I’m having trouble writing down the right words to say about coming up on one year since I wrote an e-mail to my father that would end our relationship.
I want to write that I’m moving on and I’m learning to live without him. That I’ve put the past behind me and he no longer has the power to hurt me anymore.
But those words wouldn’t be true.
I miss my dad so much that I can barely keep my head above water most days. While I said I have ended our relationship, I would do anything in the world to have reconciliation with him. I look at girls who have amazing relationships with their fathers, and I always wonder where we went wrong. Why he couldn’t be the dad I needed him to be. Why I couldn’t be the daughter he wanted me to be.
When someone you love hurts you, it can be easy to play the negativity game and think of everything they ever did to hurt you. I could make a long list of everything my dad has done to bring me down, destroy my self-esteem, and cause me to doubt myself. That’s an easy list to make. But then there’s the list that makes me nostalgic for the fun times we had together and long for him to be back in my life.
- He was never afraid to be silly, even in a public setting. He would sing along to the Italian music at Olive Garden, pretend he had a lame foot while picking me up from school, make silly faces at me while at the mall.
- He was the best at playing games. Our favorite was Blind Man’s Bluff which featured a pitch-dark house and one blind-folded person trying to “get” the other people. It usually featured my dad, my brother, and I and he would always make loud noises in one area of the room, but you could never find him. This is one of my fondest memories of him.
- He once bankrupted both my brother and me on the purple properties of Monopoly. Yes, those are the cheapest properties on the board. “Bankrupt on Baltic” became one of the key phrases for us during that game, and for games afterward. (And now I always buy the purple properties in the hopes this will happen for me.)
- He remains one of the funniest guys I know. He had the best personality and was always finding ways to turn any situation into one of laughter. He is witty with one-liners and silly phrases and I like to think I inherited this wit of his.
- I have never felt more safe, loved, or protected than those times I was wrapped up in his arms.
- He is a fantastic cook, some of his specialties being chicken tacos, chicken on the grill, and hamburgers. I have so many good memories of being over at my uncle’s house with him cooking a delicious meal on the grill and helping him with preparing the side dishes. And the food was always mouth-wateringly good.
- He is friendly and outgoing and personable. Everything I am not. He puts everyone at ease and can make friends with anyone within 5 minutes of knowing them.
- I always remember having the best time when I was with him. He knew how to play like a kid, but also be a parent. I remember hours spent in the pool where he would toss us around and let us ride on his back. Playing tennis and bowling and board games. He knew how to have a good time.
I want to remember the good times with my dad. I’ve spent so many months only remembering the bad things. I need to move past it. I need to learn to have mercy on him. He has nobody around anymore. He has lost his kids, lost his family. He can’t hold down a job and his gambling addiction, penchant for lying, and alcoholism is the only thing that keeps him company at night. It’s a sad life to lead and I can only hope he has sought help and one day will reach out to me.
I miss my dad with more intensity than I ever thought possible. And the minute he wants to come back into my life, I will be waiting with open arms and an “I missed you, Daddy. I missed you so much.”