Like most girls with a host of daddy issues, mine wasn’t a good one. He was handsome as hell and very lucky when it came to women and making beautiful children… but that was about it. He gave me four sisters and a brother that I can’t imagine my life without.
I asked to meet my dad when I was 7 years old. We met at Wendy’s, of all places… and he bought me a cheeseburger without knowing that I was being raised by vegetarians. It was love at first sight… and bite. I can still taste the memory of that day, and it softens the sad ones that followed. He sued my mom for custody after that strange afternoon and I got to meet my little brother and baby sister too. He gave me a wonderful bonus mom in my beloved stepmother and she did her best to buffer the awkward moments of them getting to know me and vice versa.
My dad taught me to love steak, designer jeans and cherry popsicles. He gave me a serious weakness for men who can cook, big strong arms, empty promises and men who don’t want me. While I appreciate the good genes, I could have lived without the vices.
I tried to build a relationship with him as an adult, after my son was born and I was overcome by how much love one little baby could inspire. I sent packages, wrote letters, took my son to visit and he was still the same shitty father I remembered as a child. He lied to me after I sewed him a quilt and sent it and I told him I hoped he’d die alone like he deserved. He did. The end.
My mother carried the entirety of my childhood. From riding a bike to braces, she did it all. She taught me all the important things and gave me a love for gardening that has gotten me through depression, poverty and everything in between. She taught me to can the windfall of vegetables after I’d grown them, read to me and shared her favorite books. All the good in my life and every healthy coping mechanism came from my dear mother. I owe her everything and I hope someday she knows just how much I love and appreciate her. ♥