A Story for Dad

Scrapbook
Scrapbook | Source

Introduction

I wrote this poem a few weeks ago when I was first thinking about Father's Day. Father's Day has always been a little rough for me. I don't really know how to celebrate it or how to approach the holiday because my dad was never around. I have been told that the last time I saw my dad I was 2 years old. I have never called this man dad - I always called him by his first name. I thought it was abnormal to call this man dad or daddy. I still do!

In this poem I am sitting with my dad for the first time since he left. He and I are looking through one of my scrapbooks so I can catch him up on the last 30 + years of my life. Everything starts out happy and positive and then I let my emotions get the best of me towards the end. I wrote this way because I am mostly over the hurt of being abandoned all those years ago but in the end I still have a lot of questions I'd like to ask. I'm not bitter about the whole "not having a dad thing" because I did end up with a wonderful father figure in my life. He raised me just like one of his own kids - he took care of me, he scolded me, he lectured me, he made sure I was happy and healthy and safe.



Hi Dad


Hi Dad, it's great to see you - come in and sit for a spell

These pictures I have in my scrapbook have a story to tell


Look here dad, do you remember this time?

No of course you don’t, so let me remind.


This picture right here is one I used to hold close

This was one of the photos I cherished the most.


We were swimming - I see I was only 'bout two

And in the background, look – right there is you.


I only know it is you because mom told me so

See, other than her I’d have no way to know.


Here’s another picture, one I know you’ve not seen

Did you notice my eyes changed from blue to green?


And this one right here is my fourth grade strings concert

Did you know I used to play my violin 'til my fingers hurt?


Violin
Violin | Source



Here’s the purple silk dress that in 1997 I wore to prom

It shimmered with sequins - I think I looked just like mom.


In this picture I had just gotten married outside under the trees

I don't know Dad, since my divorce its sorta hard to look at these.


Ah! But look here - a year later this angel came and made us three

Too bad we couldn't stay together, her dad and I, as a family.


Yes I later got remarried, that is my husband on that page

The little two children and my first get treated just the same.


He is a wonderful stepdad you don't even notice a difference

Heck, look there! My oldest daughter even looks like she could be his.


Cliffnote memories, that's right - we will look at just the best few

I wish this wasn't the only time I got to share my life with you.


Outdoor wedding
Outdoor wedding | Source



Lets see what else we can find in my photo book

Let's look at the other memory snapshots I took

The dog and the cat and a fish in there for show

Some family vacations you never got to know

Pictures in my scrapbook of family holidays and parties

It was really your loss that you had to miss out on these

The events that shaped who I am today and will be tomorrow

Are filled with happiness and that's not a memory you can borrow

You had a chance to be a part of these days and memories - no, I am not mad

The time has passed when you could have come - that decision not to be had

So I thank you for coming to look through my photobook of memories

I wish we had more time because you missed hundreds more just like these.


Family Vacation
Family Vacation | Source

More by this Author


Comments 64 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well my dear friend....look at this piece of work! Talk about a gut-wrencher! Had tears in my eyes early and often. No wonder I like you so much....you write from the heart, beautifully, full of passion.....well done Ardie! We have traveled a somewhat similar road, you and I, and look how great we both turned out! :)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

This is such a moving poem that has me reaching for kleenex. I am impressed that you don't hold onto anger and that you see how wonderful your life was, despite your birth father not being there. Your words are so powerful.


Haunty profile image

Haunty 4 years ago from Hungary

Another piece of heartbreak gracefully delivered. No one writes these quite like you, Ardie. :) Your dad doesn't know what he lost out on.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az.

This is awesome. I really need to spend as much time reading you as you do me. You are awesome.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Well expressed Ardie. I had a hard time reading this because I have not seen my daughter in 5+ years (Not by choice). Your wisdom in these words was touching .


myownlife profile image

myownlife 4 years ago from london

Awesome presentation, very much emotional, this presentation definitely drives everyone to emotion.Great job, Life is really ups and downs that we have to accept as natural calamities.


UnnamedHarald profile image

UnnamedHarald 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Your dad is the big loser because of his decision.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Touching and beautiful Ardie! I called my dad by his first name too. I spent some summers with him later on, so we did have a realtionship, but he was Charlie to me always.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

This is a thoughtful and heartfelt poem. Love it.

Voted up and beautiful, Joyce.


pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Indeed it is his loss. Evokes some very powerful emotions and reveals much about your tender nature. Awesome thanks


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Punch for punch this man oughtta have tears in his eyes and regrets. Too bad he doesn't know he has such a wonderful and beautiful daughter and terrific grandchildren. You know what I wish for you Ardie? That perhaps by some miracle this man who is your dad would get to see this and get in touch with you. Just to finally put this issue to rest. Who knows God does perform miracles.


mandypoole profile image

mandypoole 4 years ago from UK

Lovely poem, showing true emotion


jonmcclusk profile image

jonmcclusk 4 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

I couldn't imagine who wouldn't want a hand in raising one of the best people I've every had the pleasure of meeting. Your poem is straight from the soul and that's what makes it great.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

so, Ardie, you still haven't seen him since you were 2? All I can say is he missed out on a great person. What a great loss for him. Your poem is beautiful. So are you.


Kalmiya profile image

Kalmiya 4 years ago from North America

Thanks for your lovely poem Ardie; so heartfelt. It's hard to know why people make such decisions but you are thriving and on HubPages too!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

Victoria has already said almost all I was going to say. The opening was especially powerful I think. I am glad you had a wonderful father figure in your life.


EyesStraightAhead profile image

EyesStraightAhead 4 years ago from Florida, USA

Beautiful. I am speechless. (Does not happen often.)


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

(((Ardie))) those are hugs are surrounding you. I don't see this as a poem, more of a heartfelt message from a strong and brave soul. I offer a thank you for sharing while nodding my head that you were courageous and stood tall on that path of discovery, shared above. I say Bravo!

Pausing, sharing, I always thought of you as a complete equal, never considering our ages. I gave nary a thought to your perceptions. When ever I drop by looking to see how the little ones are and listening to your quiet words of wisdom with the younger hubbers a smile always crops up. I'm glad there is a Facebook seeing the baseball star's smile today. I bet it is pretty darn close to yours when that young.

If I had it, I would have paid a million bucks to listen to that 4th grade concert.

AFC

tim


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Ardie, I agree with tsmog. I don't see it as a poem. I hope it made you feel better for putting how you feel down on paper as it were.

This part where you say 'You had a chance to be a part of these days and memories - no, I am not mad' I would be hopping. That is why you are such a nice person. We have all gained from your help and encouragement, your Dad may never know what he has missed out on.

Thanks for such a great piece.


kelleyward 4 years ago

What a beautiful way to express how you feel. It's like you added words and thoughts to photos similar but yet different than scrapbooking. Loved it! Voted up and shared Kelley


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Wow Ardie - another thing we have in common:(. I never knew my biological dad - my mom left when I was about two - but I looked him up and called him last year. He was very nice, he was glad to hear from me. I told him about my life and then hung up the phone and never called him again. Now maybe he knows what that feels like eh? I don't feel bad about it either. I also did not give him my number or address.

I'm sorry but I loved your poem. I understand.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hiya Bill =) It makes me smile to hear you compare me to you…you are such an inspiration to so many people. I draw strength from your stories and I have faith in people again after reading your Hubs about the wonderful people who have touched your life…the human experience right? Thanks for coming in to this very personal poem. Sorry you got misty-eyed.

Minntonka – a twin! Im so jealous. I always wanted a twin sister :) I used to be angry that my birth dad wasn’t around. Or more like I was confused. I didn’t know what was wrong with me that would send him away. But then I grew a brain cell or two and realized it wasn’t me!! Thanks for reading.

Hello my friend Haunty =) thank you.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Jim ;) I’m only half as awesome as you! No, maybe we’re about the same. Either way I know YOU are a great Dad - and that makes you better than me any day.

OH! Look at the poem again in another day or two and you'll see an edit. Im gonna take out a line to make room for a line about the oldest kid's All-Star status.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Curiad, its sad about your daughter. Is there anything you can do legally to see her? I bet she wonders about you all the time

Hello myownlife, thank you so much for liking my poem. This one was a little more difficult to write so Im glad its been well-received

Hi UnnamedHerald, there are times I think that exact thing! ;)

Xstatic, it’s a sad story told too many times, huh? Im glad to know Im not alone and yet it makes me sad that so many other children had goofy dads.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Joyce, Thank you for being so kind!

Hi pennyofheaven, your words are so sweet and make me feel happy inside.

Dear Gypsy Rose! There have been times I wanted my bio dad to hurt and wonder as much as I did. But now I just let it go. It’s his loss he didn’t know me. And an even BIGGER loss that he doesn’t know my wonderful kids. Maybe one day he will make contact. But that will be his move and not mine. We shall see. Thanks ((hug))

Hi mandy, thank you for reading


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Jon!!!! Listen to you and your wonderful ways. There’s NO way you are as young as you say. You have the wisdom and mannerisms of a grown man with the best virtues. Thanks for stopping in. I’ve missed you.

VicLynn, look at all my favorite people coming out to support me. I’ve missed you! Thanks for being so you girl. You’re one of the sweetest people I know.

Kalmiya :) long time no see, thanks for stopping in to read. I do think I’ve turned out pretty well despite dear old dad. I was blessed with a wonderful mom and stepdad.

Hi Melovy :) thanks for stopping in. I agree I am lucky to have the male role model I have. He’s different but he’s mine and I love him. Thanks so much for reading.

Wow eyesstraightahead! That’s quit the compliment then :) Thank you


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello Tim, thanks for the hugs – one can never have too much love. You are dead on, this is more of a letter to a man I may never get the chance to speak with. I got the words out there and I feel so much better because of it. Odd, I never thought about the age difference with us either. I always did tend to have an old soul. I often joked with mom and asked her if she kidnapped me and I was really a lot older than she told people … Aah I wish they had the camcorders back in the day – I could show you my concert for free! Alas, maybe I will post a vid of me playing my violin now!! (What's Steve :) It did make me feel much better to get these words out. I didn’t realize just how much I was holding onto these feelings and how much they were holding me down. It’s a weight lifted…I know it sounds cliché. And who knows…maybe somehow this will get passed on to dad and he will know.

Hello Kelley :) thank you so much. I don’t know what made me think of the scrapbook idea other than its my main way to share memories with family I don’t see often. So why not use them to share memories with a father I never see?

Hi RHW…wow. I never would’ve guessed you didn’t know your dad (what a moron) – you seem so well-rounded and put together! It just goes to show how much a kid can adapt huh? I don't blame you one bit for keeping the contact to a minimum with your dad. I bet he wonders about you all the time now. The shoe is on the other foot. And now YOU are in control of the communication. You're such an amazing person, you gots it going on and your dad is missing out even more than MY dad missed out. It's a shame for them but lucky for us that we are superstars!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

My dear Ardie, now I understand what you've meant in your comment on my letter to my father.

The mere knowledge that you've been abandoned by the one who had caused your birth will automatically hurt. Our human soul is programmed to hurt about this. Substitutes can, of course, still the pain, but not all the time. From time to time the pain will become a bit unbearable just to be relieved again by a substitute.

We can rationalize about this - our minds could be positive and strong - but somehow our souls just don't understand. It has specific embedded needs and we have to learn how to treat it like a baby we dearly love. We have to find ways to comfort it; writing a beautiful poem like this, is certainly one of the most successful ways.

I am so glad you've had a wonderful stepfather, and you've managed to find the same for your daughter. I believe God always provides substitutes for the people who are not able to play their rightful roles in our lives.

My two children suffer a lot of hurt. Their father was/is always there, they could see him, but besides the roof over their heads, he never fulfilled any of their needs. It is amazing and actually pathetic to see how he loves his dog, but not his children. He never hurt them physically and he certainly loved them and still do in his unique way. But showing love and interest for them to FEEL and BELIEVE, is totally beyond his capabilities. His occasional efforts (now that they are already mature adults) upset them, because they are obviously forced or instigated by secret agendas.

I'm telling you this because I think it might give you a broader perspective. I do believe it is better not to have a father at all as a father who is nothing but a scary ghost hurting you every day by ignoring you except when he demands coffee and whatever he needs to feel more comfortable on his couch.

Take care, my dear Ardie. I'll see you around.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Sweet and sad. Sorry your Dad missed out on your life. I have no idea about your Dad or where he is but they all come back when their looking for someone to take care of them. Voted up and beautiful.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Wow Ardie, Sorry for the lateness. This piece touches home and we are on a same path at times. You always asks not to be seen as stranger, or leave you on your own. We have never forsaken you as friends and reading this piece gets us closer. Glad to see a bunch of friends that huddled close to embrace that emptiness within your heart. Thanks for being yourslef Sondra.

LORD


Jennifer Stone profile image

Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

Words can be so powerful... A touching poem straight from the heart! Voted up, Jen


KellyPittman profile image

KellyPittman 4 years ago from Walker, LA

Very beautiful. It made me cry. Voted up!


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Oh Ardie, I have shivers as I read this. Beautiful and I thank your for sharing with us. You have really touched me with your words. I vote up.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

Wow! I felt your pain while reading this poem. I am sure that you must feel relieved to be able to put all these emotions down on paper. Voted up.


JBoozer profile image

JBoozer 4 years ago

Well executed poem. I could imagine each and every moment that you were having while catching up with your dad. It is truly touching


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 4 years ago from Kerala

sweet poem.Hai poet you are great.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Effective poetry. Touching. Kind of an expression of mourning.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

gosh...Ardie. My heart was sinking while reading but I was very proud of your guts on how you narrated this beautiful yet heart rendering poem. LOVED it!!

You are a strong woman, my friend. Wishing you the BEST Always!

Strong votes and voted as beautiful. Sharing it across


shampa sadhya profile image

shampa sadhya 4 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

Voted up and beautiful!

Thanks to Ruchira for sharing so I could read it. A poem with wonderful expression of pinching thought. Simply loved it.


hi friend profile image

hi friend 4 years ago from India

This awesome hub. Vote up with thanks.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This speaks volumes about your inner strength. Some wounds never close and leave us with poetry flowing from them. This is beautiful.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Martie, I felt so bad when I saw your letter to your father. I thought “oh no, now it looks like I copied her idea!” THEN I read how loving your letter was and I realized a few things. 1) There was no way you’d think I copied since your letter was absolutely beautiful 2) You loved your father dearly and he loved you in the same way 3) I envy the relationship you had with your father 4) Yet I’m so glad you had it because I love you!

I did find substitutes in the form of my older brother (there’s a 5 year age difference) and with my stepdad. From the stories I’ve heard about my dad (?) I was much better off not having him in my life. It’s so sad to read what your children dealt with. Thankfully they can see through their dad’s hidden agendas and don’t fall for the false attention and affection just to be bruised when he goes back to his old ways. Thanks for stopping in and leaving such a wonderful comment. I know I can always count on you to get my mind working and thinking.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello moonlake =) It would be interesting if my dad tried to come back around…he is in PA from what I know and I live in Ohio. Sorta pathetic we are only a couple hours apart (at the MOST) and no contact has been initiated. Ah, well. Thanks for the votes.

Hello Lord! Lateness is not a cause for punishment around here. I am so far behind on reading Hubs now that the nice/HOT weather is in full swing. Im glad you stopped in to read this – I know you will always be a strong supporter and friend to me.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Jennifer, Thank you for reading, commenting, and voting.

Hi Kelly, Im sorry to make you cry :( That’s no good! Thank you for the read and vote

Hi Christy, Im glad I reached out with this poem. It felt good to get it out and dump it on all of you! Thank you for reading. Its always a pleasure to see you around.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi lovedoc, it felt better than I thought it could to get these words out. It took me a great deal longer to write just because I wanted to come across the right way. Thank you for reading!

JBoozer, thank you for the sweet comment.

Anil and Honey, Thank you so much :)


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

B. Leekly, it’s great to see you here. Thank you for reading and perhaps you are right. This isn’t so much a story as it is the end, mourning what could have been and never came about.

Sweet Ruchira! Thank you thank you for such a kind comment. I don’t know about strong but definitely something, huh? Thank you for sharing.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello Shampa its great to “meet” you :) Thank you for reading and commenting.

Hi hi friend, Thank you for taking the time to read, comment and vote

Tammy! Im happy to see you :) I love the way you explain poetry…I never thought about it that way but you are exactly right. And some beautiful things come from the pain. Take care friend


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

Ardie...this is an epic and you're the heroine of life's battle...growing up without a father is quite tough...i agree with you on that...i too grew up without a father for he died early...


lindalou1963 profile image

lindalou1963 4 years ago from Texas

This brought tears to my eyes. My Daddy passed away when I was just three. Reading this I was seeing myself with my photos, sitting in heaven with him showing him everything from my life.

Wonderful hub, thanks for posting.


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

wow Ardie, heartfelt writing.. i think i spilled a tear.its so sad to think of the lost time, lost memories..its like trying to remember memories you didn't have. i myself feel the same way... very beautiful.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I guess most of us take having a dad, even if not a perfect one, for granted. Thanks for reminding us that is not always the case. Of course your divorce and remarriage can also show how this can easily happen.


Ely Maverick profile image

Ely Maverick 4 years ago from The Beautiful Archipelago of the Philippines

Such a lovely tribute to a father. I am imagining you're my lost daughter, dear. My daughters are all grown-up now but I'll still cherish how they favored me instead of their mother when some bribes were to be given.


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia

This was beautiful Ardie, your dad did miss something special. Thanks for sharing this with us.


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 4 years ago from USA

Very interesting, I like the idea of writing about the dad you never see, what a perspective!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Voted up and awesome...the emotions in this poem really touch the heart. How sad that your dad missed out on your life but how lucky you were to have a step-dad that filled in. It couldn't have been easy not having your real dad around...being adopted and never having known who my real dad was, I can almost relate...I say almost because the dad I had was dad to me and I never knew nor really wanted another, a little different than knowing your dad just wasn't around.

Again, awesome. You write so well from the heart.


nina64 profile image

nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

Hello Ardie, What a lovely poem!!!!! I'm about to reach for some tissue to wipe away the tears. It's too bad that your father missed out on your upbringing. It's ashamed that too many fathers lose out in the raising of their children. Don't get me wrong, there are mothers who also lose out when they don't participate in the raising of their child. I commend you for being such a strong young lady who has weathered such a long and hard storm without bitterness. Excellent hub and voted up!!!!!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

This poem is so raw and it expresses what you still feel. What a shame he missed out.

Tweet.


GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

Very emotional and passionate. I was a foster child and my dad passed when i was young. Very touching article that hits home. Voted up !!!


AnnaCia profile image

AnnaCia 4 years ago

Amazing poem. Your writing style is so unique; your heart opens up and shares a life. Your words are sweet, but hard. Great job!


Break of Dawn profile image

Break of Dawn 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this emotional, yet very beautiful poem. Through your words I sense a strong and courageous woman. How sad your father missed out on a great person.

Blessings!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 3 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Raci, you’re too sweet. And as for a heroine growing up without a father – look at all the wonderful things you do daily. YOU are a true heroine.

Lindalou, Im so sorry about your Daddy. We both know he sits and watches you all the time – a brave woman who has made her way through this tough world. You don’t need to show him the photos because he’s lived through it all with you (hug)

Hi spy, thanks for understanding where I was coming from. It didn’t ruin my life but it sure made me wonder lots

Hi Jackie, it’s so easy to take things for granted when we have them. I am guilty of the same thing. Im lucky to have my mom – she is a saint! And yet I know many of my friends have lost their moms and remind me that I shouldn’t take it for granted that I can pick up the phone and talk to her whenever I want. Take care.

Hello Ely, cherish those daughters forever – even if they’re grown they still need their Daddy. Than k you for coming in.

Weestro, thank you =) Speaking of being a dad – how is that coming along for you? Gotta be getting close?

Schoolgirl, thank you for reading. Maybe one day my dad will come across this? Nah – probably not and that’s ok.

Hi tillson! It IS the same so you can relate. We both lost the bio-dads but got awarded something else instead – a man who stood in to be a dad when he didn’t have to. And look at us now =)

Nina, thank you so much for such kind words – I probably do harbor a small amount of bitterness haha but not so much that it would ever have an impact on my life. It’s a shame for the moms and dads who choose not to be involved.

Hi molometer, thank you and thank you!

RosePetals, Im sure it does hit home. Its truly amazing how much of an impact a parent can have on a small person’s life – for better or worse.

AnnaCia, thank you dear. I appreciate the read.

BreakofDawn, thank you for reading – Im sure it wasn’t easy. I sure hope Im strong and courageous – I feel like I am at times =)


HoneyBB profile image

HoneyBB 3 years ago from Illinois

What an awesome poem and sad that your father didn't share your life with you....then happy that you have a great stepdad! So many kids and many adults are going through or have gone through this same fate and your poem spreads light on the things they wish they could share. It didn't used to be so widespread when I was young...48 now ... but I think I was from the last generation of parents who stuck it out for the long run at least most of them.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 3 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi HoneyBB =) When I was younger I thought I was the only kid around without a dad. Then I got a little older and I realized that more of my friends had divorced parents than married parents. It does help to know you're not alone. You're very lucky your parents stuck together through it all. I think my generation of parents is the first one that was divorce-happy!!


Insightful Tiger profile image

Insightful Tiger 3 years ago

A beautiful poem! I was touched and had tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing yourself in this poem.

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