My Father Gave Me a Name

Posted on November 1, 2013

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As I was driving home from class Thursday evening I was greeted with an oldie but a goodie:  “Father of Mine” by Everclear.  I started singing to my hearts content, belting out the words in an off-tune manner only I can do.  And then it me.  I have not heard this song in years and if anyone has ever heard it, the message is clear.  Emotions did not come pouring in from some well in my soul.  No.  I did, though, think about my father, as I often do.  And while I gave up the hope of having any sort of relationship with him ages I go, I remember time with him like looking at old Polaroids.  I can stare at a still image in my head and sort of wrap a hazy gauze of memory around it to make it whole.  And while I will never talk disparagingly  about my father, I reserve the right to talk about his absence and how I feel.

I do not know the circumstance of my parents divorce.  It happened when I was just a wee lad in kindergarten.  I vaguely remember sitting in the back seat of my fathers car while he broke the news to my brother and I.  At least that is what I think I remember.  That instance in my head could be a total fabrication I created to cope.  Who knows?  I sure as hell don’t.  But for the sake of me not going insane,  it happened.  And while I do not know if I missed him at that time in my life I do know that I never really missed him later in life so that feeling of longing or mushy father love I never felt.    After my parents divorced my father stayed around for some time.  I was on kid time.  It would have been a month or 3 years.  I really don’t know.  I was 5!  I think my biggest concern was not being able to play with my toys and I could have been happy with a stranger watching Fraggle Rock.  Other than that brief moment in time, there are not too many vivid memories of my father from my childhood.

As I grew older I was able to understand what kind of relationship I was to have with my father.  My father eventually moved away to begin a new life with his new wife and eventually have three children.  My junior year in high school I even moved in with him and his family for a semester.  I think he and my mother thought I was doing it to try to bond with him and the family.  Nope.  I was just bored of Friona.  Over those four months I didn’t really speak to my father.  It was at this time I realized we are intellectual opposites.  He told me once that he did not like to read.  Anything.  How could this man be my father?  Our deepest of conversations came in the early morning, just before sunrise and he would ask me if I wanted coffee.  I would decline.

I am happy for him though.  His wife is an amazing lady who loves that family more than anything on earth.  I am just glad he got it right this time around.  He has a good heart it is just too bad I wasn’t able to see it when we were a family.

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