Another Father’s Day. Just another day on the calendar for me. Guess you never realized how much I hated this day when I was a kid. It’s been years since you’ve been gone, but you had disappeared from my life a long time before the cancer claimed you. I wish I could resign myself to that loss but time hasn’t diminished the pain, taken away the bitterness, or made me less angry. I will never understand what it was that kept you from being a part of my life (those 2 days when you showed up with a girl friend not much older than me don’t count). You have no idea about the emptiness – no clue about the lies I told myself to make it through those tough parts of life when I was truly alone. No comprehension of the scars that are still there. I am proud that everything I had to know I learned on my own, but it would have been nice to have had some guidance about things like courage, integrity, and strength. Even better to have learned how to be a man instead of figuring it out on my own, looking for any kind of role model I could find to fill the void you left. I haven’t always been a perfect father myself but I’ve been there for my kids (your grandkids by the way), and they know that my love is unconditional and will never have to wonder about that. They will never have that huge, sucking hole in their hearts that you left me with. I will never understand what it is about some men that makes them abandon their children – maybe it’s because you lack character. Or values. Or maybe, in the words and language of the characters I write, you were really “just a piece of shit.”
I think some times that’s closer to the truth.
So, today, if you’re up there in heaven looking down (although I believe there’s a special place in hell for a guy like you), I want you to know that the anger and pain you left me with has driven me to succeed. To be different. To be better than you. To be nothing like you. And if we meet again in the afterlife, just pretend you don’t know me……because let’s face it, you never really did.