In your message to me, you said I'm not the DAD you used
You're right, I won't deny that, the DAD you used
to know is gone. That DAD was created by God, taught by his parents, recognized by
his government, respected by his community. He was expected to make the right
choices for you and took pride in his efforts. He used to kiss you good-bye as he
left for work and you were still sleeping. That DAD could absorb a bad day at work,
just from one of your hugs. That DAD gained his desire to succeed from glancing at
you, as you slept. That DAD slept better after he got a kiss goodnight from
you. That DAD knew the aches and pains were worth it, for he knew he was meant to be
a DAD. That DAD knew what you were doing every minute of the day and was proud of
everything you accomplished and was proud even when you failed. He was always there
when you needed him, even when you didn't. Teachers, coaches, doctors and neighbors
would seek him out to tell of your progress, setbacks, accomplishments or just to talk
about parent things. That DAD was there for you, because we were
together. That DAD had the freedom to pack UP you and your brother and go
fishing, camping, swimming, whenever we felt like it. That DAD didn't have to wonder, he
knew. He could help you with your homework, any night, and it showed in your
That DAD is no more.
Yes, I'm still your Father, but no longer your
DAD. Now I'm just a cheque, a visitor, a Non-Custodial dad. Created by the
state law, separated by court orders, not free to make choices for your childhood.
No longer contacted by those who teach you, who fix your wounds or view your
accomplishments. Until you told me, I didn't even know you had surgery. This
NCdad no longer has his source of strength, no longer can comfort in your presence, for
youre not here. This NCdad cannot choose how to support you, cannot make the
decisions of what you may need and cannot even make suggestions. Your goodnight kisses
were worth a million dollars [and still are] and the loss of those are equally
devastating. This NCdad can't steal precious moments with you, cannot share quick
insights with you and cannot give you the answers you seek every day.
Inside I'm still the same, but like a chameleon
who changes his color when faced with danger, I too had to adapt. We all have to
adapt to our environment. The DAD you used to know could not survive the changes
forced upon him, he had to change to survive. He's gone. But, your Father
still, and always, loves you, and will always take pride in your successes and try to be
there for you when you stumble. I do the best I can, but even my best cannot revive
the DAD you used to know, for I didn't bury him.
Posted with permission from the author, Frank Lefebvre.
Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org