…Until yesterday, where I took the train to Odense to meet him.
My parents got divorced when I was three, due to my fathers alcohol and gambling problems. We lost our house in the suburbs because of it and we ended up with a debt that my mother spent years paying off. Their relationship went from bad to even worse, so my mother moved us to a secret location with help from the authorities. I remember very little of our time together with him and what I do remember is negative. I'm surprised that I can remember something from the age of three, but I guess that deep scars take longer to heal.
After some years my mom allowed him to see my siblings and I, but I was the only one who did. I saw him only for a day, about two times a year. I remember we always went to the Rosengård mall, where we practically did the same thing every time: Go to a toy store and then eat at the same place, over and over again. We did that for a few years but after a while it it kinda faded out... I don't remember why, it just did. With some years of no contact, I saw him shortly when I was 14 and then it just died out again, until I was 18 where he took the initiative to call me. I was a teenager and was busy skating and busy with not giving a shit about things... especially him. I felt that I didn't need him in my life and that he could fuck off. I think he felt it, because he stopped calling me.
Ten years passed by without me thinking about him, when about two weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that her father was very sick and didn't have that long to live. She loves him more than anything, so when I told her about my non-existing relationship with my father, she got upset. She said something to me, that made me think.
"Everybody needs a second chance, some need even more"
It made me think: What if he dies and I never got to see, if we could patch things up. I came to understand my friend’s point. There comes a time, where you have to be able to let go of things and forget, so you can forgive!
So I called my cousin the same night, who lives in Odense, where I know my father is still living. I asked him, if he could find some info about my father and if he could get his phone number as well. After some days he called me up and said "I got his number". I hung on to the phone number for some days, building up courage to call him. Think things over and make sure, that I was ready to talk to him and maybe even meet him. Before I called him I asked my cousin if he could go with me, because I wasn't sure if I was strong enough to do this on my own.
I finally pulled myself together and I called him up. He didn't pick up right away and he even slammed the phone on me, but I didn't give up, so I called again. He picked it up and I said:
"Hey dad, it's you're son calling you"
He got excited and screamed to his friends, that it was his son that was on the phone!
Our first phone call went so fast, that I forgot what we talked about!! We called each other back and forth and we agreed that I should go to Odense to see him. I realized I didn't have any pictures of him at all, so obviously I brought my camera with me!
In between of all this Copenhagen Fashion hell, I took a day off and went to Odense!
I learned a whole lot about my father, he was honest and admitted his mistakes and wrong doings to the family. He told me he was ashamed, but what happen happened and there is nothing he can do to correct the past.
My father now lives in Vollsmose in a three room apartment with two friends. He sleeps in the livingroom.
He told me upfront, that he still has some demons to fight, like he still can't let go of the bottle. It makes him forget the past, he told me.
I found out that my dad is 58 years old and that I have a grandma in Vietnam who is 101 years old!
I didn't know what to do with him, other than talk and find out more about his life, and what he has been doing all these years. But of course he had some plans and funny how I thought, he wanted us to go to The Rosengård mall to have something to eat... Something we always did when I was little, but I didn't care, at least he had some sort of a plan!
I found out he was 1 out of 8 sisters. I have two uncles living in Vietnam some family in the states and 5 has past away. Thats him on the picture with his sister. He was 8 when that picture was taken. I asked him, if he had any pictures of him and me together, he said yes, but he gave them to my grandma many years ago.
I had to think this through more than ones, if I wanted to share this with you or not. My friends thinks that, I am being to public and personally with this, but I came to a conclusion.
We all have our problems with whatever and many can relate to how it is to grow up in a broken home, or to have a parent or parents who has drinking problems. Problems that affects us throughout most of our lives. Some manage to ignore it and have a great life, some others fall in their parents footsteps and end up with the same problems. I'm lucky to have a strong mother who had good self control and raised me and my sister around those problems. I owe you everything and for the person you have made me become!
Mom I luv you!
(Photo taken by Michael Nguyen edited by me)
Before I said goodbye, he said;
"There are many days when I don't care about my life, having you back
gives me a reason to care again"
gives me a reason to care again"