When I was a little girl, my father was stationed in Germany. I did not know much about it, however I imagined him there patrolling a chain-link fence which was erected to keep the bad guys away from the regular people. I obviously had no idea what the Berlin Wall was and in my mind my dad was a hero. I did not mind that he was not there for me, he was busy saving the world.
Fast-forward about 30 years. It has been almost 20 years since I have spoken to my father. I was minding my own business, playing on Facebook, and I opened a link to a video of soldiers coming how to their families. I felt like I had been kicked in the chest. My father never even told me when he was being deployed, much less when he came home. He had become a mystical figure to me. Not a father at all.
I suppose if I am being fair, it really has nothing to do with his status as a soldier. The fault lies strictly in his refusal to be a father. I always imagined by the age of 35 I would be “over it.” For the most part, I am doing well. I know it has nothing to do with me and all that jazz. The only part that sucks is when I am caught off guard and wishing I could go back in time and he would be a different person.
I continue to grow and learn how to be a better person. I am fully aware of my issues about this topic. I own them. I am fine. It is okay to feel the emotions and to be honest about my disappointment in regards to the person who gave me half of gene pool. I don’t have to be him. I can learn from his mistakes. I can forgive him for failing to be the one thing I needed him to be.