Well. Here we are again at yet another Father's Day. It has been three years and two months since you announced you would be remarrying. I'm sure you expected that surely I, of the four daughters, would be thrilled for you. After all, I was always your special girl, the one bent backward to make sure you felt loved and accepted. An impossible task.
Look, I know your dad died when you were young. I know that damages a person in unbelievable ways. But I also know there exist fatherless men who find ways to be more to their own children, rather than less. I also believe, as parents, it is our job to heal our pasts, for our children's sake.
When I took my space, I was horrified knowing that you would decide for yourself why I was rejecting you, as opposed to asking or even wanting to know why. Your perception would be what it always has been: my choice was fueled by my selfish inability to accept your remarriage and as I would not want you spending your twilight years with a loving companion. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was, and still am, relieved to give her the burden. That burden is you.
Your flawed logic dictates you are the most important - nay the ONLY - person who exists in the universe. Newsflash: We are, none of us, actors in each other's dramas. We are living, breathing individuals, with feelings, and possibly families, of our own. Each of us deserves the respect of those we choose to surround ourselves with.
Your history speaks for you, but you are unwilling to cast a critical eye on a single one of your own choices.
In this case, you sent my sisters and I an email to announce your intention to marry a woman you'd never before mentioned. Dad, we spoke every day, as was your need. You'd email me poems and meanderings, but never one mention of a girlfriend. Then it arrived: an email that asked for me to be happy for you in one sentence. In the next, you announced we would be unable to speak for the next four days while you attended a silent meditation retreat.
When that email arrived, I was horribly ill. Did you know that? I'd been suffering the worst case of strep throat my doctor had ever seen for well over a month. My baby was also very sick. I was still handling the maternal responsibilities of running to and from school three times a day to drop/pick up children.
On that particular Thursday, I had nothing left for your bullshit and so, as I read that email, something inside of me broke. I could no longer bring myself to care for you, or about you. After 41 years of your carelessness, you bludgeoned the last vestige of my will.
I could go on and on about the crap ways you've treated your family over the past fifty years ... but why bother? You are nothing to me because you have given me nothing.
I am not writing this letter to you, dear Dad, because you will read it and paint me the unstable one. But by not looking for what I can't have from you, I get better and stronger each year. I have a family, and especially a man, who see me.
Tomorrow, I will celebrate Father's Day by honouring the fathers that my children's father, and their other grandfather (also fatherless), have chosen to be.