Mommy's Lessons Learned - The Importance of Daddy
Mommy's Lessons Learned - The Importance of Daddy
This is probably the hardest subject for me to write about.
I grew up without a Daddy, Dad, Father of any kind. My father chose not to be a part of my life at all and what a painful lifelong experience his decision has been on me.
Firstly, I must say I was raised brilliantly by my single mother and I have nothing but pure admiration for her accomplishments and sacrifices. Bravely she uprooted herself, left her family in Puerto Rico and moved to New York City. Imagine how difficult that must have been back in 1969, the year I was born, to come to an unfamiliar country, not speaking any English and having to raise a child alone. Amazingly she persevered and went on from being a hairstylist to earning a Bachelors Degree and teaching Cosmetology for at least 20 years in New York City Technical High School.
Through all that I had no choice but mature quickly. While she was working 6 days a week and trying to catch up on sleep and chores the one free day she had, I spent a lot of time in the company of babysitters with yet again, no male figures to be found in my daily comings and goings. Summers were spent with my grandparents and for 3 months of the year I had my incredible, funny, loving, kind grandpa to fill that paternal void inside me. Unfortunately that only lasted until I was a teen and able to begin working. Sadly he passed on when I was 20 so yet again I lost a male presence in my life.
For many years I kept telling myself and trying steadfastly to believe that it didn't matter, that I didn't need a father, that having a dad wasn't necessary. I thought I believed the lie I tried to ingrain in mind, heart and soul, until I married and gave birth to my first child...a girl...and then I was able to witness firsthand, the importance of having a daddy.
My heart overflowed seeing the impact that my daughter had on her daddy, how he lit up holding her for the first time, sharing the news with whoever would listen, talking to her and kissing her tenderly, promising her he would keep her safe at all times. He repeated and kept those same promises and love with our second daughter born four years later.
Now our first baby girl is a 15 year old teen who has grown into a wonderful young woman and our second one is an 11 year old firecracker of a girl. Through their growth, having two involved parents I see what an impact both parents can make. Even though as a couple we divorced 5 years ago, we remained amicable and united in our roles as parents and amazingly they thrived even through the divorce.
As for me growing older seems to be opening those old wounds of abandonment from my father and its hard for me to understand why. After all these years I would have thought that you shouldn't be missing what you never had but I find myself thinking about it a lot. So much so that I wrote the following poem only a few weeks ago.
I'm draped in a blanket of loneliness so heavy that it weighs down my heart.
How could you have left me? An infant so tiny and helpless alone in this world from the start?
How little I meant to you even before the moment I took my first breath, yet you wanted me to call you Daddy....with your lack of love rather than giving me life you sentenced me to an existence that felt so much closer to death.
You missed everything I ever did, anything of any importance....first laugh, first steps, first words....(which I'm sad to say, were Dada)...first love followed by first tears...why weren't you there to dry them, why did I too have to miss out on so much?
How blind you are to who I am and the woman and mom I grew up to be.
Yet thanks to you this blanket of loneliness will always be draped over me.
Writing has helped to soothe some of these past hurts but I'm thinking soon I'll have to confront things head on and finally release this hurt to the one person responsible, the only one that can answer all the why's I've always wanted to ask...my father. This is where it gets hard. I often wonder what my reaction would be if I was to hear of his passing....would it bother me? would I cry?
I'm hoping I'll have the nerve to look for and get the answers I need. In the meantime I'm grateful for my mother for all she did in raising me. I'm doubly grateful that my children were blessed not once but twice (since they also have a loving step-father) with caring, protective, responsible, involved and present male role models in their lives.
Kudos to all the involved and caring daddy's out there :)
In the meantime anyone out there with a daddy or grand-daddy still around and present in your life please appreciate every moment you can share with them for life is too short and regrets last a lifetime.....
Chancleta Girl - For My Abuelo
Chancleta Girl ♥
Marni was a happy Puerto Rican girl who loved her grandpa so, like his shadow wherever he went, she was sure to go.
Everyday before heading out to work they shared a fun ride, in his car they'd go, once or twice around the block they drove, because he loved her so.
Very little time between them was ever spent apart, both of them loving each other so with every bit of their hearts.
One day hurriedly she followed him, leaving her sandals behind, up and down she hopped on the hot pavement hoping that grandpa wouldn't mind.
As he spoke unknowingly to the store owner he went to see, Marni could barely take the heat that was under her feet.
The store owner and his workers started chuckling as grandpa turned around to see, exactly what it was that they had found so very funny.
Grandpa scooped Marni up into his strong and loving arms, saving her small feet from any further harm.
As he tried to compose himself and not let out a laugh , quite seriously he said , "Meet my granddaughter Marni , dear sir please bring out your best sandals for us to buy, for this sweet girl is the apple of my eye".
Out of the stock room the store owner brought out the most beautiful pink, sparkly sandals she had ever seen, Marni was so grateful and at that very moment there was nowhere else she would rather be. As they slipped those lovely sandals onto her little feet, grandpa gave her the title that from that day forward she would proudly answer to, " These are for my princess, the one who brightens up my world, my funny, sweet and loving "Chancleta Girl".