Culture & Entertainment

Silver Linings: A Father's Absence

By: Teresa Sousa
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Silver Linings: A Father's Absence

By: Teresa Sousa

Click here for last week’s Silver lining moment.

A friend’s teenage son wrote this story about his so-called father for a school assignment a few years back. I like to take it out and re-read it every now and again.
Father The idea of your father should never create the emotions I get when I think of mine. He was a complicated man, I think. I say “I think” because I didn’t know him very well. I lived under his roof for 13 years of my life, and so you would assume that would have been enough time to get to know the man who should have fathered me, but I guess it wasn’t. For whatever reason, it wasn’t. I’m not sure if he ever truly intended to be a father. My mother told me he was in his office the day I was born. He met me the following day. That seemed to have foreshadowed the rest of my relationship with the man. Whether he was at work or with friends and colleagues, I grew up in a single-parent household with two parents. Looking back, I don’t think I have ever known the feeling of having a father. Growing up without his presence around just felt normal to me and my younger sister. After years of abuse, lies and adultery, it was easy to see why my mother needed to leave. During the breakup, my mother made sure I was seeing a counsellor, so as not to be affected by all of this in the future. It didn’t make sense to me though. “Why am I in counselling?” I asked myself, and then I asked my counsellor the same thing. “To cope with the fact that you will be losing touch with one of your parents,” she said. What she didn’t know, what I didn’t bother to tell her, was that “touch” was already lost. In fact, I wasn’t even sure it was there to begin with. We moved out of his house and into a small apartment with my grandparents until my mother could get her feet off the ground. And she did. Life remained the same. I never felt I was lacking something. Nothing was ever missing, other than the abuse. When telling friends about all of this I often get sympathy, the usual “I’m sorry” that it had to happen that way to me. I tell them there’s no need to apologize, that I’m fine and my life has never been lacking. I’m not upset or regretful. Going through this, learning from it, has made me who I am today. The best part is that it’s made me, my mother and sister the closest, most tight-knit group of people I know. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. As for him? I’m thinking he regets it all.
It warms my heart to know that he never felt he lacked anything and that his relationship with his mother and sister is that much stronger because of it all. Truly one of the greatest silver linings of all time! Do you have a great Silver Linings story? I’d love to share it. Simply add your story to the comments box below or e-mail me at letters@canadianliving.com and I’ll include it here.  
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Silver Linings: A Father's Absence

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