This I Believe

Alex - Plainfield, Illinois
Entered on April 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

Ghost Father

I was about three years old when my dad called my mom to ask if he could take me out. When my grandpa woke me up, my face went from angry, due to the rude awakening, to pure excitement, because I had not seen him in over six months. My grandpa got my backpack, I picked out what toys I wanted to bring with, and of course I had to get my blanket. I have not been separated from that blanket since birth; to this day I still have it with me. My dad gave it to me when I was born, and I keep it because it is the only part of him I have ever had. I ran downstairs to get my coat and hat. My grandma heard me pounding on the closet and came to help me get my things, but I struggled to put them on in my excited rush. My grandma, after a good laugh, calmed me down and helped me put it on. During this time my grandpa had brought my backpack downstairs, and I hurriedly put that on and made a mad dash to the window next to the front door.

My grandpa sat down and watched his little grandson stare out of the window with more excitement running through him than he thought humanly possible. We both knew my dad would not be there for fifteen more minutes, but the excitement made those fifteen minutes seem like days. Every so often I would turn around, look at my grandpa, and jump up and down shouting, “Daddy is coming, Daddy is coming.” After fifteen minutes, my grandpa said, “He will be here any second!” That made me smile and jump even more. After more waiting, I asked my grandpa where daddy was. Again, he told me he will be here soon. So I kept staring out the window wearing my little coat, hat, backpack, and shoes. Not a moment passed without a smile on my face and an excited gleam in my eyes.

Over an hour later, my grandpa knew he wasn’t coming. However, he couldn’t tell me and see my heart break. So he sat there, waiting with me, for my ghost father. Eventually he struggled to tell me, “Alex…you dad…he’s not coming.” Keeping my eyes on the window I asked, “Why?” He told me the truth, “I don’t know, but he’s not coming.” Before my grandpa could put his arms around me, tears were already rolling down my cheeks and off of my face.

I believe that this moment in my life taught me how not to be a ghost father. I know because of what he did, more than once, I will never lie to my children and I will always be a part of their lives. Because, I know the hurt of being taunted by somebody I loved, and never want anybody else to know the disappointment that I have in my ghost father.