The joys and sorrows of being a single dad

by Fabio Bito on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 Comments
I had never thought that I could also become a “single dad”. After 10 years of marriage, my wife and I had patiently built our home, a little castle where to raise our two dear daughters. Of course we had all together our ups and downs but as after a storm comes a calm, our disputes were never long and we always managed to get along very well. Once in the mature age, our relationship even grew stronger and we enjoyed the sweetness of growing old together. Moreover, we had two beautiful daughters, two lovely and graceful little girls. Our friends used to joke about my living in a “girls dorm” and, indeed, I was the fortunate guardian of a blissful cocoon.

“How lucky I am to have all my family around me, I must be the happier dad”… But misfortune struck two years ago, bringing death and loss, taking away two pillars of the home we had built with love and care… “I am a single dad”: this sentence then just frightened me. How would I be able to assume this new responsibility? Yet, I will have to bear it the rest of my life.

After the accident that took away my wife and my elder daughter, I could not cast away my painful thoughts of them; then, I would just bow my head and walk endlessly… Along Beixin road in Xindian until Roosevelt road, Gongguan, turn right into Xinsheng South road to Heping east Road where my wife had her office while she was alive. This is where I used to go pick her up after work, the memories are heavier, I hold my tears and I go back home to wait for my little girl to come back from school. This behavior and these acts may seem senseless and a bit dumb, but they were my ways of regaining peace and putting myself together. Finally I could live a normal life again.

Like Janus, I’m facing two different directions: one “me” is looking back in pain and grief while the other “me” is irresistibly gazing deep into the future horizon, into the future of my daughter and our life together, the two of us. If possible, I would have clung all my life to my memories of the past, I would have bowed my head and walked with the same grief and sadness towards the end of the path where my wife and my other daughter are waiting for me. But as I am still a father, a single dad who has to take care of and to cherish a little girl, I has kept telling myself : This is not fair for her, her life is just starting now!

I look into my conscience and I wonder how to be a “good father”. I have no answer to this question yet; whatever you do, it will never be too much to raise your kids. Indeed, there is no universal recipe, even if I’m scared out of my wits, I just want to follow closely my daughter growing up everyday, little by little, I hope I can be her good friend and, most of all, the dad she can count on.

And what’s even more difficult than that is probably to be a “single dad”. Beneath my hardener appearance, in my deep heart, I’m confused. I feel helpless without my wife’s support, I don’t know what my little girl might need and how to give it to her. I have nobody to talk with or to ask for advice; the worst of all is that I don’t even have someone to fight with… Each time I encounter a difficulty or a problem, or each time my daughter feels sad because she misses her mom and her sister, I’m silently crying for my wife’s help, wishing she could tell me what to do next… But in the bottom of my mind, I know well that it is just another sleepless night.

Now and then, I’m weighing and thinking everything in order to insure the best future possible to my daughter. As a single dad, my most humble wish is to live everyday in the healthiest and happiest way, together with my little girl. I wish to accompany her growth, holding tight her little hand.

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