It was a late winter’s night in 1993, you were staying with me for the weekend, there was a reason for this particular sleepover.
Mum and I had recently talked a lot about the urgency of finally discussing my sexuality with the kids. Now you were sixteen, the moment could no longer be avoided, you were to become the test monkey and your reaction would set the agenda for Annie and Kayla.
We had dinner together, just Dad and eldest daughter. I don’t think I was good company, I was haunted by the letter I had spent all afternoon composing. That letter was waiting back at the apartment to be given to you before you went to bed.
When in doubt, I would always take the “Cowards Way”, I could not imagine sitting with you and breaking the news, so I had put my “confession” down in writing.
A letter hopefully, full of love and emotion about what you meant to me, as well as breaking the news that your father was not who you had always thought he was.
I wish I had kept a copy of this letter, but I hope you have it stuffed away somewhere, probably in a shoebox. I bet there have been many times, when you wished you could just as easily stuff me back in a shoebox LOL.
We got home and I handed you the letter, together with strict instructions to not read it before you were in bed and to think about it overnight before we would discuss it in the morning.
I lay in my bed, there was no thought of sleep, my mind was working overtime, trying to fathom what you were thinking.
“Would my daughter hate me; would she turn her back on me” I was racked with fear.
People talk about the truth setting you free.
At that time, the truth was my judge, jury and potential executioner!
There was a quiet knock on my bedroom door, I opened it to see a teary eyed little girl standing there, clutching a bedraggled piece of paper.
“Dad, that is the most beautiful thing I have ever read”
The sense of relief I felt, is impossible to convey, I won’t even try to do it justice.
We cuddled and held each other tight, tears streaming down our faces, neither of us wanted to let go. Moments like this don’t happen too often in families, both of us seemed to instinctively recognise the poignancy and import of what we were experiencing.
I went back to bed and slept like an Angel, I hope you did the same.
Loving you has always been easy, loving you that night was the most exquisite thing I have ever done.
The tears are still streaming as I write this.