At 8 years old, a police officer told me to say goodbye to my dad and that it would be the last time I would see him for quite some time. I threw up on his shoes moments later.
I stood on the front porch of our house with my sister, watching my mom throw her belongings into the trunk. Dad stood there with his arms around us. Our entire world was completely flipped upside down.
This day changed everything.
I only remember my parents getting into an argument the night before. Even at 32, the details from that night still make me weep in an instant.
Dad got to stay in the house while Mom, my brother, sister and I moved to a new town to start a new beginning.
Throughout my adolescent years, I saw my Dad rarely. Either he didn’t show up or I didn’t want to go. I was a very confused little girl.
I remember a time when he promised to take me to Reba McEntire concert. The day of the concert I was so excited. I told all my friends, did my hair and wore the coolest choker I owned. I waited. He never came. At school the next day, I told everyone the concert was so much fun. I was heartbroken.
Since their divorce, the relationship between my parents wasn’t ideal. They hated each other and my siblings and I were stuck in the middle. “Do we take sides? Who do we trust? Well, Mom takes care of us so we should believe her, right? I miss my old life.” – 10 year old me
Once I got my license, I was able to drive up to see my Dad more often. Also, having my own cell phone helped. I was able to talk to him without my Mom getting upset. We grew closer and I could feel that our relationship was finally where it should be.
I was cautious not to tell my Mom when I talked to my Dad. I knew it upset her because he had left such a burden on her. Thankfully, now she understands our relationship and is trying to renew their own friendship.
Today, my Dad and I talk more than ever. He calls to tell me random things like how he needs my help setting the timer on his VCR [no idea why he still owns one of these but it makes me laugh. ?] or he doesn’t understand how to open his email.[Old timers ?]
Last year when my husband proposed, I knew there would come a time when I had to decide who would walk me down the aisle. I wanted my Mom by my side, for sure. She raised me and sacrificed SO much for me, I couldn’t walk down without her. But I also wanted my Dad to be there, too. I knew this would upset some people because my Dad wasn’t really around for a lot. But it was my Dad. I love my Dad. So there we were, the three of us walking down the aisle. It was perfect, to me.
I have spent many nights since that fateful day crying myself to sleep and praying for everything to go back to the way it was. But God had a plan and I had no choice but to trust it. I will always try to maintain my relationship with my Dad, no matter what. Because at the end of the day, he is apart of me.
I share this because it has taken me many years to openly talk about my relationship with my Dad. Not everyone has the perfect “daddy’s little girl” relationship. I am one of 8 siblings and I know not all of them share this relationship with my Dad. They each have their own story to tell, this is just mine.
For all of those little girls or boys out there who don’t get to see their Dads every day, trust in your heart and believe that one day you just might find that relationship you once lost or longed for. And if not, don’t beat yourself up about it. Everything happens for a reason. You may not see this reason immediately but you will understand it in time.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads, Step-Dads, Grandpas, Uncles, Brothers and especially the Mothers who pull double duty.