A New Meaning to Father’s Day | Artifact Motherhood | Documentary Family Photographer UK
A New Meaning to Father’s Day
Four and half years ago I married your Daddy. The love of my life. The kindest, funniest, sweetest (and handsome!) man I have ever known. My Dad, your Grandfather, walked me down the aisle. He said a beautiful speech at my wedding about love and marriage and he danced with my Mum, your Nanny. He waved us off on our honeymoon with tears in his eyes. And I now realise this was the last bit of him, as we knew him, that we had. Something changed after that, he changed, and the old Dad went forever, to be replaced by a new one who I no longer recognise.
6 months after our wedding he left Nanny, quite abruptly one day, with the only explanation that ‘he was no longer happy’, around the same time I became pregnant with you, my darling.
We were very worried about him, we thought he may be having a break down. He wouldn’t tell anyone where he was living and he wouldn’t explain why he had left. My aunt (your great aunty cat) even flew over from Los Angeles to try and talk with him to try and understand what was going on.
Sadly he had met someone else and wasn’t very honest about it.
I had to tell Nanny and it was such a hard thing to do. She was very very upset, for a long time. Sometimes she still gets upset about it.
A few more months went by and he came back! Asking for forgiveness from Nanny. But this didn’t last long before he left again. What happened after this is so awful my darling I struggle to even talk about it. This happened on the day of my 20 week scan, when we found out you were a boy! This day was wonderful and awful all at the same and I will never ever forget that day.
Even though what he had done was very cruel and was hard to forgive, I still wanted my Dad in my life and tried really hard to maintain our relationship, especially because of your imminent arrival my darling. I knew it wasn’t just about me anymore, he had a right to know you and you to know him. But I couldn’t shake this uneasy feeling I had when we would meet up. He still hadn’t even said sorry to me.
He met you when you were 6 days old and held you and spoke to you. That was the last time he saw you. About a month after you were born I emailed him and said, for the time being, I couldn’t carry on seeing him. I was finding being in touch with him was not making me feel very happy, but instead sad and worried. My focus and perspective had shifted as soon as you arrived. I just had this really strong feeling that I didn’t want you near him or her. I wanted to protect you as much as I could from what I perceived as a really bad situation. Sadly, he never replied to my email.
3 years have gone by and he always remembers your birthday and sends you a card, of which I have kept them for you. I was starting to get to a point where I perhaps wanted to reach out and start building some bridges again. I was feeling hopeful of a possible reconciliation and welcoming him back into our lives now there had been a small amount of healing through the passage of time. But something new has just happened and all I can say is my instinct was right to keep you away from that situation.
I am grieving. For a grandfather you have lost, a father my brother and I have lost and a husband Nanny has lost. I am trying to remain hopeful that we will see him again, that perhaps you will have a relationship with him one day, but I’ll be honest my darling, I just don’t know what is going to happen.
It breaks my heart in two that this has happened to our family, that this is our story now. I never wanted any of this to happen. I don’t want this version of the story, I want the other one where we all live happily ever after, the one I thought we were going to get, the one we deserve.
I want my Dad back, but not this Dad. I want the Dad that held me as a baby and dropped me off on my first day of school. The Dad that introduced me to U2. The Dad that cried when I got my GCSE results. The Dad that dropped me off at a party when I was 16 and said ‘enjoy this time, these are the best years of your life.’ The Dad that drove me 9 hours up to Edinburgh when I started university. And the Dad that walked me down the aisle. I miss that Dad.
Father’s Day has a new meaning now. It is about Daddy and you and the bond between you both, that is so beautiful to witness. I love you both with all my heart.
Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Up next is the amazingly talented Abigail Fahey
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