It’s been 25 years, 300 months, and 9,125 days since the last time we’ve come in contact. Most people who encounter a biological parent removing themselves out of a child’s life use the energy in a negative way. Instead, if it wasn’t for you stepping away 25 years ago, I would’ve been a carbon copy of the man you became. But, instead of belittling your character and making you feel you didn’t have some type of impact on my life, I’d rather tell you how I feel about you in three words: I love you. Now most folks who have been through the same situation, you may think, “What?! Is he serious?” The love I have for my biological father is a very unique style of love. Let me explain.
I love you because if it wasn’t for you, it wouldn’t have taught my momma how to be the strong independent woman she is now. When I was a child, I remember countless times that I would see my momma sitting at the dinner table with nothing to eat just so that she could provide for me. I watched her work tireless hours just to make ends meet and make sure that we had everything we needed. I witnessed her scratch, fight, and claw to be the most successful version of herself that she could be. She set the standard to grind, never quit, and always go out and take what you want, even when the chips are down. For a while, she was both the mother and father figure, and she did it with class and toughness.
I love you because if it wasn’t for you walking out, then at the age of 5 the man I would eventually call my “dad” wouldn’t have stepped up and filled the shoes that you weren’t able to fulfill. He raised me by setting the example of what it looked like to be a respectable man and the hardest worker in the room. That if you stay focused and driven then no one out here can stop you from achieving what you want to achieve. He’s never once missed out on anything that involved my life (i.e. birthdays, graduations, the birth of my daughter, etc.). He’s always been there to pick me up when I’ve fallen, taught me toughness and grittiness, and celebrated my life accomplishments. In a nutshell, he stepped up when you stepped out.
I love you because you taught me how to be a father. I’m the father of the most precious 3 year-old any one has ever laid their eyes on. Though I may be extremely bias with my statement, just know she’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. But what I mean in saying that is you provided me with all of the examples of what not to do. When my daughter was born, I vowed to never leave her side, always be there when she needs me, wipe her tears when she’s hurt or in pain, and rejoice with her on all of the achievements that this life will provide her one day. To wake up every single morning, go to bed every night, and all throughout the day telling her how much I love her. When I walk away from her and she fears that I’m leaving her, I always make sure that no matter what, “daddy will always be here”. I’d go above and beyond to give her everything that she needs no matter the cost.
I love you because you provided my life with a drive and ambition that no one else has ever been able to push me with. To not fall victim to following the cycle of whom you and your father were. To be driven to never give up on anything, especially my child. I’m not belittling you, instead I’m saying that I thank you and love you. A few months ago, I was able to forgive you for the wrongs and damage that was inflicted from the past, and now it’s time to move forward. Maybe one day we’ll cross paths again, but until then just know that I love you.