The father I found Odette

 

I was only four years-old when you said these words to my mother: “Leave my house, with this little thing of yours. “I was only six when you said these words, “I will never support a child who is not mine.” You rejected me, your flesh and blood.

 

My mother says money drove you. I say: “Dear Dad, thank you for the example you set for me. May I practice what you taught me?” So-called Father, I do not remember you; I do not know you; please do not come looking for me; do not come to my house, because these are the words I will say to you: “Leave my house; I do not want to see you; you are not my father.”

 

My mother remarried when I was seven. I called him my father; he raised me. He was wealthy with worldly goods, but poor at heart. Cruelty is what his heart pumped and abuse is what it produced. Money was his only friend. He was willing to sacrifice anything for money. I was 12 when he rejected me and said I was not his own. When I was 14, he said these words to my mother: “Leave my house, with this little thing of yours; I will never support a child who is not mine.” I was not going to argue with that, because it was true. At 16 I realised that I never felt the love of a father. I had never even had one. However, I still had hope that one day, one man would accept me as his own.

 

At 17 I thought I lost hope. I thought that no man could fill this void. Until I met a man who claimed to be my father. Who said he has always been there for me. “If truly you are my father and you have always been there for me, why did you let me drown in my own tears? Why did you not hold me?” He said these simple words: “You did not call me when your earthly fathers rejected you. I accepted you and therefore called you my own. When they chose money over you, I chose you over the world.” He held me close and promised me that he would never let me go.

 

I was told to write an essay about how much you mean to me. I’ve chosen to write a letter of appreciation.

“Dear Father: when they chased me out of their homes, you invited me into yours for eternity. You filled the void no man could have filled. Daddy, may I practice what you taught me? I give you my heart – that is all the love I can give.”

This letter was first published in the Autumn 2016 edition of My Child and I.

 

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