5 years old:
I stood and stared, for hours, out of the window of our New York apartment building waiting for my father to show up. It was my birthday. He never showed up. I don’t remember much about New York, but I remember looking out of that window for a long time. I remember waiting.
6 years old:
We moved to Georgia. My mom, my two sisters, and me. I only think about my father when people ask. We have a step dad, but I don’t know where my father is.
12 years old:
I’m pretty good at not thinking about my father. Years have gone by, and he doesn’t cross my mind. I don’t even remember what he looks like, and I don’t care. He obviously doesn’t care about me. I don’t care about him either.
17 years old:
My sister asks, “Have you ever thought about finding your father?”
No. Why would I try to find him, he’s never cared about me.
She asks, “What if he did find you?”
It doesn’t matter. It’s too late. Why would he care now? Why should I care?
28 years old:
Maybe I should find my father. I, at least, need my medical history. Nah, forget it. I don’t care.
36 years old:
My sister finds my father’s son, my half-brother, through Facebook. My sisters remember him. I don’t. I guess I was too young.
I learn that my father died when I was about 9 years old. On his death bed he told his son and daughter, “you have a sister, find her.”
I learn that his wife, their mother, didn’t want him to have anything to do with me. I get her disdain. I was a reminder that my father cheated and had a child with another woman. My father had to sneak to spend time with me. Sometimes he could show up when he said he would, other times he never showed up.
Mom didn’t know why he was sneaking to come see me. His sporadic visits, sometimes unannounced, worried her. She feared he was going to try to kidnap me. She got a job offer in Georgia and left without leaving any contact information.
41 years old
It’s Father’s Day, and I’m trying not to think about my father. . . again.
It makes me cry to think that I spent so many years angry at him. I wish I knew more about him. I try to understand my mother’s fear and her decisions.
I wonder how things would have turned out if he’d communicated a bit more. If mom wasn’t so scared.
All this is pointless. He’s gone. This is all past. Why cry over the past?
I try not to think about my father again.