Dear Dad: The Man I Wish I Knew

Dear Daddy:

You may have died when I was four years old, but I still miss you all the time. Would you believe that I just found out that your birthday is in January as well? Although you are gone, I feel more of a connection with you than I do the family that is still alive. There are so many things that I wish you were here that I could talk to you about. But you know what they say: God doesn’t make mistakes, right?

It’s so much to discuss.

This has been a hard life.

You died for reasons I still don’t have a clear answer on! I had my birth mom tell me, in a fit of rage, that you died from AIDS. I just chalked it up to her being on drugs and how the drug affects your mind after a while. An aunt that made it a point to always remind me you had a drug problem. Nevertheless, the fact remains that you left me at a premature age and it so much that you have missed.

You missed out on the craziness of my upbringing. Well, I’m sure if you can see this, you’re probably happy. I mean my birth mom is a FOR REAL trip! Just take comfort in knowing that I have an adopted mom who treats me better. She has her flaws, but who doesn’t?!

You missed my eight-grade graduation and having poems published in my high school in the national poetry registry. As well as my high school graduation. More importantly, you missed out on not one, but two marriages.

Now, I don’t wear that as badge of honor, but in this space in my life right now? I could sure use your wisdom. The most I have are flashes of memories. One: when we walked to the store. The second: when you bought me popcorn as big as me (ha!). The third: when you let me sit in your lap and me pretend that I was driving; when you got sick and my aunt had to drive the car so that we could take you to the hospital. The last time: your funeral. While I am glad to have some memories of you, the last one hit the hardest.

I am sometimes selfish, though. I wonder why many terrible people so get to stay in this world, when the ones who mean the most to us, must die. I can’t express how much I miss you. Every Father’s Day, it becomes more difficult, more pressing, more tiring and my heart hardens more. You not being here leaves so many questions that none of my family members will be able to answer!

I have so many questions…

What kind of person were you? What are your likes and dislike? Did you play an instrument? Could you sing or draw? What did you do for fun? What did you think of me? Did we, do we, have any similar hobbies/interests?

I hope that in spirit, that you are proud of me. That you see what I am trying to do, would say that you are proud to have me as a daughter. I know there is no amount of money that would bring you back. There isn’t a space or time where I would be able to see you again. Although the tears don’t flow, my heart cries for you every day.

I have had different men come into my life, and try to claim their space as dad, but there is nothing that come ever replace you. I may not know you, but there is something about your spirit that I can still feel. I pray that you continue to watch over me. Every girl needs her Dad. Whether they are living or not. Maybe the 4-year-old in me wishes that I could go back in time to sit in your lap, in that tan four car, and take a drive in that steering wheel one more time!

Your daughter,

Rebecca Loving (Quarles)

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