughter jameelah's bday. 9 years old. can you believe she was six when i last saw her? time flies. i wonder if she thinks about her daddy. time will reveal, right?

Blu Jewel said...

Don - it's heartbreaking when children are separated from their parents. I pray that you and your mother/brother are able to see each other soon. My heart aches for you being separated from your daughter. I can truly empathize. I was fortunate to have seen my father 3 times last year after our getting back in touch. I'm sure Jameelah thinks about you and wants you in her life. It will be my fervent prayer that you will see her sooner rather than later.


Terry said...

Good for you! I'm glad that this is going well. You can never make up the time that you lost, but you can make the time you have that much better.

And if your Daddy's Girl and get what you want; Little Lady must get what she wants before she even knows she wants it. She looks just like you.

Lucky man I say to have two such beautiful women in his life.

Mizrepresent said...

Beautiful post Blu! It's never too late to be a "Daddys Girl". I will forever remain a "Daddys Girl"...i feel my daddy watching over me in Heaven...sometime i even think he drops in and just lets me know in my dreams that he loves me so much. Heres wishing your wish comes true.

jus butterfli said...

hey toots! guess who?!!

ummm... nevermind. i guess the name at the beginning of this comment already gave it away! LOL

i miss you! i'm alive! (hehehe) i love this post. it reminded me of how fortunate i feel to have grown up a "daddy's girl". i miss him EVERY day! but look how blessed you are to receive second, third, fourth... however many chances to get to know your dad the way you want/need him to be in your life! embrace it! you deserve it! it's never to late! i hope you and your dad have a wonderful father's day!!

love you lots and lots and lots

Don said...

@ blu jewel: thank you so much. i really need and am always blessed to have my spirits encouraged. the same with you and your father - that feeling of completeness, right.

Blu Jewel said...

Terry - Lil lady & I may look alike, but we're not alike. She gets what she wants from HER dad and her relationship with mine is quite different. My getting what I want has no material value; instead just the freedom to be, which I love.

Miz - I'm happy that in spite of the loss, you have your daddy close. Love erases the distance. Thanks for the wishes.

Jus. b - WOW! What a surprise! thanks for remembering me and stopping by. You were blessed to be daddy's girl and have all those lovely memories. I'm just happy to have the chance. *smile*

Don - Completeness is a wonderful feeling. Suggestion; write your daughter a letter and send it to someone you KNOW will give it to her so she'll know her daddy is there in spite of the distance.


hawa said...

Hey, Blu !

For the past two years, I have watched your life change in the most wonderful ways. Some was born from good times - like reconciling with daddy... and some was born from bad times (what doesn't kill us makes us stronger).

You're an amazing gift to those who know you.... even the ones who don't recognize or appreciate.


T.C. said...

although i have done posts and things and i have grown up in the house with my daddy...it wasn't until later in my teenage/college years that my father and i really developed a strong bond...sure i have always been spoiled material wise and he would talk AT me...but it wasn't until college that we began to really talk and i would embrace his life lessons and he would embrace my interpertation...

it is nice to be a daddy's girl...glad you are getting the chance

Believer 1964 said...

I was here late last night and commenting when my Internet was cut off. I hate that!

I believe that God can redeem lost time in relationships He deems sacred. A parent-child relationship is one of those, as it best represents our spiritual relationship.

What a gift to finally have the opportunity to be daddy’s little girl.

Though I never had that chance, I am full of joy as I witness my husband and daughter interact.

I'm thankful for healing and moving on!

Wendy said...

Aww man Blu your going to make me get all teary eyed!. I'm so glad you two connected. I AM a daddys girl, so I could not imagine not having him in my life. I hope you get to spend time with him on Fathers Day. My prayers that your relationship will continue to thrive.

Ms. Confessions said...

This is a very sensitive topic for me. But there's nothing like being a Daddy's Girl. I love and miss my daddy :)

Blu Jewel said...

hawa - you're the best sister-friend a girl could ask for, I'm so blessed to have you. Thanks for all your words of encouragement. {{hugs}}

t.c - a father's role in his daughter's life is a powerful and much needed thing. a part of me still wishes i had it all my life, i'm happy and blessed to have it now instead of going the rest of my life without it.

believer - i'm sorry you didn't have the chance to have a relationship with your father, but i know how much you love seeing your daughter and hubby interact. he'll be one of the best influences in her life. stay blessed.

wendy - sorry, didn't mean to get you teary-eyed. now, that he's back in my life really made me see how much i'd missed, but i'm just happy he's here now. thanks for the well wishes on seeing him for Father's Day.

ms - i recall when you lost your father and how close you were to him. for you, i'm happy that you never had to had to endure the absence that i did, but i can feel you on what he might miss in your life now.