The father and daughter bond seems to be the sweetest love I have never known, but my dad was a missing part of my life. My parents divorced when I was thirteen years old. My father was present in my life before the divorce; however, over the years he was slowly disappearing, fading away from grey to black. I longed for something I never possessed – a father who loved me, but he is not the father he promised he would always be. Instead he became a man who did not care, an absent father. Being abandoned throughout my teenage years gradually tore my heart apart, but now I have hope in a future I will control.
The eyes that once looked at me as his beloved daughter have filled with arrogance, the arms that once held me close have gone limp, the love that was once undying has died. It is as if I had never known my dad. He would call and say, “Nina, I will see you tomorrow. ” But tomorrow turned to days, days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months. He came in and out of my life as he pleased, and eventually left altogether. I went through a cycle of emotions: pain and sadness when he was gone, peace and satisfaction when he was back. He was “super-dad” for a couple days, but then he would leave again.
I would be overjoyed when he would come see me. He would promise that he would never abandon me again. Each time he came back, he gave me hope that he had changed into the dad I always dreamed of. But that dream quickly died each time he left again. He eventually became that man I only saw in pictures, or rather, he was that man I only saw in pictures with me. Yes, he is my biological father, but I do not consider him as my dad. Though he has put me through a lot of pain, I have found the light in all the darkness. I have healed from his emotional manipulation.
It is a shame that my father never got to see the woman I have become. For the longest time I hated my dad. However, over time I began to form a different impression. Would things have really been any better if he were there? It took me awhile to finally admit the hard cold truth: it may have been worse. He was too conceited to have made much of a father out of himself. So I asked myself who that man was that I saw in the pictures. It was just a fleeting image of a shell of a man. The true hero of my childhood has been and will always be my mother.
My father has left me a legacy of abandonment that I will one day break. Because of my father, I know what qualities to look for in the man I will one day marry. I hope to never accept someone like my father. When I have children of my own, I refuse to behave as he did. I will love and care for my children because I know what it is like to grow up without one of my parents. I will support my family through the good and the bad times, and I will provide for them both emotionally and physically. So thank you Papi. I have learned from your mistakes.