I’m not proud to admit it, but I think of you at least once a day.

Have you aged well in the thirteen years since I’ve seen you? 
Are your eyes still the same wonderful, rich green that look like they can see into your soul? 
Most importantly, do you think about me at all? 

This year was the first year in three that you wished me a happy birthday. You haven’t sent me a letter or an email of your own accord unless it was my birthday or Christmas; this made me think, how is it that you go on living your life without me?

speculation

I’m not a parent, so I can only speculate as to what it means to be one, but I just don’t understand you. I’ve listened to my mother describe what it means to be a parent: “it’s like having the largest part of your heart, living outside of your chest in a world you cannot control. It’s nerve-wrecking, dangerous, beautiful and immortal.” Well, if that is a parent’s love, you have failed me. How can you live everyday knowing that you created me, that I’m half of you and yet, you live like I don’t exist?

I know that circumstances, life, and your fear have ripped us apart, but damn it, why haven’t you crossed the oceans and done everything in your power to put us back together? Looking back, I’m not sure you could. You see, I’ve lived twenty-six years without you. Which mean I’ve had twenty-six years learning how to live with the hole that you left in my chest.

broken

In my most vulnerable moments, I would admit that your absence broke something inside of me that I had to learn how to be stronger in spite of. You, one half of my parental unit, didn’t love me enough to stay and fight for a relationship with me, and that is a damning thought.

Could anyone love me if my own father didn’t?

I try not to think of you, but the moments that I know you will miss, haunt me.

You will never know what I look like now as a grown woman.

You will never be there to support me as I walk down the aisle.

You will never get to meet the children I hope to one day call my own. 

Most importantly, you will never be able to look me in the face and answer that question that has haunted me for as long as I can remember:

Dad, do you think of me at all?

Published in featured, memoirs

1 Comment
  1. TK Dennis 2 weeks ago

    I can’t answer your question Ashlee, but we’ll think of you here for sure.

    Thank you for being so honest and transparent about how you felt. That’s what great stories are made of, feelings, not facts.

    Awesome post.

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