Wednesday, October 14, 2009

letters to an erstwhile father

Dear Daddy,

Do you mind if she calls you that? It is, after all, what she called you in the beginning. You were Daddy then. Before you left. The next time she saw you, she didn't feel comfortable calling you anything. Calling you by your given name didn't seem right. Neither did Daddy. Or even Dad. 'Cause you weren't either of those at that point. But they were all about appearances in their family -- and she uses the term family loosely. Very loosely. Or maybe not so much about appearance, but about avoidance. Or about doing what's expected. And so, when she saw you all those years later as an adult, she did what was expected -- she called you Dad.

She's wanted to write this letter for a long time. Or perhaps what she means to say is that she's been thinking forever about all the things she'd like to say but hasn't had the courage. Or things she'd like to ask, but doesn't. Because they don't discuss things in their family. They pretend problems don't exist. Outwardly, at least. Perhaps because they are afraid of the potential answers. But these thoughts have sure as hell been in her head for a long time. Forever. Or since she was big enough for her my pint-sized brain to begin to form them. To wonder. It's time to let them out. To give them wings. To watch them soar. To give her peace.

Have a seat, dear Daddy, and get comfortable. This might take some time...

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