Letter to My Dad
Category : David's Writings
A very special friend of mine wrote a letter to her dad and asked me to read it to let her know what I thought. As I read the letter I was amazed at all the loved that poured from her and how much her father loved her and what he meant to her. The memories that she brought up are just an imagination to me, as I grew up in a completely different environment. I was privileged to watch her father read the letter and I could see the tears welling in his eyes as he went through the three pages. I couldn't help but to feel happy and joy for them and it brought a small tear to my eye. I couldn't imagine what that must of felt like, to write the letter and to receive the letter and I wonder if I wrote a letter to my dad, what would I say. The letter is below.
You don't know me but I am your son. I didn't know you and for my whole life I wish I did. I wish I knew what it was like to have your father love you, to have your father in your life. I have only three memory's, well four if you count the picture mom has shown me, of you. I know you left my life when I was two or three, mom has told me how I always waited for a letter or phone call from you and when it never came how I would cry. Dad I am not trying to put you on a guilt trip as I do not remember the things mom has told me.
I want you to know me dad, so let me tell you about my life since you have been gone. Growing up I was afraid, afraid of everything, I was small and skinny as a child, always picked on by the other kids, always getting beat up. I was afraid of getting hurt so I didn't fight back, hoping no one would fight me. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, and fighting started becoming an everyday part of life and I was afraid of it. I use to run home from school crying for mom because the other kids were always beating me up. I lived across the street from the school, all of this in grade school.
In Jr. High, my pre-teen years, it didn't change much, I was so skinny, there was no positive influence in my life. Mom tried her best but it wasn't easy for her to work full time and then come home and take care of the kids. She was young and wanted to live her life so she was out on the weekends. She had an abusive boyfriend 6'4” over 300lbs. We always thought that one day he would kill us. How angry he got when he was drunk and how he would beat mom up so bad. Every weekend when he drank we would run out of the house, mom trying to get his attention away from me and my sister. I was 13 when he died, I changed from there.
Dad I am sorry but I hated you from that point on into my 20's and from my 30's into my early 40's I just didn't care about you anymore. I didn't care if you were dead or alive and to me you were dead. I am sorry I held those feelings towards you dad.
In my teens I got into drugs and alcohol, getting high became an every day/other day thing for a while, along with drinking. I got into crime, at thirteen I was part of a bike stealing ring and we kept the bikes behind the apartment where I lived. At 15 I went to jail for the first time, with some friends for theft. Everything just got worse from there. I wound up in prison when I was 20 and spent my 21st birthday locked in a 5x9 cell. I got into fights in prison, wondering if this would be my last fight, will this person kill me. I had to lose the fear and that I did. When I got out I had no fear of fighting and found myself always getting into fights and into trouble.
I had a daughter, dad, you have a grand daughter. I wish you could see her. However the apple didn't fall far from the tree and I did not stay with her mother just like you didn't stay with mom. I tried the best I could to be my daughter's life, to be a father for her but what example did I have, where was my role model to glean from. My daughter and I had a rough patch for a while in our relationship but we are working on it. Every time I look at her or listen to her talk I see so much of me and who I was in her and I wonder how much of you is in me. Six weeks after she was born I found myself in jail again and I remember what it was like to look at my baby daughter through 6 inches of glass, not being able to hold her. I do love my daughter and I want nothing more than to be in her life and if this is in me it has to be in you dad because I would have had to get this feeling, this notion, from somewhere. I was caught committing another crime and I wound up getting sentence to 9 mos of work release and not two more years in the penitentiary and I thought I got lucky. Instead what I got was God's grace and mercy however I wouldn't know this for another 20 years. After that life wasn't easy, I was a high school drop out, with a felony record, at least I was off parole at that time.
In my 30's I did go back to school and I did get two college degrees in computers. But still no stability in my life. I am now in my 40's dad and how much things have changed. Though one looking in may still see an unstable person who has nothing and they would be wrong. I have found God and after all the time He has been reaching out to me I finally accepted Him and reached back. I still do not have anything and I may not be completely stable but my quality of life has improved. God has also shown me about you dad, not as in who you are but as in a person who may have been in a bad place in his life. Not being able to deal with everything going on and having to make some hard choices.
God has also shown me to stop blaming you and letting go of the hurt, the void I have had inside from not having a father. He has shown me how to forgive and I do forgive you dad.
I cannot say or judge that you are the same man today as the man who left me as a child. I am sure you loved me dad and you had your reasons to leave the way you did. I just want you to know I do not hate you and I do not blame you. I want you to know I love you and I miss you.
Dad I wish I knew what it was like to be held by you, to feel safe in your arms, to hear you say that you love me. It won't feel the same now as it would have felt when I was four but it doesn't mean I don't want to know what it is like to have my dad hug me and say that he loves me. Maybe one day I will get the chance. I love you dad, I wish I knew you.
David Allen Sherer