Five Things My Father Taught Me

So, I don’t have the best relationship with my father. He walked out on us when I was 10, and my parents divorced shortly after. I tried for many years to have a relationship with him, in which he denied them every time. I’m still trying even now (I’m inviting him to my college graduation). Now, that may seem like a bad idea since he has denied a relationship before, but I can’t just give up. He is my father after all.

And even after all these years, I have learned some things from him.

1. Keep your word/Follow through
Now, these may be two different things, but I am sticking these into one thing. I remember my dad promising me and my sister and brother that he would take us camping up in the mountains. He would say that he would take us the next month. Next month never came. After he left us, he would always say that we would come back to us. He never did. When you tell someone that you are going to do something, do it. Because not following on your word not only makes you look flaky, but it can hurt others.

2. Gifts can’t always buy affection
Whenever my dad was away for work (he was a truck driver), every time he would come back, he gave us stuffed animals. I still have many of the plushes that he gave me. I’m not entire sure why I still have them, to be completely honest. The joy of getting a new toy wore off days after receiving it, and as I got older, I didn’t want a new plush, I just wanted my dad. Gifts are nice to receive, but they aren’t everything.

3. Spending time with your loved ones really is important
Now, I know that you’ve probably heard this many, many times, but it is so true. My father was gone from a few days to weeks at a time. When he would finally come home, he wouldn’t spend much time with us. He either slept, or just didn’t try to spend time with us. I longed so much to know the man that is my biological father. I knew my siblings and my mother, but I didn’t know this man.

4. You deserve respect
After I had gone out on my first real date, my dad called my mom. They talked, and my mom mentioned that I was with her. He asked if he could talk to me. As we talked, I was hoping that this would lead to the relationship that I wanted, but instead, it just kind of led to him telling me that I should always date guys that respect me. That was pretty much the entire conversation. But even though that this is one of the few conversations I’ve had with him after he left, knowing that I deserve respect stuck with me. He may not have respected my mother or my siblings or myself, but he recognizes that I deserve respect. Not because I am a woman, but because I am a person. I deserve respect, and so do you. Don’t forget to give respect too.

5. Never give up
I have tried to hard to have a relationship with my father. The thought of giving up on even trying has crossed my mind, but if I give up, then what? Will that miraculously start the relationship that I so long for? Probably not. But just trying to have a relationship isn’t the only that I have not given up on. I haven’t given up on praying for him, and I think that is the best thing I can do for my father as he is off doing his own thing. I hope that my works are not in vain.

Now, these are all things that you’ve probably heard (I’ve heard this), but looking back at my childhood, and the relationship (or lack thereof) with my dad I can see the truth in all of these sayings.

I really hope that you can take something away from this post.

Lots of love & hugs,