A new report came out today stating that 1 in every 3 children grow up in a fatherless home in America.
Most of my life I have had people tell me that kids are resilient, they can handle things easier than adults. I have never agreed with that statement. I was one of those kids that grew up without a dad. My parents divorced when I was 12. I had two younger brothers, 9 and 2 years of age. My father was an alcoholic and he wasn't home much before the divorce took place. I still remember the day he left for that final time. I was in my room watching out the window as he told my mother goodbye. He was carrying a blue suitcase. He never came and told me goodbye. As I watched him get in his truck and drive down the road I cried for a very long time as I sat in my room by myself. The next thing I remember is the four of us moving into a tiny rent house and I was busy taking care of the house and my brothers. My mom worked three jobs to keep the rent paid and food on the table. My dad didn't pay child support, so it was twice as hard on all of us.
I loved my father and had a few good memories about him. I remember us swimming when I was very little and he put me on a floating raft that you could see through. He swam underwater and all I remember is laughing and thinking he was so funny. Another good memory is making peanut butter cookies with him and him telling me how much he loved me. He was very handsome too, I always thought he looked like Dean Martin.
My teen years, I didn't see him much, the longer I went without seeing him made it hard to be around him when he did come in town. Many nights I would cry myself to sleep as I prayed for him. I worried about him. I desperately wanted a daddy that looked after me. We were three children at risk. I never understood why he didn't check on me to make sure I was doing alright in school and if I had everything I needed. Each school year, my mom would take us shopping for school clothes and we would put them on layaway and it would take forever to get them. Gym clothes and shoes were a luxury item along with the special school supplies that teachers always wanted us to have. In Jr. High, someone stole my gym shoes and I went for a very long time going barefoot in P.E. because we couldn't afford new shoes.
The day I graduated from high school, I never knew if he was there or not to see me graduate. The day I got married, he was no where to be found. My brother gave me away during the ceremony.
I could go on and on about all those little things in life that a young girl and even as a grown woman would desire in a daddy. It affects almost every area of her life.
The ironic thing about all of this is, several years ago out of the blue, I received a phone call from a hospital in Colorado. Somehow the doctors found me and called me to get permission to take him off of life support because he was brain dead. It seems he had suffered a heart attack and machines were all that was keeping him alive. They had to have my permission to take him off the machines. The doctor assured me that it was the best thing to do. I gave him the permission. The doctor called me back in about an hour and confirmed that he had passed away. As I hung up the phone, I sat on my floor and cried.
Tomorrow is Part 2 of Where's Daddy?