Growing up without a dad has been, by far, the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have problems all year long, but this is one of the toughest times for me. Father’s Day. I am grown, nearly 30, with two kids of my own, and married into what I consider the closest, loving, and caring family in the world. You would think after dealing with this twenty something years, it would be easier. But it’s not. I sit back, and see all of the dads in this family. How they love on their kids, how they spend time with their kids, how they love and appreciate family. How they work hard, and nothing in this world will take them from their wives and kids. And I sit around in a kind of jealousy, I guess. I wished you would have been there for me. I wish you were here for me now. I wished you loved me like these dads I’m surrounded by loves their children. I wished you had that love, that no matter what, nothing would tear us apart. But you didn’t. You obviously were, and still are, so self-centered. You needed drugs, alcohol, and other women instead of us. Mom did the best she could raising us. She was disabled, which you knew, but you chose not to care. She had extreme migraines. Migraines that struck her almost every single day of her life. You chose not to care. You chose to be selfish and leave. Your need for a high, your need to be drunk, and your need for different women was greater than the love you had for your wife and children. Instead of helping her, and loving us, you chose to leave. You chose to abandon us. We were only 6 and 1 when you decided to leave. And I remember it as if it was yesterday. You did not call for the longest. Then we would get random cards, then random visits. And for a couple years, you started coming to get us every other weekend like you were supposed to. I had hope. I was happy. I thought everything would would go back to normal, and you would be there. But, it ended. You married again. You had 2 additional kids, and forgot about us. You let your new wife mistreat us. You let her threaten to kill us in a rage. The last time you ever came and got us for your weekend, you and her got into a fight. She took her 2 kids, along with the 2 you and her had together to the car, and came back and looked me in the face, and said “you better watch out. While you are sleeping I am going to burn this house down with the three of you in here and kill you all.” She hated us. You took us home, and never came back for your weekend. You didn’t take up for us. You didn’t try. You chose her. You chose that life over us. We were only kids. Helpless, innocent kids. And it was then you disappeared. Again. I reached out to you again in high school. We had only spotty conversations. Still, you didn’t care to see us. I invited you to my high school graduation. To my surprise, you came. I saw you, out of everyone in the crowd. I briefly got to talk to you, then you turned, and went into the night. Again, I tried to have a relationship with you. I tried to be close to you. I needed you. You abandoned me. I quit trying to call, when you had your step-daughter call and cuss at me. I took that as my sign to just stop. So I did. Years went by, nothing. I got married. Nothing. I saw you twice. I stoped and smiled. Standing in your path, and you looked me in my eyes, and walked right past me. Twice. I had my two kids. Your grandchildren. I tried to reach out to you on Facebook when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Nothing. Again, you chose to live your life without me.
Recently, you reached out to my brother, your other son. You looked him up, and reached out to him. He text me. He was so hopeful. He needed you, too. But you did to him what you did to me all those years as well. You and him text almost all day he said. He gave you my number, then he text me and told me he had. I was so excited, and nervous. In my mind I thought, “this is it. This is my chance. We are going to fix this.” Every time my phone dinged with a notification, I jumped immediately for my phone, as I just knew it was going to be you. I knew you would text me, and we would pick up where we left off, and have a relationship. I began to picture my kids sitting on your lap telling you stories, I began to imagine you playing kickball in the front yard with my kids, I imagined telling my kids all about grandpa and listen to their excitement when told we would be going to your house. I imagined hugging you. Giving you the biggest hug possible because I missed you terribly over the years. I imagined being able to text you every single day. I imagined being able to introduce you to this big, loving family I am now a part of. I imagined inviting you to church with us. I imagined having a life with you in it. But you never called. My hope began to fade, as hours went by. Hours turned to days, and days turned to weeks. Nothing from you. You had my phone number, a way to contact me. But again, like the many times before. You chose not to. My heart, once again, shattered into a million pieces. I had been praying for answers. Praying for closure. Praying for my next steps. How to deal with this pain. This piece of me that is missing. This is not the answer I expected.
You told my brother that you would not reach out to me, and wanted nothing to do with me because you are mad at me. Mad at me? What did I do? I tried to reach out to you. For several years now. And nothing. When I had your number I tried to call. I tried to text. With no response. I tried to reach out on Facebook. Nothing. I tried to reach out to you through one person you would talk to, and this is the response I got. My response is simply this: You Chose This. You chose to abandon me as a child. You chose to let a grown woman threaten to kill me as a child. You chose to no defend me, a helpless and innocent child. You chose to not come back. You chose to let others call and cuss me as a child. You chose to cut contact. You chose to not reply. You chose to ignore me and my numerous attempts to reconnect. You chose to do drugs instead of raising me. You chose to be a drunk instead of raising me. You chose to be a lover of other women instead of caring for your family and loving me. You chose to be selfish. You chose a life without me. And your answer is you are mad at me. Everything is always everyone else’s fault.
I have been through hours of therapy. I have prayed. I have done all I know to do. Everything in my power to deal with the pain. To deal with the loss. But I am convinced as long as I live, there will be a hole. A piece that is missing. Unanswered questions. I have chose to love you in spite of what you have done. I have chosen to forgive you. I have chose to put it in the hands of my true Father. He has always been there. He wipes my tears, he has never left me. He has been my very best friend. He has been everything I have ever needed. And I know He is master of the universe, and He loves me unconditionally, and He can fix this. And I will pray until the day I die that somehow He will.
In all of this, I am thankful for a husband who is caring. Who is the best father I could imagine. He is one of those I said earlier that has that certain love that will never end. He puts them first. He selflessly works day in and day out so they can, not only have what they need, but everything they want too. I never doubt the love he has for us. He proves it every single day.
After all these years, I’m not mad at you.
I love you as much as I did as a kid. I love you as if you have never wronged me. If you came to my door now, I would welcome you with arms open wide. If you called me tomorrow I would talk to you as if nothing ever happened. You are my dad, and no matter what I love you. And still, at 28, I need you. I want you. I want you to be a part of my life. A part of OUR life.