You may not have been there for me while I was growing up. Other parents manage to be around for their kid even if their marriage falls apart. But I know now, that is not how you work. You had to get away. Start a new life. I get it.
You may not have been an active part of my life as a child and teenager, but you always sent me birthday cards, usually with some money, and it was always appreciated. I’d buy myself fun things. Pretty things, and pretend that my dad had picked them out for me.
You may not have been there to help with homework and to put the fear of father into my boyfriends, but you always sent christmas cards with more money, and sometimes you’d call.
And once every couple years you’d have me come to stay with you and your new family. That gave me the opportunity to see you being a father to other children. I would have felt jealous except that it never lasted long, and then you’d leave them too and start the process all over again.
You came to my high school graduation. You came to my wedding, so I can’t complain. But it was the birth of your oldest granddaughter that (I thought) finally caught your heart.
From the time my oldest daughter was born I saw more of you than I had put together in the rest of my life. Then the second granddaughter came and you fell even deeper. You came to their recitals. You came to their functions. You didnt just send cards you brought them gifts. We shared holidays and you had us down for afternoons at your house or out on your boat. We went on cruises together, all of us, and over the years you became an integral part of your granddaughters lives.
I’ll grant you, seeing them so involved in their lives could sting a bit as I watched you interact with them in a way I never got to experience. What a cool dad you would have been!
Of course you left again. That was, as I understand it now, inevitable. This time you didn’t leave just one little girl. You left me AND my daughters. You left after they had come to think that they could depend on you to always be there for them. You left after I thought you would always be there for me.
You left yet another awesome woman who had devoted her life to being there for you.
I could be hurt. I should be hurt. I would be justified in hating you. But you know what? I don’t hate you. I cant. I understand now that it isnt about me. It isnt even about your grandaughters. It isnt even about your relationships with women. Its YOU.
There is something deep inside of you that doesnt allow you to get too close to anyone on an emotional level. Something that doesnt allow you to form any sort of attachment that could hold you back or pin you down.
And this fathers day, I want you to know that in spite of everything, I love you. You gave me life. Because of you I get to see the wonders of life and explore the mysteries of love. You made it possible for my awesome daughters to come into existence. And for this, I thank you.
You have your own demons to battle with and are doing that as best you know how. And for that I applaud you.
And even though the chances of your ever seeing this are slim to none, know that no matter where you go, no matter what you do, you are my father and I love you. I may not be happy with the choices you’ve made, but they were your choices, not mine.
I choose to be here for you if you ever need me. I choose to stay in contact with you no matter how far away you run.
I choose to love you. For always.
Happy Father’s Day.