Thursday, December 2, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Several months ago, I was contacted on Facebook by someone I had managed to avoid for the last 8 years.

My father. At least on paper. Insert sperm donor joke here.

We played catch up. Well as much catch-up as one cares to share with someone whom they were leery of reconnecting with.

Facebook has been great. It has allowed me to get to know some of the classmates that I didn’t bother with in high school. It has allowed me to stay connected to family and friends and watch their children grow up and change. Yet, this was always something that was in the back of my mind that could happen, that he could “find” me.

As I emailed back and forth with Lee, a part of me wanted to see that he had changed, that the last eight years had brought some sort of growth to him, so that he would understand things differently. The other part of me was quite prepared for him to prove that he was still the same person he was the last time I saw him.

The more we chatted, the more I had hoped that we could build some sort of relationship. Probably not father-daughter like, but maybe we could be friends who happened to be related.

I sent the last message to him July 17th, inquiring about the type of surgery that my stepmother would be having in a few weeks. I’m still waiting for that response. Could I have sent another message? You bet. I figured I would give it a few weeks and see what happened. Actually I was waiting for my birthday. I figured that if he was serious about some sort of relationship that he would have made sure to send a message for my birthday. Instead I get nothing.

I would love to say that I’m hurt, or even disappointed, but the funny thing is, I’m not. I’m just saddened by the fact that this man is too concerned with his own life to really put forth the effort to try to have a relationship with me.  I'm sad that he made his choice, I'm sad that his previous choices have finally all caught up to him, and he is paying for the bad choices he has made where I was concerned.  He will miss out on so much.

Me, not so much.

See, my mom got remarried when I was 17. While my relationship with my stepfather was rocky when they first got married (I was 17, I thought I knew it all), he is more of a father to me than to the man whose name is on my birth certificate.

I’m sad that Lee will never realize what he is missing, and what he missed out on. Granted, my life isn’t that glamorous or exciting, but, on paper, I’m his child, and personally I wouldn’t care if my child sat in a padded room all day, I wouldn’t want to miss a thing.

I would like to say that I have regrets about this, but the choice has always been his.  He just so often chooses everyone else over me. 

~The people you hope will change don’t, and the people you hope won’t change, do.

~To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while. ~Josh Billings

~Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ~Robert Fulghum

~It behooves a father to be blameless if he expects his child to be. ~Homer

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