I navigate uncharted waters. This path is a new one...not one that I took intentionally or am particualariy happy to be on. Things here are unfamiliar and I have to rearange what I know...all my past experiences and what I believed to be true about the person you are. I am learning that you are not who you said you were. That my entire life I believed you were someone you aren't...and you are proving to be someone I never knew before. But because in my heart there are so many things I treasure about who I believed you were...it helps me to think back on the things that have caused me to love you.
There are things I miss...things I see that remind me of you...the you that I always thought you were. I see your hands on a man sitting next to me on a plane. I see you in a movie...as a man who has no idea who he is. I am reminded of you when I eat hot tamales. I think of you when I see a baseball game and how you know the game better than anyone I know. There are things I want to tell you...things I want to talk about....mostly just things that I know will spark your interest. Nothing deep...nothing about the way I feel since you have removed yourself from my life...just small talk. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you how much I love you and how much I miss you. And why I want to do that really makes no sense at all...because you have abandoned me...but still I wish I could. I think of you when I talk to your mom. I wish I could tell you what I've been doing lately...about my dreams and the things I love. I wish I could tell you about my dogs and hear about yours. I wish I could talk to you about baseball and make plans to go to a Rockies game. If only you knew how often I think of you...how many tears I cry wishing you could find the one thing in your life that would change everything. If only you knew how much you have hurt me. I can't stop loving you even though it would be so much easier if I could. I wish you cared about me more than you care about yourself.
And I am grieving. I am grieving not because you are dead....but because you have chosen to remove yourself from my life. I think that is harder than if you were truly gone. Because if you were gone there would be no choice in the matter....and I would have to move on knowing that you were never coming back. Right now I am moving on not knowing if you'll ever come back...and if I should ever let you. Dads are suppose to be heros. They are suppose to be the parents...not the children. You aren't suppose to leave no matter how old you are. You aren't suppose to hurt me. You aren't suppose to lie to me. All I want is to admire you, to look up to you, to want to be like you. To be proud of where I come from. But I don't. You see...I don't know who you are...and I realize that you made a fool out of me. You're my dad...of course I wanted to believe you. Of course I love you...and of course you could make me believe you were whoever you pretended to me. You didn't have to earn my love like most everyone else I have in my life did. The love I gave you wasn't earned....I love you because I don't know how not to. And you had a responsibility to cherish me. To protect me...to care for me....to love me with the kind of love a father has for his daughter.
So where do I go from here? Well...I move towards those who I know love me and won't ever leave me. More than anything I cling to my Heavenly Father who holds my heart, my hopes, and my future. Who hears my cries and knows every tear I cry. And I am forever grateful that on days when I feel I don't have a father...He reminds me that I do and that He will never leave me. I hold on to hope that you will someday want to be a healthy, sober, responsible person who owns up to the mistakes you have made. I move on with my life...without you in it. I can't take responsibility for you anymore because you have to want help. I have to let go of thinking I can love you enough for you to change...because if you are determined to fall...I am not going down with you. I know that I'm worth more and I deserve more than the way you've treated me. And although I do miss you and I do want you to be in my life...having a dad the way you are isn't fair to me. I hope that someday soon you will find the peace that surpasses understanding. And I do hold on to the things that once defined my idea of you. Because thinking of your notes with smiley faces, and your TTU hats, and you blue eyes, and your slip on shoes, your windpants, and your obsession with 100% cotton...those things bring a smile to my face. They remind me of the man I love.