I grew up in a single parent home. It was just my mom and my siblings. I never knew my dad but searched for him - for my entire life. Every Father's Day during Public School when it was time to make cards, I would pray that one day I would be able to share a Father's Day with my dad. That I would be able to know the other half of myself. To have so many questions answered. Whose feet do I have? I have always heard that I look just like him. Every time I went outside I would look at older me ... searching for my reflection in the face of the faceless.

Father's Day 2011 I found him! Found him on Facebook of all places. And when we connected I felt complete. I felt as though the missing - yet crucial piece of the puzzle was found. The piece that made the picture clear.

We spoke on the phone and in email and one day in May 2012 I boarded a train and four hours later I was sitting with my dad in his home. I saw myself in him. My face is his face. Eyes, hands, feet, wit, personality ... I am the female him!

The visit was bitter-sweet as my dad was suffering with advanced, aggressive prostate cancer, which spread body-wide. He was dying.

I had found my dad just in time to watch him die.

Did this mean that I was to save him? Was I to donate organs? Bone marrow? Blood? Platelets? Did I have anything that would save him? The harsh answer was 'No'.

It was so hard towards the end, I only got to see him the one time and the last two months cancer not only claimed his dignity, but also claimed his voice. He could barely speak. Barely coherent. Sleeping 22hrs a day. 80% of the bones in his body were broken, he was suffering.

I was thankful that I was able to at least be there with him via my new-found family. A family I did not grow up with. Sisters, nephews, nieces, brothers-in-law.

The last month I felt the shift. I was being phased out. The updates were less and less. Where once they were on the phone .... then in email ... then just on a blog - like the rest of the population.

I was out of the loop.

August 11th 2012 my dad slipped into a coma and 23 hours later he took his last breath.

I was not called. I was not told. I learned of the death of my father from a facebook status. 3 hours after the fact.

The following day I read the obituary online. I was not listed among his children. When I asked my sister why I was omitted from my own father's obituary ... I received no response other than being deleted and blocked.

A week later, was my dad's funeral. I was not there. I saw a clip of it on youtube.

Never in my life have I experienced such cruelty. Never in my life had I imagined that after searching for my dad - for a lifetime ... that the relationship with my new-found family would be until death do us part.

I think about the conversations we shared. The times we laughed. I miss him so much that my soul hurts.

I think about my step-mother who took a call from me when I was in my teens ... when I was searching .... when she told me that I had the wrong number.

I think about how 'she' robbed me of my father in life - and they robbed me of my father in death.

I think about the year I was given ... I think about the year of holidays and birthdays ... I think about the one Father's Day where I got to buy a card - write in it and send it to him. For the first and only time in my life. Now I struggle to move through the year of firsts without him.

I think about my sweet, sweet niece and nephew - 4 and 8y/o ... and how close we grew. My heart aches as I think of how they believe that I just left. That they believe I just turned my back on them. I wonder what they were told.

Each day when I look in the mirror, I see his face in my face. I see his eyes in my eyes. I wash his hands when I wash my own. I see his feet when I put on my shoes. And I struggle to inhale through cut breaths.

And when I talk to him, I say; I miss you dad. More than words can say. And one day we will be together ... and nobody will be able to separate us ever again.

An Ep User An EP User
Jan 6, 2013