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You @#%&*!Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008, at 1:48 PM
This one is real personal.
Over four years ago, I took a close friend and her one-year-old daughter into my home because they had no place to go. If I had not acted, they would have been homeless and the woman would have lost custody of her child due to their circumstances.
I have written about it before, but I didn't use any real names. But I will now say that I am the person called "Peter" in the introduction of the three part series. The little girl is now my Goddaughter.
But due to the extremely dangerous environment of where they were living last year, I have taken them back in until their new apartment is ready. They've been living with me since November.
But this isn't what this blog post is about.
It's about the child's father and what he did this weekend. Again.
Actually, it's about what he didn't do.
Since this little angel was one year old, she has had extremely limited to no contact at all with her biological father. When she was old enough to talk, we taught her my name, but she kept wanting to call me Daddy, which is understandable since I've been the only consistent male figure in her life. Sometimes, the word was said in the form of a question. Other times it appeared to be said in a manner that seemed to be self-assurance than anything else.
When she turned three, she began asking questions about her real father and there were finally two or three visits, but they were mostly for the benefit of the child's grandpapa, who hasn't been in the best of health and naturally wants to spend time with his granddaughter.
But the visits were always cut short for one reason or another.
But last week, my five-year-old Goddaughter was so excited. She is going to get to be with her daddy. Daddy is coming to get me. I'm spending the weekend with my Daddy. We heard this all week.
Until two hour before Daddy was to pick her up ...
"My Daddy's not coming," she told me.
He had "other things to do," we were told.
What followed was a whole weekend of wild mood swings from this poor child: From temper tantrums, self pity (nobody loves me) acting out, and the questions. Lots of questions. Heartbreaking questions.
Why didn't Daddy come? Doesn't Daddy love me?
How do you answer a question like that?
She seemed to be OK when I took her to play outdoors Sunday. Except for the fact she was now calling me "Daddy" for the first time in nearly two years.
This is the second time in a row he has pulled this stunt.
And I'm betting it's going to be the last.
Her mother has told the father for her child about what kind of effect his heartless behavior has had on this little girl. And he's been told what the consequences are. In very strong terms.
However, what happened this morning nearly had me in tears.
As I was finishing getting ready for work and leaving my bedroom, there stood my Goddaughter, waiting for me in the hallway. She was bleary eyed and Momma didn't even know she was out of bed.
"Are you coming back?"
Of course, honey, I said.
"You're coming home after work, right?"
Yes, sweetheart. I'll be home.
She held out her arms to be picked up and hugged. While carrying her so she could lay back down, she whispered this in my ear.
"Don't leave. Don't ever leave me."
The child's mother has had her words. Now I will have mine.
If the rules of this website permitted my full expression, I would launch into such a tirade of foul language that even some of the more jaded visitors to this site would be shocked. Believe me, I have a full list of descriptions for this ... person. There is one word I wanted to consistently use to describe the little girl's father, but I don't want to be seen insulting human bodily waste.
I also could publicly identify this ... person. But I'm not going to even do that.
You know who you are and what you've done.
As far as I'm concerned, the only thing binding you to this child is DNA. You may have been there for the first year of her life, but it was me that was there for the other four. Providing a roof over her head and support. Support that I was in no way legally obligated to furnish, but I did it anyway.
Not because it was the right thing for me to do. It was the only thing to do.
Because you wouldn't.
You, however, have refused to provide for her at all and are only doing so now because it is required by the courts. And I had to write a front page story to get that process finally started.
But what you pulled this weekend showed this little girl exactly what you are. And I'm sure she understands this now. It's all she has been talking about since Friday.
As the years go on, her memory of you will fade. She will remember who was there when she needed a hug. She will remember who took her places, bought her toys, videos, etc. Patched up her boo boos, tied her shoes, wiped her nose and took her to the doctor when she needed it. Answered those questions only a five year old could ask.
None of those memories will be associated with you. There may come a day when she won't remember you at all.
And considering the history of your behavior, it's really for the best.
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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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