I’ve been having some interesting “conversations” with my niece Shannon lately. We didn’t grow up together (and I mean that literally since she is only four years younger than I am), so its been nice to hear the story from a different perspective.
As I wrote her yesterday, I realized I was telling her something I don’t think I’ve ever said out loud outside of therapy. And it surprised me. That for all that I’ve written over the years, I left this part out.
In his last letter, he claims that I am not his child. He accused my mom of having an affair with a teenager.
Nice, huh? And I wonder why I have trust issues.
Actually, after I wrote “he claims that I am not his child,” I thought, That sounds pathetic. But, it’s not. Really. I have no question of my paternity. I am my father’s daughter.
If anything it was the pathetic attempt to weasel out of child support. He was successful at that.
I remember growing up and wondering about him. What did he look like? What was his favorite color? What did his laugh sound like? I always worried that I would regret not knowing him.
And then he died. I was 21. I remember that night so vividly. My reaction surprised me. In the end it was about what he missed. About what a great kid I turned out to be. What a great laugh I have. And I realized it was his loss, not mine.