A double dad quandry

So I’ve had this post percolating in my brain for a few days. So, of course, it won’t be as good as it would’ve been had I just wrote it.

Anyway, being a dad means to be there. Always be there. If life turns in a way that Parents can no longer be partners, still be there. Don’t use the Kids as weapons against one another, don’t forget the kids are there, don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Be there financially – even if means you eat ramen, and drink Piels.

Don’t be like my old man, and lead by bad example. He would pop up every few years through my childhood, take us out a couple of times, and then leave us waiting by the window for a man who never came.

In my mid-teens, circumstances came about where I went to live with him. Horrible. I ended up decking his wife (not proud of that, but it was necessary)(and a story for another time.) Not long after that, I split. I don’t think he ever looked for me.

What kind of man is that?

He’s not a bad man, just not a very good one. And a piss poor excuse for a father. His tally: One daughter who wants nothing to do with him, one son who just wants to know why (that’s me…) one step-son who at last word was trying not to be too much of a burden on society, and another son who flunked Kindergarten twice, held up an off duty cop at knifepoint, and has spent (last I knew, anyway) most of his adult life behind bars. (Update: I had felt somewhat concerned about saying this. I mean, what if he had straightened out… But, as I just found that his last arrest was a month and a half ago, for armed robbery amongst other things, I don’t feel bad at all.)

The whole reason behind this, is that he popped up again – sorta. Every six months or so, I get an email, or phone call from his wife – never is it from him. This time she says he’ll be in the area in July, and she’s going to make sure he has my number. I haven’t laid eyes on the SOB for 13 years this time – he’s never met my wife, he knows I have kids, but has never seen them.

Supposedly, he came up this way (he now lives in Florida) last summer, but got lost and couldn’t find my number (strangely enough…it’s actually listed)(under the name he saddled me with)(please don’t prank call me….).

Do I invite him back into my life?
Do I ignore his existence?
Do I deny the girls a chance (slim though it may be) at a Gramppa?
I have to make a decision fairly soon… he’s supposed to be up starting the 10th of July….

The last time I got into this, was in the early 90’s. I chased him down because I was leaving the area, and I knew his brother Kris was in the area I was heading to.
(Sorry, Unca Kris…I know I was not the best person at that time. I still had a lot to learn about life.)

It ended badly. All I wanted was to get a phone call from him on my birthday – not even a card, just a call. Needless to say, it never came. That night, I wrote the following, and sent it to him. Never got a reply – still haven’t.

Years have passed with no sight of you
Tears have drained and I’ve not a clue
Why on that day I waited and waited
And again you didn’t show
Years gone by
Are you ashamed of what I’ve become
Or shamed by what I haven’t done
Alone all those years when I needed someone
To guide me down this rocky road
That you’ve traveled along
And now I’ve started upon
A burning star bright fire
A guiding hand clasped in mine
A wondering child with a thousand questions
Searching for the answers no one else could give
Scared and scarred from a life denied
Something everyone needs to survive
A teacher and a friend
Years gone by I needed you
I learned to cry as I wondered why
You could not be found, You never came around
I learned how to lie, the others kissed you goodbye
Holding on to a fantasy I kept on telling those fucking lies
To myself, making excuses that never helped
Now comes a time we’re reunited once again
Came a day when in my heart I called you friend
Then came that special day when I wanted to say
All those years gone by didn’t matter
That after all this time you still remembered
As well as I do the same for you
Oh, how badly I wanted that fading dream to come true
Time marched on I watched as it ticked away
Waiting for a sign a sight or a simple sound
Day into night night into dawn
None ever came another year gone
Eating away at my soul, the questions rise again
Unwanted but undaunted driving me down
To the foul pits of despair
Celebration of birth ‑ now destroyed
Through all my time curious to my worth
In your world seen through your eyes
Only to find I have none
I can imagine no fate worse
If I have none ‑where were you?
As I walked that road alone
Once again ‑ where were you?

(dedicated to my father) MSA JUNE 8/161992

So faithful readers, what do you think I should do?