The measure of a man.
We were born to a man who did, but perhaps should not have sired children.
My sister and I, his first living children.
Our parents met when they were both very young themselves. My mother, then a girl of eighteen years in her first job as a teacher. My father, nineteen and a teacher as well.
Characteristically male he would provide the DNA for several of us. Not to be confused with ‘father’, that right I feel, he has never earned.
A man, who by all accounts is cognitively brilliant…yet emotionally defunct.
Both parents were academically gifted, but my father I’m told was given a large portion of the gift of intelligence coupled with a photographic memory.
An extraordinary human when it came to affairs of the mind. Affairs of the heart, however, an entirely a different story.
Our parents separated when I was three years old and my sister in utero.
We had the love of all our relatives, especially my sister, as she was the baby…but there’s a reason why God designed His rules for a family. We never had a nuclear family.
We did not have a daddy to love us. We knew it, we felt it, we were told it…and we felt this loss profoundly, then and now.
A daddy loves and shapes the hearts and lives of his children, especially his daughters. He teaches them many things including what qualities to seek in a mate later in life.
In his role as head of household, provider, protector and lover of family, my father flunked monumentally.
He was emotionally and geographically distant, a womanizer and a nomad.
He would reappear intermittently throughout the years often not even recognizing my sister when he did.
Growing up, our friends had their dads but we never did. This deficit does not bode well for the developing psyche. Some kids never ‘find’ themselves.
I have wondered what it was like having a father’s love and as I got older the poison of his rejection blossomed into; self-blaming, imaginings and questions of why your own parent would choose to not love you, want you or care for you.
A seemingly uncaring parent “takes” something irreplaceable from a child.
He has never supported us emotionally, physically or financially throughout this journey of life.
He was after all part author of our story.
Those emotions later evolved into indifference as I concentrated on ‘clearing’ my own path.
He would again re-emerge during my third decade of life with six other children, at least four of them younger than my children.
He asked for my assistance to emigrate to the United States and I agreed for his children’s sake.
Some two years later he would leave his new family to return to Suriname, South America where he lived for much of my life.
I would then hear from him every now and then, sometimes to request money. By this time my sister had concluded her relationship with him permanently.
He showed no real interest in getting to know us, his children or grandchildren.
I finally decided to cut ties with him when during a visit to Guyana three years ago he publicly disrespected the love of my bonus mother.
A woman who had stood in his stead brandishing the mantle that had been his to carry.
A woman who had loved and sacrificed for us so fiercely and unconditionally.
The woman who taught me so much including my love of God and thus the below verses;
Exodus 20:12 — Honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord the God giveth thee.
Ephesians 6:4 — And ye father’s, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
How to apply these words when the parent never assumed their parental role?
And so with God’s words in my heart and mind always, I feel I have exhausted every effort to have a relationship with him.
I have concluded that he lacks the capacity to love. There must be something so broken, it pilfered the ability to love one’s own children and even oneself.
I see my father as an equal opportunity deserter…he left us all equally…only at differing stages of life.
As I write this today I realize that God is working in me, that there is still a chance for redemption. Where I had previously vowed there was none.
Why did we not have a daddy to love us? I know my own pain, seen the pain in my sister’s eyes, heard her cries as an adult over him.
What was/is so broken in him that is not yet mended?
Can I/we ever love him?
Does he know the love and redemption of God?
Our God is a God of miracles, he holds the keys..and while we are living there is yet time…the chapter is not yet concluded…