I know you might be wondering as to why such a heading right? Well! It is how I feel and have struggled with the issue. I was only twelve years when my aunty whispered my true identity to me but I didn’t understand as I was only a child. At the age of sixteen, I learnt of my ordeal – my Dad was not my real Dad; what a mess!
Why I can’t call you Dad…..
Two weeks ago, a Facebook message appeared on my feed with notes from my half-siblings wishing you well on your birthday. I starred at the words feeling emotions of sadness as I did not know what to add on. Up until that moment, I had no idea when you were born, and yet you are the person who created me. I am one of the many children you neglected; for this, I can’t call you Dad because someone else took your place; that person is my stepfather who I call Dad.
How can I wish you a happy birthday when you do not even know my birthday? I can’t call you Dad, because my Dad knows when my birthday falls, and every single year, he remembers my special day and sends me good wishes.
As I look at your picture, I see how frail you have become because of poor health, but still, fail to give you a ring to ask how you are feeling. I am not able to hold a conversation with you as I never had one even when we met in person, the more reason I can’t call you Dad. There is no attachment of parent-child, only an act of acknowledgement because of your DNA. Sadly, DNA alone does not qualify you to be called my Dad. I am not cruel -only telling the truth because that’s how I feel each time I think of you.
The last telephone conversation
We last spoke five years ago, when I rang you. Having relocated to Europe, I thought we could start on a clean slate, Alas, I was wrong – I felt the lack of love in your voice and your emotions as cold as ever remembered it. Why did I have to think like that, when I share your blood? Is it because of the emotional disconnection between the two of us? That is why I can’t call you Dad because of the gap between us.
You created the difference the day I was born, a part of my life you had no intentions of wanting to be part of. What a pity! I am not sure whether to pity myself or you, because you have missed out a lot about my life – memories that can never be retrieved for you to experience once more, the reason I can’t call you Dad. There are many stories I would like to share with you on my life journey. Unfortunately, being unable to, because it will be like speaking a foreign language to you, that is why I can’t call you Dad. You have none of my living minds as your daughter.
Unanswered questions in my heart
Ever since learning of your existence, I ask myself if you ever loved my mother? I am unable to ask my mother because it will be disrespectful as percieved in my native culture; instead, I am left wondering what your answer would be if I asked you the question.
Having come to know of the privileged life you had of successful businesses, one can not refute the possibility that you took advantage of my mother because of her vulnerability. I say so because she was very young when she conceived me, a pregnancy you never took responsibility of – the more reason I can’t call you Dad, My poor mother endured labour alone. But you know what? Thank God!, my super grandmother filled your place and took me to Zimbabwe, where she raised me as her daughter. I am more than grateful to her, and that’s why I can’t call you Dad because you shifted your responsibility to my grandmother.
How I feel
I write this blog post with peace after realising that you are the one who has lost out on my love. I have been fortunate enough that my amazing stepfather showered me with his parental blessings and given me unconditional love. He is my Dad because that’s what he has been to me from a younger age. With all the love and support from him and my mother, the anger in my heart has disappeared only feeling pity tor you.
Time and age had made me understand things that did not make sense to me from the time; I learnt my true identity.
One of the thing – being why my mother chose not to include your name on my birth certificate. I applaud her for making that decision. I am not trying to be horrible but had my birth certificate born your name. It would be a constant reminder of you, which I do not take as a definite idea, as you have been an Awol parent to me.
I forgive you
My writing about you is not out of malice, but therapy for myself. I believe healing can only take place when one talks about the issues troubling her or him. I have healed from my emotional trauma of not having being loved by my biological father as my DNA can not be erased; that’s why I have forgiven you.
Gracious for the life I have now
Lastly, even without your help from birth, my life journey has been incredible. I have loving parents who supported me with limited resources. I am very grateful to my grandmother, Dad and Mother, for giving me hope. That’s why I can’t call you Dad because you never gave me any confidence.
With a heavy heart, I can’t call you Dad, because you have no idea what my dreams have been and who helped support my thoughts?
The clock of time can not be redone, wishing you well.
Hazel Moono currently lives in England but that hasn’t always been the case. Her curious mind has to lead her to be Nomad, having lived in four different countries. Zambia is her native. Hazel’s love of writing prompted her to start blogging several years ago and her blog Holistic Hazel covers a broad range of topics from travel, inspirational life stories to her love of food.