A Father Lost

A Father Lost

A Story by MrStandfill

"One day though, it all ended, and my father was gone out of my life, forever."

My father and I had a fairly picturesque father, son relationship. We did just about everything together. He would take me on random drives around the back roads of surrounding cities just to look around at the wild life and see the contrast struck between where the cities ended and the "wilderness" began. I'd accompany him to construction sites that he would be working at, spending whole days happily helping him smash down walls with a sledge hammer or throwing broken up pieces of walls or flooring out of an upper story window and into a dumpster below. Drives home from school often turned into trips to an ice cream shop where I was able to get whatever I wanted or to a store for candies of all kinds. One day though, it all ended, and my father was gone out of my life, forever.

It was October 21, 2001, a Sunday. The day started like any other, I woke up, went to the kitchen for breakfast, sat down in front of the TV, watched my morning cartoons and ate. My father wasn't home when we all woke up, but that would happen from time to time when he got called out to a site early, so we didn't think anything of it, that is until it started to creep passed noon without any contact from him. That's when we started to worry because whenever he got called out early, he always called on his lunch break at noon to let us know he got to work safe and sound, so the fact that we hadn't gotten that call yet was certainly something to worry over. The day went on with all of us wondering and worrying about where he was and if he was ok. Eventually, my mother got a call. It was my father. He was safe after all and all our worrying was for not. But that's not what he was calling about. All I could do was stand there and stare at my mother's face as she spoke to my father and how it went from elation to a sadness I'd never seen before, and then I saw tears run down her face as she closed her eyes and hung up the phone. She sat for a moment, wrapping her brain around what this was all meaning, I would guess now. After what felt like forever, she said he had gone to Oregon to live with his family, and he would not be coming back home. That he was gone.

After the call, I went to my room, crawled under the covers, curled up in a ball, and cried until my tears soaked the knees of my favorite pair of jeans. The kind of jeans with the lope for a hammer at the hip that construction works wear. The pair I wore when I'd go to jobs with him. The kind of jobs we'd never go to again. While I cried I hoped, wished, and prayed that it was all just a very, very, very bad dream and that when I woke up I would find my father in the kitchen, drinking a coffee and staring out to the backyard, like I often found him, and when he saw me he would turn and give me a “big squeezer hug” like he always did. Sadly though, as I'm sure you can guess, it didn't quite turn out like that.

I got out of my bed and stepped out of my room into the hallway. The first sound I heard, the sound that shattered the silence I had been lying in, was the sound of my mother crying. It was horrible. It was the worst sound I had ever heard in my life, a sound that sticks with me to this day. I wanted to go and comfort her, but I knew I wouldn't have been able to handle seeing her that way and that all it would do is further destroy what bit of hope and happiness I had left in my fragile little body. I slowly and quietly stepped back into my room and closed the door. I dropped to my knees, cursing at and asking God why he did this. I laid down on the floor, unable to move, a feeling as if I was dying inside for what had to of been an hour.

I gradually regained my composure and ventured out of my room again. My mother had also recovered. I peeked into her doorway and sat there silently for a minute. She eventually saw me. I waited for her to say something, but not a word was spoken by either of us. She just looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and stepped away. I walked down the hallway to my little brothers room to see how he was holding up. I opened his door and saw him just sitting there, staring at the wall. I was shocked he wasn't balling. He didn't even acknowledge me, not in the slightest. He just sat there staring at some random spot of his bedroom wall. I couldn't bring myself to even attempt to brake his concentration. I thought maybe it was his way of coping or maybe he'd just snapped or I don't know what.

After I had checked on my mother and little brother and went back to my room, again. I sat down and tried to think of something to do, but nothing came to mind at that point in time. So, seeing as I did not want to do anything other than just sit there, I began to think. I thought about all the things in my life that were about to change and how I was going to have so many more responsibilities. Eventually I got sick of dealing with it all and feeling so badly, so I slept the rest of that horrid day away.

After that day I had to grow up fast or be swept away in the chaos that my family had become. I took the role my father left behind as “the man of the house”, doing things that would have fallen on his shoulders, but now instead rested firmly on mine. I realized that day that he was not going to be a part of my life anymore; I didn't need him and I didn't want him in my life. In the end, the father that left me was the one who got left behind.

Written April 17, 2010.

© 2011 MrStandfill

Author's Note

This is an essay I had to do with some minor tweaking. And yes, it's a true story and it really did happen to me. The subject matter no longer evokes emotion in me so if you feel the need to pry, then go ahead.

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Added on January 10, 2011
Last Updated on January 10, 2011
Tags: abandonment father leaves family




I'm a 22 year old college student and novice writer from the Bay Area. more..