Contributing to Silence | Teen Ink

Contributing to Silence

October 14, 2014
By leewin812 BRONZE, River Falls, Wisconsin
leewin812 BRONZE, River Falls, Wisconsin
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Romans 6:21 what benefit did you reap at the time from the things which you are now ashamed of?

They say that parental love is unconditional. Sure there are absentee parents and parents that were never around to begin with; people die, leave, and disown every day. But what is it called when a father gives up? Can we call something a loss if it was never ours to begin with? The answer is no. At least in this case.

Only decades ago, it was not a paternal duty to be in the room and cut the umbilical cord. Recently though, this right has become an emotionally binding experience for fathers and their children. How can one small snip mean the difference between genuine love and a monthly payment?

After just weeks of badgering my mommy, she had me tested and eventually brought me to meet someone that was going to change my world. When I was almost five, I was introduced to the man who was responsible for my very existence. It was strange at first, certainly not something that happened every day... But as time went on as it habitually does, things got more natural. Routine helped. Meet dad in a parking lot every-other Friday after school, spend the weekend with his family, come home Sunday with a lot to say but not much to show for it, repeat.

They say that if you're good at something, you should never stop doing it. I guess Rick learned that pretty early because I've never seen him puke; not even after a full case. He coughs like everyone else, but never with a cigarette in his hand. Yes, there are a few things Rick's good at, even if they killed his daddy.

Daddy. What a word it is. So full of trust and honest affection. My little sister, whom he raised, called him daddy frequently, so I thought I'd give it a shot. "Love you," we'd say, "love you more," was his reply, "love you most," we'd persist, and he'd end it all with "love you infinity." One night however, we hadn't done this. Erica said "goodnight daddy, I love you," after he gave her a kiss and then confirmed that he too loved her. When I said the same words, he simply walked out of the room. It was no misunderstanding because at twelve years old, I made sure to ask. "It was just weird. I'm sorry Leah, I love you too." Not honey, not sweetie, not bug or sugar or dear... Just Leah. But that's who I am, right? At least he remembered my name every time he apologized for forgetting my birthday.

After years of desperately trying to stay connected to him in some way or another, I kind of gave up altogether. The difference between then and now is as simple as hope. I used to think that one day we'd find a way to get along comfortably and not feel so forced in one another's presence. And now I know that it can never be whole. That's what you learn when someone literally and effectively takes their love away. When he looks at you and says that he'll never love you the same as your sister because he didn't cut your umbilical cord and you didn't fall asleep on his chest, that you'll never really be his. That's when you better find someone else, because you don't even have a part-time dad. Not anymore.

Many people will always be remembered, but some just can't be forgotten.

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