Sunday, June 15, 2008

One Day, You Will Be Gone

Hey Dad,

I would ask, how have you been...but that seems sort of fake and superficial, so I won't. Besides, Patty keeps me up to date on you (although I know you two don't talk more than a handful of times a year).

It's Father's Day which I'm sure you know. And typically, daughters spend the day with their fathers, but that's something you and I haven't done for about 16 years now. Maybe longer. Maybe shorter. Honestly, I've lost track of time.

A long time ago, I let go of the anger. Sometimes though, sadness and 'what-if' kind of thoughts, make their way to my consciousness. Like today. You know - Father's Day.

It's been really tough growing up without my father in my life - or at least the one I deserved to have in my life. I wouldn't wish my father (the one I grew up with) on anyone yet in some strange, bizarre way, I have a lot to thank you for.

I found someone who is the complete opposite of you. I'm never afraid of him. I know that he'll always love me. And the best thing in the world - he's possibly the best father that's ever walked the face of the earth.

I'm professionally successful. People respect me - my work ethic - my business decisions.

I'm educated. I have a master's degree. I almost went the distance on my doctorate but then realized that I was only going there to prove something to the people who left a hole in my heart.

I'm self-sufficient. I've never been on welfare, homeless, or out of work for any major length of period. I've always landed on my feet - regardless of what has been thrown my way.

I'm lucky. I have my sister Patty who is awesome and even though we are nothing alike, she understands me and does not judge me - no matter what. That kind of unconditional love is hard to come by in what remains of - this family - what was - your family.

Dad, one day, you will be gone. There won't be any more time left. There won't be tomorrows or next weeks or birthdays or holidays in which you can reconsider your relationship with us. It's all up to you dad. Ball is in your court.

Only Time - Enya


Joe said...

Wow. This was so personal that I don't even feel as though I have the right to comment - but I sat here reading this over and over and couldn't help but be moved. I immediately thought of the relationship that I have with my daughter, Tammy (the oft-mentioned Tammy in my blog) and how she called me at 12:01am from Florida to wish me a happy Father's Day ... and as happy as that made me feel, your posting makes me realize how BLESSED I am. Thank you .. for sharing something so personal in such a beautiful way ... and thank you for enhancing my own appreciation of my relationship with her.

Pattycake1102 said...

Who needs a hug?!?!? Well, sista, I guess I've learn to accept that dad has made his own personal choices, as have we. Who has to live with the choices you make?? Can I get an amen??!! There will always be more regret on his end than ours. Remember, children don't ask to be brought into the world, it's dumb luck of ignorant people who get to have them!! Really, God should put a stop to ignorance!

Charlotte said...


I can really relate to how you feel about your father.

I guess I grew up in what today is called a "dysfunctional" family. I didn't help matters any because I was born with dislocated hips. And back in the late '40s and early '50s, there wasn't a lot that could be done for me - no modern techniques and materials.

I had both knees operated on when I was 4 and spent about 10 months in a body cast. That didn't work, so when I was 5 I had surgery on my right hip and received the "gift" of a stainless steel pin. The left hip was popped back into place. And yes, another 8-10 months in a body cast.

My mother suffered from schizophrenia, and my condition didn't help her. She tried to kill herself when I was 12 and my brother was 10 1/2.

My father was, well, let's say that in today's world of protecting children, he would have sat in jail for the rest of his life.

My father was cruel mentally and emotionally to my mother. In those days, the treatment of choice for schizophrenia was insulin shock. Mom spent 6 months in Richmond at one point, which if you look at the history of mental institutions in Indiana, was pretty much saying you didn't have much hope.

It took me years and many disastrous decisions and poor choices to finally get myself together - at least I feel better about myself now than I ever have in my entire life.

I am not sure how you will feel when your father dies, but I will tell you, I did not shed a tear for my father. He was cruel (not physically), uncaring, warped, and selfish. Instead, I shed tears for what you mentioned - the kind of father I should have had.

When my father died, it was like a monkey had been lifted from my back. My mother died in 1998, and I felt that same sense of release, although not quite as strongly.

ida said...

sometimes i think my daughter has/had it easier then i. she never has gotten to know her father. that was her fathers choice. my dad was something else. he lied to me, my mom and to the world in general. they never did get a divorce. but the talk of it was abound in my home. sigh. dad was dad what more can i say. we dont pick our parents, but for some strange reason God doesnt give us anymore then what we can handle. God bless.