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The Guilt and Confession of an Absent Father

The days of living young, wild, and free were over when I became a father. The moment I became one is the start of being married in paying the household bills and building the future right for our child. I am fortunate to have my wife beside me all the time, for better or worse. Much more delight was the day when my only daughter was born. Her cheeks were pink, the giggling and babbling are all things simple, yet brought me a lot of joy. I didn’t notice time to fly that fast. Now that she turned 10, I am not by her side.

I decided to work overseas away from my home country. My college friend and a colleague invited me to work on a business with this big-time client. I know we dreamed together ever since so deep inside I know I must go. I second thought at first because I love my family and the hometown I have grown. However, I need to dive into the greener pasture over there. “This is also for our future,” as I said to myself. My daughter was 7. She didn’t understand. She cried a lot, so my wife told her I’d be back as soon as possible. 

On my moment of solitude abroad, I stumbled upon this book online entitled “Mother – Father Complex” by Carl Anderson. I read the poem about a father and his daughter. It was conversational that portrays a deep bond between the two. You can tell that a parent’s love will always be unconditional no matter what. I was in guilt on that part. I was in tears at night when I remember my precious family. Not that I am a coward to be away from them, but I missed seeing the new milestones she has. A call is not enough to feel the warm hug of hers and the bright smile she has. However, I admit I laugh a bit when she’s like an adult scolding me that I am not yet home with them. I admit that I get upset when she’s telling me stories about school and the classmates who annoy her every day. How I hope I am there to protect her whenever she needs me. How I hope that I can watch her school plays to clap my hands so loud after her part. My friend told me that he admires me being a father. I quite surprise him because he knows what kind of man I am during our youth.

Fatherhood turned my life upside down. The person I was before is no longer me anymore. I was caught off guard being a Dad as well. Our conversations and more of her stories from my wife gives me the strength to hold on. My hopes are high that one day when I come back, every second, 

I will fill in the gaps. I know it is not now, but soon when I return. The moment I am waiting for.

I am not a poet, but I think the Carl Anderson book “Mother-Father Complex” made me one. If you are a father like me, try reading his poetry. He will show you the reality of being a parent. Despite the challenges, I still enjoy the moment of being one.  

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