Monday, August 1, 2011

...and then there were 3.

January of 1995 has no place in a history book. For most, it was a cold and uneventful month filled with post-holiday stress and snow showers. An unremarkable collection of days and nights. But for me it brought an irreversible shift in my ever changing world. At 6:03 pm on the last day of the year's first month -- my father's wife gave birth to a baby girl. Suddenly I was no longer my father's only child - I was simply his first try. I had firmly become the remainder from the division of his first attempt at a family. He, his wife and new baby made the perfect picture - and on occasion I was required to hang onto the frame and smile.

There are many differences between a full sibling and a half sibling - the least of which are biological. If my father had never had another child I would have been left to imagine what a life with him would have been like. I could have waxed poetic about maybe's and might have's. Instead I watched him parent as though it was a spectator sport -- and I admit that there were times when I was guilty of keeping score.

Another baby came along in June of '98 and brought with her new emotions for me to carry. My two half sisters were each other's whole -- and suddenly the space between us felt much further apart than the branches of a family tree.

My one father has three daughters. But I will get no second attempt. I will have no third try.

Somewhere, sometime ago after one too many beers my father told me that he often worried that I believed he loved my sisters more than he loved me. He was wrong. In all my 26 years I have never once doubted that my father loved me. I know to my core that he would step in front of a bullet to protect me, give his last breath to save me and demonstrate a variety of other hyperbolic gestures. But I have never believed, not for a moment, that he liked me.

I am the product of my mother's presence and my father's absence. I represent none of his ideals or values because he was not there to instill them. I am no reflection of my father on any surface deeper than a mirror. We share no common bonds beyond biology. I visited my father's house and my sisters were raised in his home -- and that has been the greatest difference.

1 comment:

  1. One of my many issues with my father is his children. My brothers and I are his only biological children that we know of. He's had a vasectomy so I don't foresee any others coming.

    Every new girlfriend he has brings with her her own children. I've been replaced so many times it's ridiculous. The first time I was replaced we were still living with him. His girlfriend's kids were schoolmates of mine and it practically killed me to know he was spending more time with them than with us.

    I recently found out about his newest children by email. Not from him as we're not on speaking terms but from my little brother who is still clinging to whatever he can get as far as father/son relationship. I abandoned attempts to rekindle my relationship with my father when I drove 85 miles just to see him and his response was "what for?"

    He apparently has remarried to an Italian immigrant and is housing her kids and her mother in the house where I grew up. Sometimes I wish I could say my only concern left is who inherits that house but honestly it hurts so much to know he does not care enough to tell me I've been replaced again.