The Fatherless Bride

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In 2010 my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I immediately felt a knot forming in the pit of my stomach because I knew that diagnosis was a death sentence, it was only a matter of time. But I also knew my father, he was strong and resilient. He would fight for his life for as long as he could.

I was in college at the time and ever since that moment, being there was a struggle. I felt like I was wasting precious time away at school that I could’ve been spending with my father. However, the thought of dropping out never crossed my mind as I knew he wanted me to finish. I had 3 years left and I prayed constantly for God to allow him to live to see me graduate. God answered my prayers and in 2013 he was there to watch me walk across that stage. But cancer is a funny thing, it has an ebb and flow to it that nobody understands unless they’ve been through it or personally witnessed it. Within 6 months of me graduating my dad’s cancer had taken a turn for the worst. I found out on the day before my birthday that he was dying. I had just driven across the country to move to LA and pursue my dreams of working in the fashion industry. I immediately had to hop on a flight in hopes of having a moment with my dad before he left this world. I made it and sat with him but at that point he couldn’t speak. The nurses and doctors said he could hear though. I told him I loved him and watched him slowly fade away. One tear rolled down his cheek. It was a little after midnight, on my birthday, when he took his last breath.

Things were never quite right after that. I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I go back to LA and finish what I started? Should I stay here in my hometown with my family and hope for the best? Ultimately, I decided to go back to LA as I knew my dad wouldn’t have wanted me to sit around sulking at home. I could hear his voice saying, “staying here won’t bring me back” and with that, I left. I knew life would not be the same for me. I’d be “that girl,” you know the one with the “dead father”. The one who avoids questions like “How are your parents?”. The one who has to deal with people’s awkwardness when you tell them your father passed. Yep, that’s me! And now that I’m getting married, I have to tune out questions like “are you doing a father/daughter dance?” I have to deal with the “Who is going to walk you down the aisle?” question as my uncle’s fight it out wanting to be picked. What no one understands is, I don’t care who walks me down the aisle. None of these men are my father. In all honesty, I’d rather walk down by myself or with my mom, but I know my uncles are just trying to help. 

Although, most would agree this story is sad. My dad passing on my birthday. Not having a father to do a father/daughter dance with. Having to deal with the awkward conversations that come from being in a situation like this. However, I have chosen to look at this in a different way. Yes, my father died on my birthday, but I don’t view it as a bad thing. I think it was his way of letting me know he’s okay now. It was the only gift he had left to give, and I was happy to know that he wasn’t in pain anymore. 

I now have a newfound appreciation for life. This situation has shown me a side of people I had not witnessed much before. Professors who feel like your school work is more important than what’s going on in your life. Bosses who feel like two weeks is plenty of time to grieve the loss of a parent. I don’t believe anything should come before my family or loved ones. I don’t believe in the notion of “you have to work so you can’t go home for the holidays.” I will not take a job if it means I have to constantly sacrifice time with people I love. No job, situation or opportunity is worth it. Spend time with the people you have while you have them. Don’t take any moment for granted, even the bad times. Give them that extra minute of your time, that extra hug, that extra kiss and know that the day will come when they won’t be here anymore and that’s life. Don’t be afraid of death as it is inevitable. Focus on the time you have and use it wisely. Life is too short.

Candice Symone is a fashion designer, YouTuber and eCommerce guru who loves to travel, cook and binge watch Netflix. She believes in going for what you want in life and doing things your way. 

Instagram: csymoneig 

YouTube: CSymoneMedia Website: www.csymone.com

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Wishing for a dad…

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I remember visiting you on occasions, memories…but not always fun. You were there but at the same time distant. But I took what I got, because they were only visits.

You and mom didn’t always get along, but she let me come visit. Number one rule, just don’t bring me around your new chick.

You did though, I had your back so…if I told her the truth, well what would that do… Ruin the time and I wouldn’t be able to see you.

Torn but then again not really, too young to process, but I’m sure if mom found out she would have lost it.

Grade 3 I moved to a whole other state, life was good, I mean life was great.

It was fine, until about nine. One day listening to Brittany Spears broke down crying.

Wishing for my dad, certain days I feel sad. Something feels missing, but I can’t understand.

Grew up with that feeling until I graduated, way too old to feel like this and I hate it. Never single, always taken. Now I realized I looked for something in other places.

I mean I was always dating… I wasn’t boy crazy just trying to fill a void where the hole is.

That space can never be replaced… But it can be filled and my son takes the cake.
I’m around him, and no matter what I would never leave him. I wouldn’t make excuses of why I couldn’t see him.

What I did learn is that I would never want to be you, we may never repair the relationship but an apology is long overdue.

Wishing for a dad
You had a chance and you blew it, you probably wouldn’t even care if I told you and you knew it.

Now I’m stuck here, not even sure what to do, but eventually I’ll speak on the rest in a part 2.


-Teshelle

ABOUT ME: 

I’ve always been writing for as long as I can remember. I never wrote what I felt in a diary, but in a poem. I’m way better at expressing myself writing it down. Sometimes in real life I just feel misunderstood, so most of my frustrations or sadness I turn into words from my soul!

Instagram: @shellzjalisa Twitter: @shellzjalisa
YouTube: shellzjalisa (I vlog.)

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Interview With a Fatherless Daughter

Hello Daughters! About a year ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing an anonymous daughter to learn more about her perspective on being a fatherless daughter and how it impacted her life. I am so excited to finally share this interview with you all, because she also talks about her journey to restoration and forgiveness. Check out the interview, and feel free to comment below 🙂

What was your relationship with your father like growing up?

My mom and my dad divorced when I was 8. So, from the ages of 8 – 12, I spent my summers with my dad. After that, the next time I saw my dad was my high school graduation. Prior to him coming to my graduation, we would talk on the phone and he would send me birthday and Christmas cards in the years between. But, it wasn’t a close relationship. During that time, he did not provide any emotional support, and although he says that he provided child support, my mother tells another story.

What did the lack of support from your father look like and how did it make you feel?

There was one time that I called my father, and I asked him for some money to help pay for my high school tuition. He told me that he had just bought a new Cadillac, so he didn’t have any money to help me. I knew that he was supporting and taking care of his wife’s children, while my brother and I were with my mom who was a single parent, working hard and struggling every day. When you’re young, you don’t know the whole story, so you formulate your feelings based on the information that you have. So, I had a lot of hard feelings towards my dad. Because of this, after I graduated high school, I didn’t have too much to do with my dad. I would talk to him every once in a while but it was not like I missed him because he hadn’t been involved in my life while I was growing up.

How did you feel about your father at the time?

He was not one of my favorite people. I felt like he had turned his back on me, my brother and my mom. I don’t want to say that I didn’t love him, but I don’t think that I could have said that I liked him at that time. I didn’t pursue a relationship with him, and the fact that our relationship was distant was fine with me. I had grown accustomed to it.

How did not having your dad impact you emotionally and in your relationships with other people?

I was fortunate when I was growing up. I did have some male figures in my life. I was very involved with the catholic church, so the priests were my father figures and they would share a lot of knowledge with me about what a young lady should/shouldn’t do. But because I had such a great mother, I was fine. Of course, every daughter would want to have a close relationship with her father and every daughter misses her father. But when you have a mother who takes the place of both and fills your heart with love, you don’t miss it. But, having an absent father makes you more determined to not connect with another man who you think would wind up being like that. So it kind of puts you on your guard. 

How did not having your father affect your view of men?

It didn’t have any negative impact on me in the sense that I wasn’t scared of men or I wasn’t going to date men. I always knew that one day I wanted a husband and I wanted children. But I knew that it was easier for a man with children to find a woman to help take care of those kids, than for a woman to find a man to help take care of the kids. So my mindset was that if I ever got married and divorced with young children, I was going to be the good time parent. I was determined, because most women take on the role of the mother, the father, and the caretaker and that’s why they’re so stressed. I looked at my mother and saw the emotional toll it took on her to raise two kids by herself. So, I vowed to never be that woman.

What is your relationship with your dad now?

Through the years you have limited facts. As time goes on, having animosity in your heart for your parent is draining and it’s not healthy. And the thing about it is that when you carry that type of dead weight, you’re the one who suffers for it. My dad was going on, living his life with his wife and my step brothers and sisters, and I don’t know that he ever knew the impact that he had. So, finally, I prayed to the Lord to help me with that to overcome that animosity. I wanted to have a pure heart toward my dad. I didn’t want to be fake, but I didn’t want to be carrying around a grudge or any hard feelings. And it took years. When I finally started realizing that was after the birth of my second child which was about 26 or 27

How did mend your relationship with your father?

My dad would always call and send cards. Over time, I extended myself more and more. For example, I would talk longer on the phone and on the holidays I would send him things. Gradually, it was just a process where next thing you know, there is no hard feelings. It’s your dad. Its not the dad that you would have picked, but it’s your dad and you just make the best of it. This is something that took years and it took healing, and now I’m here and I’m healed.

What would you say to a woman who is still struggling to forgive her absent father?

I would definitely pursue it even if the relationship doesn’t mend. You can get rid of your hard feelings because you’ve extended yourself, you’ve expressed how you felt, and I feel like that will free you. Ultimately I believe only God can heal us of every pain. It’s not to say that you don’t have times when the hurt still hurts, but it wont incapacitate you. It wont turn to hate. I feel sorry for people who are hurting like that, it’s a heavy hurt and it’s deep, so I don’t want anyone to carry that. I would strongly recommend that even if they don’t talk to their dad, write it out and pour it out. This is because carrying it is going to hurt you, psychologically, physically and emotionally if you continue to carry that bitterness.

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