I always find ways to weave politics into my personal life, and today it happened again. I started reading some of President Obama's books, and I got to the part about his father. The President is truly an inspirational figure, I just never really looked under the hood and gave him a chance. He and I both grew up without a father, although the President got to meet his, while I've never met mine. I've written two diaries about it that you can read here, and here at your own leisure to catch up on the background. There was one phrase of the President's that stuck out at me: "The King is overthrown." The President let his father go instead of allowing himself to continue being emotionally tortured by his absence and to free himself to do what he wanted. Today I'm going to follow in Obama's footsteps and do the same.
In a perfect world, a father is a king to his son. He's the rock his son is tied to. Sure, not everyone has this type of relationship with dear ol' dad, but it's the kind of relationship I wish I had for most of my life. If my dad were around, my adolescence and most of my adult life wouldn't have been so complicated and confusing. The President was no different. I had met two of my father's brothers and neither of them will talk to my father on my behalf to try and set up a meeting. It's been annoying to say the least. They won't do it because they don't want to get into an argument with him, which they invariably will because they've both stated they are disappointed in him. They won't let me meet my grandparents because I look too much like my father and the resemblance would confuse them and make them suspicious. I do not want my grandfather to die of a heart attack at the age of 79. That would ruin any chance of me having a relationship with the rest of the family. It's made me want to scream.
I've been really frustrated because finding my family was a stroke of luck. It felt so harsh to have that chance taken away just as fast as it had been given.
My father married, but has no kids with his wife. His wife had two kids from a previous marriage, and he's raised them. His wife found out I existed when I was a baby and called my mother, on her job no less, to tell her that she should stay out of the way and not ask for child support. My mother never did. I figured that a big part of the reason he's never tried to contact me is because of his wife. I came up with this scheme to hire a private detective to locate him, get him alone, and get him to meet me. Since my father works from home, the detective would have to wait awhile, and it'd probably be expensive. But then, I thought about it.
Why should I waste on that money on someone who clearly doesn't want to meet me? His own brothers don't think enough of him to confront him about it. I decided to just send a one page letter with a photo of myself, a return address, and to just let him know I've met his brothers and that if he wanted to meet me, the door was open. I made sure I got the right house.
It's been a month. Nothing.
Anything could have happened. His wife could have intercepted the letter. He could've gotten it and is currently waffling over whether or not to call. I could have gotten the wrong address. You know what? I don't care. I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. He's had 29 years to reach me. He doesn't care or is too scared to do anything. In either case, he's not worth my time. He's not worth my emotional investment. I'm glad I didn't waste hundreds of dollars on him. He was barely worth the postage. I'm fine without him. The President had to let go of his image of his father. In a way, the image you have of your father is the king that you want to lead you, to tell you what kind of man you should be, and to make sense of yourself. Well, I've met his brothers who have helped me make some sense of myself. One uncle is a hippy and the other is a DeVos lover: it accounts for my mixed political views! That's what I got, and it was enough to tell me what kind of men I come from and what kind of man I should be. President Obama moved on, and he found out what type of man he should be.
"Now he was dead truly. He could no longer tell me how to live."