An Open Letter To My Dad

Hey Dad,

You know, I sometimes wonder if you still read my blog after that one time you decided to go through it. You were so persistent to find something about you, and I felt bad, because I didn’t really talk about you. Not because you don’t play a big role in my life, but because I never really know what to say about you.

I really wish that I remembered more of my childhood, but I’m stuck. I remember you reading my Disney princess storybook to me at night, whenever I’d ask you to. And you blasting music throughout the house on cleaning days. I always liked when we’d go bowling growing up, and I think that’s why I’ve been trying to do that on Father’s Day every year for the past couple of years. Oh, and summers in the pool were always fun; Bri and I would keep asking you to throw us in, and you’d do it every time.

Funny thing is, I remember you as being the authoritative parent, but I don’t really remember getting into trouble as a kid. I feel like the only things I ever got punished for was either for not eating my vegetables, or not cleaning my room when I was told. Oh and once for being caught cursing, but those were minor things, I think. But I definitely remember Brianna mouthing off all the time—so I guess some things never change.

I consider myself a lucky girl to not only have my dad present in my life, but also have a good relationship with you. When I look back at my life, I can only pinpoint one moment where we had an actual fight. And it wasn’t even really a fight—it was more like a confrontation. And it was weird for me when it happened, because it was in the middle of the night, it was coming from you, and it was the first time ever that it was mentioned.

And I have a confession to make: I feel like you live two separate lives, and that annoys me more than it should. You have this one life where you play Dad—and don’t get me wrong, you’re good at what you do—but then there’s a whole other part of you that I barely know. I don’t know if it is, but I feel like that’s weird. And that makes me feel hypocritical, because I never liked to mix different groups of people together either, like my friends and family…but this is different. Maybe you don’t mix us because everyone is older, but I don’t know, I feel weird about it.

Besides that, I feel like our relationship has always been solid. Sure, I’ve messed up a couple of times (like that one time I went to the city without asking), but you never made me feel like you didn’t want me. Even though I wasn’t like your shiny sports stars, you still were proud of the person I was. You were the one who would take me to the library every week, who pushed me to have good grades, go to college, and eventually, drive. Granted, going to college was always on my mind, but you were the one who fully backed me up, and tried your hardest to support me financially, for as long as you could.

I often wonder if you’re disappointed in me because I didn’t find a way to stay in school. But I’ve done a lot of thinking about it, and I think getting out of Iona was probably meant to happen. I don’t think I could have dealt with that place [financially] any longer. I know that all you want is what is best for me, and watching me escape to my bedroom every day is probably hard on you. You didn’t raise me to be an anxious, antisocial potato…but here I am. I’m sorry I’m not how you probably wished I turned out to be.

I’m sorry that I don’t push myself to my fullest potential, and that I’m not a fighter, like the rest of you. I’m sorry that I don’t take on more responsibility. I’m sorry that I’m not charismatic, and that I can’t talk to people as often or as easily as you can. I’m better with dogs. I’m also really sorry [in advance] for however much longer I live with you; I think we both know that I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Hopefully I’ll leave one day, but sadly, I am nowhere close to being able to support myself financially.

Which, I must say, I have to thank you for always having my back—when I need the help with money, and in general. In reality, the only thing I think I’ve ever done by myself was get okay grades, and get myself into school. And even then, you were still on my ass about it, so I didn’t even do that on my own.

I’ve been very fortunate to have you teach me about rules and politeness and rock music. Thank you for being a backbone, and for dealing with my phone calls when I’m having my anxiety attacks. Besides Oma, you’re the only person I ever go out of my way to call—and you know that means a lot, because I hate talking on the phone almost as much as I hate small talk.

Thank you for being my designated chauffeur whenever I need a ride, and for our talks during those car rides, and the music lectures. I don’t think I’ve ever learned more about music than when I’m in the car with you, which is totally crazy, since you don’t even have one musical bone in your body (…and now I know where I get it from scratch that: Mom doesn’t either).

Because of you (and Oma; can’t forget about her), I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and water hot enough to shower. Thank you for that. You went from the guy who would carry me to bed after I’d fall asleep on the couch, to a friend I can go to for advice and some laughs.

I love that we were able to transition like that. I got to know you as a father, and an authority figure, to a human being, and a friend. I know you didn’t get the chance to do that with your own father, so I feel really lucky. I know that your relationship with him made you want to parent differently for us kids, and I really appreciate that, but I wish you didn’t only think of him as the authoritative guy you knew. It makes me sad that you don’t really talk about him, and when you do, you only ever speak of him as a one-dimensional character.

Did you realize that he died when you were my age now? I only realized that recently, and it totally baffled me. I couldn’t imagine losing you at such a young age; you’re the person I go to for everything. I trust you more than anyone else. Yeah, I know you’re not perfect, but you’re the best dad I know, and you’ve proven to me over and over again that you’re a stand up guy. You do so much for people who don’t do anything else in return for you, and you don’t expect them to. So I guess what I’m saying here is that I hope I get to be half the person you are. I love you, dad; you truly are the best.

Love Always,

Amanda

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Prompt: Remember yesterday, when you wrote a letter to one of your parents? Now write a letter to the other one; if you never met him/her, write what you would say to them.

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