April 20, 2010

Dear Dad

I cried tonight, after I talked to you on the phone. In person I would say, "don't worry, I'm fine," but I know I'm anything but. You only know half of my life, and make up the rest, not giving me a chance to prove myself. In your eyes I am a selfish stranger, a whining kid who doesn't know respect and gratitude. I was...ten years ago--five years ago. However, you don't know me now.

You always laugh awkwardly, like you don't know what to say to me. I am your daughter. I will always be your daughter. We can talk about anything. I wanted to talk about my job, school, homework, Jared, visiting you, and laugh without constraint or nervous pauses. However, when I talk to you there seems to be a wall, that no matter how happy I am, you always seem busy and distant. Three hours and two thousand miles may separate us physically, but the only thing that keeps me from loving you is you.

Mom has told me stories about you before the divorce. Even though she could say very degrading things about you, she hasn't, only that you tend to be childish and irresponsible. However, the only person who can be my Dad is you, I call you 'Dad' and no one else. I hear how you used to sleep by my crib when I was a sick colic baby. I've seen the pictures of us reading magazines together before I ever could really read. As a child I remember you coming home from your construction job and letting me and Jared play with some tube-shaped cardboard reinforcement, rolling around the backyard and getting dizzy. Even though you were always fuzzy in my memory because you worked every day, you created a place in my heart that will never be replaced.

I am crying as I write this letter you'll probably never get.

Mom raised me to be strong and not cry in public. She has learned, through trial and error, how to respond to my many moods and tantrums, picking up on the signs. As I grow, she grows too, more knowledgeable on how to deal with me. That is the bond between a parent and their child. Instead of seeing me as a spoiled brat, try to correct it by teaching me. You never really took time to teach me anything, Dad. You always criticized and laughed. You never really took me seriously.

I love you, and I'll love you until I die. But it hurts. Our phone conversations happen almost once every year, and last three minutes. What am I to you? How do you see me? Do you know my dreams, opinions (because I'm very opinionated), or philosophies? When you hear my voice, older and wiser by a year, aren't you curious about what has happened up until then? Do you wonder as many things about me as I do about you? Or am I just a nuisance?

Remember last Christmas? I said you didn't have to buy me presents not only because of your money problems, but because you have never really given me the one present I've always wanted since eleven years ago, when you disappeared out of my life. Your love. I love you Dad. Please don't let me go so easily next time.

Your Daughter Forever,


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