>I was not there when she was born. I was not around while she grew in her mother’s womb. I didn’t see her first minutes on Earth, hear her cry as she took her first breaths of life, watch her eyes turn from blue to the brown they will be for the rest of her life, urge her on as she took her first steps, or rock her to sleep in a hospital room chair. I had better things to do, the existentialist in me said, and a child just didn’t fit in. I was obsessed with saving the world from itself and making sure people remembered me when I died.
But as time went on, thoughts of her never escaped my mind. Not one day passed after my getaway that I did not think of her. They were the thoughts one would expect a man to wonder about in my situation: had she been born healthy, was she being taken care of, and was she smart. It grew from these questions just bouncing through my head all day long to the night time as well. I could not sleep, grew hooked on sleeping pills that my tolerance had made ineffective, and missed classes. Further, my relationships with people suffered. By her first birthday, July 2006, I had virtually become a sociopath. I hated people because I could not communicate with them; my frustration with myself filled my soul‘s cup until it spilled over the brim. My confidence, sense of humor, and conversation skills? They were gone because I could not talk to anyone without evaluating the things I had said or done a second earlier; though I heard the things people would say to me when we talked, I was unable to process them. Lectures in classes went on the same way as I could not take in, ponder, and ultimately comprehend what my professors were saying. I had a dark cloud of guilt hanging over me as I knew a little girl I had helped create was somewhere out there and might need my help. Even if her physiological needs were being met, she still could benefit from me being around. I just knew it and it consumed me to know I was not taking care of my own. The tension grew, the voices that kept me awake at night got louder, and the few hours of sleep I did manage to get at night were dominated by dreams of a child I did not know – a child who was mine.
I skipped out on the first two and a half years of her life because I wanted to save the world from itself – leave a lasting legacy or have my life be for nothing – but really needed to save me from my own self.
They say there are people roaming this Earth without consciousness, the kind of men who can murder without regret of go through life without ever seeing their children. It cannot be a learned element of the mind – something one can get from his or her parents – as neither my mom or my dad ever gave me parental advice regarding what to do if I ever have a child when I wasn’t ready. My mom used to tell me not to lie or steal; Dad would say to stop making excuses for the bad things I did. I learned these values from them quite well and they have made me a functional individual who’s never going to end up in prison, but they do nothing in terms of explaining that little voice I would hear in my head each night once my daughter was born. The ability to judge right from wrong is one thing … but the tendency for the wrong I’ve done to haunt me as I lay in my bed is unexplainable in psychology and all of biology.
And that’s how I know there is a God up there watching over all of us. There is simply no other explanation for the voices in my head which led me back to her.
When I finally did meet her in May 2007, I fell in love upon seeing her. I recognized her a few hundred yards away and in a crowd of other children – she just looked at me like she was wondering why it had taken so long. It turned out all those questions that wouldn’t escape my mind the previous two years were answered in the best way possible. She is beautiful, healthy, bright, inquisitive, wonderful, and being taken care of as aptly and properly as a child would ever need. She is that missing link in the chain of my life, the one that enables me to move forward.
I laugh these days when I think about it all … not in a jubilant manner, but in one that says it’s the only thing I can do. Moving backwards in time is not an option; we only have the present and the future. Even after meeting and seeing her on a regular basis, it’s hard not to think about how lucky I am to have this opportunity to complete her life as well.
I still hear her say Daddy in my dreams just like she did before. EXACLTY like it – as if was a message from a higher power letting her make a long distance phone call. The difference now, though, is that I get to hear her when I’m awake as well.
What Earthly power could make such a thing be true? What science explains such intuition? What branch of philosophy can provide the answer?
I sincerely hope she gets to know God too.