The action of and experiences that have come with stumbling along the course of adulthood despite a map's defined route conscientiously decided by an albeit stupid teenager, have brought me to this moment in time:
I am deeply ashamed of the pain that I have caused the man I call my father.
Even that disclosure is nuanced with disrespect: "the man I call my father."
He was more than that. It is not blasphemous for me to vehemently conclude that not even the Son of God could have been a better father than mine- at least for the 9 years that he was.
The Memory Still Haunts Me.
He sat defeated in a beach chair on the back patio of our unfinished West Coast home. The 80's style beach chair with strips of pleather fastened to a metal frame could barely hold the weight of his agony as he cried uncontrollably.
Gone from our daily lives for long intermittent spells spanning a two year period, his absence was perceived as abandonment and his return an opportunity to assert indignation.
When his repeated shout of my nickname and outstretched arms did not receive an enthusiastic echo of "Yes, Daddy" and embrace, his legs folded under the painful pressure of his heart's break; his body following, falling into the beach chair behind him.
Looking more like the young boy who had also been abandoned by both parents three decades before, my father held his face with both hands as his body slowly slumped to a side in a semi-fetal position and began to cry.
An uncomfortable scene, my mother's best attempt to control her often unseen emotions was evidenced by a wave of lumps in her throat. Mine remained forever invisible.
I could not let this man, my father, know my soul numb and that he, was the sole cause.
In denying him this privilege, I had power.
The power that was denied me, in his decision to leave my life for reasons to this day unknown.
Then, a triumphant moment of vindication, is now a moment of regret that can never be had again.
Then, believing my father's life mistakes would never be mine, I, now, navigating the journey of life and love in the Middle East, know that they are guaranteed.
I am sorry Daddy. Forgive me. I love you. Happy Birthday.
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