My mother told me that Val had a message for me. As I sat on the staircase, tears streaming down my face, he grasped the situation instantly. There were no outbursts; he maintained a stoic silence.

His footsteps echoed as he paced back and forth. As his only daughter at the age of eighteen, I could sense his thoughts – the fear that having a child would shatter my life.

His pacing eventually ceased, and he delivered a stark ultimatum: either leave the house or opt for an abortion. It dawned on me then that I would be facing this journey alone. I began saving a portion of each paycheck for necessities.

Yet, my post-birth plans remained uncertain. My father’s silence spoke volumes; there was no verbal communication, no eye contact – a continuation of his longstanding struggle to express emotions, possibly rooted in the loss of his mother during his infancy.

Following a period of pacing, my dad eventually uttered an ultimatum: either depart from the house or opt for an abortion. At that moment, it became clear to me that I would be navigating this journey on my own. I started setting aside funds from every paycheck to secure necessities.

However, my post-birth plans remained uncertain. My father’s silence was deafening; there was no communication, no eye contact—consistent with his historical difficulty in expressing emotions. His struggle might be traced back to the loss of his mother during infancy.

He remained completely silent. My mother just shook her head while watching him. However, during the five days I spent in the hospital after giving birth to my son, my father visited me every day.

He brought us meals and spent hours cradling my son. When I returned home, a note awaited me on my bed. I’ve only read it twice due to the overwhelming emotions it stirs. In it, he expressed remorse for his previous actions and reassured us that everything would be okay.

My son is now eight years old, and every time Father’s Day comes around at school, he brings artwork for Papa home. They are inseparable. Music is always playing.

My son showers Papa with hugs, kisses, and “I love you” messages. Papa reciprocates, but only to him. My son is his sole recipient.

Papa isn’t naturally affectionate, but that’s the way my son is. He expresses his emotions with honesty and transparency. His love will be accepted by Papa because he gives it freely and unconditionally.