Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?

Crystal

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