In 2001, my mother called my grandmother and my cousin to live with us in Portugal. I cannot describe how happy i was to finally have our grandma by our side. During those two years my mother worked non-stop so she could bring them. She worked by day as nanny and by night as a garbage collector. She walked through Lisbon streets unloading the trash cans on the truck with three more colleagues of her’s. It was a honest job like many others and she did not care about people’s thoughts about it. She was focused and always worked hard to achieve her goals, no matter what!
A year later she left us in the care of our beloved grandmother and traveled to Spain in search of my father. In 2003 they came back together and with my younger brother in their arms. We were surprised because we did not know he was coming with her and nervous because we had never lived with him before, but happy to finally have the opportunity to know him. It was as if we had met for the first time in our lives, because I do not have memories of him before that!
Even so, I have very few memories of my father, which makes me sad! I know he was the first and great love of my mother’s life, because she went after him three times and those three times she was abandoned. This is what i call love or blind love, whatever you want to call it! Anyways, she did forgave him, but of course she did not forgot what he did. She never talked about it with anyone, and so I do not know what happened between them and why it didn’t worked out.
I know that my mother is not easy to handle and has a strong character, but I also know that my father had no goals, or if he had he would not chase them. He hoped that everything would fall from the sky and my mother was completely the opposite, so it may have been one of the causes of their breakup. Life it’s difficult for everyone, so I cannot assume nothing, much less judge someone without knowing the reason or story behind those decisions, I can only talk about how it affected me.
I remember that after the bath my father had unbearable itches all over his body and I was the one who helped him to pass his daily cream to relieve the itching. Whenever I had nightmares I would run to my parents’ bedroom, I would get in the middle of them and hold my father tightly. The nightmare was always the same and to this day I do not understand the meaning or why I had them. It was as if the walls and ceiling were crushing me. I felt so much pressure on my body and such a heavy weight on my head that I used to wake up terrified in the middle of the night.
And these are the only memories I have of him, because later he went back to Spain and left a lot of hurt in our hearts. I really missed him a lot, he was my best friend and for years I cried in secret and tried to contact him, but to no avail. Sometimes he answered the call and I heard him and his wife arguing, but I could never talk to him. I wish we had more time to get to know each other better. After all, every girl needs that strong father figure in their lives, that helps define who you are as a person.
That father who holds you tight after you’ve had a bad day or ended your previous relationship. That father who is always present to support you and raise your self esteem when you need it. That warm and loving care that only they can give, and i believe that if he were present I would’ve been stronger and more confident facing problems that appear everyday in my life.
In that short time we had together I felt that I had much more connection with him than I had with my mother in terms of talking about my feelings, everything I had learned in school and so on. She never had time to stop and talk to us, at the end of the day she had two jobs and my father none. I do not blame her.
Nowadays he calls my mother and younger brothers and my mother does not ignore him, quite the opposite. She accepts the contribution and the fact that he’s sorry and wanting to know about us, better late than never, isn’t it? I know my mother was hurt beyond showing, but time heals everything. I do not hold grudges or anything like that, I will always be here with my open arms ready to receive him a day later. After all, he is my father and will always be a part of me. I’m just sorry we did not spend more time together as a father and daughter, I really wish we did. I know i cannot go back in the past and change how things happened, but i can definitely try to give my best making the right dicisions in the future and be happy.