This is a tough post to write as it is a topic which evokes a lot of emotion in me. However, I know a lot of people can share in my experience.
My parents were married young at 19 and 20 we lived in a trailer on my grandparent’s land in Iowa. My mom said the trailer was bad and had cockroaches thank God I do not remember that, because uh gross. Anyways my dad was a long distance truck driver. My mom said when she was pregnant with me she came with my dad in his truck to California, she says she thinks that is the reason I always wanted to live here (and am living here now).
Shortly after myself and my two sisters were born my mom found out my dad was cheating. I believe she found a hand written letter (nowadays it would be texts or DMs) from the woman that my dad met on the road.
My mom made the difficult decision to leave my father. I was about 4 years old at the time, but vividly remember the day she did it. She says I was too young to remember, but perhaps because it was so tragic, I very much do. The town we lived in was unincorporated for you city folk (that means not on a map) it had about 400 people total and everyone knew each other. She pulled up to his friend’s convenient store (the only one in town) my dad was standing outside and she told him “I am leaving and I am taking the girls.” I am sure more words were exchanged but this is what I remember.
I had no idea how much our lives would change. My mom began working overnights as an x-ray technologist and going to school to become a teacher. She was very busy so we often had babysitters. My dad was a wedding DJ and would come around and get us from time to time. The memories I have of him consist of going to random weddings he was playing and him bringing us out on the dance floor, camping with him and his friends on the Mississippi River, drinking kitty cocktails at the bar while he drank real drinks and hung out with his friends. I also remember rides on his Harley, him letting us steer while he was driving, and a game we played called “I see New Albin.” (New Albin was the name of unincorporated town), he said he would buy candy for whoever said the “see New Albin” first (as we pulled into town). But really he used to just buy it for all three of us anyways. We had some fun times with him.
However, when I was about nine years old he married my stepmom. He came around a few times (mostly at his family Christmas’) but pretty much dropped out completely at that point. I do not blame her, by the way. He did take on the responsibility of her children but my sisters and I are his only biological children and he should have been there, whether she wanted him to or not.
I will talk in subsequent posts about the many ways his absence has effected my life.
I must add that my dad’s parents (Kay and Earl) were the best grandparents I could ask for. They loved us so much. My grandma used to rock us to sleep and sing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” She used to put these foam rollers in our hair and let us eat ice cream before bed, she also took us to many looooong baseball games lol. They have since passed on but were amazing grandparents and I loved them greatly. He also has really great siblings, my aunts and uncles, were always so wonderful to me and my sisters and none of them were ever OK with his dropping out of our lives, they all did their best to encourage him to be there. But he made his choices, and was not.