About a month ago my father took a plane to visit me for the second time in three months. Accompanied by his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s daughter. On the night of the second day, in the evening we were all in the living room of my little apartment, my boyfriend, the three of them, and I, drinking some Diplomático rum.
Between laughter and longing, we remembered some aspects of my childhood. We spent a while looking at some old photos I keep on a CD, in which I compile important moments from my teenage years, such as my 15th birthday and my 9th-grade graduation. At one point, I noticed that Dad was somewhat emotional, with the intention of speaking, like when one has a lot to say but can’t find the right words. While holding a glass in his right hand and looking to the window the space was filled up with his voice telling me: “I am very sorry that I did not grow up with you, I was not present all the time, I did not go to your concerts, or play with you when you were a child”.
After a pause he continued to explain that he recognized his mistakes and despite all the moments he had missed, he loved me very much. For a second, I felt surprised, I did not expect so much honesty from someone with whom one always has good conversations, but doesn’t really share much about the past and other feelings. Full of joy and relief within me, I took the opportunity and his initiative to let him know that for some time I had accepted him as he was. I had accepted his ways and his mistakes, and that I knew that he had always wanted the best for me.
What seemed to be a common family weekend ended up being the beginning of a new stage in our beautiful, atypical, father-daughter relationship.