Recently, I watched a re-broadcast of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?. Kim Cattrell, the central figure in this episode helped to resolve the mystery of Kim’s grandfather, who had abandoned his wife and three children in 1938-39. He just left, one day and no one ever heard from him again. With a little help from the people of Ancestry, she discovered that he had moved not far away, married another woman , fathered 4 more children before he uprooted his second family and immigrated to another country. After he lived a good long life, he died, never acknowledged or divorced his first wife, nor his 3 children conceived in the first marriage. According to the broadcast, there was no indication to the 2nd wife there had ever been a first wife. If he felt it, he never showed any signs of remorse or regret. After the mystery was resolved, Kim went back home and the episode ended. For me it left me aching.
Why this episode is to haunting to me is the parallels between Kim Cattrell’s family story of abandonment and my own fathers abandonment before my birth. My father just walked away. I wonder what it would have been like to have had a father who cherished me. That is one ache I am not sure can ever go away.
The difference is, I have developed enough emotional skills to cope with the sense of not being valuable enough to claim. Low self-worth, I can work with, building self-esteem, a sense of competence, yes, I can work with them and not feel them drown me like before. And more importantly, I have felt cherished at times in my life, but not by my father. I savor those memories like nothing else.
- to hold dear; feel or show love for: to cherish one’s family
- to take good care of; protect; foster: to cherish one’s rights
- to cling to the idea or feeling of: to cherish a hope