>"Father of mine, tell me, where have you been?"

>In my quest of searching and churning thoughts to write a new blog, I decided to take a gander into my old Facebook “Notes”. To my unsurprising discovery, I found old politically-driven thoughts that seemed to spew flames, and an even older note that reflected on my past with a dad and his up and leaving, and the “dent” left behind. I posted this back in February 2009, with these words in parentheses (“I’m sure this will come down.”)

Here is what I wrote.

For two years I was depressed. I was depressed because my dad had left my mom, me, and my little brothers. My dad had abandoned what we thought had been his life. But, in all reality, you can’t really abandon life physically; therefore, claiming that we were his life and adding abandonment in to the equation doesn’t add up. It doesn’t divide evenly and it doesn’t multiply without an “Error” sign on the calculator to life. At the age of thirteen, I had to accept that the only man I ever knew, the man I looked up to, no longer wanted to be there. But I had learned this already.

I was two when my biological father left my mother and me in what seemed like a alcoholic induced scurry. The details are blurry, but I don’t question it. I like the fog to that history. Then entered Mark to the doorway of my little life and my mom’s messy plan called life. They met through a friend and fell in love. Mark accepted me and even adopted me to his last name ‘Jones’. I was, from there on out, Breanna Lane Jones. He became my dad. I’d brag about my dad to all of my friends about how he was the funniest person ever and he just loved me to death. I was literally daddy’s little girl.

My mom worked day in and day out to keep the family going. She had my brother and my dad and me to support (the jobs were always odd with my dad). She made sure there was always food in our cabinets and my dad was always there for a good joke and family videos. With my mom’s job taking us to different cities and states every two years, I learned not to get too close to anyone. I learned to just stick close to my family and try to remember that my time is limited. By the time we made our rounds to Collerville, Tennessee, we had a new addition to the family and it was all, what seemed, perfect.

We moved a couple of more times before hitting Virginia Beach, Virginia. I remember thinking the house was so ugly. It was big, brown, and looked a little dingy. I remember just wanting to go back to where I’d come from, which was Newport News (only a mere 30 minutes away) and get back to my friends and life there. But, of course, I couldn’t… I had to move on.

It wasn’t until when middle school started did I meet my best friend. Luckily, she lived right down the street from me and she was over everyday. We decided to start our mornings together and walk to the bus stop. I had finally found a best friend and her name was Angel. Almost everyday after school my dad would take Angel, my little brothers and me to the beach and we’d watch the sunset and play in the ocean. I swear, just looking back, I feel this utter peacefulness about it. I feel as if I took advantage of it all then… like I was too playful and I didn’t stop to breathe and say “Life is good”. Sometimes, I still want to go back and do just that. But, I can’t.

Instead, I’m stuck with this memory. This memory of the summer before eighth grade. My parents marriage was dwindling and we were planning to move again (but only like ten minutes away, thank goodness). I can still hear everything so clearly. There is no ambiguity to this part of my life; this part of my life where I wish it could fog over. I had a highlighter in my hand, I stood in front of my mom and screamed at my dad how he won’t hurt her anymore. He yelled at me and he stomped upstairs. He paced in front of the television set in my parents bedroom, and as I sat on the bed with my mom, the words I didn’t want to hear leaked – “I can’t do this anymore. I’m leaving. I’m done.” I sat, silently, as my parents had this mutual understanding that they were tired of fighting this battle. They threw in their white towels and all I had was this highlighter to grip.

I ran into my bedroom where Angel was laying, crying too because she just heard everything. She sat there and held me and tried to tell me it was going to be okay. My mom followed in afterward and we all three just held one another. I wanted to know how we were going to make it. I had so many questions that I couldn’t get out from behind the lump of my throat. So I just laid there until it all went black.

I woke up the morning of my first day of cheerleading, to find my dad loading up his red truck with black garbage bags and saying goodbye. I stood there and made sure never to forget this picture. I remember, while trying to learn cheers, I just started crying and felt completely helpless. But, no one was around, so I was cleared before anyone could dub me the emotional one of the group.

I was thirteen when my dad left. I was thirteen when I thought I’d fall apart. I was thirteen when I thought my whole world fell off of its axel. I was thirteen without a dad.

Of course, life continued and my dad would pick up my brothers for visitation and my parents wouldn’t say a word. My mom had a new man in her life and my dad had a new woman. Yet, another mutual understanding that I couldn’t comprehend. I’d sit in my room sometimes and just cry, wallowing in my thoughts that came a million miles per second. I felt like I had so many unanswered questions to why my life went in such a crazy, mixed up direction. Yes, I had a blessed life… but why couldn’t I just have a dad to love me? Who cared for me? Why did he always have to leave? I think, I blamed myself. I tried to remember things I’d done and I would wish to take back. Maybe if I had done this, he would have stayed or if I hadn’t done this, he’d still be here.

I’m still left with my dents. I still struggle with trusting guys. This never-ending fear that I will be left if I don’t perform correctly in a relationship and my thoughts can sometimes get the best of me. But then, I have to realize that it’s out of my hands to determine that. I come to this even greater understanding that no matter what man is in my life… I do have a Father. I do have this Father who provides, who will never hurt me and He will protect me. I have this Father that sits above everyone and everything, and tells my thoughts to quiet; reminding me of how much He loves me. He tells me I am his daughter and He will never leave.

It’s just taken over five years to realize this, but I feel at peace. I feel the peace that I felt on those sunset lit, beach days and I’m no longer scared.

* *
Any thoughts?

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1 thought on “>"Father of mine, tell me, where have you been?"”

  1. >You are a wonderful writer that shares from your heart and that's something everyone should admire. God puts us through these trials so that we may learn from them and be who we are today. It is through these ugly experiences that we must grow and transform them into something beautiful, and I get the feeling that's what has happened here 🙂

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