I don't know my father. I have never seen his face. I don't know what his voice sounds like. I have never held his hand or kissed him goodnight. I have never known a father's love.
My father only lived 10 minutes away, but he never came to see me. My father paid child support for 18 years, but he never once requested a visitation. When I was a senior in high school, my mother sent my father a picture of me. He returned it and asked not to be contacted again.
By and large, his absence and unwillingness to love didn't bother me. I never knew what it was like to have a father, and it is hard to miss something you've never had. As a teenager, I likened it to being born without your eyesight. It is almost impossible to pine over something you've never experienced. The idea of a father sounded great, but it was just that - an idea. Not my reality.
Now that I am an adult, with my own children, I sometimes feel a simmering of emotions under the surface. As I watch my husband play with Porgie and Izzy, and I often feel a twinge of sadness. Why was I so easy to forget, to brush aside, to dismiss? John loves our children with every fiber of his being. Why didn't my father even want to see my picture?
Although I have no intentions of contacting my father (EVER), I do sometimes wonder what he thought about me. What were his motivations for ignoring my existence? Does he regret his actions? Has he told his other children about me?
I guess my curiosity stems from one simple question - How can a father not love his child?