A Letter to My Dad

I've been going back and forth on if I really wanted to write this for Father's Day. And it's not the type of letter one would typically write on Father's Day as I currently don't have a great relationship with my dad as he has basically abandoned me since I graduated high school when he chose alcohol over his family. So I'm not writing this to that dad as I do not consider him one anymore... that version of him is just the man who replaced my father. So I'm writing to the dad I remember growing up, the image I've frozen in my head that I choose to remember my father by. The one that I aspired to be and got excited whenever he got home from a business trip. The dad who just wanted to make his two daughters smile and have a better life then he had growing up.

I don't know if my dad even reads my blog or at all tries to figure out what's going on in my life since we stopped talking completely three years ago, but this is something I wanted to write about for Father's Day to get it off my chest.

Dear Dad,

Happy Father's Day, I suppose. The day society all gets together and celebrates all the things Dad to for us. From teaching us how to take apart and build our first computers, to learning the constellations while talking about political topics in the hot tub, and to driving on the highway for the first time. You let me follow my dreams even when you knew I wouldn't ever end up happening. You didn't belittle them or second guess me, you played along and helped me in whatever way possible. From getting me books about space when I wanted to be an astronaut, to helping me construct paper houses with blue prints when I wanted to be an architect, and to getting me random spare computers to build when I wanted to go into computer engineering. You helped me reach my goals and realize what I didn't want to do along the way.

Thank you for going to every one of my sporting events when you were in town, even though you hated sports. I know I was never good at any of them, but I appreciated you being there for me. From every time I missed a goal to crashing into the hockey boards because I didn't know how to stop. You encouraged me to try my best at everything I attempted.

When I thought my world was falling apart before I was ever diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, you tried to cheer me up or bandage me up when you could. And the times you couldn't, you tried to distract me by talking about nerdy things or music so I didn't play attention to the demons running around in my head. And when I sought help, you didn't discourage me from doing so. You paid for the therapy and all the medications they tried out that ultimately failed. You did your best in a bad situation. And I can never repay that, though I wish I could as you battle your own demons with alcoholism.

Maybe one day we'll be able to get past our differences and rebuild the relationship we once had. As I miss the dad you used to be. The one who took me to sock-hops and nerded out over bands, movies, and television shows in the basement while playing video games. The one I could tell anything to even if I wasn't look for some magical solution. The dad who took us camping and on vacations where we had to experience everything that place had to offer so we could say we did it all. I miss the little things and the big things.

So in the meantime, I hope you're doing well. And though I don't know what to say in person anymore to you, just know that I'm wishing you a happy Father's Day.