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standard February 5, 2007 6 responses

When I was 7 we left France to move to NY. I said goodbye to all of my childhood friends, my home, my country.
When I was 10 we left NY to move to London, England. I said goodbye to the friends I had struggled for three years to make. I said goodbye to my new home and to a new country.
When I was 13 we left London to move back to Paris. I said goodbye to yet more friends. I said goodbye to another home and another country.
Over the years I’ve said goodbye to countless friends. Some have stayed close, others distant and yet others have been lost to the tides of life. Each move has made it harder to adapt, harder to settle. But these are not the goodbyes I regret the most. The hardest goodbye is one I am saying now.
I cry sometimes when I watch TV. More often now that I’m pregnant. The scenes that make me cry the hardest are not the typical ones. The scenes that really get me sobbing are touching father/daughter scenes. Each and every one feels like a punch to the gut.
I am thirty years old and soon to be the mother of two, but I am only now saying goodbye to a dream; the dream of an ideal relationship with my father. I have often longed for it, envied my friends who have it, but I’ve refused to face the truth. My father and I will never be best buds. He’s never going to confide in me, never going to tell me how he feels. We are never going to have a touching conversation about the past. It won’t ever be like on TV. Maybe it’s immature of me to wish for it, or maybe it’s just a sign of some deeper longing. Either way it doesn’t matter, because it’s never going to happen.
I don’t think my father wants to hear from me, but I will try again to communicate. I can’t bring myself to give up completely. This time however it won’t be with any delusions. He is the man he is and I can’t change him or recreate our relationship. So I’m saying goodbye to my disillusioned dreams and embracing the reality. It’s by far the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to say.

This post was inspired by the Sunday Scribblings prompt Goodbyes.

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6 responses

  • I know that is so hard! I’m incredibly lucky to have pretty great relationships with both my parents. I’ve even discussed breastfeeding with my dad! Use this situation for good though! Impress upon M how important his relationship with his children is. How much they’ll depend and rely on him through the years, even if it doesn’t always appear that way. I’d STILL call my dad for help with my car if it wasn’t for Chris. Especially with C. and if #2 is a girl too. Boys I think come by that relationship with their mothers a little more than with their fathers. But a girls relationship with her “daddy” should never be underestimated. I’m so sorry that you’ve missed out on that with your father.

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  • Girls have a very special relationships with their fathers. I had one such relationship with my dad. Now that he is gone, I miss him..

    You can still do it. Go for it.


  • It’s funny to read your post. The travel and places you’ve lived make me envious, but in reality there is pain with those moves that I could never understand.

    No relationship can be ideal, unless our definition of ideal is flawed. I hope it works out with your father. It will be sad when he realizes he let you slipped through his fingers.

    Thanks for sharing your post, this must have been difficult to write but it was written very well.

  • Keep trying…you never know.
    Closing my eyes and making a wish that all your wishes come true!

  • Yes, keep trying but at your own comfort level. I say that from experience if you look back at a Feb. 2006 post I responded on earlier.

    I didn’t say there that my father is recently deceased. I have mixed memories of him and AM glad I tried when he was obstinate as all get out. (There were other times I was the one who needed space, there is no blame put here- just reality speaking.)

    There IS only so far you can try without stressing yourself, especially during a pregnancy. He needs to want to try, too. If this means you can initiate some contact, even if it’s not that “cozy closeness”, it sounds like you need that. To say “goodbye to disallusionment” takes a lot of courage, despite the heartache.

    I hope a new phase of your lives emerges, even if it’s small moments, especially as a grandfather. However, sometimes estrangement is healthiest, unfortuntely. I don’t know here and am not qualified to say, so I hope for you and your family! Lots of hope! A qualified therapist could advise you best if you need to consult one.

    GeL 500 Miles Sun.Scribblings Goodbye

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