Hey Dad or should I say Kevin,
I wasn’t going to write this, but you have been on my mind for months; so I had to get this off my chest.
It has been a long time, since we actually sat down and talked. Part of that may be because of the things that have transpired over the last 10/11 years that I can’t seem to get over, and you may not be able to take responsibility for what happened to our family. I’m writing this letter to you because I don’t know your number, and I actually was going to call you today, but I couldn’t get in touch with anyone who might have it. So I decided to express it through this letter.
My very last good memory of you is when I was 14 and we lived in Moss Point, MS. By this time you and my mom were going through a divorce, but that Christmas was the best Christmas ever. Because I received so many gifts from the both of you because we no longer lived under the same roof; so as a young teen I thought that receiving two sets of gifts was the greatest feeling in the world. But how quickly did that feeling end.
That was my last Christmas that I ever spent with you. From that point on everything went downhill. You got married to the woman that you cheated on my mother with, had another daughter, and somehow my brothers and I became the background in your foreground. Somehow we got lost and you never looked for us even when we were reaching out for you, you still ignored us. My mom did her best as a single parent, and I must say that she raised all 3 of us well. Everything wasn’t great, but I appreciate everything that she did for us because without her and God, I don’t know how we would have made it.
There are so many things that you don’t know about us. You don’t know our favorite colors, our personalities, our dreams and admirations, and God knows that I wish you did. I wish that you would have been there for us.
I know that I’m 25-years-old now, and I can’t blame you for my mistakes, but there are just some things that I didn't know and some things that I still don’t because I didn’t have you to show me. I fell in love with the wrong kind of men and had low expectations of what a man should be because I didn't have a role model. I didn't have a strong black male in my life to teach me and show me how a man should treat a woman. Yes, I had my mom and she taught me things, but she could never teach me from a man’s point of you. I looked for love in sex, money, and all of the wrong men because I just wanted to hear someone say, “I love you, Janee', ” that’s all- I don’t even remember the last time you said that to me.
Now, I’m at the point in my life that everything that happened 11 years ago doesn’t matter. I really want you in my life. I know that we've tried to mend our relationship in the past, but I was too angry to even begin to hear your side of the story, and I guess you didn’t know how to handle the anger that I had towards you. Now, I realize that I need you in my life. I need to hear you say that you love me. I need you to ask me how I’m doing. I need you to call. I need you to be there for me. Because the last 11 years of my life have been so lonely, and I’ve tried to fill the void but it hasn’t worked.
You didn’t come to my high school graduation nor my college graduation, and I even sent an invitation, but it went unanswered. I didn’t even get a congrats, card, or anything and that hurt deeply. When I hear a young lady say something about her dad being in her life, I immediately think of you because I don’t have that and I really wish I did.
Guess what, I have a dog now…LOL… I have a Chihuahua can you believe it? I know you remember that I was terrified of dogs, and I sort of still am. But I can deal with small dogs now. I live in Fort Myers, FL, and I have a decent job, and I have my own blog too. I’m looking to make that my career- main source of income. Even though I’m outspoken, I’m a little shy and I hate to be wrong. Kevin Jr. has developed into a mature young man, and will graduate from Langston University next year. I’m so proud of him; he is doing so well. Tevin is doing great. Can you believe he graduates from high school in May? Time flies doesn’t it?
Things didn’t work out between you and my mom, but I just don’t want one of us to leave this earth without mending our relationship. I still don’t understand how you can leave one family to only make another one, but I love you and want you in my life. I can’t say that I forgive you for everything, but I’m working on it.
So daddy I’m here and I would love to get to know you all over again. I’m 25 but deep down I’m that 14-year-old girl that watched you walk away…
We of the Fatherless Tribe: An Abandonded Black Girl, My Love is Different
Learning to Love Again: My Life Without My Father
LaJanee Alford blogs at I Can Repeat It. Follow her on Twitter.