Good Bye Dad

Friday October 27, 2017

Dear Dad,

It’s been a year today since you killed yourself. The past year has been a long arduous journey. When a parent dies it’s not easy, but when they kill themselves those left behind, as you well know (remember your dad killed himself and your mother too—you always said you’d never repeat that, and you never understood), are left with misunderstanding, remorse, and something a little bit more than sadness.

I realize that your life was difficult. You were abused, not loved, and raised very harshly. And I’m sorry that all those incidences happened to you when you were little that you had no control over. Sometimes in life we are given lemons and it’s up to us to make lemonade.

There’s always another side to every story and if we could get outside of our heads and our own realities we just might see the gray in between. If you make a habit of living life one moment at a time, you start to realize that more of your moments are filled with peace and happiness. We never are living anywhere else but right here and right now in this moment.

My life growing up was awful too. It started when you left my mom. But something inside of me always knew that this life I was forced to live was not my reality. In life if you aren’t careful you can get trapped inside your head and controlled by that little voice that tells you lies. Lies about who you are based on how you were trained. I believe we are all just like Pavlov’s Dog, reacting to stimuli.  At some point it is up to each one of us to challenge that training we received as a child and become who we are regardless of the lies we were told by our parents.

Think about your life like this, remember those merry go rounds that you could hop on and then hang on for dear life while someone else pushed, round and round? We all discovered at some point that all you had to do to stay on and be safe was to brace yourself with body and legs facing inward towards the middle. Eventually, all you could see were the people on that merry go round with you. As long as you stayed there you were fine. But if you wanted to get off that thing you had to jump. Jumping involved scraping your hands and knees to bloody bits; quite painful.

I just wanted to you to know that I jumped off quite some time ago. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t easy. I feel like an explorer on the ocean back before we knew what the world looked like.  I realize that you did not have the strength it takes to jump off the merry go round and in the end you killed yourself like your dad did.

But I want you to know that I changed the craziness. My husband is really kind. My daughter is brilliant in math and music. My sensitive son is great at baseball and math and wants to be an engineer someday. I teach math as you well know. Every young boy that I work with, I think of you and how if someone would have just loved you, understood you, and believed in you, it might have made a difference. I try to make a difference in their lives. I try to love, understand and believe in them.  I know it’s not easy growing up male. I wish I could have helped you to rebuild yourself too—remember I tried. I was ill equipped.

I’m so sorry that our last words were filled with anger. Your family asked me to stop talking to you as it was making you want to come and visit me and causing them problems because you couldn’t afford to make those kind of trips. I wish you could have been stronger and told your dad that you wanted to drop out of high school and work for that bicycle shop. (One of the reasons why I have always taught my kids to trust themselves and do what they want–that think that makes them happy and fulfilled–as long as they aren’t hurting themselves or anyone else.) I think that would have been the beginning of you becoming who you really were.

I want to thank you for my life, because without you I wouldn’t be here. I want to thank you for buying me my first racing bike and giving me the love of riding bicycles. I want to thank you for teaching me how to play Go. (I’m starting a Go Club at my school. You would be so proud.) I want to thank you for teaching me to speak the truth, and not cuss, cause if you really want to tell someone what you think, tell them the truth it’s ten time worse than an angry “fuck you!” 

May you rest in peace.

All my love,

Your Daughter

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