We all have letters we'd like to send, but know that we can't. A letter to someone we no longer have a relationship with, a letter to a family member or friend who has died, a letter to reclaim our power or our voice from an abuser. Letters where actual contact is just not possible.
Do you have a letter you can't send?
If so, send it to The Band
I have written this letter in pieces in my head at least once a week for the past ten years. I finally decided that it all needs to be said. I don't know if you will ever read this, but I really hope you do.
When you and mom divorced (finalized on my sixth birthday, awesome), you said that while things would change, you'd still be a part of our daily lives. Our house was sold, you moved into an apartment, and Mom, my sister, and I moved into grandma and grandpa's house.
We didn't see you for months.How do you explain to a four and six year old where their dad is?
I know that Mom struggled with this.Then, around Christmas, you showed up with presents. Of course, your two daughters forgave you immediately.
This went on for a couple years - it'd be months between visits. When I was 9, you told mom that you wanted to introduce us to your girlfriend. She'd encouraged you to play a bigger part in our lives so we started visiting you every other weekend. It was great until you two decided to get married.
Something changed in her. It seemed we were now in the way. She became somewhat emotionally abusive to me although not to my sister. She mocked me about my weight, even though she'd been extremely overweight as a teenager and I only had a few extra pounds that came off as I got involved in sports.
You two were married when I was 12. Soon after, she was pregnant and gave birth to a little boy.
That's when we were replaced. That's when you stopped making an effort. That's when you stopped fighting for us. I made excuses not to visit on the weekends, you didn't fight for us. You weren't the adult. I needed you to fight to be in our lives and you didn't. I was a 13-year old girl that needed her father.
By the time I was 16, we never saw you.
I could count on a card to show up in my mailbox on my birthday. You hand-delivered the card but never came to the door to wish me a happy birthday. The birthday cards continued until I was 20. Do you know that I still go to the mailbox on my birthday, close my eyes, and hope that card will be there? I'll be 30 this year, I've moved a number of times, and I know you don't have my address, but I still wish for that card to show up.
A lot of things have happened over the years. You showed up at the big things in our lives - high school graduations, college graduations, my graduate school graduation, weddings, funerals. But you never picked up the phone to ask how things were going.
The saying "karma is a bitch" came to mind. She'd been so horrible to me, I couldn't feel sorry for her right then. As her disease progressed, I felt sorry for her for other reasons. I felt sorry that she'd married you.
While she was wasting away in a nursing home, you were running around with other women. I understand that watching your spouse go through a horrible disease like that would be heart-wrenching. You stopped visiting her all together. As luck would have it, my grandfather ended up at the same nursing home. My sister and I probably saw her more than you did. She was in that nursing home for several years, deteriorating, and you didn't visit.
During that time, I gave birth to my son. You didn't even know I was pregnant - I'd asked my sister and Mom to not tell you. You didn't want to be in my life, why would you be in his? But, 10 days after he was born, my grandma died. You found out and showed up at the funeral home.
You met your grandson that day and promised that you wanted to change - you wanted to be in his life, you wanted to take him to baseball games. We saw you about two months later at your granddaughter's first birthday party.
Glutton for punishment, I invited you to his first birthday party. You didn't show up. He didn't know the difference but I was heartbroken. You would think that a woman in her late 20's could just get it through her head that you will never be there. But, I just can't. As many times as you break my heart, I keep coming back for more.
Step-mom died this past year. We went to the visitation and funeral. I almost had to laugh when the minister of your family church mentioned that he'd seen my sister and I at the nursing home more than our father. After the funeral you asked me if you could call me sometime. I told you that you could call me anytime.
I'm still waiting for that call.3 Comments