I haven't spoken with you in so long. Things are such a mess. And I need your help.
I seem to be crying too much, feeling overwhelmed and broken. I don't really think anyone cares about me. Everyone will say they do...but they don't. Not in a real way. Not in a lasting way.
When you left many years ago, I thought you went to be with a better family, with a better 6 year-old girl. There must be something wrong with me, with us. And I worried, constantly, what bad thing would happen next. You see, when someone leaves you suddenly as a child, you live in a constant state of the "other shoe dropping."
That worry may be killing me, Daddy. And I don't want to die. I don't want to want to die anymore. Life is pretty and I'm afraid I'll miss it.
For much of my adult life, I was very lost. But its alright. I'm beginning to see myself a little more clearly because of all the shit I've been through. I am becoming more whole, as far as fractured people go. I'm trying.
But when people leave me in any way, shape or form, I become so defeated, so distraught. And guess what? It seems as if people do leave me more, as if I'm living out some awful destiny. Like I'm perpetually a little girl losing someone, perpetually in a state of grief. Too many years have gone by like this, Daddy, too many.
I worry that sometimes my heart will literally break. My heart started beating funny last year and I was so scared, Dad! I thought for sure all the heartache and tears had worn away my heart muscle.
That's why I'm writing to you. Change must come. Or I may not make it.
When you lose your father, you don't even dare dream things. You just figure something is very wrong with you and dreams are for little girls whose daddies stayed. Nothing works for the girl whose Daddy left. She's a perpetual Cinderella, sans a saving Prince.
I want to let myself dream again. I want to fall in love, maybe get married, and spend every day feeling wonderful that I found the man of my dreams... big love. I want to be confident and speak my mind without feeling stupid or ashamed. I want to be at peace, not frightened and anxious. I want to laugh so hard, it hurts. I want to feel safety. I want a deep sense of home. You see, when you left, home left too and has never returned. I'm ready for home now.
Maybe we wouldn't even get along had you stayed, I don't know. But I remember you being a very gentle and just man. Kind. Am I wrong? You loved nature, animals, singing. You loved laughing. You were well-liked and humble. Mom was the dark horse but you were the jovial, peaceful one. (You left us with a real troublemaker, I can tell you that. Damn you for that.)
It was embarrassing growing up, not having a father. And now that mom is gone, I'm an official orphan. Now people say, in this slightly patronizing tone that only I recognize, "You can spend the holidays with us. We'd love to have you." The royal "we" that everyone has and I don't. I hate their invitations.
Father's Day...whatever. Another day to feel amiss and discordant with the world. A day like any other.
So how can you help, Dad?
Please convince me of the truth.
You didn't leave me. You died, Daddy - you simply died, like humans do.
Had I been allowed to visit you in the hospital or go to your funeral or visit the cemetary in which your bones lie, had I even felt your spirit around me a little more over these years, perhaps I'd own my life more fully, more richly. I would have grieved once, not constantly.
I so wish you were here, just for a short while. I'd like to show people you exist. You see? I have a father too! A good father!
But since you can't be here, please send help my way. You can do that, can't you? Death shouldn't stand in the way of you being my father.
Until then, I'm just a butterfly, kicked about by the wind.
"So save your strength and run the field, you play alone."
(Someone Saved my Life Tonight - Elton John and Bernie Taupin)