My father.

by Samantha
(Mississippi)

My father was sick.

My father was not my father.

My father was still, in theory, my father.

Today is your birthday, my father, and so I'll write to you.

You died in November of 2009, alone, in a car, with carbon dioxide filled lungs and a bottle of alcohol in your grip. The notes you left were touching in a way, but I selfishly wondered why you left one each of us one page and you left your horrible ex-wife two. Your body rotted for sixty-three days and when the police finally found you, they didn't come to our door. They called mom, and then she had to relay the message to us.

My life was shaken, and the affair was surreal.

I don't know what happened. I don't know if your ex-wife, Mary, pushed you over the edge. I don't know if you just simply couldn't take it anymore. I don't know if you were fired or if something else happened, but you are dead now. You would have been forty six today. I don't know how you would have looked, but I swear I would have tried to spend the day with you.

Your suicide left me with so many unanswered questions. I loved you so much, but I never had time to express it. I didn't realize the opportunities I had with you until you were gone. I was still in my teen years, I was selfishly rebelling against you and the things you did. They were hurtful, but now I would go through them a hundred times over if it meant that you would still be here today to do them to me. Calling me drunk on my birthday, cancelling our visits on the few weekends we had, falling asleep during the movie... they are things I actually miss. I miss feeling angry with you. I miss missing you and then finally getting to see you in person after ignoring me. I miss the alive.

There is nothing I can do now but hope. I can hope that I can live enough for the both of us. I can hope that I get to know your other daughter and that's what you wanted for us. I can hope that as your first daughter, I can live as much as I can.

That is my birthday gift to you. I will live my life as much as I can, because you cannot. I know that you were messed up. I know that you were sick. I know that you were not in your sane state of mine when you took your own life, but you are my father, even though a lot of times you never acted like a father.

My father was not a great man.

My father did not act as my father.

My father has passed away.

Regardless, I love you eternally, because, you will always be my father.

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