The Man I May Never Know
I’m sure after all this time, you might assume that I just want to tell you how much anger I have and to ask you endless questions, but since you “I don’t know”, I have answered these questions for you.
How can you be a father figure to someone else’s child, but not to your own? What made you want her, but you didn’t want us? It turns out, it’s probably not about me or him or her, it’s how you chose to fix the biggest mistakes of your life. I don’t mean us, we aren’t mistakes, I mean you and your choices during that time in your life. It’s your way of being able to undo what you have done or didn’t do and the same goes for your (step) grand-daughter. For this, I want to say that I am proud of you. I want you to know how proud I am, of you, that you learned how to be a dad and for that I can never be mad at you. Even though, I needed my daddy, you stepped in to be hers instead and her daughter gets to have a grandpa like you. Because you stepped out of my life, I had the privilege of knowing another man as my dad, just as your daughter now knows you.
I hope you don’t get angry that I made this public. As I am sure you know, you aren’t the easiest man to get a hold of. I don’t know where you live, your phone number, you won’t even open my messages, I barely even remember your voice…but I’ll never forget that little snicker followed by a half smile every time you laugh….because, I am you. I have your humor, your wit, your eyes, your smile, your strength, and your smarts. I’ll never be able to forget what it felt like at my 8th grade graduation when you wrapped your muscles around me, picked me up, and spun me in a circle or what every hug you have ever given me has felt like.
What I wonder, is do you know how many biological grandchildren you have? You have two grandsons, Michael is almost six and in Kindergarten, and Stetson is three. You have three granddaughters, Elizabeth is one, Hayleigh is one and if you ever get the privilege of meeting Hayleigh, it will break your heart because she looks so much like me that you’d probably feel 18 all over again. Then, there is Elliote “Ellie” who will be here around your birthday. Do you tell people about us? Do we exist in your life? Are you embarrassed? Not by us, because we are amazing human beings, but of your choices? You shouldn’t be.
I want you to know how highly I think of you, no matter your choices in life, I still put you on a pedestal no matter what anyone says. My mother has only ever built you up and told me what an incredible person you were and I am assuming, still are. Are you afraid to face me? Maybe you truly just wish we never existed, like I’ve been told your dad told you? If fear is what the case is, know that I accept you for all of your flaws, I forgive you for all your wrongs and all of your did-not’s. Do you want to know a sad wondering that I have always had: If I were to die before you, would you be there at my funeral? Could you look at my face in my open casket and have no regrets? When I took my last breath, would you have said all you ever needed to say to me to live the rest of your life without heavy shoulders? I’d be at yours in a heartbeat, give a eulogy and dig your grave with my bare hands if need be…but would you?
I also want you to realize, I never have wanted anything from you and I’ll never start. I didn’t call you when my husband attempted suicide. I didn’t call you when my husband abandoned me, 8 months pregnant, with no job, and left me homeless and without a vehicle. I never asked you for food when all I had left was sugar and ketchup. I didn’t ask for your help when I was thrown into door frames, pinned against a wall, or when I slept in my car at a park. I don’t need you to peel me off the sidewalk, I don’t need you to be my ATM, I don’t need your four wheels, and I don’t need your sympathy or empathy. I just simply would like for you to be apart of my life for dinners and parties and to share my happiness with you.
When I saw you two years ago, I saw life had caught up to you and it made me ache. For the first time in my life, my dad didn’t look 21 anymore. He had laugh lines in the corners of his eyes that he never had before, he had a couple of stray grey hairs above his ears, my dad was now human. I realized, at that moment, how much time I had missed out on your life and you on mine. In closing, please remember out of all the people in this heartless, time ravaging, and flaw-filled world, that no matter who you were, who you are, who you become, or any choice you could ever make, will I ever love you any less. I am one of the very, very few women in your life who will love you unconditionally and endlessly. Now, for the last time, I am throwing the ball back in your court. Will you keep it with no regret? Or will you play with all your heart?
I love you, daddy,