Happy Father’s Day Special – A Letter To My Dad.
It feels weird calling you that, seeing I have never met you and I have no idea who you are. You left mom whilst I was chilling in her tummy and when I finally came into the world, you vanished and you never gave me an opportunity to be your child.
On my first birthday, mom made a small party for me with the neighbour’s kids. They brought me lots of presents and mommy made a wonderful cake which I just plastered all over my face. I waited for you to come and clean the cake off my face and give me the world’s biggest birthday daddy hug. You didn’t show up. Mommy said you would come for my next birthday.
Fifteen birthdays passed and you still didn’t show up. I began to wonder why you never bothered to know me or even popped by to see me. A million thoughts crazed through my mind, wondering where you are, what you are doing and were you thinking of me? Or better yet where you still alive?
On my 17th birthday, I received my driver’s license and I was also graduating from high school. As fathers of all my friends were showing up to hug their kids, I looked towards the gate and hoped just this once, you would surprise me and enter the doors with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates to congratulate me on my graduation. I sat there for three hours after the graduation ended, still hoping that you would come. Alas, it was the same story.
Ten more birthdays passed. I graduated from university and met a wonderful guy whom you would have loved. I kept telling him how I couldn’t wait for you to meet him and give him that “protective father talk.” He too looked forward to it. On my wedding day, I bought you the perfect suit to wear so it matches with the groom’s men. I waited for you to walk me down the aisle in the sacred room where the bride waits with her father to escort her to the groom. The guests got so restless and annoyed as I waited patiently for you to appear. Finally, with a downhearted soul, the janitor of the church put on your suit and performed your duty for me. As we went to the reception, I hoped you would come so you could at least give me the first dance. But that was not yet to be.
What is the current state of your relationship with your dad?
Two years passed and I gave birth to your first grandson. I picked up the phone book and dialled every number that was similar to your name. As I made each call, I was filled with excitement as I desperately wanted to inform you that you are a grand dad. All one hundred and ten respondents said they weren’t you. Dejected and defeated, I succumbed to grief and depression and mourned that I lost you even though I never knew you.
Ten years later, I gave you two more grandchildren, another boy and a beautiful girl. They often asked me where their grandfather was and I would tell them you were off helping Santa on his yearly chores and if they’re good kids they will get the best presents.
Day after day, night after night, I prayed that you would come. Finally, just when I was about to give up on you, a letter arrived in my mailbox. It was from a law firm that specializes in wills and estates. It said that I was the sole beneficiary to a large estate fortune worth millions of dollars. I was to go into their offices to sign the documents to make my ownership of the estate permanent. It was there that I finally learnt the truth of why you never bothered to show up in my life. It turns out you were incarcerated for a hideous crime of murder and whilst you served your life sentence, you made yourself a nice little fortune on the stock market. You instructed mommy to never tell me anything about you because you were ashamed of your actions and you would rather I didn’t know you than I resent you for being a murderer. Sadly, your life ended whilst you were still imprisoned. I took the documents you wanted me to sign and went to your gravesite. I tore them and scattered them on your grave.
I do not want your money or your wealth because those are replaceable and I can get that any time. I can never get another daddy. I wanted your big warm hugs. I wanted you to comfort me when I started teething and dying of pain. I wanted you to carry me on your neck and run around and play with me. I wanted you to come and watch me score my first soccer match goal. I wanted to cry on your shoulder when my first boyfriend broke my heart. I wanted to have just a you and me time where I would feel safe, comforted, warm and secure. I wanted what no amount of money could buy – you. I am entitled to hate you and despise you for abandoning me but I can’t because if I hate you, then who will I ever love? Even though I never knew you, I miss you. Even though you neglected me, I care for you and hope that you are in peace where ever you are.
So on this day as we celebrate father’s day, I may not have had opportunities to say it to you in person, but now that I know that you’re anywhere and every where, I do wish you a happy father’s day and I do want you to know that I have always and will always love you and someday when I come to join you, I will be the happiest girl in the world because I would have finally reunited with you, my only daddy.
I love you dad. Happy Father’s day.
This hub is based on the life of my mother, Cory Mathews Harris. Incidentally, I too had an absent father in my life. I do want to encourage all those who have missing or absent fathers in their life that it doesn't matter what they have or have not done. It doesn't matter if they've never been there or they mistreated you. That person is still your father and if it weren't for him, you would not be born. So let go of the hatred and the resentment. Remember the fifth commandment says "Honour your father and mother." It's doesn't say honour them only in good times or when you feel like it. So be a light and shine and tell your dad you love him and wish a happy father's day.