Smoke Signals

I’ve struggled with this post this week, but it’s been heavy on my heart. What I’m about to write is coming from my heart. Your thoughts on this post will not negate my feelings.

I’ve been having a hard time getting into the spirit of celebrating fathers/dads. While I am sure there are many great ones out there, I have never had the opportunity to have the daddy-daughter relationship that so many have had. See I had the opportunity to have TWO dads in my life. My parents divorced when I was little, then my mom remarried and if you read “Secrets” you know how my step-father treated me.

I have always longed to have a father-daughter relationship, even after I was adopted by my step-father, I tried to have a relationship with my biological father. It has always felt like an on again off again relationship. Back in 2002, I became very ill and doctors needed my family history. At this point we were off again, so my mom got to work, found him and contacted him to get his history. She asked me if I wanted to talk to him, I said sure. We talked for a bit and he told me he would come see me in Texas. He did. It was the first time I had seen him in over 10 years.

The following year I decided I wanted to go back to school, he offered to have me come live with him. I figured why not, we were trying to build our relationship. I packed my things and moved in with him, his wife and their foster son. I found a job, then found a second job and took a tour of the school I wanted to attend, talked about enrollment and everything. I then began an apprenticeship in the field I wanted to work in along with working two jobs. Four months later they kicked me out. Their reason, I had to work or go to school to live with them. I was working two jobs and in an apprenticeship! I felt like they chose the foster child over flesh and blood. I was broken.

Several years later I decided I would try again and wrote him a letter. Some time later, I had gotten a letter in the mail, not from him but his wife. Apparently her memories of what happened while living in their house were different than mine. At the very end of the letter, he wrote 5 words “I love you Anita. Dad” I felt unwanted. Again, I was broken.

I waited a few years. Facebook is now in full swing, so I figured “Why not?” I found him right away and messaged him. I had learned that his wife had passed since I had received that letter from her. At this point 5 years ago, we lived three hours from each other. He came to visit me, I introduced him to my boys. He stayed for a day or two and left. It was a nice visit, and we’ve seen him a few times since then. I don’t know if you see a trend here, but it’s always me reaching out to him and has been since that visit.

After everything happened in July of 2017, communication had gotten better, but just a little. For a couple of months now, I have been trying to get in touch with him. Called, texted and messaged him on Facebook. The only thing I didn’t do was send him smoke signals. No response. This week, he was HEAVY on my heart. I got tired of waiting to hear back from him and reached out to our family, it takes a village. He finally called and the call was uncomfortable, I told him about me trying to reach him. Excuse after excuse about why he hasn’t called. At least that’s what it felt like.

I share this story to say this, this Father’s day I’ve felt like I’ve been grieving the loss of a father, the loss of a relationship that never was and most likely never will be and that makes me sad. Social media is HARD to be on during holidays like this. For those grieving the loss of a father, I grieve with you. For those who have your father’s, your daddy’s, cherish those relationships.

This song is helping me through this season. If you are struggling, I hope this blesses you as much as it has blessed me this week.

~AT

One thought on “Smoke Signals

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  1. I am so sorry for your pain. I lost my father at 18 to suicide. I actually found him myself. I could tell you a long history of hurt and rejection I experienced from an alcoholic father. If you ever just need an ear and a friend to love and encourage you know that I am here. Love you.

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