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Things I Wish My Father Would Have Said To Me

Updated on October 30, 2014

My Father: Man of Mystery

I always knew that my father wanted more out of life. He is a simple man of very few words, but his eyes tell a different story.

It has taken nearly fifty years for me to unravel the mystery behind who my father is, and I would have to say that I am the only one who has (sort of) figured him out. But despite all the darkness and enigmatic secrets that encompass the man beneath the facade, he is still my father... And I love him.

I only wish he would have given me more.

A Message To All Fathers

My father is alive and well; living in solitary confinement with a chip on his shoulder and an immense amount of guilt. He doesn't visit, rarely calls and only places a letter in the mail on special occasions ––it's been that way since I was twelve. I could go on and tell you all the things that have lured me to the point of writing this article, but it would serve no purpose, other than keeping me trapped in a victimized cage.

Instead, I'd like to share a few points of interest that may benefit someone else's father; someone more inclined to listen and take my past experiences to heart. So here it is; in all its glory... My message to all fathers.

A few bits of wisdom that I wish mine would have shared with me.

Don't Look For Happiness In Someone Else

My mother was married twice. Her mother was married twice. And I (shocker), have also been married twice. But if I play my cards right and send the right message to my daughter, it is my hope that she will have less trouble finding Mr. Right.

My father never taught me about love; in fact, I don't recall him ever even using the word until I was in my late twenties. He never said that true love lies from within, or that I should look for a man of character when I'm ready to settle down ––I had to figure that out on my own.

When you grow up in a dysfunctional world; filled with labels, judgements and ridicule, it is easy to forget who you are. You get caught up in a moment of wanting to be accepted and you stop being true to yourself. Then, after a string of unhealthy relationships, bad decision, and an endless amount of self-doubt, you find yourself searching for answers to questions that only one person can give. And that person is you.

You can't love anyone until you love yourself. But first, you have to like who you are. It took me a long time to figure THAT one out!

You're GOING To Screw Up... And THAT'S OKAY!

You're going to make mistakes ––lots of them, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Don't spin your wheels on a car with four bald tires; change them, shake off the frustration and keep driving!

I'm really hard on myself; always have been. I'm a perfectionist by gene pool and there's almost no way around it. But I always wondered what life would have been like if my father were to have told me that "screwing up can sometimes be the best thing you could ever do."

No one ever congratulates you on making a mistake. But when the person you turn to for guidance gives you nothing but a twenty minute lecture on how you "should have done it better," it's awfully hard to recover. And typically; you don't.

It would have been nice to have been told that mistakes are just gifts in disguise; tools to teach me what not to do, instead of mocking me for doing it wrong. The funny thing is; even when I DID get it right ––he never said a word.

You Can Do Anything ––But Only If You Try

My parents never offered to pay for college, much less teach me about financial aid. So when it came time to buckle down and get my act together, I was already in my mid-twenties; twirling through the streets with late night party mongers and socially unacceptable mavericks like myself.

I thought about it the other day and realized that my father never once asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. There was no emphasis on following your dreams or furthering your education; it was all just a series of meaningless dribble that filled empty voids in an otherwise monotonous conversation. But somehow, I rose above; uneducated and confused, and landed a job with one of the biggest companies in the World. To this day, he has no idea what I did there or for how long, and I've never understood why. He was just happy I had a job, and I was happy he wasn't disappointed.

I wish he would have told me to follow my dreams and guided me into achieving them. I would have given anything for him to say that he was proud of me or that he wanted to know more about my personal life, but he never did.

He was just happy that I was happy, even though I never really was.

The most important man in her life.
The most important man in her life.

I Will Support You In Whatever You Do In Life

When I started writing back in August, I had secretly hoped that my father would get on my website and read. "He has access to the internet," I thought, "and I'm pretty sure he knows my name, so why wouldn't he?"

Turns out, that was a really good question.

It's no secret that I'm not profiting much in my new role as a wannabe writer. And I'm well aware of the learning curves up ahead in order for me to become one that DOES. But I'm doing it, and I'm working very hard at doing it well ––even if he never finds out.

Maybe I would have tried sooner with a little support and guidance from the one man I've spent my entire life trying to impress. And maybe I would have pushed myself harder had I known he believed in me, too. Maybe one day, he'll surprise me and show an interest in the person I've become...

Or maybe he never will.

Chime in...

How important do you think a father's role plays in a child's life?

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Give her the key ––and make an extra copy for yourself...

Just incase she loses it!

The Father, The Keymaster

There are two people in this world who can make or break you as a person; yourself excluded. You look to them for approval, support, encouragement, advice and unconditional love that knows no bounds.

But the father; he is the one who holds the key that unlocks all the doors that keep your fear, worry, and self-doubt trapped inside. He has the power to unleash a world of possibility and courageous self-discovery that might otherwise take an eternity to breakthrough. And he gives it to you when the time is right in order for you to succeed and find the happiness that he so desperately wants you to have.

There is little that a child won't do for a father's love. But what will he do to keep theirs?

© 2014 Lisa René LeClair

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Oct. 29

      Dear sassypiehole,

      This is such a touching comment. I admire you for this. And yes, if you are spending every second with your daughter, she will definitely want to always have you near her.

      I know the feeling.

      If you need me, I am as near as your email.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      kenneth avery It's all good.. Just busy (but I don't mind). One day, my daughter won't want anything to do with me, so I'm enjoying every last second —even the homework! ;-)

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      sassypiehole,

      Oct. 8--8:27 p.m./cdst

      You always welcome. Sorry for the roadblocks no matter what they are. And if you need my help, you know how to get in touch with me. I figure that humanity is not here "just" for fame, personal achievement and riches. Although they are nice, if we do not care for and help each other (if we can) then my moments in life are wasted.

      You take care and I will have your back no matter what.

      Kenneth :)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks, Kenneth... This year has been "in my way" lately and I haven't had the time (focus) to post anything on HP. I'm hoping that will change soon, but with holidays coming up, it isn't looking good! Fall break starts in two days... *Sigh* Good to hear from you!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Oct. 7--8:55 p.m., cdst

      sassypiehole,

      Nice to see you again. This is a very moving piece and straight from the heart.

      I hope you have a safe night.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks, Richardwilliamsjr! I haven't been on here in a while and just saw your note. Too bad my own father doesn't read my ramblings —maybe he'd learn something! ;-)

    • Richardwilliamsjr profile image

      Richard Williams Jr 3 years ago from Millville

      Thanks sassy, for writing this awesome article the world truly needs what you have to offer. And if those that are fathers who have been absent from their children lives in some way that this article would stir up a conviction to do better. Because our children deserved it.

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      You are so sweet and kind. sassy, you have touched my life in the short time I have known you. You are very sensitive, caring and very sacrificial. Plus, you are a very talented writer.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks, Kenneth... Very thoughtful. ;-)

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      Good deal, sassy.

      And thanks for the follow. I love it. I just cherish all of my followers, you included.

      You just keep being the sweet, caring girl that you are, and I truly believe that good things will happen to you.

      Your Friend for Life,

      Kenneth

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      I can almost forgive anything, as long as there is mutual respect. My father drives me insane 99.9% of the time, but he IS my father and I've learned to just accept him for who he is and try not to take it personal when he hurts my feelings (which is just about all the time). ;-) I haven't had much "alone" time since summer break started, but I'll visit your page when "SHE" lets me! haha

      Cheers!

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      Hi, sassy,

      You, my new friend, are more than welcome. I can only imagine what "that" time in your life must have been.

      My dad was a private man also, and very complex. Not that was not a great neighbor and provider, no, he was a self-taught musician, carpenter, brick mason, mechanic and a veteran of WWII.

      I only wish I had spent more time with him in his older years--this is the time he became nearer his mortaliy and opened up more.

      When I was a teenage guy, he was very controlling and stern.

      Needless to say we had our times.

      I will love him forever. And you might think we weird, but I would have loved to meet your dad also. He sounds so much like my dad.

      Thank YOU for the following. That sweet gesture means more than you can fathom.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Kenneth (ironically my fathers name),

      Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. It always means more coming from a complete stranger as those close tend to say what you want to hear... And, of course, those "closer" will rip you apart for no reason. ;-)

      I will definitely stop by and do some reading. The kiddo is on summer break, so my time is pretty much squashed, but I'll follow now; lest I forget!

      Thanks again for your words -- it made my day!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, sassypiehole,

      This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing, to be precise.

      I loved every word of it. Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it. I know exactly how you feel--about my dad not telling me these things. Very moving. I loved it.

      You have such a gift for writing. Just keep writing and no telling at how far you will go and how many people you will touch.

      I have just left you some fan mail and become one of your followers.

      I cordially invite you to read one or two of my hubs, and be one of my followers.

      That would make my day.

      I am so honored to meet you and follow you.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth/ from northwest Alabama

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      You and I should have coffee sometime and swap stories. I could write a book! And I will... One day. ;-)

    • Setab profile image

      Setab 3 years ago

      Its such a tragedy when fathers aren't a part of their childrens lives. I had an absentee father also, he was an alcoholic and when I was 12 my mother divorced him. I saw him 2 more times after that, when I was pregnant with my first child and shortly after I gave birth. He was still an alcoholic and we have never had a relationship. Because of him, I have had a really hard time trusting men. Now my son is doing the same thing to his son, it's heartbreaking.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thank you, MJennifer! And yes, he continues to "miss out" on all the good stuff. He had a hard childhood; but unlike myself, he chose to stay on that viscous cycle. My daughter will never know that kind of sadness, so I guess I should thank him for that. ;-)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      FlourishAnyway I get a lot of grief from family for writing my "less humorous" stories, but your comment is the confirmation that helps keep me going. Thank you so, so much!

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 3 years ago from Arizona

      Lisa, this was so sad and touching … and beautifully written. I was blessed with the greatest of fathers and I wish every daughter could have been so fortunate. Your dad clearly doesn't know what he missed out on by not nurturing such a terrific, talented soul as yourself. You've reaped wisdom from your relationship, but he has lost out on the meaningful insights he might have gained along the way.

      Best -- Mj

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is wonderful. You are gifted, writing straight from what you know. Absolutely splendid. Shared, pinning, voting up and more.

    • wordswithlove profile image

      Neetu M 3 years ago from USA

      Yes, I probably will. I am glad you figured at least some of the most important things out.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      You should read my "bully" article... Agreed: our family life molds us for the future. Took me a LONG time to figure things out and I'm still not even half-way there! ;-)

    • wordswithlove profile image

      Neetu M 3 years ago from USA

      To be fair, sassypiehole, the same can be said about mothers and sons! A family is such a bundle of complexities, isn't it? I guess we ought to look at the relationship our husbands had with their mothers to know what kind of husbands they will make. :)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Truer words have never been spoken, wordswithlove! ;-)

    • wordswithlove profile image

      Neetu M 3 years ago from USA

      A father is the most important man in a girl's life until she finds her partner. Without doubt, he must play that role with care or he damages not just his own relationship with his daughter, but also her relationships with other men.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      I know, right?! I was channeling my inner victim with that one. Thanks crissp! ;-)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      That's quite sad sassy and I thank you for sharing your own experience in life. You sound like a courageous woman and I'm pretty sure you'll do well in your writing and in your future endeavors.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      hellovictoria Thanks for that! They say you should "write what you know," which is pretty much all you'll ever get out of me. I guess I'm sort of "bipolar" when it comes to my posts; you're either going to laugh or cry–just depends on my mood! ;-)

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      baybpnk you are one of the lucky ones... I'm older, which means my parents were older --but also just KIDS when they had us. Things were different back then for sure. I know I'm doing things a lot different, as is my husband... Hopefully, we won't screw her up too much before releasing her into the wild! ;-)

    • hellovictoria profile image

      ToriM 3 years ago from Atlanta

      great article. I especially love Hubs such as yours that give personal accounts - and I fully agree with everything you said. May you achieve everything you are looking for in life as you have overcome great obstacles in the past due to your father's lack of encouragement, which really speaks volumes of your character and ability to cope with the situation at hand. Great article - even better author behind the article. Voted up! :)

    • baybpnk profile image

      Nicole 3 years ago from Michigan (the Mitten), United States

      I have great parents. I never knew how great until I began to pay attention to my friends parents and to stories such as this.

      I have not always been thankful that my parents were good to me when I was growing up and now as well. I don’t think I ever realized how much they taught me until I was on my own in college. That is when I started to realize the foundation they gave me as a child to learn and grow off of in adulthood. They taught me so much that I guess so many parents fail to teach their own children, and I am hoping that one day (whenever I become a parent) I will be able to do the same for my kids. And if I can’t, then I’m thankful they will have the grandparents that will be able to help.

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      Thanks, Laryssa! It's amazing how easy it is to screw up your kids. Ask mine, I'm sure she'll need therapy by the time she turns 7! ;-)

    • LaryssaGeorge profile image

      Laryssa 3 years ago from Indiana

      I am the opposite. I have a great relationship with my father but my mom is a whole different story. Love your honesty here.

      I let go of a lot. Its freeing but understand no matter how old we are...there's still something about wishing for interaction with an absent parent.

      Great Hub!

    • sassypiehole profile image
      Author

      Lisa René LeClair 3 years ago from the ATL

      It takes a lot of soul searching when there is no guide to show us the way, doesn't it? I stopped making excuses for him and just learned to accept the fact that he'll never change... It makes life a whole lot easier when you take the pedestal away. ;-)

    • profile image

      Dr Atul Abhyankar 3 years ago

      Perfectly resonate with the write up.Have gathered courage once again to start liking myself and continue to hope that may be some day hopefully i figure out a way my ears get to hear what they are dying for or to finally be able to forgive him the mr right