When I tell people that I don’t have a father, they immediately think he’s dead. The truth isn’t quite so melodramatic. Put simply, he quit.
The last few years have been fraught with difficulties for the family. We each had our own personal demons to conquer of the frightening, soul-sucking kind. The only way I was able to hold on was by thinking that I just had to keep trying and one day, trying to live won’t be so painful. As a family, we all had to keep trying for each other.
So I kept trying even when it wasn’t easy…even when all I wanted to do was to give up. I tried the best way I could even though I made some downright awful decisions. Somehow, I kept myself alive and trying. Finally, somewhere between utter despair and willingness to live, I found hope that someday the trying could give way to thriving, succeeding. Suddenly the trying didn’t seem so pointless after all.
Then one day, my father just stopped trying. He just didn’t show up.
For awhile I was left off-balance like when you swear you can still feel the ocean long after you’ve returned to the shore. For awhile, I wondered what it was I did to make him quit on me. For awhile, I was lost.
So I did the only thing I knew to do: I tried.
I tried to think about what it was that made me keep trying. I tried to remember what it felt like to want to stop trying. I tried to ask myself if I wanted to give up trying.
Then I got around to thinking about all the things I’ve been through, all the darkness I’ve somehow pushed back and overcome. It is then I realize that I am worth trying…no…FIGHTING for. And if anyone doesn’t see that, they just aren’t worth my time.
I may not have a father but I am still loved. I may be on my own but I am not alone. I may forget it sometimes but I am glad to be able to say that I’m still here, trying.