Whilst Father’s Day is a very special day for most, it is also an extremely emotional day for others. Most of the time when we celebrate Father’s Day, we firstly celebrate the wonderful dads. We pay tribute to those who have lost their fathers, and many celebrate a heavenly Father’s Day in this instance. We also celebrate the mums and guardians who play the role of father as well. All of this is great, and I really do think we should do more of it, I feel as if father’s are not celebrated enough.
There is so much of focus on what a mum does, often it feels to me that mums get way too much credit and I guess in most cases it could be fitting, but I know that there are dads out there who are probably better at parenting than some women are. Truth be told, I often feel or perhaps am confident enough to say that my husband is a more responsible parent to our child than I am.
However, this post is not about that. This post is not about those who have fathers nor those who have lost fathers. This post is about those who have never had the opportunity to meet or know their father and I am one of them. No, this is not a pity post. I’m not looking for nor need any solace. I felt that I needed to, and of course want to write this post, as I don’t feel there is enough attention given to those who don’t have fathers on a day like Father’s Day…more especially.
For most of my life, this affected me. It used to cut like a knife! I remember how emotional I used to get on Father’s Day, on birthdays and all special occasions. I’m almost 40 years old and to this very day, I do not know my Father. I never did and probably never will. Have I lost out? Of course yes!
I grew up loving this song, “Daddy” by Ricardo for two reasons, the one reason is because my cousin, who I grew up with, who is more like a brother to me; shares the name of the singer, so it always reminded me of him. But the other reason is because every time I listened to this song as a child, a part of me wanted to have a hero….a daddy….just like the one in the song.
“Daddy, you are my hero,” “Daddy I Iove you,” “Daddy, I need you,” “Daddy, thank you,” “Daddy, I’m scared,” – those are phrases I’ve never used in my life as I’ve been raised without a father. My mum left me with my grandmother when I was 3 months old, so I lived with and was raised by my grandmother.
I used to spend the school holidays with my mother in Johannesburg as my grandmother lived in Durban. You could pretty much say that I also didn’t have a mother around for most of my life. My grandmother played the role of my mum. My grandmother could not read or write, so there was help from my aunts who also lived with my grandmother. Despite that, my grandmother raised me as best as she could, and I will forever be grateful to her for that.
My mother used to provide all the necessities and I used to have the best toys and clothes. As much as those things contributed to me having a happy childhood and the material things many children then dreamed of having, as I grew older, I also had a deeper longing, one that I didn’t understand then nor speak about to anyone. I would watch other families – my school friends were “normal” – they had a mum and a dad. I used to secretly long for that. I wanted a family….I wanted it so damn badly.
Did I miss having a father? I don’t think it was the case until I was closer to 20. Not having a father, I didn’t have anyone to compare to. I somehow think it would have been worse if I had a father and then he went away or died…cos then I would have known him. I’d have someone to miss.
I spent a good few years of my life wishing I knew him or any details about him. What qualities do I have of his? Did he know about me? Did my mum ever tell him that I existed? I don’t know, I will never know. If I wrote this post a few years ago, I probably would have been in tears by now. For a few years of my life, I used to get so emotional and wish and long to have a father.
I used to think that if I had a father, my life may have been different. When I had a few failed relationships before I met my husband, maybe it would have been nice to have a father figure to be around. Maybe if I had the experience of having a father around, I would have known or had some expectations of the way a woman should be treated. There were lots of maybes then…but I got over it. I accepted that I don’t have a father. I never did. It was okay. I will be okay. The feeling would pass.
It did. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I realised that even though I didn’t have a father and a picture-perfect upbringing of the ‘perfect’ family, I turned out pretty good. I started to think about and concentrate on all the good things in my life and the good qualities about myself and that was enough to help me through the emotional storm of wanting to know my father.
If I had a father, who knows how it could have turned out? Maybe he would have been a disciplinarian and maybe he would have ensured I studied when I finished school. Maybe he would have saved me from lots of heartache and saved me from the failed relationships I experienced. Or maybe, just maybe, he would have been an awful father figure that made me hate men….gee whiz I don’t know and I don’t care – not anymore.
I made mistakes in my life and so I learned the hard way, on my own. When you have that experience of having a broken home or not having a father or both parents, it somehow makes you either more vulnerable and/or more determined…determined to have your own one day. I was first vulnerable simply because I wanted it so much.
In life we have choices. It doesn’t matter where we come from. What’s important is what’s inside of us, what do we value in our hearts and where do we want to be and where do we want to go. I’ve seen children who come from good homes, with the “perfect family” – that become drug addicts and all sorts of unpleasant things. Whilst my life may not be perfect nor do I wish for it to be, I am more than happy with the way I turned out as a person.
I am blessed that I have a family of my own. Even with not having that as I child, I was able to make it happen for me and we have all the things in our lives that matter to us. We have each other, we have quality time together, we have love and respect. My post for Father’s Day on Instagram inspired me to write this post by the way. Click here to view it.
Don’t let your circumstances influence your choices in life. You can be under the worst circumstances, but still come out smiling in the end. It’s all about the way you look at life. So if you happen to be someone who has never known or had a father in your life ever, I hope you are encouraged to be proud of who you are.
Remind yourself, that wherever you are in life now, you got that far and if you could get that far under those circumstances, you have lots more to look forward to in life. Put on a smile, have a happy heart and be grateful for all that you do have in your life. The rest and the best is yet to come, believe it!