*A letter I never got to write, because I always thought I had time.
It’s because of you that I’ll never look at Egg McMuffin the same way again; well that and lakes, corner stores, wild life, Nascar, a beautiful day. When you showed up in our lives Daddy, the world wasn’t a happy place for any of us really. Mom and I were on thin ice on a rapid thaw, and Chuck…well I have no idea was he was dealing with at the time. I was wrapped up in my own melodrama of coming out and just needing acceptance from those around me. I mean, not just from my friends, but from my family…from my mommy. I guess you were searching for something too. Not just acceptance, but love, and hope. I just never realized that the man my Mom had befriended through Kezzy would eventually be the last man I’ll ever call Daddy.
You’ve met my biological father, and I know you can’t stand the son of a bitch, not just because he hurt Chuck and I, but because of all the hurt he inflicted upon Mom. You loved her from the beginning Daddy. I know Mommy’s heart was closely guarded behind almost unbeatable walls, but you don’t care. You’ll love her enough for the whole world, and I think you are the only one that could. Granted I did punch you that one time because you made her cry…but I think I earned a bit of respect from you that day. I’ve always taken care of my family, but I think that day you saw just how far I would go to protect Momma…and I think you respected that.
We laugh about it now. It’s a funny story told over beer as you joke about how your glasses never fit better. I told ya that next time it will be a shot put in my hand. Another laugh and another beer. I know Momma doesn’t like the drinking, but I think a part of me understands. You spent so long with someone who didn’t grant you the freedom a man who has seen so much in this world deserves. Maybe you take it a little far sometimes, but you are enjoying life. You are complex and yet simple, and I think that is why it was so easy to see you as a father. You loved your family. You loved my mom. You loved me, and you fight for what you love.
A lot of men have walked in and out of my life, and I think you were the first one that walked in that I knew was going to be around no matter how bad things got. You are a fighter. I can relate to that.
I love that you let me join you on fishing trips, and I love my ice fishing pole. I look forward to using it with you. I love that you wear those rainbow suspenders that I swear I bought you for a joke. I mean, I know you wanted them, but I don’t think I’ve ever told you how proud and honored that you wear them with such pride. I’m going to get you another pair in case you break these ones. Mom told me that you don’t care that people are like “rainbow? really?”, you just smile say yup my son Faith gave them to me.
I tell people all the time how you say I’m the son you’ve always wanted. They look at me funny…but it’s another thing I’ve learned from you…to not worry about what people think when they see me because what they think will never impact my life. I learned to wear my quirks with pride, because you do. Mom shakes her head because now she has 4 cats and 3 kids to take care of, but I’m sure we’ll be able to get Chuck to move out soon.
I just wanted to tell you Daddy that I love you. I know when we do hang out we don’t do too much talking, but I do. I love you and I want to thank you for driving into our lives, and loving us from the start. I want to thank you for helping Mommy deal with my sexuality, and for needling Chuck because he needs it sometimes. Thanks for giving Mommy grey hairs because as much as she gripes about you, she loves ya. She may not always think it, but she does…we are just stubborn women with hearts the world riddled with holes from time to time, but we can still love…You still being alive after calling Grandma your other woman proves it hehehehe.
Anyway Daddy, I know we aren’t the mushy kind. I just wanted to tell you that I love you and I miss you and I’ll see if I can find a possum lodge out in Iowa to join for you, I mean I do have to put my ballerina skills to use. I’ll write to you soon, I promise.
I love you Daddy…Thank you for being my Daddy.
I never got to send this to you. I never even got a chance to tell you I loved you again. You died on Christmas Eve before I even had the chance to return your text message. I had planned on calling you at 6pm, but I fell asleep. When I finally called, it was just as you stopped breathing….Mommy’s voice sounded so scared. I bet you were too…I’m sorry I wasn’t there Daddy. You understood why I couldn’t get home, but I’m still sorry I wasn’t there. I sent my team to help you, but I think a part of me knew…I miss you everyday. Mommy gave me your suspenders…the rainbow ones. They are in my closet because every time I see them I start laughing, then I start sobbing. I’m so sorry Daddy. There is nothing I wouldn’t give to have been there, to at least hold your hand, to do something.
Mommy tells me not to think that way, because there wouldn’t be anything I could have done. But I would have given up everything to at least have had the chance. Mommy isn’t do so well, so maybe you can do something from wherever you are to help her. You were her best friend Daddy, so it’s hard for her.
I want to tell you so much, but my brain gets so jumbled. I wish you could have met Amanda. I’m in love with her Daddy, so head over heals in love with her, and you would love her too. You’d have a field day teasing her, which is why I know you would love her. You only tease the people you like. I know this, because I still call myself your son. I’m going to marry her Daddy. I know you wanted to marry Momma, and at first I never really understood because marriage isn’t something so steady in our family…but I look at Amanda and I get it. I wish you could have stood up at the altar with me when I finally marry the girl of my dreams. But I know you’ll be there. I’m going to wear your suspenders at the wedding. My something borrowed. I love you Daddy, and I miss you so damn much.
I’ll write again soon. Keep looking over Momma for me Daddy.