Absent Fathers

Absent Fathers

Written by: Marissa


Unconditional love was planted in us during our conception. Our first love, the love given by our parents, had a sacred binding. Parental love is foreign to boundaries, distances, and limitations. It is continuously forging our pathways of independence for us.

We made a home out of their love, the walls a palate of love’s soft colors. A sturdy roof deflected rays of doubt. The lights illuminated profound moments of darkness and guided us to our resting places at night. This home was constructed as a personal haven, a place of refuge. Through the whirlwinds of life’s inevitable storms, the seed of our parents’ unconditional love survived. Love blossomed under unwavering circumstances. They were always there, the two of them, under one roof.

Love must be handled with fragility in the care of two souls. When nestled in the hands of the broken, it seeks absent nourishment.   

My home of unconditional love split into two parts. The walls once showcasing love’s palate were marred with bold strokes of misunderstanding. The light of love’s guidance grew dimmer; the darkness became a place of lost solace.  Unconditional love built its new walls with binding conditions. The seed planted within me, from my conception, became soiled. Unable to find a reason to bloom, it stayed stagnant in heartbreak’s tainted land.

My father became a master craftsman in building his own home. In times of insecurity, he sought to construct his loving foundation in toxic places. He built a base on the unsteadiness of immediate affection from someone else. In a matter of haste, he built his new safe haven, appointing his ego as a master contractor. The home was patched with feelings of anger and resentment, and the walls chided him for not understanding. He was absent, and his home was a refuge only for his own emptiness. There was no light outside to seek the entrance. He did not want to be seen by his daughters. How can a home be illuminated with the absence of compassion?

In the absence of a father’s love, God hands you the tools to cope. You look to the sky and wonder, “How can I build a foundation out of nothing? How can I forge a home of conditional love?” And God winks and answers, “I gave you this smooth foundation to rebuild yourself with the directions in your heart. In order to rebuild a home, you need to start from rock bottom.”

In your new home, you seek your mother’s strength to lay its foundation. The strength of her love helped in coping with his absence. Her loving foundation is a gift for a humble dwelling.

They say “women hold up half the sky,” but they also hold up half the home.

Under the condition of personal bravery, the walls now showcase gentle strokes of love’s colors. The colors are still soft, but hold a hint of subtle boldness as a reminder of new beginnings. You choose to illuminate the outside of your home, with lighting slightly dim, in hopes that maybe someday, he will return.

Just because your father closed his door does not mean it will never open. Even with his new love, laced with binding conditions, you tend your inner seed of unconditional love. In your new home, you leave your door ajar. You find yourself blossoming in his absence. You find another form of love with yourself. The love without binding conditions, molded from previous pain. The love is placed in your own hands and becomes unbreakable. The love is spread around your home, illuminating it for all to enter. Even for him.

Just because a home becomes broken does not mean love cannot remold the cracks.  


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