Brig- Soren – Reidar: we have hope.

a letter first published on

I was alienated from my father. I refused contact. I parroted my mother’s words since I was a child about how horrible a man he was. Despite all the education and life experiences, I never stopped to reexamine what it was that was so bad about my father. In fact, there was no evidence at all, other than the fact that my parents divorced and I only met him twice briefly in my life. But the whole time, I looked for signs and hoping that my father loved me. He moved very far away but occasionally I would meet someone who knew him and they would say how much he talked about me. He was an amateur poet and once in a few years there would be a poem that he published in the newspaper and I would secretly go through every word, trying to see if it was a reference to me. I needed him. I needed to know that he cared.

There was a dual reality that I lived, one where I openly supported my mother’s view that he was a monster, and another in secret where I looked up to him, admired him, and wishing I had enough courage to run to him. I knew he was successful in his career and was a well-respected figure in his community.

Then he passed. People contacted me and told me and I told myself that nothing changed in my life since he was never there anyway. Then one day, a relative contacted me and said she couldn’t hold the secret anymore. She needed to meet me and tell me all the details of what my mother had done to prevent him from being in my life. We haven’t had that meeting but it was enough for me to know. I then searched and found a secret website he created for me. With writings, poems, bits about his life that I never knew.

I want to share this because I want you to know that your children need you. They need your love even when they reject you. With today’s technology, they will be secretly searching for you, so leave your digital footprint. Keep reaching out because even when they refuse contact, they need the assurance that you haven’t given up. Live a fabulous life so they can look up and admire you. Don’t stay in a place of a victim because your children need you to be the hero. You can do it. Sending you love.