The Dad I Never Had
June 17, 2019
Alexandra Wade

My dad abandoned my mother and I when I was 6. I was so excited to start first grade. I remember coming home from school on a Thursday. It was after my first week or so in school. My parents had a huge fight that weekend. On Sunday, my dad was no longer there. See, yesterday was Father’s Day. On that day of the year, I do a lot of thinking. I think about who I am and where I stand. I think about what I want to do, I evaluate my life again. But that wasn’t always the case.

Since my father left, Father’s Day was always a very sad day for me. I would close off and keep a distance from everyone. My mother did everything in her power to cheer me up. I never attended school on Father’s Day, my mom also took a day off and we had a fun day together. She really tried to make me happy. I usually faked it to not upset her, but I was still very sad inside.

It took me many years to appreciate my mother for all that. I never thought about how she might be feeling. I was a self-centered teen (like most teens), and cared only about my own feelings. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for my mother. Now I understand I wasn’t the only one faking her emotions, so was my mother. She hid her pain, and me- being a naive child – thought she had none. She was hurting too. He didn’t leave only me, but also her, and it took me many years (too many years) to see that.

But this isn’t an appreciation letter to my mother (even though she really deserves it maybe on Mother’s Day), this is about my father. So here we go. Dad, I think I want to thank you. I’m finally at a point in my life where I can let go and move on. I was so fixed on the feelings I had: anger, confusion, and sometimes even hatred, and it consumed my life.

We have to move past things that keep our lives on hold. Past things that cause us stress. I resented my father for many years, and it wasn’t healthy for me and my relationships. I have grown and discovered a lot since I’ve learned to leave it behind. My half-siblings and I have a better relationship. I feel more relaxed and like I can keep my life going. I feel like I have achieved more and made tremendous progress both the professional and personal aspects of my life.

I am not saying it’s been easy getting here, not at all. It took me many years to feel this way. To everyone out there with a similar situation, I hope you can achieve that too. Here is to hoping next year’s Father’s Day will go better.

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