A widower who vows to stay single after his wife’s death faces a heartbreaking blow when he learns he is not the father of their kids. He confides in his old father about his wife’s betrayal, totally unprepared for what he will discover next.
I often envied my grandfather. What a wonderful man he was! Of all the things I loved about him, I often wondered how he managed to raise such a beautiful family.
All his life, up until his last breath, he was loyal to my late grandma and never even looked at any other woman. He loved my dad, his only son, and was the happiest when I was born. I miss you, grandpa.
I was 17 when my grandpa, Raymond, died. I still remember that agonizing day. I was mourning beside his coffin. Suddenly, a weird thought flashed in my mind.
“Why can’t I live up to my grandpa’s views and raise an ideal family just like he did?” I asked myself.
Four years later, I fell in love and married the love of my life, Emma. I loved her so much, or was I blinded by her love?
It still haunts me to recall the day I found her diary and flipped over a secret chapter of her life — one with a brutal truth that would destroy the ideal family I struggled to build and make me hate the kids I raised for 12 freaking years…
“How did this happen? And Greg, what happened?” you might wonder.
Emma and I were married for four years until she fell ill and died shortly after we had our twins. Pneumonia, they said. I was heartbroken as I stood beside her coffin, holding our babies wrapped in little soft blankets. They wriggled in my arms, having no idea it was the most painful goodbye I had ever told their mom.
“I’m not your DADDY. Get out of my life. Leave me alone.”
I put my tots in the stroller because it was my turn to throw mud on Emma’s coffin. My heart felt heavy, and I cried. I did not care about those observing my ugly expressions. I look so bad when I whine.
I hurled a handful of earth on her casket and made a promise. “I’ll never let another woman take your place, darling. I’ll only live for our kids and never seek any other pleasure or comfort from another woman,” I vowed.
That’s how relationships and love work, right? If you genuinely love someone, you cannot move on with someone else so quickly, let alone even think about that. And I am a man of my word. But did I do something wrong in trusting Emma?
For the next 12 years, I devoted my time, energy, and love to raising my daughters, Chloe and Riley. Beautiful little girls they were. They always reminded me of their mother and inspired me with a unique meaning of fatherhood.
“Daddy this…daddy that…!” I just loved hearing their voices. They filled the hollowness my late wife left in my heart. They healed me, and they were my world. They were my everything.
I was ready to move heaven and earth to see that precious smile on their faces. I was prepared to do anything for my babies. “How can I ever live without them?” I often thought and sometimes even cried. I’m an emotional idiot, you see.
But why did I stumble upon my wife’s old diary in the attic that day? Could things have been the same in my life had I not seen it? Would I have still loved my daughters, assuming they were ‘mine,’ had I not flipped that particular page on Emma’s diary?
Why Emma? Why did you do this to me? What did I lack that compelled you to find love in another man? It still disgusts me to imagine what you did. How could you?
I could not hold back my tears after reading the part where she mentioned, “I liked him. He was much better than Greg in so many ways. He was handsome, and I could not resist him, and that one-night stand on the cruise still clings to my heart like fresh red roses….”
Really Emma? Was ‘he’ much better than me in so many ways that you dared to cheat on me, your husband who loved you like crazy and never thought about another woman except you? How could you break my heart like this?
The first thought that haunted me after reading my late wife’s diary was about my kids. Or rather, were they her affair partner’s kids? Who knew? I started hating my life that day. I wanted to throw up.
No, don’t tell me I misunderstood. She had penned it down in her handwriting that she hooked up with another man behind my back. How do you expect me not to believe that, especially when she revealed she was pregnant a month after returning?
How happy I was to hear that I would be a father. I pictured my grandpa, my father, and then me, all in a beautiful ‘ideal family’ portrait, just like I always wanted. Jesus, I was wrong.
I could not find peace or stop suspecting after reading that diary, so I immediately got a DNA paternity test on my kids, and the results did not surprise me—Chloe and Riley were not my children. They were living, breathing, laughing by-products of my wife’s affair.
What do you think I did? Forget their mother’s infidelity and accept them? Sorry, but I was not so forgiving and kind to them. They were not mine, and that’s the bitter truth. Day by day, I started venting my frustrations on them. I had no choice but to destroy the beautiful nest I had built.
“Daddy, look! I got first prize in the singing competition,” said Chole.
“Take us for a treat, daddy,” added Riley.
I usually took them to their favorite restaurant whenever we found the silliest reasons to celebrate. I loved them and never said no to them, but I just blew up at them that day, something I had never done before.
The girls were startled because they had never seen me so fierce. But I could no longer sugarcoat that I still loved them when I actually started hating them. That’s the truth, accept it or not. I hated having them around. It gave me goosebumps whenever they called me ‘daddy.’
“I’m not your DADDY! Get out of my life! Leave me alone!” I wanted to yell. The kids who I loved madly reminded me of their mother’s infidelity. I could no longer love or see them the same way again.
Day by day, I grew distant from them. I started coming home late, never dropped them at school, and hated sharing the same dining table with them. I could not handle it anymore and decided to leave them at their grandmother’s house.
“When will you be coming to take them back?” Emma’s mother asked me when I dropped off the kids.
“Come back for them? Really? That’s not going to happen. Take care of them and leave me alone. Here, read your beloved daughter’s love story when you find the time,” I told her and angrily gave her Emma’s diary.
I knew she would’ve read it and got the shock of her life. I was not bothered, and I returned home. But it was not over. I think fate was digging another deep pit of sorrow for me.
I sighed relief after getting rid of the children that were not mine. But for some reason, I was not peaceful. I felt weak, disturbed, and too old for my age. I was just 37, but it felt like the whole world’s stress was resting on my shoulders, mocking me.
At that painful stage, I knew only one person could help me overcome my grief—my father, David. I rode to meet him in the nursing home the next day. But I was unprepared for what I would unravel next.
It was a long, exhausting drive. My father lived in a nursing home on the outskirts of town. It was his wilful decision to go there. He said he wished to live in a calm environment that reminded him of my grandpa, and I agreed.
My father was sitting in his room, watching the birds from his window. “Greg, my boy! How are you?” He hugged me, laughing. But his laughter shrunk into an eerie silence after seeing me tearing up.
“Dad, I failed in life. I have been cheated on, and the kids I raised aren’t mine,” I cried on his lap.
My dad was puzzled and sat me down first. He comforted me and asked me what happened.
I told him everything—about the diary, Emma’s hookup on the cruise, and the consequences of her extramarital affair. I hurt me even more to narrate the dark shades of my marriage.
“She let me down, dad. I dreamed of raising a beautiful family like grandpa…like you… I worked hard for that joy. I build it so carefully and beautifully, like a nest. But she destroyed it,” I sobbed.
My father listened and patted me on my shoulder. He then asked me just one question that would turn my life upside down in seconds.
“Son, didn’t you dream of raising a family like your grandpa? Do you feel this is the ideal family you would like to have?” he asked me, sounding happy and not a bit sorry for the pain I was going through.
“Yes, dad,” I said.
“Then you have it already, son! I am your grandpa’s adopted son. He never drew differences between ‘biological’ and ‘adopted’ but loved me like his own instead!” said my father, shaking me to my senses.
“What?? Grandpa adopted you? But why didn’t he tell me?”
“Because he did not think it was necessary! You see, son, parents are not who give birth to us but who raise us and show us the path of righteousness and love. I may not be my dad’s blood, but that does not affect our relationship and love for each other.”
I was shaken, and the next second, my daughters’ innocent, angelic faces came to my mind. God, I had to do something before it was too late…Before they started to hate me. How could I have been so cruel?
Tears kept flowing from then on. What did I do to my daughters? They did nothing wrong and were naive about their mother’s mistake. I shouldn’t have hurt them.
I hugged my dad for opening my eyes and hurried to my mother-in-law’s house. I cried the entire ride and even slapped myself several times for abandoning those two innocent kids who loved me.
I pulled over and happily went to meet them. But my gut feeling ripped my joy apart, and my conscience started hitting back at me. “Will they forgive me and go home with me?” I asked myself, tearing up.
As soon as they saw me, my daughters ran to me and hugged me. “Daddy, you’re back! Let’s go home. We missed you,” they cried. Those were tears of joy, and seeing them cry made me sob like a kid who found his mother after getting lost in a crowd.
I had been out of my senses and could not forgive myself for trying to ruin their happiness. I took them home and immediately took them to their favorite holiday spot to compensate for their heartbreak. There, I realized it was time to break my promise to my late wife.
My daughters always told me they loved the oceans and wished to play with the waves. So there I was, sitting on the beach, watching my girls laughing out loud while being chased by the waves.
“I did it, grandpa!” I cried, watching the sunset. A soft, salty breeze brushed my cheek, and a seashell washed ashore at my feet. I took it as a positive sign from grandpa.
Then I was distracted by my tour guide, Linda, who was with my girls. I loved the way she handled my kids and made them happy. Yes, you’re guessing it right! I fell in love with Linda because the kids liked her, and I couldn’t turn them down when they asked me if I was ready to date her.
I know what you’re about to ask me. I had vowed to my late wife that I would stay single. Even she had promised to remain loyal to me when we got married. But did she keep her promise? Well, some promises are meant to be broken, and they are better that way.
What can we learn from this story?
- Parents are not those who give birth to us but those who raise us. Greg abandoned his daughters after discovering his late wife’s infidelity. He was not ready to father someone else’s children. However, he later realized that parenthood stems from love, not just physical connection or blood relation after his dad revealed that he was his grandpa’s adopted son.
- Do not vent your frustrations on your children. When Greg learned his daughters were not biologically his, he grew distant from them. He hated them and vented his frustrations on them, only to regret it later.