by Dr Gonzo
If I had known then, what I know now, I would've fought harder & not given up on my family
|My identical twin girls were born six weeks premature, with tiny hands that weren't much bigger than the end of my thumb. They spent six weeks in a hospital special care unit before we could bring them home, and I was not going to let this experience pass me by.
So, I applied for my long service, which gave me three months paid leave and stayed home to bond with our new arrivals and to help out my wife, who was struggling as it was.
It was tough, with many sleepless nights, which caused my wife to be ultra tense, after all, I was supposed to be at work, not there under her feet and annoying her.
But I had no regrets as far as that was concerned, and as they grew, we became close...very close. We were affectionate, we spoke about anything and everything. I took on the majority of the responsibility for teaching them about life.
And I loved it....explaining they were soon to have their first period and what that means to their future. Sex, pregnancy, STDs (without any embarrassment or fear), and how I saw the world, not wanting to candy coat my life experiences...sharing both the good and the bad.
One broke her arm at age five...a greenstick fracture which had to be set in the hospital and required sedation for the procedure.
When she came too, and she was offered a sandwich and banana milk, ”Not until my daddy gets here."
And, as soon as I arrived, she began to eat. They even look like me, with the same blonde hair I had as a youngster...and we loved each other very much. That was how things were up until they were twelve years old, but then came change.
Teenagers now and living with their mom, they would come to stay with me every other weekend, but they came less and less over time. I pleaded my case, telling them we needed each other and how important it was that we remain strong.
Then, their mom met a new guy. He had two boys around the same age as my girls and it was fun for them. Their dad was cool and soon, they all moved in together.
There had been something missing...family...something I couldn't give them because I was scared...I am still scared...to meet someone new and risk going through all of that again. I am OK with being alone...because I am rarely alone.
I was hurt because they wouldn't visit, and eventually, we stopped talking...at least for a while. I called, saying how sorry I was and could we see each other...that was three years ago, and apart from a few emails to and from one of them, I've had no contact...abandoned by the two I love most in this one life I have been given.
People say this and that, giving me their opinions on what I should or should not do...but, I don't care what they think. I only care what my daughters think. And at the moment, they don't think much of me. I must respect their decision, bide my time and wait for the day I get that call...to hear the words I so long for...“Hi dad."
Eighteen months ago, I did get my “Hi Dad” moment in the form of a letter from one of them, which changed things for the better. Patience has not been easy for me, but so far, I have managed not to blow it. It is so hard not having them in my life the way I would like them to be. So, I wait and live in hope. What else I can do?