A doodah bird.
That is all I have left from my childhood memories with my “real” father. A glass bird filled with beads that we made together at the fair.
I was 3 when my parents got divorced. I saw him every other weekend until I was 10. And then he went to federal prison for selling cocaine while serving in the United States Air Force. I never saw him again. He wrote me once from there. A birthday card with promises he would change and make it all up to me. He never did. I wrote him once when I was in my 20’s, sometime after my best friend died. I felt there were things I needed to tell him. Life was too short. I hoped he would write back. He didn’t. I wrote him again before my wedding. I told him I forgave him. I was starting a new chapter of my life and I didn’t want to go into it angry. I let it all go. Or so I thought.
That man died last night. And today I find myself very angry. And really sad.
I have cried many tears. I am left stunned and hopeless. I had always envisioned that I would one day get that apology I had longed for. I thought it would be on his deathbed, if nothing else.
My father was an alcoholic and drug abuser. I know addiction is a disease. But that ten year old little girl thought it was a choice. For years I believed that he didn’t choose me. I have always felt abandoned by him.
Today, every feeling I’ve ever had towards my “daddy” came up. Good and bad. I felt nostalgic. Did he ever think about me? I felt mournful. Was he all alone? I felt regret. I should’ve tried harder. I felt pissed off. HE should’ve tried at all.
It’s not fair that I never got that apology. It’s not fair that I have carried around that feeling of abandonment my whole life. It’s not fair that alcohol and/or drugs took him away. The little girl in me is stomping and yelling, “It’s just not fair!”.
Regardless of his mistakes and our estrangement, he was the man that made me. He helped give me life. For that, I am forever grateful. May he now find peace. Hopefully, I can too.