Two weeks ago, I sent my 6-year-old daughter to DC to visit her dad and grandmother. When my daughter found out she was going, she was so excited! Everyday she would tell me how many days it was until Thursday, the day of her trip. A friend plaited her hair, and my daughter packed her own clothes and told her brothers how she was going to ride in daddy's truck. It reminded me of the time when I was her age and my daddy was going to take me to Great Adventure. Since I was an only child, I told all my girlfriends who were also from single parent homes (statistically, a girl is more likely to be in a single parent home than a boy) that my daddy was coming. My friends and I looked forward to his visit because when one father showed up it was like everyone's father showed up. On the big day, I wore my best dress, my mom combed my hair and my friends and I played outside while we waited for my dad. Unfortunately, I played outside until my mom called me in at 9 PM at night. Unlike Sahar's father, my dad did not show up; there was not even a phone call. That was the day my little heart was broken and that was the day my mom told me that she decided not to have any more children. She vowed she would never experience another child's pain like that again.
My girlfriends and I never again talked about the disappointment of that day - it was our code of silence. I really thought that I had moved past the heartache. In retrospect, it is clear that I made decisions so no man would break my heart again. My father lowered the bar on what a "good" man is and I, in turn, looked for men who were not above that bar. In my view, a father is supposed to let his children (especially his girls) know that no man can love them more than he can. Most women compare her mate's actions to her father's and select mates that can live up to the standard he set. My father showed me that it was ok to lie and cheat and I, in turn, never selected a mate who was above the low standard of my father. Not to say that "good" men did not try to be with me; I would push them away thinking they were too good for me.
Since then, my love and respect for my dad or any other man is conditional. This has great implications on my daughter's future relationships with men. All this new understanding came as a result of DiversePhilly's own subscriber, Paliani Consulting's REAL Program. Since all business is the relationship between two entities (business and customer, business and vendor, business and employee, etc.), I sought new ways to make our relationships more meaningful, which would result in increased profitability. What I learned through the program is that our relationships are dependent on how well we know ourselves.
With this new knowledge, I set out to heal my relationship with my dad (who lives less than 2 miles away and whom I have seen only once in 2008). My instructor from the REAL program said "Most relationships break up not from what is said but what is not said." So I was determined to talk with him and share my feelings. When I call, he does not answer. When I go to his house, he is not available. When I schedule a time to talk, he does not show up (surprise!). So I will heal myself right here with a love letter to him that will forever be stored on this blog.
"Dad, I know you don't want to remember but you left a daughter with a broken heart. Even though I am all grown up and trying to hold things together, I still need you. Your love and affection cannot be matched by any man and that makes you the center of my world. It is not too late to kiss and make-up because I love you. Everyday I find a new habit in myself and my children (especially Omar) that reminds me of you. I am here to share in your life because we are linked and you will always be right here held close in my heart because a big part of me is you."
Thank you Daddy University for bringing to light the importance fathers play in the role of personal development. Thank you to The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce who introduced me to Paliani Consulting . Thank you Paliani Consulting for showing the business community how to have greater relationships which lead to more profitable businesses by showing our REAL, authentic selves.
I welcome comments to this blog.