Dear Old Dad, Part Two (AKA Nothing You Can Do, but You Can Learn How To Be You in Time)

can't win 'em all

I talked about sending a letter to my dad, and why I did that instead of calling him on the phone or getting onto a plane and going to knock on his door. Well, I probably couldn’t have taken a plane anywhere in the early fall, but you get the point.

I mentioned that at the end of the letter I wrote to him, I said, “I look forward to talking whenever you feel like picking up the phone,” and that so far, he hadn’t picked up the phone.

He still hasn’t, but he picked up a pen and a piece of paper to tell me that he has no need for a daughter, and that he will, among other things, hurt every day for the rest of his life.

Well, there you go.

Actually, he said he doesn’t have any need for me right now but “maybe someday.” Which means…what? I hate you, but I might not hate you forever? I don’t know. Okay, I don’t think any of it means he hates me, but he’s not feeling the love, that’s pretty clear.

Along with his short, three sentence note, he returned the letter I sent him, and to make sure I didn’t miss the message, sent it all to me by certified mail. Addressed to “Mike.” A name I haven’t used in 40 years, but, you know, minor detail. Not hostile at all.

That isn’t the response I had hoped for, of course, but I can’t say I didn’t expect it. At least somewhat. It’s a drag (no pun intended), but it’s not tragic. Tragic would be getting that reaction if I relied on him or lived with him or something. The way it’s tragic for young people who go through this. That’s tragic. Being rejected by people you rely on.

For me, it’s just disappointing. But maybe someday, right?



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