Monday, February 29, 2016

To The Fathers That Stay.

When I saw American idol this past Wednesday I couldn't help but to shed a few tears. Hearing Kelly Clarkson's song "Piece by Piece" rang so true to my ears. The lyrics to her song sounded all too familiar for me, and I was crying right there along with her.

Having my father leaving my mom when I was five was the hardest thing for me. Of course I was too young to understand why my father would do such a thing, but the feelings I felt were those that came from my mother. Seeing her cry, and getting frustrated when he would drift back into our lives three months, six months, sometimes a year later, and spend the night only to leave the next day without even saying goodbye would piss upset the hell heck out of her. I remember one of those moments when he did come back. I was probably about six or seven, and still didn't comprehend as to why he was doing this. I knew there was something lacking as I grew older, but at the tender age of seven I outsized my imagination, and blitzed right through any negativity that was affecting me. My father walking in and out on us became a normal thing, but still...something never felt right about it.

And now that I'm older, I realized it wasn't right.

One of my favorite memories of my father was when he drifted back into our lives again in the middle of the night. I remember how excited I was to see him. He walked in, and because our house was super duper small had to sleep on the bedroom floor. He told me that if I heard weird noises (imitates snoring noises) that it would be him, and to not be afraid. I remember feeling secure when he returned home one more time, and the love I felt for him when he said that. Still...the smile, and uttering those three simple words to him "I love you" was not enough for him to stay. The kindness I saw in his eyes when he said that to me was genuine, but it didn't last. And he left again the following morning only to never return again.  

Abandonment issues can really mess you up as a child emotionally and cause you to find "love" in all the wrong places. And sometimes not the right kind. In spite of all the trials I went through while growing up, I count my blessings for finding my way to softer pastures, and better relationships especially after converting my life to Christ. I knew that I didn't want to be with someone who didn't make family a priority. Someone who would walk out on us, that was abusive both physically, and verbally. Sometimes I wonder if that's why I had Sierra so quickly when I married. I wanted to have that happy ending. The Lord put an amazing man in my path that knew would never leave me or my child. And for that I will always be eternally grateful.

I know there are many fathers out there who for some reason or another have left their child(ren), and whatever you're reason may be know that you have a beautiful child(ren)out there who probably still wonders about you.

To the fathers that stay, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being there when you witnessed your child enter the world. Thank you for being there for your child to nurture, protect, and love. To be there to cuddle, and hold. To change dirty diapers, and make a bottle. To run to the store when you realized you ran out of baby tylenol, diapers, or wipes. To help wash numerous onesies by hand to take out the runny poop that splattered all over your babies backside. To stay up until the wee hours of the morning to help soothe a colicky baby while your wife is too tired because she had to deal with round one of a colicky baby during the day. To come home after an eight hour workday, and make dinner knowing that you're wife is still recovering from a c-section. To have the patience in dealing with a stubborn woman who wants to do everything, but you put your foot down, and allow her to rest. To be able to handle stress well, and not take out anything out on her. Not your bad day at work, financial hardships, or lash out on her because the house was a mess when you came home. To not expect dinner right at 6pm! To be there when they're cutting their first tooth, and appreciate all the hard work that you're wife deals with during the day. To hear their first word. To witness their first steps. To be there to pick up the slack in every aspect of motherhood, but most of all, to have had the patience to stay. Too understand what it means to be a father. To know that our precious children come from a loving Heavenly Father to learn, grow, and be loved. I say, thank you.

In all my life nothing matched that perfect moment when I married my best friend, and for the past 21 years has kept me feeling safe, secure, but mostly loved, and appreciated.
Not only towards me, but to all of our children. That's true fatherhood.

One of my favorite snippets from kelly's song describes both Jon and I far too well,. Love all the happy faces on the women at the end of her video too. Totally lived in the moment as I was watching it...again!

"Piece by piece I fell far from the tree
I would never leave her life like you left me
She will never have to wonder her worth
Because unlike you I'm gonna put her first
He'll never walk away
He'll never break her heart
He'll take care of things
He'll love her
He restored my faith
That a man can be kind
and a father should be great."

I still don't know the whereabouts of my father, and at this moment I'm okay with it. And like I mentioned in this post, if he were to ever find me, and return again I just might let him in.

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