This will be two separate letters today because my parents aren’t together and I have vastly different opinions on the two of them.
I use that term very loosely simply for the basis that “Dear Piece Of Crap Who Isn’t man Enough To Be A Real Dad In Any Way Whatsoever” is probably an overly facetious way to begin a letter. No matter how much truth is actually in it.
I don’t have a clue what to say to you here. You have always been a part of who I am. But honestly, I don’t think very often about you. Never have. I never really lacked too much in my life without you in it. I mean, sure, as a kid, when they did Father-Daughter dances at school or whatever, a part of me would long for what all of my friends seemed to have.And as an adult I see my girlfriends who have great Dads and I have moments when I kinda wish I was a Daddys girl.
But mostly, I never really missed you. Not in any way I was aware of anyway. My mom did an awesome job raising me alone. She was a stellar single mother. Made doubly impressive with the fact she was just barely 18 when I was born.
The only way your absence really impacted me was in a way I didn’t realize until I was in my 30’s. I spent my 20’s looking for a man who could fill your shoes. A man who would love me and stay with me. I found a lot of guys who traded “love” for sex. A lot of guys who fed me lies and I took them as gold. All I really wanted was one steady man in my life. I had been taught by your leaving that all men leave. I know better now. Its not men who leave. Its boys. I can’t measure all men to your standard. Because you set that bar pretty low.
You missed out on a lot. I turned out to be a pretty great person. And you have 6 amazing, awesome grandsons that you will never know. That’s sad. My mom taught me a lot about grace and love and treating others right. It’s only because of her that I can sit and write to you now and say I forgive you. I can’t say I agree with your actions. I can’t say I condone the way you treated my mom. But I forgive you. I release any hurt or anger I may have held onto towards you. Because you are just not worth it.
Wherever you are, wherever life has taken you, I want you to know I am praying for you.
Where do I begin? How many times can I say thank you and make it enough?
You are a rock star. I know at times you doubted your abilities as a mother. Being a mom now myself I can say that ALL moms feel that way. But the fact is, you have two grown children now and neither of us have ever gone to jail or done anything immensely stupid. Clearly we were raised right. And that’s all you.
I am the kind of mother I am to my own sons because of what you taught me and how you raised me. The reason I spend one on one time with each of them as much as possible, the reason I read to them all every night, the reason I talk to them, snuggle with them, do Family Days with them on Sundays….all of these things are the legacy you passed down to me. As kids, Nick and I didn’t have much as far as “stuff”, but we sure had a pretty solid understanding that we were loved. I thank you for that.
I’m sorry I was such a pain as a kid. Sorry I had an attitude and took that chip on my shoulder that developed majorly when I was a teenager and whittled it into a likeness of you so I could blame you for everything. I didn’t know better. I was just a kid. As an adult and mother now, I can see clearly how hard you tried. And how much heart you put into raising us. I appreciate that more than you know.
Tamar is going to be 16 this year. Two and a half years and she’ll be leaving the nest. You have ben a mother for 33 years now. I wonder if you have stopped to consider the next chapter and what it will mean for you as a woman. Without the hindrances and ties that bind of raising a child or being stuck with a douche bag of a spouse. When its just you and the cats. I hope you take that time to nurture your soul. Seek your dreams. Because it’s never too late in the game to start playing. Decorate the whole house as YOU like it. Cook meals you love. Go on adventures. Meet new people. Live. Live knowing you did well raising the three of us. Live and embrace the fact you are not “just” a mom, but you are also Doreen. And that woman you sometimes lose sight of in the midst of being a parent is a really cool, genuine, kind woman. I like that I have reached a point in my life when I can call you not only my mom, but also my friend. Because I have come to know both sides. And love them both equally.
I love you. So much. Thank you for everything. Everything.
Thank you seems pretty weak. But it’s all I got. If I could get you Johnny Depp feeding you chocolate and peanut butter on a private island I would get you that. But I can’t. All I have is thank you.