This, I believe, is what made me who I am: “Misty-Rayne, clean that pigpen you call your room!” “Mom, you told me a thousand times, I get it already. Hold your horses.” She says: “No! I gave you 9 years, and it’s still not clean.”
Now, I’m not saying that by my mom telling me to clean my room made me a strong, independent person. But by my mom taking the time to tell me to clean my room, is what did.
I grew up in a stable home: a mother, stepfather (who was hardly home), two sisters (one half sister) and a cat. Although we lived paycheck to paycheck, we enjoyed all the little things we did together. Game nights, dinnertime, movie nights, ice cream, but one thing was missing. In my gut somewhere, I missed my dad, my real dad. I didn’t see him since I can remember. Where was he? Did he know of all the fun we were having? Didn’t he want to be here to?
I asked my mom one day, “Where’s dad, mom?” She tells me, “Dad is in Texas driving those big trucks, state to state. Why, all of a sudden, you wanna know where he is?” “Well, today some of my friends had their dads drop them off at school, and I just thought of him.” “Misty, you don’t need your dad to be here to make you happy. You have us. Ok, now go and play.” So I went. I didn’t think of it any more, until today.
————–8 Years later————–
It’s five months until I graduate from high school. My cell phone rings. It’s an odd, 349 number. I answer it. On the other line, a deep voice says: “Misty-Rayne, it’s dad.” Ok, now I’m thinking it’s a practical joke that my sister Jen is playing on me. I say “Sure it is.” He says “No, really, it’s me, dad!” I go into shock mode. I mumble, “Hi dad.” He tells me that he’s planning to come home for my graduation and that he misses me and what not. Than I finally tell him: “It’s really weird that you called. It’s hard for me to call you dad because you weren’t there majority of my life. Now, all of a sudden you know me because you’re coming to my graduation? Explain, because I don’t get it.”
He explained to me how he tried to call but had the wrong number, etc… It all sounded like bull, if you ask me. So, before we hung up, I told him “You know what, dad, I don’t expect you to be nice to me or anything, I just want you to be in my life when I start forming my own. When I go to college and pursue my education, that’s when I’ll really need you there to help me. Can you do that?” Obviously he agreed, but will he really?
He calls normally now, like everyday. It still kinda makes me mad, but I think I’ll give him a chance. He tells me how I am such a strong-minded person and he knows that I will go far in my life, and I told him that it is all because of mom. He agrees, sadly.
I came to a conclusion that I don’t need a father figure in my life to make me happy. I have my mom, my only matter. She is who made me who I am, a strong independent person. I thank her.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.