The First One

Tomorrow is Father’s day, and although I had 15 years, give or take, of Father’s days before you drove into our lives, this is the first one, in almost 10, without you.

I never paid much attention to these days before. I had this naivety about them that I now resent because I brushed them off. It’s a day, give some kind of token or maybe go fishing, and have a nice meal. A kid’s ignorance because Moms and Dads are there everyday right?

I shouldn’t have had this ignorance, not with how many people I’ve lost over the years, but somehow it persisted. Now, I’m faced with this day without the man I came to call Daddy and I’m stuck between hating myself for taking this day granted, and hating that I don’t have my Dad to call and take this day granted with.

I had father-like figures growing up…uncles, friend’s fathers, and so forth, but I lacked an actual father. My biological father is a waste of human flesh and air, someone whom my hatred seems to burn without an end in sight. My mother did her best to raise my brother and I away from the toxicity that man seems to ooze in pure existence, but I still grew up scarred from the experience of him. A few men came and left our lives, and after my mother broke up with a man I had started to call Daddy, I had vowed to never call another man by that name….No one seemed worthy of the title.

Until you came around. I took 3-4 years for me to even entertain the idea of calling you Dad, but one day just slipped from my lips and it felt good, and right. Sure my mom and you fought, like any other stubborn couple does, but I had a family. I had a mom and a dad, and that angry hole in my heart just seems smaller. Sure I had a lot of ups and downs in my own personal hells, but my Dad stood by my side, and I loved you for it.

It hurts so much at times that I just want to curl into a ball and just ignore the rest of the world. I remember being a kid and thinking how I could sort of relate to those who had lost a dad, because in a sense, even though the bastard was alive, I had lost one too. But that pain pales in comparison to this one….because one minute you were wishing me merry Christmas, and the next you were gone.

I can’t even call your phone tomorrow to leave you a message because we had to disconnect it. It was the smart, logical thing to do and yet I can’t logically wrap my mind around the fact that you won’t be home when I come back in July. I won’t hear you griping about how my brother is lazy and my mother is crazy. You won’t be there to help me when I can’t get the damn hook out of a fish’s mouth, or make fun of Amanda for her short hair and lesbian ways. I won’t hear you introduce me as your son anymore, and that Serena, our cat, is your favorite guard dog. We won’t watch John Wayne movies together again or listen to a baseball game in your car while driving to the store to get drinks for our fishing day.

You won’t be able to finally teach me how to ice fish, or laugh as I fall on my ass on the ice. I have grown to love and hate country music, because you loved it so much…it sometimes hurts to hear a song you liked.

Tomorrow I’m going to call all my uncles, mom, grandma, and text all the father’s in my phone, and wish them a happy father’s day. I’ll be at a BBQ with my friends, laughing it up and playing volleyball, making fun of how old all of us are getting……and I’m going to try not to dwell on the fact that you are gone.

God, sometimes I want to punch and kick and scream…this isn’t fair. You should be here…

I got an email the other day from the vendor where I bought your rainbow suspenders, telling me about a deal for father’s day, and I broke down crying. You wore those things so proudly…even though I got them for you as a joke. But you wanted them, and you were proud of me and I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that you were. How much it meant you were there, that you stood up for me, and that you loved me.

I’m planning on getting a tattoo for you…maybe a bass or a silhouette of you fishing…something to always remind me that you are a part of me, even though we do not share the same blood.

I have to go now…you know I hate crying…I miss you, and I’m sorry if I never made it clear to you just how much you mean to me. I love you Daddy. Rest in peace.

Love, your son,


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