When Father Opts Out: Reflections On a Fatherless Father's Day
For me, June 16 is nothing more than a yearly reminder of what I don't have. That is to say, a dad. A pop. A padres, papa or pater. You see, for the last 11 years of my life, I have not seen my father, and not until as recently as a month ago, has he made any effort to contact me or to be a a part of my life.
Having grown up in the eighties and nineties, divorce has never been a really big subject. Many of my friends came from homes where their parents had split. Usually their fathers stayed in the picture. I had one friend whose dad actually bought a condo in the same complex as his ex-wife so he could be close to his sons. Weekends with Dad meant walking a few doors down.
My folks ended their union when I was six-years-old. My older brother was eight. Our dad moved to Vancouver after that, while we stayed with out Mother in Calgary. For the first few years we would see our pop once or twice a year, usually around Christmas, Easter, or for a few weeks in the summer. By the time I was ten, I had been on more plane rides than most adults.
But eventually the visits became few and far between, and then my father met and married his new wife, a lady from Mexico City. My brother and I did not attend the wedding.
Together they had a child, a girl named Stephanie. She was named after me. After spending a summer in Mexico City with my new step family when I was eleven, my father dropped a bomb on us: He was moving to Mexico to be close to his in-laws.
My father would now live a country away from us.
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