A Letter to My Father

Dear Father,

A man isn’t a father because he gets a woman pregnant; he isn’t a father because he gives the child his last name. You have to earn the right to be called a father and you never earned that right, to be honest I don’t think you ever wanted it. When I was younger there were nights I would sit up and wonder if I would ever get to know you.

Even as an adult there are times where I imagine us having a beer and talking. Me learning about who you are, what made you the way you are? Maybe developing a friendship to make up for the father son relationship we never had. Then I think about who I am and who you are and I realize I’ve learned so much more by not having you in my life then I ever could by talking to you. Everything you’re not makes me everything I am.

I value my reputation. I work hard and I’m well spoken and dependable because I don’t ever want to be compared to you. When I’m drinking and I’m afraid I might be having one too many I think about you and I stop. When there’s a woman that looks amazing and all I want is her but I know I don’t need her, I stop.

I have 13, 14 brothers and sisters out there that I’ll probably never know because you couldn’t simply introduce us. Not pay child support or take us to the park but just introduce us? How hard would that have been? What type of man couldn’t do that for the children he brought into this world?

Do you know I wreck every relationship I have because I’m not ever sure if I have it in me to be a good father? I worry that I have your DNA inside of me. I worry that I’ll be too much like you and end up ruining some child’s life. I wish this was bullshit but it’s true, I have all these great qualities, all this love to give and every time I get close to someone I fall back because I don’t want to disappoint them like you’ve disappointed me. What if that’s genetic?

I’ll never hate you because you helped my mother give me life but I can never love you. I can never respect you or feel sympathy for you. All I can do is watch you exist, watch you kill yourself slowly. I’m 31 and I’ve never actually had a real conversation with you. I’m 31 and I’ve never been in a room with you while you were sober.

One day I’ll overcome these demons I have. I won’t let the blood of yours that’s in me allow me to be anything like you. I’m educated, I’ve never spent a night in prison, an hour. As I type this I’m at work running construction projects. I’m a published author. There isn’t a child on this earth that can say I’m his or her father because I wouldn’t do that to a child or a woman. I’ll be a great husband and I’m becoming a great man all because of what you taught me not to do. One day I’ll find someone and fall in love and my children will never know you exist. When you die, your legacy will die.

I said earlier I feel nothing for you but the truth is I feel sorry for you because you had an opportunity to be so much more and instead you settled for being nothing.

Sincerely Yours,

Your Son… Demez
me

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