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Soapbox Saturday: Dads

Saturday, June 19, 2010

photo credit: my father, circa 1968

I haven't talked much about my parents on this blog. There is good reason. My mom and I are still recovering from the fallout in on our relationship that resulted in her being uninvolved for much of my pregnancy. My father is a whole different story. I could devote another blog just to my daddy issues and never run out of material. I haven't seen him in almost fifteen years. I last talked to him over the phone during the repast of my grandmother's (his mother's) funeral because his deportation prevented him from paying last respects in person. It was a tense, 30- second conversation.

My father was a successful man of many talents and handsome to boot. He was also narcissistic and reckless. Long story, short...he became addicted to drugs in the high times of the 1980s and our family was irrevocably fractured. It has been impossible to have a any kind of positive parent-child relationship with him simply because he cannot exercise any will power. Meanwhile, I have moved on with a kind of stoic regret.
photo credit: Damon, 2010
The thing that I will never get over is that he could have been a great dad. He was just too selfish to think and act beyond his own desires. I think that is what hurts the most...that he couldn't get clean and stay out of trouble for his kid's sake. Sometimes I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like if I had grown up with my father intact...riding his shoulders at the Dade County Youth Fair, dancing on his feet while listening to his records in the den, learning to drive a 5-speed with him in the passenger seat, picking out my college classes for freshmen year together, being escorted down the aisle at my wedding.

I will never have these memories and there is nothing I can do about it (I've made peace with this). But I am doing everything in my power to make sure that my daughter does not suffer my fate. My husband Damon is proving to be the kind of daddy that every little girl (and boy) deserves. He is doting and hands-on, a good provider and a good role model. It's amazing to see the bond between Marlie and her daddy. She is truly daddy's little girl.



Nicole @ WhenDidIBecomeMyMom.com said...

So much to say, so little space. West Indian fathers can be so... self-absorbed.

I am glad that you have found a good Daddy for your little girl, as have I.

septembermom said...

I can feel your heart in these lines. You're a wonderful woman and mother clearly. Damon sounds like the perfect father for your little beauty.

Kristen Love said...

I feel your pain. We can make peace with circumstances, but that doesn't mean we still don't grieve for what might have been.

You are blessed to have a wonderful husband for you and great daddy for your daughter. :-)

jmt said...

I read another blog where her husband guest blogged for her this week. She had questions laid out for him and one was about his relationship with their daughter...which is a relationship I love reading about when she blogs about them. :)

I can't wait to read more stories about Damon and Marlie, and now watch my own daughter develop a relationship with her daddy. My hubby and his boys have very special and FUN relationships....they're a joy to watch. You will love each passing year as they fly by. Keep snapping photos and telling stories!

Maureensk said...

I'm glad you've been able to get beyond your family's heartbreaks and carve together your own wonderful intact family. Both my husband and I came from intact families, but I've seen with so many people how hard it is to not repeat the previous generation's mistakes. I really admire people who can break away from that. In particular, I have a friend who was horribly abused as a child, but is one of the most wonderful mothers I know.

The Redhead Riter said...

"He was just too selfish to think and act beyond his own desires."

That is my story exactly.

I'm glad Damon is a good dad. My ex was great until Alyssa turned 7 and then he pretty much just abandoned her except when he feels guilty. Rather sucks.

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