When I tell people that my dad is missing, they normally don’t believe me. But it’s true, I haven’t seen him in just over eleven years. And no one else in my family has seen or heard from him in just over eleven years. His disappearance has affected my life in many ways: the ways in which I view the opposite sex, the outside world and myself are forever tainted as a result of missing the key element of a father. His absence has caused a lot of agony, pain, and confusion. It's hard being in a world where most people at least know where their dad is while I still have no clue.
So when I say my dad has been missing, I mean that my dad’s last location was at his shared residence with his mom and step-dad (my grandparents) in Southern California in January of 2000. My grandma (his mom) is my only biological grandparent that I know. She married my grandpa (my dad's step-dad) after both my dad and his younger brother were born. My dad's real dad is unknown (sounds familiar to my missing father). Apparently, my dad thought that his father abandoned their family because my grandma kept having boys when he wanted a girl. However, as I aged, my mother informed me otherwise. My grandma had apparently slept with her boss who, in fact, had his own family not including my grandma and her boys. Even though she got knocked up by her boss, he just wouldn't have anything to do with them, so my grandma got a new job, where she met my dad's step-dad. She then had my dad's little half-sister after marrying my grandpa. And as pathetic as it was, my dad lived at home with his mom and step-dad until he was last seen by my family. I have always thought it strange that my family continues to repeat their history, year after year. Which means I have the important task of changing the cycle.
However, the only way to adjust the cycle is to look back on what I do know, so I can figure out what I need to do in order to be a successful parent for my daughter. Because, in reality, the change lies within ourselves and what we can provide for the next generation.
Looking back, my father was very dear to me. If only he wasn’t such an alcoholic deadbeat, I probably would still have my dad around. His drinking led to abuse and power trips. He somehow managed to always prove how deadbeat he was: he lived with his parents in a re-modeled garage customized to live in, drove his mom’s old Nissan Maxima that she gave him when she upgraded to the next generation Nissan Maxima, and whenever he would takes us out to eat or take us to an amusement park, like Knott's Berry Farm or Disneyland, it was always with his mother’s money. When he was around, I was too young to care.
But don’t take all of this the wrong way, I love my dad. He was awesome and he was my hero. He talked to me as though I was an adult. I remember that he would explain things to me that no one else dared to explain because they thought I was too immature to handle the truth, but my dad knew I was far too intelligent to lie to, even at such a young age.
He used to tell me all sorts of stories as well: crazy fantasies that he would make up, or insane but true stories about himself. Like one night, when he was hanging at a friend’s house, he sat outside to have a drink and get some fresh air. When he placed his hand down to get up, he was bitten by a black widow spider and passed out from the intensity of the fresh wound. His friend eventually came outside to check on him and found him knocked out and sprawled across the front stairs. They first tried to wake him with amazing luck. He came to with a badly swollen hand, but somehow managed to live through a deadly bite without being hospitalized. When he told me this story, I was only nine so, of course, I believed him without a doubt in my mind. Now-a-days I don’t exactly feel the same way.
Another crazy story of my dad was the most recent. The summer of 1999, my little brother and I went to visit my dad in Orange...