Last Sunday, my oldest daughter, Morgan, and I were at brunch. We started talking about what we should do for Father’s Day. As soon as I brought up the topic, I felt I had made a mistake. Father’s Day. Ugh. Her dad decided to vanish after the split because, well, he’s not a good man.
He knows full well that the number one way to “get me” is to hurt the children. Their pain is my pain, only a million times worse. Plus, the kids were “too stressful” for him (alcohol is his number one solace) so he’s simply cut them out of his life.
“I was thinking, Mum, that Daddy doesn’t even know what I look like anymore. It’s been three years since I’ve seen him or talked to him,” she said with tears in her eyes.
What was there to say? “I know. I’m so sorry. You have to know that it’s not your fault, it’s his,” I said. My heart was shattering. I started thinking about escape topics. How could I distract from where this was heading.
“The last time he saw me, I was just a kid. Now I’m driving and in high school. I’m so different and he doesn’t even know it.” I noticed she wasn’t eating her food even though it was now pushing noon and she hadn’t eaten all day. Isn’t she hungry?
“If he saw you, he would recognise you. You haven’t changed that much,” I answered. And I wondered… Would he recognise her? What would happen if they met up again? Will he ever allow her back into his life? Oh, please, God, let this somehow work out.
Rob and Morgan were really close. They loved the same things– fishing, boating, the ocean, lobsters. Their relationship, though of course Morgan was severely impacted by the explosive alcohol-fuelled fights between Rob and I, was sweet, genuine, and loving.
They were great friends and they loved each other deeply. How I wish I had picked a better man to be a father. How I wish that his choices and behaviour wouldn’t impact innocent children, skew their view of fatherhood, husbands, and men. Impact their future. Oh, dear God.