Today, the day after the cards and ties and hugs have been exchanged, I’m still left feeling a little empty. Father’s Day is now a difficult holiday for me to be jubilant about because now there are more questions than answers.
When I was born, I had a father. Just one. As shitty as he was to me, he was my father and later on became the representation of what a man isn’t supposed to be. Every Father’s Day, I’d make him a construction paper card with all the love in the world, even though he showed much less than that love back to me. He usually wasn’t around to get the cards, but my mom would take them and promise me that he’d get them. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I found her collection of cards that she stashed away. The cards all had “Return to Sender” marked on them. At least she tried.
Then my mom got remarried. My stepfather was and still is everything my father could never be. I understand now the meaning of a daddy’s girl. That’s me. He’s my daddy, and many people don’t realize that he’s not my father. That’s how tight we are. Every Father’s Day he’s there appreciative of whatever gift he receives, even if it’s just a phone call. He’s held my hand as I go from being under the watchful eyes of him and my mom to standing on my own two feet. It’s been hard to experience my loyalty shifting from my father to my daddy. He’s my forever rock, and I’ll always be his little girl. The youngest. The baby. That’s my daddy.
Then it hit me a few weeks ago. Everything I experienced with my father growing up may have been in vain. I ran across a medical report of his from before the divorce while I was cleaning at my mom’s house. The blood type didn’t match what I’ve been told my whole life. I asked him about it a few days later, and he confirmed what the report said. I’m a biology nerd at heart, so I went back and re-read my genetics notes and my heart sank. His blood type plus my mother’s blood type can’t produce mine. Not possible. That lead me to think about a close “friend” my mom would bring around after her and my father got divorced. He was the closest thing I had to a dad between the ages of 3 and 5. Birthday gifts and hugs, trips to the circus and cotton candy. Later on I found out that he was her high school sweetheart, they had planned on getting married. He was also her “confidant” while she was going through the mire with my father. She would retreat back to NYC and hang out with him for the weekend. And him and I have the same blood type. Her blood type plus his could produce mine.
His daughter and I look so much alike it’s scary. He referred to me as his little one a few times that I can remember. I wish I had a better answer, but I don’t. He died the day before I started 6th grade due to a bad asthma attack. I have a hat of his, and his mother gave me his favorite pair of winter gloves. I’m tempted to do the DNA test, but that might make everything too clear. Answers to my questions would simply beget more questions. I’m not sure if I’m ready to know if my father is really that nice guy I considered an uncle. I’m not sure if I’m ready to consider the idea of my mother lying to save face. I’m not sure I feel like continuing my thoughts about this…