When I was 12 years old my father abandoned our family. Mami didn’t kick him out. Although we had moved out of state, she welcomed his visits with his children, and he did visit for a while. Until one cold, November day when he said, “I’ll see you next weekend,” but he didn’t show up or call. Not that weekend or the weekend after that or the weekend after that. I shut down. I pretended I didn’t care. I was 12, after all. What I didn’t realize then is that this was a pivotal moment that changed me forever. My father leaving left me with a deep-seated fear of abandonment and abandonment issues.