Or “Missing Someone I Never Knew”
Or “What I Wish I Could Say To You”
Forgive me father, for I have sinned.
- The first time I missed you, was at parent’s day of my Kindergarten year. Mom came, and I finally understood that our family wasn’t normal. I knew not everyone had a skeleton in their closet, but I thought we all at least had a ghost.
- The last time I missed you, was this morning. Everytime I thank God for a meal, I wonder about your last, and your favorite, and you. And when I left the house this morning, I thought about how you never saw this home, and maybe moving around was mom’s way of running. Maybe we haven’t moved because she likes here, but maybe it’s because she’s tired of running away. I left the house and thought about you. I thought about how you left the house for the last time on a friday. I thought about how we never got to say goodbye- or hello.
- You died when Clinton was president, and “I’ll Be Missing You” was the number 1 song in America. I never understood irony.
- Mom says I am like you- but she never smiles when she says this. I wonder if it is because you too were a writer, or because you never matched your socks, or because we seem to be the only people that have lived here that like butterscotch pudding, or because I never saw obsessive as a bad trait. Mom says I’m like you. And for a moment I think that if I reread the court case enough times, another chapter will come. As if I can reread the ending of you and change the mind of Death.
- I know I don’t remember you, but sometimes I think that I do. Because I know I remember being mad at you, and blaming you for things. I know I remember waiting for you to come home, and praying for you to make it for just one Christmas, birthday, new years. And I know that there is no way that I could miss your touch- but I do. The only thing that I’ve ever seen that you have touched in this world is: my mother, and your pin collection she gave me, but I miss your dusty hands. I miss your dusty hugs. And every night I pray that you are resting somewhere clean, somewhere clear. And I have mourned you, but I’m not sure I will ever get over the fact that I have missed 6000 goodnight hugs. And that every day I wake up without a father. I’m not sure I will ever get over the fact that I miss you. And yeah, I know I’m not the only kid who hasn’t met his father, and I know I’m not the only kid without a dad, and I know I’m not the only kid without you, but I’m the only me without you. And I miss you being here.
- I used to get upset, knowing that you would never take me to a Daddy/Daughter dance, never walk me down the aisle. And now, the only thing that bothers me, is that the first man I loved never saw me, and the second man I loved stares back at me in the mirror every morning. The last time I missed you, was today: I looked back at myself, and saw a piece of the man in those pictures. I looked back at myself and remembered that you can miss someone you have yet to meet. And every morning I thank God for another day, knowing that each day I am here I am moving both closer and farther from you.
- I hate to say that this is unfair. Because I see what the world does to the good and the bad, and I don’t want to play that game. But you weren’t a deadbeat, you didn’t just pop out for some cigarettes and not come back, you didn’t leave when she she got pregnant, you didn’t decide this was too much, you just died. And I hate to say it but I wish this was fair, I wish that there was someone to be mad at. And I don’t know why I think about you so much because everyone tells me I shouldn’t. But there is just so much I wish I knew. Like: Are you proud of me? Are you mad because I didn’t take Ignatius when I changed my name? Did you ever really believe that I was a girl? What’s grandpa’s name? What was your biggest fear? Which side of my family is the crazy side? Are you proud of me?
- I think you would have liked Jeff. He loves like a white man from Jersey does, but he cares. He takes care of mom as much as she will let him, and I’ve never heard him raise his voice to her. He has taught me what you would have, like how to throw a spiral, how to tie a tie, how to shave, and even though he too had other kids, I think I’m his favorite too. I think I’m okay with him being there for me. Even Jesus had a stepfather, and He turned out just fine.
- I still write to you. If I could, I would send you the letters in the mail. Tell you about my day, describe to you in detail the most beautiful things. I would tell you everything that has happened in the past 18 years. And if I could, I would remind you what it feels like to love someone so much that you almost want to trade with Death for a meeting. I’m not sure if you ever really thought about the potential of love, but I’m sure you knew that I would grow up to love you, because in some way I am you.
- I’m scared. And I’m not sure what of yet, but I’ll let you know. All I can say now is that not everyone here knows what they do, and sometimes I want to be with you. But the reason I shut the stairway time and time again is because I will raise my children someday. And that’s why I’m here. And I can’t leave this world before I do what I came here for. You taught me that no one can do what you can, and that no one can be a better you than you. I love you dad.
And I hear you whispering “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,” and I answer you, “For His mercy endures forever.”