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I Finally Met My Dad – The Good Men Project

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January 24, 2023 by Leave a Comment
 
It’s Wednesday afternoon. So normally, I’m shirtless and barefoot.
Don’t judge me! I’m just 17 years old, and it’s hot in Haiti.
It’s 2007 — an uneventful year in Haiti. We used to live in a house surrounded by sugar cane fields.
My mom, myself, and my little brother — who at the time was just 7 years old — all lived together.
We lived in a place called “Carrefour-Croix” which is translated as “Cross Crossroad”.
This place was as Haitian as can be — with lots of voodoo practitioners and a well-known traditional street band.
I had one routine:
 
But this one Wednesday afternoon was different. Here’s how…
What happened?
My dad and my mom had been separated for 14 years. I was just 3 when my dad left the house. I’ve told the story here:
Since then, I had never talked to him, heard of him, or seen him for that matter. However, I’ve seen photos of him. He was tall, light-skinned, and handsome — and he wouldn’t let you forget about it.
I was standing on the patio when all of a sudden, I saw someone that looked exactly like him.
I was so confused — and in a blink of an eye, he was right in front of me.
Without saying “hello”, he roared, “Where is Luciano?”.
One thing to remember is that this guy had never seen me before — and he didn’t know anything about me for 14 years.
He didn’t take any picture with him when he left — not that this would have helped him recognize me in any way.
But mom had said that he hated me because she left him. Dad’s logic was that,
If you hate me, I’m going to hate what you love the most
Mom also said that he tried to harm me through voodoo — but that’s another story.
“It’s me, I’m Luciano”— I answered timidly. And then he proceeded to ask me where mom was at.
“Inside”, I said, pointing to her sitting on the couch.
“I’m your father, Anglade”, he said, smiling.
He quickly greeted my mom, who had an intense look on her face.
“Wow! You’ve finally decided to show up” — she said in the most disappointing tone you could have imagined.
“You told me you didn’t need me”, my dad replied
“But, he’s still your son, isn’t he”, my mom rebutted
They were screaming at each other as if I wasn’t there. And I was too timid to chip in.
And at that moment, I remember thinking to myself,
Now I understand why they aren’t together — I mean, they really do not get along, do they?
My impression of my dad
I was left with a sense that my dad came to see me for his own sake.
One of my uncles would constantly rebuke him for not showing up — and for abandoning me all those years. My uncle would talk to me about that whenever I saw him in the streets.
My dad would spend the rest of the time bragging about his achievements — how he was living a good life in the US and what his plans were for the future.
He bragged about how much land he owned. At the time, he owned more land in his town than anyone else.
Oh! Sweet, sweet land! My dad loved properties…
My mom said that my dad hired an old lady.
He then went to the land commissioner and made her sign as his mom, so he would hold on to all the land when my grandmother dies.
After talking about how much land he owned, he started talking about how much money he had.
I remember my dad waiving a $100 bill in front of us on one hand and a chunk of Haitian money on the other. He said that Haitian money was garbage — and that it smelled like poop.
My mom snatched the $100 bill out of his hand and put it in her purse 😆. He laughed it off.
What happened next?
My dad went on to promise me everything on earth. He said that he was in a better place right now — and that he was willing to make up for those 14 years without me.
I remembered being obviously excited about that. My mom looked at me and said in front of my father, “He’s probably lying”.
“No! This is exactly what I don’t like about you” — answered my dad.
Just as they were getting ready for another shouting match, entered grandma, who politely greeted my dad as the sweet lady that she always was.
My dad talked to her for a while — and promised us that he would come days after he’d left.
He never came back. Surprise! Surprise!
He then called months after he left for the US — explaining that some things came up and couldn’t make it.
My other siblings
My dad loves women — this is not a secret. But apparently, he also loves having kids.
One thing that my dad didn’t lie about is the fact that he’s seen as a “king” in his hometown. He had invested a lot into buying properties all around. He would then pay people to grow food on those properties and sell them to the peasants.
I heard stories about my dad — and how he had plenty of other children in that town with different women.
My uncle said that he had one beautiful daughter — and about 4 to 5 sons. I would definitely love to meet them.
Now — that I left Haiti, the chances that I would meet them are slim. I hope that he takes care of them and that he treats them way better than he ever treated me.
Final thoughts
I’m glad I got to meet him and that I had that first—hand experience with him. It was also telling the way he interacted with my mother that day. I got to witness the dynamics of their relationship.
Before that, I had solely relied on my mom’s account of things.

This post was previously published on medium.com.
***

Photo credit:Illustration created by the author
 
Filed Under: Families, Featured Content
My name is Luciano Latouche. I’ve been a writer on medium for about a year. I’d love to publish on the subject of love and relationships.
Follow me on Medium:
medium.com/@luciano.latouche


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