Understanding My Father's Absence
In early June 2015, just a few weeks before Father’s Day, my father was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer. He crossed-over to the other side after a short, but hard-fought battle in October 2015. In his last days, I did what I promised myself at an early age that I would never do: I took care of the man that did not take care of me.
Although not perfect, with the support of family and generous leave from work, I did my best to make sure he was well taken care of and loved during the four months between his diagnosis and death. I frankly shocked myself at how my hardened heart towards him melted knowing that his days were limited, and that my hopes and dreams of having a father/daughter bond would die with him.
Two years before his prognosis, I finally admitted to myself that I missed my daddy while crying inconsolably during my prayer time, which was the first and only time I asked God (whose very essence is Father) to heal my abandonment issues. Being the Great Father that He is, that prayer was answered within weeks when my absent father called to wish me a happy 31st birthday, which was something that he hadn’t done since I turned 5. Yes, you read that correctly, and before this time it had been nearly a decade since I had even heard his voice (except a single encounter in 2011).
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