I never really knew my father all that well. There are bits and pieces of my father that I remember from my growing up years.
I remember my father sleeping in the bed…seeing the top of his bald head at dinner time nearly placing his face into his plate…hearing him take my side over me spending my pennies that I had saved for kindergarten…being held by him as he cooked his blood sausage over the stove…crying as he was leaving for his grange meetings and I was held in my mum’s arms…riding in a car with him and my aunt while he told me great stories (which I would prod him to continue over and over again)…locking my brother out of the house by nailing the back door shut (my brother did not have it so good from my dad)…dad bringing home a cat in a large box (I could only see part of the face sticking out a hole…I thought it was a lamb that he had brought home).
…I remember the day my mum told me my dad moved away and was living in a big building somewhere else (my little mind pictured a skyscraper of a building…reaching up into the clouds and somewhere within that building was my father…of which I missed and wanted back home where he belonged).
I was told later in life that my mum and dad fought a lot, that my brother and dad did not get along, that my dad was not a good father.
I remember cleaning my dad’s apartment on visits to his home…cooking my dad frozen dinners…making my dad coffee with a shot of whiskey on the side for breakfast-lunch-dinner…my dad’s girlfriend that painted my nails each visit…not understanding why I could not sleep over when my brother could…walks to the liquor store…a walk in a cemetery.
I remember my dad coming to my birthday party and giving me a book that had stories of the Bible in it…others looked down upon this gift, but to me it is was like gold…because it came from my dad…riding my bicycle 7 miles one way to visit my dad a couple of towns away…getting freezer burn from a hamburger and being in extreme pain walking 7 miles with my bicycle back home after visiting my dad (regretting eating the hamburger, but not regretting seeing my dad)…the news that my dad had died one November morning (I was 16 and told not to cry because he was never really a father to me).
My father was not the best, as fathers seem to go, but he was my father. I forgive him for not being there for me, for not taking me places or even to the park, for being an alcoholic, for saying things to me that fathers do not say to their daughters, for being not nice to my brother or mother. I apologize for making fun of him sometimes when he was drunk…not honoring him.
I forgive you dad…I miss you…I wish you could have seen me grow up…I wish I could give you a hug and tell you I love you no matter what others say. You are my dad and you always will be and that is why I love you…not because of things you did or did not do…but because you are my dad. I wish you could see these words. I don’t know if I will see you in Heaven, because I am not sure if you gave your life to Jesus and accepted his gift of eternal life. I love you daddy!!!