A True Story
A beautiful heart felt story. Your father missed out as he was hiding his true ugly self. I think your a better person than him, loving, caring…
I get choked up telling this but I will. In 1987 I was 7 years old, my parents had divorced and my father paid my mother $20 a month for 3 kids. Now this was pretty pathetic already, but he had not paid her for 6 months. Anyhow my mother was struggling to make ends meet, we had very little food in the house and I did not know it at the time but my mum was starving so the food would last longer for us kids. Christmas day my father turns up and accuses my mother of being a drug addict (I assure you she's not) and told her I'm not paying cash anymore or she will spend it in drugs. He gave her a Christmas card and inside was 2 gift cards for the local supermarket totalling $200, he even said “Merry Christmas" to her as this was all the owed money and then some more. My mother did not care, she would have used $200 cash for food anyhow. She took what little she had in cash and used it to buy fuel for her car, we drove to the supermarket and loaded two trollies (1987 $200 went a long way) mum even purchased Froot Loops for us kids, it was a happy day…… Well until we got to the check out. The bill came to $199.90, mum presented the 2 gift cards, they were both declined. People stared at her, and the store accused her of stealing the gift cards, they told her to leave or they would call the police. People stared at us, and my mother left so embarrassed. My younger brother was 4, he was crying as the Froot Loops were taken from his hands.
What actually happened: My deadbeat father stole the gift cards from the store, however their is no money in them despite them saying $100 on each. You see if you want to purchase the card you need to take them to the counter and pay the face value, then the card is activated and can be used in the store. A few days later my mother collapsed from starvation, we had apple trees next door at the neighbours farm, we took some for my mother, she ate apples for 5 days straight. It gets worse however, when my father was confronted by my mother a big argument broke out, my father accused my mother of lying and then refused to pay her any child support for another 4 months as he had given her $200.
Over the course of 6 years my father paid a grand total of $60 for us 3 children. In 2002 when I was 22, out of sheer coincidence, I saw my father enter a bar. I sat next to him he pretended like nothing had happened, he offered to buy my drink I told him “I don't want anything from you" and paid for my own drink, the tension was so thick at this point. He started talking about how “that was the past and it's okay now.” I finished my drink, opened my wallet and pulled out $60. I sat it in the bar in front of him and said “that is everything I owe you, don't you ever f@cking contact me or my brother's again.” Then left the bar, I honestly have no idea where he is today, and I really do not care.
I have had a few people question about the last time I saw my father as a child, this includes my own daughter, well it was not at age 8. When I was 8 he started to hardly ever see us, he saw us once a month, then on our birthdays and Christmas, then he called us on these days. Now when you are 8–10 years old a month is a long time, so as a child I was always wondering if I had done something wrong. Yes my mother comforted me, but deep down you can not shake that “why was I not loved enough to want to see me" feeling.
By the age of 10 he had barely seen us for a year. On my 12th birthday be turned up with a fantastic cake, it had a fighter jet on it made out of icing, he remembered I liked fighter jets. He was such a loving father that day, I don't know why, but he was. I remember him going, telling me “I will see you again real soon son,” then he left. That guilt feeling went away, I still felt I had done something to upset him, that's why he left the first time, but I had now been punished, and forgiven. I felt my nightmare was over, I could live a life with a loving father again.
That night I went to bed and I recall my mother asking me if I had a good birthday? I told her “today has been the best day ever,” it really had. I rang dad's phone about 2 weeks later as he had not contacted us, I was excited to talk to him, the number was disconnected, I had no address and I was 12. Mum could not contact him either, I don't know if it was deliberately done, or if the phone was disconnected, I really don't know. What I do know is that he knew our number and our address, but didn't want to know us. I had a $2 coin that I would put in the pay phone near my school every afternoon while waiting for the school bus I would dial his number over and over. I had a special tiny bag I kept that coin inside, I still have this coin today. I keep it in a display, a reminder if the pain I felt every time I rang that disconnected number. About a year later the phone rang, the person who answered did not know my father, obviously the phone company had recycled the number.
My daughter has asked why I keep a normal $2 coin on display in my office. I have never told her, but I guess she knows now, you see I did not know she was on Quora, I had no idea she was following this post. Everytime I look at that coin (everyday) I am reminded of the hurt a parent can inflict on a child. My father never beat us, or did anything like this, but I think I would have preferred this as opposed to the emotional torture he gave us.
I live my daughter, she turns 15 soon (May 22nd) and I would take a bullet for her if that was ever the situation, I can't image her putting $2 in a pay phone everyday for over a year (yes I know we have mobile phones now). I would feel bad if I slept in on her birthday, let alone didn't turn up altogether. She has no wish to meet her grandfather and I doubt she will after reading this. She loves her grandmother, she looks up to her as a role model, and what a great role model to have. She's a really smart person, even when she was 8, I explained to her the reason we live so comfortable is because of the sacrifices her grandmother made, she understood completely.
The infamous $2 coin. A reminder to never harm children
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