An Open Letter To My Dad

Dear Dad,

It’s your daughter, Macy. The one that you never met. The one that never saw your face. Or heard your voice. Or even knew your name up until 2 years ago. You always were a mystery to me. Like a distant memory from a past life. Did you know that before you died a little over a year ago, I was in the process of writing you a letter? I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. It was even handwritten and had a picture of me attached to it. Did you know that a day doesn’t go by that I don’t regret sending it sooner? By the time I was almost finished with it, you were gone. Just like that. I knew you were sick, Dad. I found out the summer before you died. I had Mom call you because I wanted to meet you. You said no. I remember that day so clearly. I have never felt so worthless in my entire existence. Why did you push me away? Why were you allowed to keep tabs on me and know things about me but I didn’t even get so much as a letter? You left me without even saying hi.

That’s how it always was though; you called the shots. Trust me, I’m thankful for the money you sent and the help you gave in that way. But where were you when I lost my first tooth? Where were you when I broke my first bone? Where were you when I was diagnosed? I know you never wanted to believe I was really sick. I know how scared you probably were when you realized it was true. Or maybe you weren’t. Maybe it didn’t affect you as much as I hope it did. I just wish you had given me something to hope for. I always dreamed that someday you would show up at my doorstep and tell me you were sorry for everything and that you really did love me.

Don’t worry though, plenty of people were there for me. The men in my family stepped up and became the dad for me that you couldn’t be. I know you never wanted me in the first place, but why couldn’t you just give me chance? Why did I have to punished for your mess up? I did nothing wrong and yet you chose to erase yourself from the picture before I even had a say. I was so bitter towards you for so long. You should know that. But that bitterness never stopped me from loving you. You should know that too. You might wonder how I could love you when I didn’t even know you. Well it’s possible. I loved the person I made you to be in my head. You were kind, strong, encouraging, wise, intelligent, and funny. I figured when you came along one day we’d have deep conversations and go out for ice cream and watch movies together. In my head you were a dad that would take me to father-daughter dances and read books with me. Even though you never did come around and I never had the chance to see if any of those things were true, my grandpa, Daddy Dave, and Uncle Ken took care of all of that for you. I wish you were still here to thank them.

Dad, I’m no longer mad at you, I’m just disappointed. I’m disappointed that you never got to see me dance, or hear me laugh, or watch me handle my port being accessed like a pro. I’m disappointed you never heard my reviews of books or movies, or watch me put on a fashion show, or play tea with me. I’m disappointed you didn’t get to see me grow in my faith, or hold my hair back when I would throw up during my infusions, or comfort me during a particularly painful night spent at the ER.  I’m disappointed you didn’t help me with homework, or listen to my rants on my new favorite tv show, or put up with my endless need for affection. I’m disappointed about so many things. But more than that, I’m sad. I’m sad you didn’t want any of those things. I’m saddened you truly didn’t want anything to do with me. I just don’t understand how you so easily threw all of that away.

I used to pray to God that you were out there missing me. I don’t know if you ever really did miss me. I don’t even know if you ever thought of me. I know that you told Mom that the reason you didn’t want to meet me near the end is because you didn’t want to come into my life just to leave it again. I’m not sure if that came out of love, or fear, or a need to control things, but I do know that I wish you hadn’t made that decision for me. I wish you hadn’t called all the shots. I wish that at that time I had the guts to just call you up or go to your house so you didn’t have a choice in the matter. You would be forced to hear my voice or see my face. What I don’t understand is why you pushed away the one person who understands what being sick is like when you needed them the most?

Yet, even through all my anger, confusion, and hurt I still forgive you. I know you probably felt horrible for leaving me. You may have never said it or shown it, but in my heart I know you knew you missed out. I know there’s emotions and thoughts that went along with all of it that I’ll never know nor understand. I’m sure that near the end you thought about me more than you wanted to… But I’ve thought about you every day of my life and I still continue to.

I do want to say thank you though. Thank you for sparing me from whatever was inside you that scared you so much about being a father. Thank you for sending the money that paid for so much of my needs and probably even some of my desires. Thank you for leaving behind your wonderful wife Katy, your awesome brother Carl, and your amazing niece Lucy, who I’m all now in contact with. Thank you for making me so much stronger, incredibly grateful, and more independent than I ever I thought I could be. Thank you for inadvertently urging the men in my life to step up when you couldn’t. But most of all, thank you for making me depend on my Heavenly Father. In my darkest days He wiped my tears, held my hand, and comforted me when you weren’t there to…

I want you to know that I really am happy. I work hard for what I want and I have your stubborn streak that Katy said you had. I have your nose too. Katy has shown me pictures of you and told me many stories. I am very passionate and love people fiercely. I love reading, watching movies, and being around people. I also really love to clean. I apparently also share your need for things to be done a certain way. I don’t have my ears pierced and I’ve never been out of the country. I cry easily (more easily than I’d like to admit) and I love writing. I wish you already knew these things about me, but sometimes life just doesn’t work out the way you hoped.

I couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing than what I had. I’m so sorry you didn’t believe in yourself enough to have been apart of it, but I know that you were a good guy. No matter what hurt you caused me, you were loved. Not only by your wife, or friends, or family, but also by the daughter that you never met. I know you really did mean well and I believe that deep down you loved me back, I just wish I knew that for sure. I will always miss the man I never met and the chance I never had. I hope one day we will finally meet. I love you, Dad, and I will never forget you.

Love your daughter, Macy


8 thoughts on “An Open Letter To My Dad

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