In early 1978, I met the woman who would later that year become my second wife, and her two-year old daughter. The details are unimportant, but the relationship that I split up is the point of this story.
Sue was previously married to a local boy from Sinclairville, Ontario. When he went to study art at university, their marriage disintegrated. She then caught the eye of a family business associate.
As these things do, one thing led to another, and Amy was eventually born. (This is the abbreviated version.)
Then Sue and Amy moved to St Catharines, from Hamilton.
I guess the term, ‘Out of sight, out of mind” is applicable here. Sue was on social assistance (known as Mother’s Allowance in those days), as a single mother with a small child. Amy’s father would visit when he could. My sense was that it wasn’t often.
When Sue and I met, she must have been feeling in need of company. We started a relationship, and then I moved in, the day before Amy’s second birthday.
Amy’s father obviously hadn’t been told of this new arrangement, so he must have been a bit surprised, to say the least, when he came around to say ‘hi’, only to find a new man in their lives.
That First and Only Meeting
We said ‘hello’ and acknowledged each other’s presence. Then I went into the apartment living room, while Sue and he retired to the kitchen. As far as I am aware, there were no raised voices or hurt feelings.
About half an hour later, he went down the hall, to say ‘goodbye’ to Amy who was in her crib. It took a few minutes and then he left the building.
I went down the hall to ensure that everything was alright. Nothing was disturbed in either Amy’s bedroom or ours, but the utility room seemed different, somehow.
When I went in, the first thing I noticed was that my baseball bat wasn’t in the far corner as usual: it was propped beside the door frame. What?! Did he move it? Why?
Then the penny dropped: he had contemplated using it on me!
Amy’s father has been the source of many an interesting thought over the years. But what annoys me most about him is that he won’t acknowledge paternity with her. She is basically cut off from contact with him.
Because there were other children, with different mothers, I can only surmise that the fault is mine somewhat. I stole his ‘family’ and they must suffer the consequences.
Either that, or he just couldn’t really care less.
But my part in this story is to acknowledge the role that I played, and to forgive us both.