I never met my dad. Have I mentioned that? I can’t remember. He and my mom had a fling, as far as I can tell from her piecemeal stories. They worked together in a pawn shop. Yeah, awesome, I know. I have no idea how long it lasted, only that there was a night with steak and eggs, an emerald ring, and sex.
My dad had two children before me. He was a drinker. His son, age three, was the victim of tragedy. My dad, drunk, backed his car into him. My dad never forgave himself, never got over the loss.
Years later, still long before that fateful night with my mom, his daughter was thrown from a horse and killed. That closed the chapter on parenthood for my dad. Still long before my conception. So, you see, any hope that I had of a relationship with my dad was doomed before I was even an embryo.
Flash forward–I’m seven years old. Like all seven-year olds, I’m a writer. I write letters to friends, to neighbors, to my dad. I wish I had that letter; I would post it here. I asked. Please meet me. I want to meet you.
No answer. Not even a note in reply. How could my seven-year-old self recover from that? She didn’t. She shut out her dad. No dad at all is always better than one who ignores you, right?
Fate was on my side. My dad passed away a year later. The drinking caught up with him. Death sealed the deal. It was a relief, it really was. No longer did I have to tell myself the story that my dad didn’t love me enough to meet me. But it’s true.
I’ll end with this thought: You might think that my dad’s failings damaged me in some way. You’re wrong. My mom loved me enough for two parents. She taught me how to ascertain my worth from within myself. She taught me never to accept less than the best from others, and to block out negativity. And I do.