I was 16 and taking my exams. I had just lost my Gran, and I don’t remember particularly missing you. On my 21st birthday I spent the weekend with my Mum in one of my favourite cities, Berlin. I received “happy birthdays” from friends, family, colleagues and online acquaintances. Not you though. And yet again, I didn’t really find time to miss you. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. It’s a funny thing, indifference, and probably not what I should feel towards my Father but I’m not sure what else to feel.
I’m a firm believer in the theory that family doesn’t always come from blood and in much the same way, blood doesn’t always make you family. I’ve always had my Mum, for a while my Gran, and a few more relatives that are sort of there in the background. But despite that small circle, I never felt the need to have you here. Don’t get my wrong, there’s been moments I’ve wanted to ask you questions. Times of fleeting sadness. And even times I’ve wanted to shout and scream at you. But none of that lasted. Even when I succumbed to searching social media for you, or any of your family, and found some photos on your sister’s Facebook page. Even when I found my half sister, your other daughter, on Facebook and Twitter and still have a peek at her life with you every now and again. Even when I visited your parents, my Grandparents, for the first time and there was not even a hint of you saying hello or giving me a call, or an eighteenth birthday card to follow. Even when I think of all the times I should have been upset, I wasn’t. I am to this day, indifferent.
By her own admission my Mum was not the easiest partner and she’s always been honest about that – and about all your good points too. She says I have your humour and you used to make her laugh. She says although you could be dishonest, you were also against things like drugs. I understand you leaving after my first birthday. I don’t however, understand you ignoring my existence and I accepted a long time ago I never will. Perhaps your new family influence your decision and if that’s the case, I feel sorry for you. Or maybe it’s just your poor judgement. My Mum has taught me strength and independence and I don’t think that by knowing you I could have ever learnt the same lessons.
I’ve gained so much from not being a part of your life that I actually want to thank you. Thank you for being a non-existent Father and thank you for messing your job up so badly. I’ve learnt exactly what I want from relationships and, god willing, my future children’s Father. Even if you had been in my life, your dishonesty and weakness of character as well as your family, wouldn’t have been the best thing for me at all. You’ve taught me everything I don’t want for my own life. So what else can I be but thankful?
You’ve taught me the biggest lesson a man in your distant position can: not everything you lose, is a loss.
So Dad, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I sincerely hope you’re happy. Without any sarcasm or hate, I really do hope you find it within yourself to be a bigger man someday. And that you love your other children with all the love you missed out on giving me. They deserve it. I’d love to show you what I’m up to but, really, I don’t mind if you never know.
Never really yours,