You. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to be my first love. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to protect me from tears and heartache. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to model a good example for me. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to love me. Didn’t you know?
Didn’t you know?
Instead… Instead, you chose to fill your own selfish wants and desires. Instead, you caused my tears and heartache. Instead, you became a model of everything I don’t want in a man.
Instead, you gave my heart its very first scar when I was just a child.
Are you happy right now? Are you happy with your new wife and the kids she’s given you? Did you fulfill your duty to them? Were you your daughter(s)’s first love, your son(s)’s first hero, your wife’s one and only? Are you happy? With your 4-5 bedroom house in suburbia? Looks like you didn’t move too far from where we used to live when we were a family.
Family. Were we really a family? You were you. Mom was mom. I was both of you. We were three people—no, two and a quarter, I guess—occupying one very small space. I really didn’t know anything about you. What you liked. What you did for work. What meal you enjoyed coming home to. Your favorite color. Your favorite book. Your favorite food.
But I remember this.
Everyday, when you came home, you would knock on the door, and I would rejoice that my daddy was finally home, and I’d run to the door to unlock it for you and run into your arms like I hadn’t seen you for years. Ironic.
But I can’t remember this.
Were you happy to see me, too? Did you open your arms to me? Did you enjoy coming home to us? To me?
Who do you think you are, that you can abandon a woman you pledged your life to and the child who is flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone, and never look back? You’re as much a stranger to me today as you were before you left. But the damage you’ve done is much more intimate. You are a parasite, a wolf. Plain and simple.
But you know… I can thank you for two things.
I thank you for the physical life you’ve contributed to me.
And I thank you for being the lesson of forgiveness I needed to learn.
You didn’t love me. You weren’t the knight who rescued the princess—there was no knight, and I was no princess. You didn’t think I was enough. You didn’t think I mattered. You didn’t think I was your responsibility. You didn’t think of me as your child, or of you as my father.
But I hate to break it to both of us… it is true. I’m as much your DNA as you are mine.
And that’s all we will ever be to each other.
I wonder what you’d think if we ever met again. Would you recognize me? Growing up, everyone told me I looked like you—and it must’ve torn Mom apart to hear it so much. Would you care to know me? Would you see me as more than an insect?
No, I don’t suppose you would. I don’t think you even can. You had the chance to prove me wrong once several years ago. And you didn’t prove me wrong.
Instead, you broke my heart all over again.
It is a daily struggle to forgive you. Some days, I want to hate you forever. Some days, I want to punch you in the throat. Some days, I want to scream at you at the top of my lungs.
But who am I to judge you? Your sin is replicated in me. I have lied. I have cheated. I have broken the heart of my Love. I have left Him for other things. I have severed our relationship.
Like father, like daughter.
What a legacy, huh?
The first time I was able to see this… such a weight was lifted from my heart. I couldn’t judge you. I couldn’t condemn you. Your sin was my sin. I needed to repent as much as you do.
Because of a father, I learned to grow up before I should’ve. I learned the world was ugly. I learned that I was expendable.
But because of a Father, I learned—am learning—how to be a daughter, a child, an heir. I learned that He has overcome this world. I learned that I am covered in His fingerprints and am loved beyond measure.
He gave me you for a father for a reason. He had faith enough in me to believe I’d turn out all right — better than all right. He is strong enough to carry me through you. And you and I… we get to team up and bring Him glory in my life and through it. Don’t you feel special?
I’m not a messed up little girl with a father complex. I’m not a broken kid, desperate for any and all male attention. Oh, how close I could have been to either, but take a look at who I am. I am a woman firm in her Savior. I am a woman confident in who she is. I am a woman satisfied in the love of one Man. I am a woman strong enough to be weak. I am a woman who’s turned out pretty darn good.
And I am finally an heir. And Someone finally came to save me and defend me.
Bless you and your family. Bless your life here. May you enjoy all the seeds you have sown and reaped. Bless your children, that they may have the father I never did, and your wife, that she may have the husband my mother never did. Bless you.
But it’s really too bad you never got to know me. Your loss, really.
I’ll be praying for you as much as I can for the rest of my life. Some days (like today) will be more difficult than others. But I have forgiven you, do forgive you, and will forgive you.
Have a good life, dad. As best as you can without me, anyway.