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I Lost the Chance
My father and I are made from much the same mold. As my brother resembles my mom, I resemble my father. I inherited his enjoyment for puzzles, words and wit. I share much of his eclectic musical tastes. As I grow older, I see more and more of his traits consciously and subconsciously exhibited in me.
I have spoken with my father one time in the past 8 1/2 years.
Divorced parents are always a messy situation for the kids, and our family was no exception. My younger brother and I had our ups and downs with both parents, fortunately mostly ups. The time came when my father decided that he wanted us to live with him. He was very convincing... but never convincing enough to gain a commitment from us. Unfortunately, he refused to let it alone at that. I was, at the time, a sophomore in high school, my brother in 8th grade. Eventually, we cracked. Agreed to move in with him. All was right in his world. Except one thing. We could not bring ourselves to tell my mom. Eventually, though, it happened.
A long, late-night discussion ensued with my mom, discussing the motivations for our decision, his request, and our feelings on the entire matter. That discussion was the difference. As alike as my father and I are, he never gave us that choice. Despite the enormous emotional stress this sudden announcement must have put on mom, she never once tried to coerce us to stay for one reason or another... and in the end that is why she won.
The shoe on the other foot again, we were horribly hesitant to approach our father on the issue. One day it just happened. "We're not going to move in with you." I remember nearly everything about that evening. It was Thanksgiving weekend. My father told us to gather anything we wanted from his apartment. He berated us nearly the entire drive from his place to mom's house. "You'll fit in well in the business world... completely cold-hearted." He pulled up and we stepped out of the car. For seven years, the last words I heard my father speak were "Have a nice life" as he pulled away.
Over the past four years, my brother and I have made attempts to contact him or meet with him, always with the same utter avoidance in response.
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I know that I have a father. I know who he is, I know where he is, I know, for the most part, what he is. What I don't have, and haven't had for the past 8 years, is a dad. I didn't have anyone to help me grow up as he had, I didn't have anyone to support me as he had, I didn't have anyone to challenge me as he had. Because of his precious principles, I lost a teacher, and he lost the chance he had to see a son grow up to be and do everything he wanted to but never could. I lost a parent in the most complete sense possible -- I lost the chance to have one.