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.