I realized how few people I have to call on Father's Day. On Mother's Day I had an entire list that would have taken me all day if it had not been for text messages and email. I had exactly three people to call and none of them was my biological father.
My father was anticipating his 20th birthday when I was born. He had no idea of what being a father was because he was barely a man himself. He did not have the opportunity to find comfort in his own skin before he was tasked to help me find comfort in mine.
I appreciate the posts about fathers who told their daughters they were beautiful and helped them feel loved. Fathers that showed up on time and have great memories with their daughters.
Not my father.
He never told me I was beautiful or even pretty. My father was absent from my high school graduation and absent from my college graduation. He was nowhere to be found when my heart was broken for the first time or when I was picked on by my classmates when my mother and I moved to a new state. He was absent when I found my first love, absent from the track meets, basketball games and when I crossed the burning sands of time.
He has no clue of the woman I have become.
But as much anger as I had for him, I do not have it anymore. I feel sorry for him. He is now trying to regain the time he lost with me by giving it to his wife, son and daughter. I listen to him on our rare phone conversations talk about my youngest sister refusing to be a daddy's girl anymore and how he coaches little league football with my younger brother.
I listen to him talk about his house and the things I never had growing up because he "never had to worry about me" as I was always an "old soul".
I feel bad that nothing in me wants to celebrate father's day with him. I have only four pictures of the two of us growing up and I remember not wanting to take two of them. As time goes on I pray that I learn more about forgiveness. I pray that I learn how to tell when people are simply incapable of showing love.
I have forgiven my father...maybe one day he can forgive himself.