Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hated No More

I hated my father. I hated his appearance. I hated how he smelled. I hated everything about him.

My father and I never shared any common interests. He seemed not to care about me. His appreciation to my achievements was alien. From being the chosen as one of the best rugby players in the district to amassing all the A’s in class, nothing seemed to impress him. I then stopped trying to get his attention. I started to envy my friends – they have loving fathers. I didn’t.

“Shoo, get out. I said GET OUT!” Is it true that he hated me?

My dad dislodging me from the house in his very stern voice became a norm. I don’t know. I thought all dads probably will do that to their kids who incessantly provoked their moms with their playful naughtiness that lead to breaking to things they touch. My brother even teased me as the boy with a hand from hell.

By the time I have to go to the boarding school, just like my older siblings, I felt a different sense of freedom. I was able to pursue a degree of my choice. I never had to deal with the constant nagging from my mom. More importantly, I never had to be in the prying eyes of dad. As the weeks, months, years passed by, the distance between me and my family became farther and farther. I enjoyed it.

Like most kids at that age, the sense of freedom is what we always long for. Yes there were times that I think of my family. “Do they miss me? Are they having fun while I am not around?” Never mind. As long as I can stay away from the terrifying gaze of my dad, I am fine. Was I really fine?

I had my answer when that one fateful (day of the week) (time of day) came. My dad figured in a motorcycle accident. I thought I was fine. I thought I will be fine. I thought wrong. I reached an ineffable state of loss. Suddenly, all the memories with dad came flashing back as I go back home. These memories help me flush all my hate with dad. It took me some time to recover from the loss. However, I am happy that I am able to address whatever pain I had back then.

I may not have, and will not have, the answers on why dad seemed so indifferent to me. It doesn’t matter. What is more important is that I realized that no amount distance can be too far for us to come rushing to our families in times of grief.  I am Sean and I hated my dad no more. 

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