The other day before work Robert was spending some time with Marilyn in the kitchen area as I was trying to straighten up from breakfast. He has been separated from us lately because he had a nasty cold and I wanted him no where near us in hopes that we wouldn't contract it. This time that they were sharing had been long over due. One of Robert's favorite things to do is play music and sing to Marilyn. He has a few that he hits on a serious rotation, most are sappy, which probably won't surprise you if you know him well. This whole process is rather charming. This particular song is his go to, I think he is already planning to dance at her wedding to this one :)
On this morning he played John Mayer's "Daughters". Have you heard this song and really listened to the lyrics? Well it was written about me, joking, but seriously it is a bit creepy. As Robert and Marilyn swayed back and forth to this song I couldn't help but well up in tears. I don't think he saw or noticed (now he will know) but eventually I had to leave the room. As I was collecting myself in the bedroom I realized these tears were not sad tears, these were not tears for myself even, these were happy tears, happy tears that Marilyn will never know the pain of a forgotten child like I have.
My father walked out when I was four years old. Four. Now that I am a mother it is even harder for me to understand how someone could do that. I understand that people grow apart, they have differences that they cannot make work, they divorce, but I cannot understand walking away from your children. I did not see or talk to my father for 21 years. It was not until I ran into him at a funeral that our paths finally crossed again. He never tried to reach me nor did I try to reach him. I really only thought of him or my lack of having a father, on Father's Day or during father/daughter dances at weddings. I never missed him, wished he was there, or felt great sorrow that he was not a part of my life. My mother did a tremendous job raising my brother and I, so we never needed him. I figured if he was selfish enough to abandon us then he was not someone I needed in my life, and that is true. Even now that I have crossed paths with him I still want nothing from him. He may have "changed", but he continues to defraud my mother which only hurts my brother and I more, so good riddance. I always asked my mother why she didn't track him down and make his life hell like we watched other divorcees do, but she said she was afraid she would have to share us with him. I didn't understand the legal system then but now I see how that could be a legitimate fear. He is not a good person and I wouldn't want to risk that either.
Seeing him for the first time in a very long time was not quite as shocking as I thought it would be. Honestly he looked nothing like I thought he would. I have five memories of him from my childhood, one involves a purple fish, another involves a worm in an artichoke, there was a smokey card game, the framing of my playhouse, and the last, was the day he left. Before meeting him several years ago all of my memories did not include a face; a voice, the back of his head, but never the face. I did however remember his eyes. I recall them only in one of those memories. As we stood in the hall of our Millie Ct. home they welled up as he told my brother and I to "be good for my mother" and gave us a quick hug. At the time I thought that that was weird. I remember the backpack on his back and the sun shining from the front door down the hall almost to where we stood. I remember the flicker of his silhouette as he slipped through it and that he left the door open. I also remember standing there with my brother confused and almost immediately my mom came out in her pajamas and muttered the words "and he didn't even say goodbye". I believe the mind is a pretty powerful thing; I was four years old and I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Somehow I knew it was a pivotal time in my four year old life.
I would never change my experience for anything. I know with every bone in my body that I would not be the woman I am today had he not left and I love who I am. As Jenna would say "ship happens", you have to deal with the hand you have been dealt and move on. That is what I have done. I feel blessed that I have found a husband who is patient with me and realizes that I come to our relationship with a very different view. I feel pretty blessed that the man who has had the most positive influence on my life is my husband, not many women have the opportunity to say that. Robert will never be like my father. He will never walk away from our beautiful daughter no matter where our chips fall and I am so thankful for that. Marilyn may have her own pain, but she will never know that kind of pain and I am very thankful for that.
John Mayer's Daughters
|At the Alameda Flea Market|
|Carrying her so she could take in all the sights.|
|A nap together.|
|A glowing daddy.|
A nap before we took her home.