…you have a brother.
The cottage overlooking Strawberry Road
Dad left home in 1966 when I was three. In 1969, he had made a new family. And sent us a card to let us know.
It was just weird. I didn’t know this man, my father. Not really. All I knew and wanted more than anything in the world was for him to come home. For us to be a family, just like the ones everyone else had. A Mother and Father and happily ever after.
Six years later, in 1975, I flew to Florida and met my brother, met his mother, and watched Dad play the role he was supposed to play for me.
As the tragic heroine, come to wreck lives, I created as much friction as I could muster. My mission was clear: break these people up and Dad would come home.
That didn’t happen. Not that year, anyway.
It took two days to drive home to West Virginia. I clung to hope he’d change his mind and stay, but he bought me a new bicycle and said goodbye.
There was a box under my bed where I kept some of my favorite things. Julie Andrews suggested this, and she couldn’t be wrong. I would pull out the card and focus on what Dad wrote.
I love you and miss you. All my love, Daddy xox
I knew it wasn’t ALL his love, but it was some, and maybe that was enough.
I love and miss you too, Dad. xoxo