“For every father who steps out to get a pack of cigarettes, never to be heard of again, there is a child who grows up with an inerasable sense of abandonment, despite any success they may achieve in life.  I hope it was worth the smoke, you deadbeat motherfucker.” ~ Beryl Dov, 50 Shades of Green: Poems and Aphorisms about Time, Aging and Childhood

I cannot know how she is feeling because I grew up with both my father and mother.  I saw her crying in her room last Friday and when I asked her what was wrong, she said that it was the night of the father and daughter dance at school, and she said that she had been dodging questions from her classmates as to the whereabouts of where her father is.

She knows where her father is.  He is in Brooklyn, less than ten miles away from where we are.  He has never made attempts to see her.  Prior to the new year, she even sent him a “friend” request on a social media site.  Not only did he not accept her request, he even took the extra step to block her.

She cries, not because she longs for him, but because she cannot understand why her own father, her own flesh and blood, wants nothing to do with her.

I cannot understand it either.

2 thoughts on “Deadbeat

  1. This is a sad post but I commend you for expressing your thoughts. I think possibly the way to feel about him is to acknowledge probably he has some attributes, but he has failed miserably at being a good Dad. He may even feel it is now to late to make amends- another huge mistake. The important point to make to your daughter is it was a nice of her and only natural she would like to make contact but his behavior is unfathomable. But that is what happens sometimes in life so let me relate to you another story which might shed some light on the matter. When I was a child and staying on my uncle’s farm I used to visit on horseback my grandfather and grandmother who lived together in a little cottage not far from the main farm house. As a very young child I noticed my grandmother seemed to me to be a bit overly critical of my grandfather when he was not up to scratch with his chores. So in puzzlement one day I asked the reason why and remember how the answer instantly struck a chord. During the early period of the marriage my grandfather unexpectantly won a lottery. He promptly left the marriage and 7 young children. Grandma then had to resort to acting as a cattle station cook because she received free board for all the children and the meagre allowance was only just sufficient for the family to survive. Amazingly many years later when he was frail and had spent all of the money she took him back, but she did not spare any leniency when it became to chores that were not performed satisfactorily. My father and his siblings didn’t take much interest in him, for he was a stranger to them. I guess he just couldn’t cope with marriage and bringing up 7 children, so he didn’t want to face the reality of life just as we all must face from time to time. I didn’t think there would be many people in the world willing to forgive like that and as a child I was amazed. Best wishes

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