I have to admit, this day has completely lost its meaning for me as the years go by. But it’s not that Father’s Day is just another Sunday, it’s a day of bitterness, anger, and regret for me. For many other people, I am sure it is the same.
For the past eight years, I haven’t had a dad to celebrate Father’s Day. Not because he passed on, but because he doesn’t care about me. First off, my parents divorced in 2000, afterwards my sister and I would stay at his house every other weekend. He lived in Ocean City, NJ in the spring/summer and Woodbury, NJ in the fall/winter.
When I was 10, he met this woman named Peggy and moved in with her, so I then started going over her house with him on the weekends. Eventually, I became sick of it as my dad started drinking more than he ever did and often would smack me in the face for the most ridiculous things. It was then I decided to stop staying with him for a bit; I was almost 12 at the time and in 6th grade. Later I decided to call him and make amends, but he would never pick up or call back.
Four years later, when I was 16, my aunt Ellen and grandmother got my dad to talk to me one day. When I saw him I was shocked at the fact he had completely white hair and was more overweight than he was. He seemed very sincere and regretful of all that happened. I thought we had made amends after and gave him my cell number, asking him to call me to try to get together again. He never did. I only saw him once after when he dropped in when I was visiting my grandmother when I was 17. Since he’s been estranged from many of our relatives.
It was then I realized that not only does he not really care for me. He’s a coward. He continues to run away from the biggest mistake of his life. Frankly, I don’t pity him.
The last seven or eight years have made me bitter. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I’ve become more angry and sometimes miserable ever since I was estranged from my dad. I’m not trying to use it as an excuse, it’s just how it is. I just blame myself for what happened. But it has inspired me to become a better man and eventually a better father than him, and that keeps me going whenever I’m down.
I know I’m not the only one who has this kind of story. I’ve met other kids who have been estranged from their dads and I can tell it’s affected them deep, like myself. Honestly, I feel that no person should have to grow up without either parent. Both of them will always be the most important people in your life, no matter what.
So, I challenge all my fellow men of this world: Please, guys. If you’re going to have kids, don’t pretend it’s a mistake. Don’t run away from this. Make sure the time is absolutely right to have a child. A child is the imprint of your own seed and DNA. Be the man you have the potential to be. Be strong for your woman and be an inspiration and role model for your children. Don’t create more stories like mine and others’.
Happy Father’s Day to the true, honest, and loving dads of this world. Any fool can be a father, but only a true man can be a dad.
– Brandon Mauk