Isn't it amazing that you can go years without giving much thought about someone who at some point meant the world to you but the curiosity of a child can have you doing social media searches and google searches within minutes?
It has been 9 years since I last reached out to you. Before that I was 17. You left my life, sometime around the age of 10. I guess, I am over due for my usual search for you. This time though, I'm not angry and this is my open letter for you, not to you.
I called you just before my graduation and asked you to attend. I invited you to come sit in the stands as I was recognized for my accomplishments because I wanted someone there who could understand the weight of that accomplishment, someone who would know what I came from and what an accomplishment my graduation really was. Someone, I could say was there for me.
Your reply was a "No." ... You told me that you had your very own family and that I was apart of your past and you asked me not to contact you again. At that time I couldn't understand why. I was once your daughter, you were the only dad I knew. The only dad I could remember.
I emailed you when I was 22 or maybe I was 23. I emailed you to let you know my mom had passed away and I was surprised to get a response. You made some quip about my e-mail address and I think you asked how I was doing? I remember being angry in my response.. and I remember hating that I wanted you to care more.
If this were to reach you today, I would want to tell you that I am sorry. I am sorry for expecting you to think of me the way I often thought of you. In my head and sometimes my diary, I always imagined you would just re-appear in my life and we would have a bond that I longed for.
I want you to know I'm not angry anymore. Not with you, or my mom.. or Floyd and Carol. I turned out to be a pretty decent person and a fairly good Mom. I'm successful and happy.
I'd want you to know that in some ways, I am a spitting image of Teri. I use "fuck" more then I should, I'm quick witted and when I see my smile in a reflection, I see her. I love hard and I give more then I should which were about her only redeeming qualities.
I think it would also be wise though to tell you that I didn't follow in her foot steps. I've never put drugs up my nose or into my veins, I've never touched a cigarette and I furthered my education. I waited until an acceptable time in my life to have children and I'd go to the ends of the earth for each and every one of them. I say this more for me then you though, you see, when I was young and angry I reached out to you for some form of acceptance. I needed validation. I don't need that from you now.
Today, for the first time ever, I told my daughters about you. I told them about the time you took me camping at the Kern River and how I almost drown when I slipped from my tube. How we were all thankful I had taken those swimming lessons the summer before. I was brief in my discussion about you and within minutes, my oldest had google searched you, found your home address and a land line number. She asked if I wanted to call you.. to which I replied, "No."
This girl can only handle so much rejection and you made it clear that you didn't want me to continue to contact you directly. I'll respect that.
What I would say to you though, if given the chance is this:
Thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving me your time and treating me well while you were apart of my life. I now understand all that it takes to love a child who is not biologically mine. The time, the effort, the thankless job it is to love a child who doesn't have to love you back.
I understand now, as an adult that you gave me what you could during a time that must have been hard on you. To not only end a relationship with my mom but to have to walk away from me probably wasn't easy on you.
I remember the year after we moved back to Apple Valley that you sent me a couple Nintendo games for my birthday. I never got the chance to tell you how much that meant to me. To be fair, at that time I didn't fully understand that you would never again be apart of my life.
I hope you're happy, I hope your kids are wonderful and that your wife treats you well. If google is correct my daughter informed me you're still in Bakersfield and you're still an electrician. I think I found you on Linkdn but thats as far as I took my own search.
I hope the hate mail I sent in my younger years doesn't hold the weight I intended it to. I was sad and alone. I hope that you understand what a positive role you played in my life. As an adult, I can appreciate that so much more.
To the man who was once my Step Dad, you did a great job.