And I realized that I had a story to tell, even if it is short.
I never met my father. Never heard his voice.
(Me as a baby)
He is a shadow in my shadow-filled life. One of those gray areas that have never taken on a shape.
You can't miss what you never had. But you can certainly feel sadness at what you never got to experience.
I have some pictures a distant relative who found me on Ancestry.com sent to me some years ago.
He was tall and thin. I have peered long and hard into these photographic treasures, looking for myself in his face, his eyes, his smile.
I don't know what led him to do what he did. What faultiness clouded his judgment.
There is nothing to remember. Nothing to forget. I suppose I should take solace in that.
For those of you with fathers, hug them close and tell them that you love them. Sure, mistakes were made and there were tough times. For no life is punctuated with perfection.
My philosophy is: I forgive him. And my mother. If I didn't, I'd only bring myself agony.
I have a deep and abiding feeling that they were not capable of being parents. To me or my five other siblings strewn hither and yon.
Sad that we don't know one another, my siblings and I.
But that was how my parents played it: fast and loose. And one child got taken away right after the other. Scattered across many states.
I just hope that today, my siblings, wherever they may be, realize that it was not their fault.
It was never ever our fault.
Though I'm sure, like me, they have asked themselves "why" many, many times.
Especially on days like this one.