34 – Happy Father’s Day?

Happy Father’s Day to all those lucky fathers out there!

It was a beautiful Sunday today, full of that crisp sunshine that summer promised me it would bring this year. Now if only it would stay that way for the rest of the season. The rain is no fun. No fun.

For myself, I’ve always held mixed feelings for this day. It comes and goes every year. I remember being four years old and incredibly attached to ‘dad’. He had also more gentle than mom. More likely to spoil me with things that mom refused my silly little pleading for. I got my obsessive collecting disorder got him. So did my brother. It’s not that we’re materialists…we just like to keep things for extended periods of times. Organized little groups of things. My stuffed animal collection still grows today.

I must’ve been six when my dad went back to Hong Kong (we immigrated here when I was two) to take care of grandma. Or so that was the reason. Even after she got better, he remained there. For years. Ten long years. He just returned last year. I can’t say what my feelings are about this. We don’t really have a relationship anymore. We used to. But in his mind, I’m still twelve. Or whatever. He missed the entire process of me growing up. And nothing will ever change that.

But take me back to when I was the four year old girl happily riding on my dad’s shoulders, taking pictures in the park with the spring air glorfiying the occasion. She looked up to him. I looked up to him. We were a happy family then.

I remember being six/seven, naive and enthusiastic about everything. Writing letters with poorly drawn doodles for dad. For his birthday. For father’s day. For Christmas. I remember stopping that summer when I was seven. After we visited Hong Kong. After my view of the world changed. After I lost my innocence.

Things happened that summer vacation that I really don’t want to talk about.

But I think it’s time I did.

My mom, my brother, and I were on the bus. My mom and I were looking out the window.

I saw it with my own eyes. In the restaurant. My dad with a woman.

At the time, I had no idea what it meant.

My mom turned away from the window when she saw it, her face troubled. I kept staring out through the glass, absorbed in the urban foreign-ness and familiarity of the city I was born in. Captivated by all the cars and bikes and people that passed by. Captivated by all the different stores and cafés and especially by the plush toys in some of the cuter stores. The cuter stores.

Other things happened on the vacation that completely warped my mindset, that eradicated any speck of innocence that had persisted in my heart prior. But that one moment still haunts me today. Still haunts my dreams.

When I was ten, dad came to visit again. He brought toys that were suitable for an audience far younger than ten and fifteen – the age that my brother was at the time. The years had slipped his mind. Communication was awkward.

I visited HK again when I was twelve. It was a simple holiday. Nothing significant.

When people ask me about my parents, I say mom.

When people ask me about my family, I mention my brother and my mom.




There’s more, of course. To what he is. To what my family is like. To what I grew up with. But I think that getting that one moment out of my memory and putting it to rest here has tired out my brain. Too many memories. Too many synaptic pulses.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.


15 thoughts on “34 – Happy Father’s Day?

  1. I had been keeping away from blogs for some time which is why I had been ignoring to read the post thought I could see it in my unread mail every time I logged in… But now, after having read I am sure I’ll be sharing the draft more often… Don’t worry(what’er your original name is) Your emotions are as honest and wonderful as you are, for sure(at least that’s what I believe).

  2. My Dad left My Mom when I was 2, My Brother was like 6 Months, and My Sisters were 6 and 10

    It Devastated the 6 Year Old Sister… She’s never really recovered, some part of her always looking for her “Daddy” if you will, in Men… It’s a Common Theme, but I think it really messed with her… She’s only now doing somewhat better, and she’s in her 40’s

    My Mom figured out that he was seeing someone else, and old Girlfriend from High School, and so I think she had him leave.

    Left with 4 kids to raise, she had a bit of a Breakdown.

    2 or so years later, they got back together, My Dad wanted to make it work… We got a home in a canyon, where I’m actually at actually, as I’m living My Mom and her Boyfriend at the Moment.

    A New Beginning… But she quickly came to realize, that she had moved on, and asked him to leave.

    She had done a lot of Therapy, and he went to one session, and wouldn’t go back.

    Sometimes People are only meant to be together for a certain amount of time, even if they’re Married.

    My One Sister, who was 6, I think suffered the most from the Divorce… And was Angry at My Mom for the next 25 or so years… Even though it was My Dad that Originally gotten involved with someone else, and thusly Destroyed My Mom’s Trust, I would assume… Maybe not.

    My Eldest Sister was 10 at the time he Originally left, but she had Lost Her “Real” Father (she had a different dad than the rest of us), and had also lost My Mom’s Dad, who was also like a Dad to her… So when my Dad left, it was like the Third Dad she had lost, so I don’t think she was hit as hard… She was used to it.

    I remember when he left the Second time, not the first… I was 5 the Second time, and I remember thinking, “Good, they weren’t a good match”.

    I think I was affected the least by My Dad leaving… I didn’t know it until the last 10 years really, but My Brother really regretted not having a Dad around… I never felt that way.

    I’m the Lucky one I suspect.

    All I can say is, “Let it go”… Maybe that’s a lot to ask, or say… Maybe it’s Presumptous of me to say that… I don’t mean let go of your Dad… I mean, let go of the Past… All of it

    The Bottom line is, we don’t Choose who our Parents are… It’s not until we’re 18 that we even have a chance to try to figure out who we are, and sort things out in our head, as to what’s important in this world/life, and what really isn’t.

    Forgive, but Don’t Forget… Learn from your Past, but Don’t live in your Past.

    Write in Journals, get Therapy, talk to Friends (including us), do whatever you need to “Separate” the Past form The Present…

    Anyway, I really am sorry you had many difficult things in your Past… I can only say, I Wish You all the Love, Joy and Beauty and Happiness that Life can Bring you in the Future

    You are a Beautiful one, and Deserve all that Life has to give you… And More

    Beware of Patterns Built in your Childhood, they will lead you down some Dark Roads… Don’t Cling to Men that aren’t able to be “Emotionally” Available… Chances are all that is, is part of you trying to “Fill Holes” that came from your Past.

    The Truth that no one seems to talk about is, once you hit 18 or so, “You Are Your Parent”… “You Are The One That Needs To Guide You”… “You Are The One That Needs To Make Healthy Decisions”… For yourself…

    Just think of yourself as your own parent when you make decisions in your life… “Are These Decisions Good For You?”… Is what you would want for you, if you were your own Child? Yah know what I mean…

    Nuff Said

    You are a Beautiful one… Let it go… And Embrace Your Own Beautiful Potential, and Possibilities… Embrace the things “You Hold” Dear in Life

    Nuff Said

    xoxo Blue


    • Oh Jade. What a rough life you’ve led to. Seeing you transformed into such a wonderful individual fills my heart with hope and lustre. Thanks for sharing your story – It really does help me feel better about my situation.

      Don’t you ever stop embracing your potential either. ❤

  3. Hey Nessa,

    It’s been a while since I do blog visitation. A lot of events that I missed. First of all, I am sorry to hear your story. Second, We are here for you,I am here for you. Please don’t forget that.

    It’s funny, how I always find it an awe every time I hear a story similar to mine. Like you, my father left us for another woman. We even went to their ‘love nest’ and ‘she’ entertained us very well.

    As innocent as I was (5 or 6 years old),asking my mom those questions. Why papa didn’t come with us? Doesn’t he love us anymore? I can really relate to you. How amazing that we have something in common,no matter how unusual it is..it’s something that we both can relate.

  4. I feel for you Nessa’… though my experience with my dad was different, it was painful as well. Thank you for sharing this piece of you. As gs said… his choices were his and not your fault. ♥

  5. Vanessa – My dear child, you grew up too soon, lost your first love when you didn’t have the tools to understand, forgive yourself first, his choices were not your fault… Thank you for sharing this story, it shows how full your heart is, and tells again the courage you may not be aware that is in you. You are loved… -gs

  6. Glad you shared this since I see it more healing than say seeing a therapist. Moreover, it also heals others who might have similar memories. Wonderful storytelling, Nessa!
    Take care 🙂

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