Those are words I never expected to write. I am your daughter, Amanda. I am not writing to ask for anything, to tell you I hate you, or that I want you in my life. I am writing you because after 32 years of life, I have learned that your absence affected me more than I would
like to admit. I am trying to heal and I need to share some things with you.
My mother is the strongest person I know and did an amazing job raising me alone. She put me above everything else in this world. I know she tried desperately to fill any void I had from not having you in my life. We are super close because of what we have endured over the years.
I’ve probably gone through every stage of mourning over the last 30 years. Even though you haven’t died, you’ve been estranged from me for so long. As a young girl, I remember loving you. I knew you were far away and I wouldn’t see you much, but I still had this
unexplainable love for you even though I knew nothing about you. I remember hating you at some point as well. I was so angry that you could “throw me away”, so to speak, without a second thought. It hit me hard when I graduated high school. You weren’t there to be proud of me for all I had accomplished or how hard I had worked.
Even still, after all these years, I wonder if you remember my birthday and if you think of me then, or any other day. I wondered if you ever married again or had any other children and if you had ever planned on contacting me. I wondered how I would know when you passed away and if I would ever see you before that happened.
I’ve only heard bits and pieces of the man you used to be. Mom only talked about you when I asked questions and she never said much until I was older. I heard some things through other family members. I don’t know details or even the worst of what happened because Mom won’t tell. I think she just can’t relive it and she doesn’t want me to. I have been divorced so I understand marrying someone who is wrong for you. I wasn’t myself when I was with him, and probably was the worst version I could be. Every word he spoke was a lie and one day I found out I had been married to a man I didn’t truly know. I get that you might have been
wrong for each other, but some things are inexcusable. I will never understand why you did some things you did. You may never understand it either, but know that people can change.
I don’t know what your life has been like, but I have seen for Facebook profile page and your mug shots online. I was so curious about what you were like now. I am not trying to scold you
or judge you and actually, this is just the opposite. I am writing this letter to tell you that I forgive you. Despite growing up fatherless in a time when it wasn’t common, having suffered
through loss, divorce, and health issues, my life has been so incredibly blessed through my relationship with Jesus. I don’t have enemies and I don ‘t want to harbor anger or hold a grudge. I don’t want to live my life judging anyone because I have been forgiven without deserving it and you can be forgiven too.
I can’t get my dad back on this Earth. I can’t get the 30 years I lost knowing you, but I can spend eternity with you in Heaven if you decide to make that choice. My heart aches at the thought of anyone I love suffering for their sins with no chance of ever seeing the face of God. I guess I do love you, even though I don’t know how to say it in a way that makes sense. I know a lot of people think that I shouldn’t, but God thinks I should and that’s affirmation
enough. You are still my dad.
A little girl is supposed to get her self-worth from her Daddy. You were supposed to be the first man to love me and tell me that you loved me and that I was beautiful. You were supposed to protect me and make me feel safe and show me how my future husband was
supposed to take care of me. I don’t know if you ever said any of those things. I was too young to remember. Maybe you didn’t. There are holes in my heart that can’t be filled, but I grew up strong and compassionate. The support from my faith and my family have made all the difference.
There are things I would like to tell you like accomplishments and talents, things that I love, about my husband and my two children, and how amazingly blessed my life has been. I know life is not a fairy tale and you may not even care to know any of those things. I’m not the little girl you abandoned so many years ago. This may be the only communication we ever have.
So my point is, I forgive you, God will forgive you if you ask Him. You may not always be able to make things right, but you can always try. You have the choice to change as long as you are breathing. I hope and pray you become the man God intended you to be whether you are ever in my life or not.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
I posted this back in August. I mailed my letter to my Dad, but left no return address. I recently went back to FB to see if maybe he had posted about getting it and this is what I found dates for August 19th.
My Dearest Daughter Amanda,
After 28 years of not hearing from you, I received the letter that you sent to me. You did not put a return address on or in it, so this will serve as my letter back to you, should you ever care to read it. Let me start off by saying that I did, do, and will always love you if for nothing more than the fact that you are a part of me. You say in your letter that you have seen my MySpace and Facebook profiles. I haven’t been on MySpace in 7 or so years. As far as my Facebook page when I first opened this account there was a very lengthy statement in my profile that I wrote in the hopes that you might one day see it. Apparently that didn’t happen. When your Aunt Sue contacted your mom last year, she stated that you had no place for your father’s’ side of family in your life. When I got out of prison in October of last year, I erased that lengthy statement because of what your mother had said to my sister regarding you. I tried for years to find you, even as recent as last October to no avail. I always felt that when you was old enough you might want to try and find me. From the day that your mother and I separated I made it a point to have a listed phone number and address. If for no other reason than to hope your search would be easy. You asked if I ever thought of you on your birthday or even remembered when it was? My answer: Yes, I know exactly when your birthday is July 11th 1980 Probably the proudest moment in my life. I knew then and still believe to this day that whatever else I failed at in life, in you I succeeded. No, I don’t have any other children of my own. I also knew then that you would be the only child I would ever have. You said in your letter that I threw you away. I can understand how you might feel that way, but, believe me it is the farthest thing from the truth. With circumstances what they were in 1983, when I got out of the Navy. You and your mother went to live with your Aunt Phyllis and I went back to KY. There was no other option at the time. I would call and talk to you on the phone more times than I can remember. After I came to see you in or around 1985 or 1986 you may not remember it, But I do. We went to the skating rink and I skated with you. Later, as time slipped away I would call and we would talk about any and everything. I sent a letter once and it came back return to sender I also sent birthday and Christmas cards which also came back return to sender. As time went on there was no address for you or your mother that I could find. I would hear about how you was doing from my Aunt Sue, you and your mother would visit her when ya’ll would come to KY to see your mother’s family. I lived 45 miles away and never even knew ya’ll where there until way after you left. I used to have old phone bills and the returned letters and cards so that I might one day be able to show you that I did try. Finally, I had to accept the fact that I may never see my proudest accomplishment in life. I have never stopped loving you and will continue to do so till the day God calls me home. I hope that you get to read this, so that you’ll know that I never forgot about you and that I think of you daily. I too have felt like part of me was missing, that you referred to in your letter. I will close this short novel with the hope that I will one day get to talk to and see my daughter again.
P. S. Dad is a word I have never been able to use, I thank you for addressing your letter as such.