Friday, April 04, 2014

Written in 2009 and edited...
Dear Daddy,  

I knew one day I would be writing this letter to you, but I figured it would be when someone told me you had died or something.  Of course, who would know to contact me?  You haven’t recognized my existence since before my mother died, that has been over 20 years ago.  Well, since I don’t know if you are dead or alive, I decided I needed to do some cleansing because in case you forgot, I will turn 40 on September 10th.  You weren’t there for my birth, so I know you would never be there for the milestones and there have been plenty.

I wish I could say I hate you, but I don’t.  I am indifferent to you at this point in my life.  However, the pain of realizing you could give a fuck is never an easy pill to swallow.  I so deserve better than you have ever given me.  I mean really my mother married a man she liked, but didn’t love to insure I wasn’t born a bastard.  You should feel like shit.  My mama returned home from DC pregnant by a man she described as “pretty and smooth talking.”  I have a picture of you and I guess her definition of pretty differs greatly from mine.  Lucky for you I am the spitting image of my mother, I am just not as gullible as she was.  Seriously, only thing I may have gotten from you maybe was my skin tone and this funky grade of hair. 

What I find so hard to believe is that you have never wondered one iota about the daughter you helped to conceive.  How does a man impregnate a woman he claims to care so much about and not once do right by that offspring?  How do/did you live with yourself knowing you never took responsibility for your daughter or even relish in her accomplishments.

Daddy, did you know that I have lived in Montgomery ever since my mother died?  Do you know how hard it was to live separately from my sister and brother?  Do you know I did it because at 14 years of age I was tired of being grown and always being responsible?  Why did you never contact me after she died?  The whole summer before she died you talked to her all the time.  Do you remember the time she tried to get me to talk to you on the phone and all I could do was cry?  My mama was silly sometimes.  How in the hell could she believe I would want to talk to you when we were damn near living in poverty?  I didn’t like you then, and I am indifferent now.

Let me tell you about all you have missed out on.  First of all, I hold three degrees.  My overachieving ass, because I was overcompensating for a lack of a father in my life.  Yeah, you can actually call me Dr. as in juris doctor.  I have no criminal background.  I write.  My passion is reading, which I do as I breathe.  I have a good government job and still work a part-time job, because I want to and because I don’t want to be poor again.  Don’t worry you are not a grandparent to any of my children.  No kids and it ain’t gonna happen.  I started and have maintained a book club for over 10 years, which means I know how to start and finish something.  I take care of the aunt who took care of me and my mother, because I want to and it is time somebody gives back to her.  For the most part I am happy with the way my life has turned out, but my life isn’t perfect.  I have sacrificed some things, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I have issues and they stem from not having some type of relationship with you.  YOU HURT ME AND THE PAIN LINGERS.  It is a struggle everyday to know that I am an orphan.  If my uncle and aunt had not allowed me to stay with them, I do not know what would have happened to me.  No female should ever have to wonder if her daddy loved her, she should know.  I’ll never know and that will be my burden to bear as long as I live.  Because of you I am so stringent in relationships.  I want things a certain way and any flaw or mess up means you are outta here with a quickness.  I am emotionally closed off from commitment.  I don’t want to commit, because I don’t trust folks.  I know why, do you?  I need to know what it feels to be the apple of my father’s eye, the beat of his soul and I need to know that he at least thought about me.  As I type this, I realize that the part that hurts most is I don’t think you ever cared one way or the other what happened to me.  It is too late for a relationship, plus you maybe dead by now, I don’t know.  I just wish just once you had been man enough to call me and tell me who my siblings are, because you know we could marry since we don’t know each other.  Maybe you told them, hell I don’t know.  I wish you had been man enough to just acknowledge me after my mother’s death.  You thought you were man enough to make this baby, but you weren’t man enough to be responsible for her.  I never asked to be here.  You helped to bring me here and yet you never thought it was important to be a father to me. 

My life is what God deemed for me.  He knew I was strong enough to make it without a father.  He knew I would make it when it was time for my mother to be an angel.  He made sure I had the foundation to make it on my own.  I can.  I do.  Daddy, my pain of not having you in my life has affected my life for so many years.  I have to let go of the childhood dreams of a man sweeping me in his arms and telling me everything is going to be alright.  It’s not going to happen.  You made a decision when I was born that you would never be a part of my life, and it is time for me to accept that.  Acceptance is a start, but I have to let go of the pain, hurt, and sadness of never having you in my life.  I have to free that childish soul so my adult life can continue to blossom.  I want to one day tell my husband that the hardest thing for me to do was to say goodbye to the man I have always deemed my sperm-donor.  I want him to know it is because of that release, I found him.  Daddy, I don’t hate you.  I don’t know you.  I never wanted anything from you, but acknowledgment and I couldn’t even get a sorry apology.  I never got anything from you but a voice on the phone telling me to tell my mother “your daddy” called.  Just for the record that shit never made me feel good, it made me dislike your voice even more.  My mama loved you for all the wrong reasons and my dreams of a relationship with you were for the right reason.  Unfortunately or fortunately, it will never pass.  If you are still alive, I forgive you for being a sorry excuse for a father and if you are dead, I still forgive you.  From this day forward, I have to bury this pain that has been hidden in my heart for so long.  I must let going of the girlish longing for my daddy.   If I was in your presence, I would hug you and touch my hand to your face and stand on my tippy toes and say, “Our non-relationship is truly now over. ”  And I would walk away, never looking back, kinda like you had already done to me.  I can’t really miss what I never had. 


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