Warm greetings. I have been sorting out some old photographs. Pictures that had been left to gather dust. It was finally time to arrange them into photo albums. Looking through the photographs dredged up many memories. As I looked at them, I experienced a wide variety of emotions. It was painful, yet, at the same time, it was cleansing.
Amongst the chaotic collection of past memories, I came upon a set of photographs that impacted me in a profound, deeply moving way. For before my eyes were pictures of my little boy. The last pictures of Tristan before his Mother took him away to start a new life. How was I going to react?
I looked at them with fondness, for bitterness at what had happened, would have been negative and emotionally exhausting. So, instead I reflected upon how much I have tried to be a good, loving Father. That caring for him over the last six years has helped give me a sense of being needed. I embraced the challenge of raising my son. Despite the fact that I am ill, I do remain undaunted. I shall continue to try and provide him with a warm, safe environment. I stay focused on seeing all that can be positive.
Those times when he was hardly in my life were painful. Christmas was emotional agony. What really hurt were the Christmas cards that my former spouse sent me. "Merry Christmas" from my ex-wife, her husband, their son and Tristan. The pain from receiving those yearly cards is difficult to describe. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. Christmas was a day of solitude, a day that was spent alone.
With my inner-strength, I have moved on from those desperate times. Yes, I felt undermined and dismissed , but I will never give up. I think of all the amusing situations that occur. Ofcourse I embarrass him. It's in the 'Father's Rulebook'. I demonstrate to his mates just what a 'cool' old dude I am? "Your Dad's well ace Tristan!" The response from my son, somewhat predictable, I suppose, is jovial outrage. I mean, really, can a Dad be cool!? (hey watch me dance!).
My 'little boy' is becoming a man. The role I play in his life is slowly changing, slowly evolving. Tristan has had his own personal trauma to contend with. The pain of seeing Mum and Dad no longer together. The sadness of knowing that the rest of his family network are so far away in Vancouver.
Yet he appears to be strong, to be resilient, he is a remarkable lad. Oh there are moments when his 'guard' comes down. When he is so overwhelmed by it all and the tears stream down his face. It is during those heart-wrenching moments that I truly sense his pain. This makes me more determined to demonstrate just how much I love him. I will always be there to give him support, encouragement and reassurance. I must stay strong.
So for the last two days, I have been walking about with those cherished photos. I look at them now and I smile. I think back to the time when they were taken. Fondly remembering that this was when he first started School. I recall how all the girls used to chase him around the playground. "Oh Tristan has such beautiful eyelashes" they would scream. He was embarrassed but those girls were right.
Now it is time to put those pictures into a photo album. My mind revisits those magical moments. A photographic memory, how wonderful. It inspires me to continue towards a more positive life. I do this for both of us. My son, I dedicate this blog to you.