Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Looking For Daddy
Warning: There’s no rhyme or reason to this. It’s writing from the heart thoughts and revelations I’m just now beginning to understand. Notice I said understand; I’m still working on the acceptance and the “What do I do with this now?” part. But... here we go.
I’ve been going through some of the most difficult transitions in my life over the past 8 months. It’s forced me into a place of reflection, which, in terms of work and business I love. You learn from your mistakes, you apply what you learned, and boom, we’ve got growth. As for relationships? Now that’s been hard to face. Staring trauma in the eyes, trying to understand how it can still affect me after 27 years later and somehow not blame myself seems erroneous. Downright ridiculous.
But I can’t help to go back.
Because I need this lesson if I’ll ever know my own self-worth 100%. Not being free from doubts every now and then, but being free from doubt-based decisions. And to start, I have to go where I dread most... I have to go to my dad.
My dad was literally the BEST dad on the planet. I love both of my parents, but my dad and I had a special bond. I was a dreamer at heart and loved everything picturesque -- romantic movies where the girl finally gets the guy, entertainment that blew my mind (Michael and Janet Jackson to be exact), and Jesus, a man who placed his life on the line for five-year-old me (my daddy talked about Him most). I was on cloud nine.
My dad always made me feel like I could do and be anything I wanted while still being myself. I can hear him singing now: “Or would you like to swing on a star/ Carry moonbeams home in a jar/ Or would you rather stay as you are (even though the lyrics were “be better off as you are”)/ or would you rather be a fish...” He let me dream when the world was full of practicalities. He was my hero. Then it all slowly...subtly... painfully fell apart.
Weeks, maybe months would go by and dad wouldn’t be home. I wondered why and asked where he could be. My mom would make up an excuse that made sense but, didn’t make sense. As a kid, you ask your question, then move on to the next exciting thing. I saw family members come and visit sporadically then leave. My big brother now seemed to be the man of the house. Things changed and that seemed okay, but, where’s dad? Then one day, there he is! No questions to ask because he’s home now. And things are back to normal. Whew!
Then (what feels like) a few years later, it happened again.
After a seemingly lifelong period of time, my mom told my sister and me that we were having a special visitor from out of town. She looked a little nervous sharing the news, but kind of excited. This said special guest had kids, each one the same age as us, and they would keep us company. My sister and I were SO excited! We were counting down the days and told everyone at school about our surprise visitor.
Three days left. We wondered what we’d do first with our new friends. Go to the park? Two days. Maybe we’ll introduce them to our friends and be the talk of the neighborhood. I hope our friends like them because there’s no way I’m ditching my old friends for my new ones. Tuh! One more day. What toys can I share? Will they like toys or think I’m a big baby? How old are they? Maybe I’ll just plan my outfit instead. Then, the day finally came.
My sister and I rushed off the school bus and fast-walked home. I could’ve run, but part of me
liked the excitement of almost knowing who was waiting at home. Would these kids live up to this dream I had in my head? I almost preferred that to what could be reality. The excitement and waiting were much more thrilling. Because once I meet these kids and see who’s visiting, I thought, one day it’ll be all over and they’ll have to leave. And yet, here I am, opening the front door, heart pacing as I enter my own kitchen. Turning the corner to see my mother’s smiling face, and... my dad. Sitting on the couch. The first words out of my mouth were, “Mom... where’s the kids?”