"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection"-Sigmund Freud.
. What is father? Is the man that causes the mother to conceive, or the man that takes the opportunity to raises the child? Another question would be, "Is there a difference between a dad and a father?" Being that I have never experienced either, I would not know. My image of fathers derives from the television screen and the imagery of books I've read. The Oxford Dictionary defines dad as "one's father." Since that did not appease my curiosity, I decided to look up the definition of father. After sifting through several definitions, I finally discovered two appropriate definitions for my word. The Oxford Dictionary defined Father as," A man in relations to his child or children." Secondly, "A man that provides care and protection." I must add to this definition, "A man that shows genuine interest in the lives of his children. "
I have considered myself to be fatherless my entire life. My father is not dead, even though it feels that way at times. He has just opted to have very little to do with my life. One thing is for sure, our relationship was buried a long time ago. Never being sure of the appropriate title to give him, I've resulted to using his biological name -Decky. I am sure that some people are shocked by my decision to disclose his real name within my paper, and others may see it as disrespectful. However, I have spent many years hiding the pain, anger and embarrassment of not having a father. Therefore, I feel liberated enough to address the issues openly and honestly.
Periodically, I find myself daydreaming about my male parent, and how his warm embraces and decent conversations feel. In most cases, these daydreams end with me balling with tears. To combats these emotions, I try to block these thoughts from my head. After all, instead of being reminded of his desire not to spend time with me, it is best to pretend my father does not exist. Yet, even with my strongest attempts, there are some times, such as my wedding day, when the effects of my father's absence is inevitable.
I remember sitting in the small parlor on my wedding day. I had the perfect gown, the veil of my dreams, and my makeup was flawless. As I heard the processional music playing from sanctuary, I visualized my Maid and Matron of Honor walking down the aisle in their flowing black gowns. Slowly the music faded away and everything became silent. It was in that moment, with my bouquet in hand, I thought about Decky. For a moment I longed for him to be there. I imagined how it would have felt to have him sitting in that room with me, beaming from ear to ear and telling me how beautiful I looked. My heart sunk and I felt the lump in my throat develop.
Thankfully, my downward spirals of emotions were interrupted by the wedding coordinator's knock and entrance. As usual, I blocked the thoughts from my head, hid my pain behind my smile, and proceeded to walk to the entrance of the sanctuary. My pain and disappointment was masked by the jaw dropping beauty of the sanctuary. The dim lights hid my hurt while the love for my husband glowed, as did the candle lights. The song's serenade gently mended my heard. With each step, I began to focus on those who have consistently shown me love and support. By the time I approached the white arch filled with cascading flower, my tears of pains and embarrassment had turned into tears of joy. I went on to marry the love of my life, in the face of many family members and friends. Yet, I periodically I think of how much more special June 5, 2010 would have been if Decky was around.
Several more experiences have occurred in my life. Like my wedding, my father 's attendance, interest, and support would have been appreciated. I do not, and probably never will, know the reason behind my father's absence. Nor do I know if his behavior will ever turn around. Despite of our negative relationship, my respect and love for him will never cease to exists. An Epiphany has occurred to me. My invisible father's behavior is a reflection on his manhood, not on me. Jessie Jackson said it best, "You are not a man because you can make a baby. You're only a man if you can raise a baby, protect a baby and provide for a baby" (Jessie Jackson, 1970). All in all, the definition of "father" gives hope to the idea of obtaining a fatherly relationship whether it is with my biological father or not.