I hear it’s Father’s Day today. Might even be in the UK as well as north America, but I can’t be sure as it’s not on my radar. For the last 29 years I have not had a relationship with my father, ever since he emigrated to Australia from England when I was eleven-years-old. I wrote about him in my book; I’ve blogged about it here; I’ve talked about it at length with two therapists and I’ve even written an article about it for a national newspaper and Cosmopolitan (of all places). I’ve looked at it from all angles. I’ve put myself in his younger shoes. I’ve acknowledged how it’s affected me as an adult woman. I sat with my younger self, feeling what she felt. I’ve witnessed friends’ relationships with their fathers and marvelled at them. I’ve flirted with the idea of forgiveness. I’ve had actual conversations with him in the handful of times we’ve met — last time was over 10 years ago. I’ve listened to him apologise to us and admit it was a shitty decision. I’ve also heard him talk lovingly about his children — his Australian family. Moments before he’d stumbled over my name, unaccustomed to using it.
I have no idea what it’s like to have a man in my life who loves me unconditionally, like a father would. I’ve never had anyone to send a Father’s Day card to. It’s all very normal to me now, just another part of the story, but for some reason, this afternoon, after seeing yet another ‘I love you, dad’ status update on Facebook, I felt a sadness I haven’t experienced in a long time. The sadness of a little girl who didn’t have a daddy anymore. She had no idea how to process it, so she turned into a needy teen who wanted so desperately to be loved she’d settle on the first guy who paid her some attention. And my thoughts then turned to my nephew, as they so often do these days. I trust that HIS daddy will be there for him. I love my brother-in-law and I know he’d always do right by my sister and Noah (and he knows I’d kneecap him if he didn’t ;-)
To be honest, I don’t know how to end this post. I guess I just wanted to put some words down, and give a shout out to all of you out there who don’t have someone to send a Father’s Day card to either.