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Divorced Dad - By Felix LeRoy Perry

Sometimes in the chaos of divorce socirty is often biased against the single father who tries to do the best he can for the child he loves... The week had flown by and I had taken one last look around the small bachelor apartment to make sure all was ready. I had taken the day off work to scrub and polish the place till it was spotless, gotten all her favourite snack foods stocked up and made sure her old toys that she kept their and the new ones I’d purchased for this weekend were casually stacked in a corner where she could see them. I wanted this weekend to be special and even though I could barely pay the bills this month I had put aside enough that he could take her out to do something she wanted to do. Her favourite thing we would do together was go to the roller skating rink and skate to the tunes they played over the speakers holding hands endlessly skating around the ring in circles. We would do that tomorrow, tonight it would be watch TV and snuggle up and eat popcorn. Taking one last look around I closed the door and went to pick up my pride and joy.   She was waiting on the steps of her mother’s apartment when I arrived and at only five years old and with a knapsack on almost as big as her containing all the things that would make her feel safe she looked vulnerable and my heart bled and ached for her.   Her smile lit up the world as I got out of the car and she made a running start to jump up into my arms…I felt a rush of love knowing she was still Daddy’s little girl. On the way to my place we chatted like two magpies she telling me all about school and friends and her favourite shows and I just asking questions, agreeing and smiling a lot so happy to hear her little voice again. I called almost every night but it wasn’t the same as being able to see her and touch her and know that she was so excited to be with her old Dad again. We decided we definitely would go roller skating the next day and she was so excited about that.   At the apartment I made her favourite supper which was believe it or not Hamburger Helper and with our two TV trays we sat in front of the TV to watch Little House On The Prairie, an episode I think we’d already watched a thousand times but it didn’t matter she still loved ever one of them.   When supper was done and we’d cleaned up the dishes which even at five she still insisted on helping me with, she had her bath, got into her Kermit the Frog PJ’s and crawled into bed under the covers and waited for me to read her a story. I think this was my favourite time in the whole world. I always made a cup of tea and she would eat a cookie sometimes while I read to her. Miss Piggy and Kermit her two favourite stuffed toys always snuggled in beside her to listen to the story as well.   Halfway through she looked up at me and asked:   “Dad, well you and Mommy ever get back together?”   Looking down into the eyes of innocent I could see the pain and the hurt there and I wanted so badly to lie to make it go away but I knew that I couldn’t do that so I took her two hands in mine and tried to answer as honestly as I could:   “Baby both your mother and I love you more then anything in this world and I know you find it hard to understand right now. Sometimes though adults just can’t love each other the way they should and sometimes it is better that they separate. It doesn’t mean they love you any less or that you won’t be forever loved. It just means that we, you and I, have to treasure the times we do spend together as if they were a special gift from God.”   When I finished she reached up and putting both arms around my neck gave me the biggest hug she could manage and kissed me saying the three most magical words a child can say to a man:   “I love you Daddy!”   Of course I answered her the only way I knew how with a bear hug and:   “I love you more, angel”     She is a grown up mother herself now and when I have her daughter for the weekend I look back and I’m glad that those magical weekends never ended and they are what made us into such a loving father and daughter we are today. Divorce is sometimes inevitable, but children never forget…you are a father or a mother and you are or can be someone’s hero. Don’t let them down.  
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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