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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dear Dad {part II}

Dear Dad,

I’ve waited a long time to hear from you, not knowing if that time would every really come. I’ve struggled with anger, sadness, and fear…always struggling alone. I’ve waited on you without knowing that I’ve been waiting or knowing why. I’ve waited without thinking about what it would be like to stop, without thinking about what I would do or say if the time ever came when I didn’t have to wait anymore.

I had a dream once that you had cancer and were going to die. There was no reconciliation and when I woke up I felt devastated and desperate. Last night I dreamed you had a heart attack and I couldn’t save you. Again, I woke up helpless. Two days ago I wrote a short story about a girl who was urgently waiting and didn’t know why…she only knew how important waiting was. The ironic thing is that everyone who read it thought I was talking about myself. I guess I was, only I didn’t know it at the time. Today…twelve months of silence has been broken.

I got your letter and I have to say that was taken off guard. To be honest I didn’t know if I would ever hear from you again and I was resolved to accept your decision. You mentioned that you didn’t know why we chose not to call or visit you anymore. You mentioned having an open door policy…but I wonder if in the twelve months of silence you tried to call or visit me. The night we saw you last, was less than unpleasant. There are no words to describe that night and I was only sorry that we could do nothing to rescue the children who had to stay. That is all I will say of it…This is not a time to point fingers or to cast judgment.

You spoke of your relationship (in your letter) with your own dad. The same questions you have about your father, have plagued me relentlessly, for as long as I remember. I have wondered over the past twelve months if you have noticed the length of time that has passed. I have wondered if you care or if you are secretly relieved not to have to deal with us anymore. I have wondered if you are well or if my dreams—my nightmares—are really my reality. I wonder still, if this letter is truly an attempt to build a relationship that has been broken and lost. Your dad doesn’t know you…and sadly, you don’t know me. You don’t know that I am a good writer or that I am passionate about nursing. You don’t that I’ve never missed an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or that my favorite meal is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. You weren’t there when I bought my first car or moved into my first place with my husband. You weren’t there when I had to have a breast ultrasound because we found what we thought was a mass.

My point Dad, is not to rub this in your face, but to show you the effect of your absence. The little things matter. The little moments matter, and people who care about each other, are there for the little moments. I don’t want to see you only on birthdays, Christmas, at weddings, and God-willing the delivery of my first child. That is not a relationship. I don’t want to see you only if I call or pursue you…a one-sided relationship is not a relationship either. I understand if you were not raised to show affection or to keep in touch, but I don’t accept that as an excuse.

I thank you for acknowledging and apologizing for the pain you have caused. I thank you for asking for forgiveness and I want you to know, that you have been forgiven already. The past twelve months have gone by not because we hate you and never want to see you again. The past twelve months have gone by because you have allowed them to. Please don’t ever allow that amount of time to pass before showing the people you love, that you love them—they won’t know otherwise.

3 Comments:

Blogger ♥ joleen ♥ said...

I was not expecting this post at all and you know have been brought to tears. It makes me wonder if I should run home to look in my own mailbox. Just the idea that I want to do that after this year makes me even more sad. I worry about making mom feel sad about our situation and I feel so blessed to have the relationship with her that we do. *sigh* I guess we'll see..
xo

4:38 PM  
Blogger aunt kim said...

BIG HUGS FROM THE McLEROY'S!!!!!

xoxoxo

7:38 PM  
Blogger mrsskeels said...

To both of my girls, don't worry about making me sad....your dad does that, not you. It does break my heart that he has allowed life to be the way it is. I have talked, cried, yelled, prayed, and aguished over this since you were both little girls. The sad reality is that he has ALWAYS been this way and it will take great effort on his part to make it right. I learned with my own mother that you cannot change anything from the past nor can you make it go away. With great love and respect for one another, you can however, make a future together. Things sometimes can be tumultuous with Grandma and me, just like in any relationship, but we are committed to always showing each other respect and to work through the tough times with love. It works the same in marraige or in any relationship. You can have a relationship with your Dad, but Aimee, you are right, it takes both sides. One sided relationships never work. It's the thing we have been working on with Deana so hard lately. I don't think you'll find that letter, Joleen, as I doubt very seriously that he has your address. Aimee, I pray you mailed this letter. He needs to see it. As always, I will continue to hold you both up in prayer. God CAN fix this. You dad has to take responsibility first and ask HIM to help. This does not come easily for him. I love you both with all that I am. I'm so sorry you are going through this. Know that I am here for you and here WITH you always.

9:17 AM  

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