Life without a Dad


Every day I search for something I once had. 

A father. Dad.  

Whether it be through compensating in my relationships or over-expecting my mother to be two parents in one, I can never seem to find what I’m looking for. 

I don’t exactly know what it is that I search for. A certain feeling? Another person? A special moment? 

Whatever it is, it was taken away from me at 10-years-old by a characteristic of living no person in the world can ever fully understand. Yet that every person has to experience one way or another. 

Despite the uncertainty against me, I began my search journey. 

I turn on the GPS. I even open up a map and step inside it. I walk around aimlessly trying to get pointed in the right direction of the way to fill this void. 

I usually get led in the direction of my computer. A bright pink computer case sprinkled with random stickers that are even more vibrant. 

Usually, the best way to temporarily serve this empty feeling in my stomach that isn’t hunger is with Netflix. However, somehow the shows and movies I choose to watch become a total tease showcasing on my big screen this entity I yearn for most. 

In the movie Hotel Transylvania, Dracula focuses most on protecting his daughter from the human world after the death of her mother. He utilizes every bone in his body to make her happy in spite of his grieving. 

Gru from the movie Despicable Me grew to love his three daughters as if they were his own and shielded them from every evil that came their way.

Even father and son relationships can spark my undeniable envy. In my favorite show, The Walking Dead, the father Rick’s whole reason for continuing to live during a zombie apocalypse was to protect his son, Carl, despite how miserable Rick may have been. 

Even the music that plays on my AirPods or on the radio of my car can’t tune out this feeling. 

“I guess you’d say/What can make me feel this way?” The Temptations say in My Girl

I still remember the time Dad was driving me home from a haircut in his old golden car. 

“Cause girl, you’re amazing/Just the way you are,” the popular Bruno Mars song blasted throughout the crouched sedan. 

My father sang with horrible vocals but it didn’t matter because he was singing to me.  

That day, that song became mine.  

The once best forms of entertainment for me – shows, movies, and music – became just another dead end in my journey.  

My next best move would be to turn down the road toward my friends. 

The friends I’ve had have always acted as an amazing source of constant support in my life. I mean they are my friends, so why wouldn’t they?

But when they get to attend the father-daughter dance every year that my high school hosts, I can’t help but distance myself. The blue lights, silver confetti poppers, and a shiny dance floor are acquainted with black and white tuxes next to sparkly jaw-dropping dresses. It’s almost unbearable to see the precious photo booth pictures from the event. 

Fathers who’d do anything for their child. Spoil them rotten with jewelry, flowers, hugs, or money just in case they need it. Maybe they even bought them a pony. 

My own mother had this with her father. He spoiled her till death. 

She was lucky enough to have this. While I was cursed enough to spend my life witnessing it. 

My last stop on my journey would have to be somewhere around my relationships. 

I turn towards the men a few years older than me. The taller ones with the crispy beards and broad shoulders. If he has a “dad bod,” then it’s even better! 

But of course, none of these unhealthy preferences have the chance to work out. 

After years of searching, I am left with the same emptiness I started with. I picked up a few new additions along the way. Some of jealousy. Some of relief. That was easier when I was too tired of searching and gave up. Yet the relief somehow made me feel worse than the emptiness I started with once it was accompanied by guilt. 

Despite how hard I look, the search just never seems to end. 

I still have yet to find what I once lost. But I’ll keep looking.