I began my two week vacation today! It’s not so much a vacation as it is diving into dirty diapers, midnight feedings and spit up. I am so excited, that’s not even sarcasm. I love being home with my kids. If it were possible, I would never go back to work; it takes away from my parent time.
It is what it is. I still get my precious dad moments.
Anyone who spends any amount of time following/ talking/ hearing any sort of thing about me knows I have a deep love for being a father. I never knew my dad. The person I considered my father passed away when I was about five. He was a kind man and I remember spending days with him. I loved Weno and he loved me. Finding out he wasn’t my dad, casually, after lunch, when I was thirteen was not ideal – to say the least. My mother was visiting me in Connecticut and randomly dropped into he conversation that my dad was someone named Jason. We met briefly, but that isn’t a story for here.
Weno taught me, in the too short time I had with him, how to be a father. His devotion and love helped shape and mold what became my devotion and love to parenting. Was Weno a good man? My mother is dodgy when it comes to that question. She tells me he had his personal battles and such, but he loved me.
I remember gathering walnuts with him as a little boy.
I remember sitting in his trailer with him watching some kids show, possibly Barney, and feeling safe and at home.
To be honest, most of my childhood remains in this repressed section of my brain. Some memories I am almost unsure of as reality. Did it really happen, or did a boy who grew up unhappy make it up to cope? Years of my life as a boy have been censored and blacked out by my brain in order to protect me. Not Weno, though; my times with him are safely stored and fondly remembered.
I remember the time his girlfriend was kicked out of his trailer for calling my mother a whore and me the son of a whore.
“I’m spending time with my son and you’re getting the fuck out of here bitch!”
Weno had no reason to be my father. He just sort of did it. He and my mom had dated, I guess, and it ended amicably. She tells me he proposed. She tells me he wanted to adopt me and give me his last name. Even after she refused him and moved on, he didn’t abandon me. He was still a father figure.
I don’t remember much from when I found out he died. It’s been censored and the file has been largely destroyed. Only memories are left of my first real anguish.
He never left me, though. Even with him no longer being on this earth, and me ending up halfway across the country, his presence is still felt. It comes time to time. I’ll get a sudden feeling of strength to go on and know it’s Weno. I wish he could see my sons – his grandkids. I know the love he taught me is the same love I pass on to my kids. An unbreakable bond forged with unconditional loyalty.
I don’t even know his real name. I have seen it a million times, on paper, or in his obituary. I could call my mom to remind me for the thousandth time. It’s no use. I won’t remember it. His name was Weno.
His name was Dad.
For whatever he was or whatever his demons were, I may never know that side of him. All I can do is appreciate the side of him I did get to know and relish the greater appreciation I got when I found out we weren’t blood.
Thanks for teaching me how to dad, Weno. If you were still around, I’m sure you’d be teaching me how to granddad.