On days like today, we often feel the need to ignore the unpleasant sides of those we love. But I’m not going to present you the version of my father as I want him to be, over the man he is. My father is a deeply flawed man. When my mother told him she was pregnant with me, he wanted her to have an abortion; I was unplanned, and he was asking for a divorce.
But eventually, they stayed together and my father suggested I be named Abigail. Unbeknownst to him, Abigail means something like “fathers joy” in Hebrew; a fact I find especially ironic with how he felt upon learning of my burgeoning existence. Once I was born, he reportedly said while holding me in his arms, “Now I know what love is.” Over the years he has struggled to show that love. He is the stranger I live with; an amalgamation of pieced together anecdotes from my mother, grandparents, and a few stories from my father himself.
He is short tempered, drinks too much, and is distracted most of the time. But he is also the man the has payed for me to attend my dream school, the one that drove me to D.C. for the Women’s March, and the coach of my childhood soccer team for a few seasons. He isn’t always the man I want him to be, but I know I wouldn’t be who I am without him. My ears, my hair, a large portion of my personality, and my name are laced with him.
He’s only human, but he’s my Dad.