Dear Dad

You might find it a bit odd, but my happiest memories with you aren't from when we had money.  My happiest memories with you are from the times of my childhood that you and mom tried to hide our families worth from me and my brother.

I liked playing the footstool game, as we called it.  I miss the tickle fights and the walks in the cemetary as you picked a magnolia for me and mom from the crooked tree everytime we walked through.  I miss Nick and I picking up twigs to be judged by you to see if they were good walking sticks.

I strictly remember one father's day from that time.  It was a Sunday so we went to church.  I was still young enough to be in nursery school instead of Sunday school.  That day we all made little paper ties that we colored and put paperclips on the back of for our father's to wear.  When you came to pick me up you were so happy with the make-shift tie that you immediately put it on.  When someone else at the church asked about it you proudly said that I made it.

On our walk home it was windy and the tie kept blowing into your face.  Each time it made me laugh but you still kept the tie on.

I won't lie and say that I don't enjoy going out to restuarants with the family now that we do have money but it seems like things have changed so much more.

When you left for Afghanistan in 2012 I was only ten years old.  I was still your little girl that called you "Daddy" instead of dad or father.

When you came back I was twelve.  I was officially a middle schooler and I was developing into a woman.

I don't know what you witnessed over there, and I hope to never know.  But when you came back I was no longer your little girl.  There were no more bedtime stories, goodnight kisses,and the thing I miss most no more lullabys.

You didn't like to show physical affection anymore.  Our jokes became dull and spread between larger intervals.  I was now just another girl you watched grow up, just like my older cousin.

A few years later was when the storm started brewing.  I was missing school more for mental hospitals at the age of thirteen and fourteen.  You retired from the military and got a new job as a correctional officer to try and bring more money in.

You did succeed in that, as now you work Intel but what did it cost?

You've become so aware of the dangers outside that the only place you will go is that small pond in pocomoke.  

Anyways, you saw your own daughter tear and rip herself to shreds from the inside out and I know that on some level it had to hurt.

This was when my ignorance stopped as well.  I could hear you and mom talking about trying to pay for my insurance or hospital bills.  I was never a good liar so I stayed in my room.  LOcked up and away from you so you wouldn't have to send me away, so you wouldn't have to pay for me to be treated or medicated.

I just pushed away what I wanted from you even further.

Sometimes I'd sneak out to walk in the cemetary but even it had changed.  The magnolia tree wasn't there anymore and the little wall by the water that I'd walk on wasn't there either.

There was too much change.

Too much change.

So I stayed home.  I gave my innocence away to strangers online and in person that wanted me to call them Daddy.  I did call them Daddy.

After finally getting better you helped me clean my room and you told me that you have never been so scared as you were to clean under my bed.  That's how bad my room was.

Since freshman year of high school you haven't called me your daughter or girl, I've been referred to as progeny.  Just an offspring to you now that I'm an adult.

The other night you said I was strong and how proud you were of me and all I could do was feel embarrassed.  It seems the only time you're proud of me is when you're putting Nick down for his grades.  And the only thing you're proud of me for is my grades.

I love you dad.  And I miss us so much.

I just don't think we'll ever have time to get back to how we were.

2 Kudos


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