I was five years old the last time I saw my Dad.
That’s an amazing sentence to write.
I don’t have many clear memories of him but I do remember the last time I saw him.
He picked me up to go to a theme park for my birthday.
We were late and the theme park was closed so we went to McDonald’s.
All I have left is speculation after that.
A few years ago, I decided I need closure on this chapter of my life, so I began to search.
Many times I decided to look for him but I always lost the nerve.
Becoming a father made me realize I needed to follow this through.
I had many questions at the beginning and most of them started with “Why?”
The hardest one was ‘Why didn’t he maintain contact?’
This mystery has given me many sleepless nights and is a gnawing hole in my heart.
Every time I see a TV show or news story about a family being reunited, I wondered if I would ever be reunited with my Dad.
I started with what I knew about my Dad.
His full name is Michael Peter Murphy and he was born and raised in Ontario.
In the early 1970s he moved to Kelowna and worked as a morning show host at CKOV-AM.
At some point, he loved my Mom enough to marry her and I was born shortly after.
I have quite a few pictures of my Dad holding me, feeding me and generally being a good father.
We lived in Kelowna for a time and then Kamloops, where he was in a local TV show for kids.
Things didn’t work out for my Mom and Michael, they separated and eventually divorced.
That’s where the details got sketchy.
I was able to piece together that he moved to Regina and took a job at a local radio station.
He met and married another woman and built a life.
Then I discovered the worst possible news.
My dad passed away in 2005.
So much for closure.
Looking back now, I don’t know that getting closure would have been realistic. I don’t think closure is a real thing.
That’s the thing with life, everything that happens to us makes us who we are.
Right or wrong. We are shaped by our past.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad and knowing what I do now doesn’t change that fact.
I really enjoy being a father and my past influences how I parent.
I want to be there for my son in a way that wasn’t my reality.
I can’t imagine leaving him behind and not being involved in his life.
My dad made a choice when I was five.
While I may not know why, I do know that I would not be able to make the same choice.
Rob Murphy is the sales manager at the Summerland Review.