Daddy Tell Me

Daddy Tell Me

You are never in my dreams, but they are.

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I have dreamt about you but I do not dream about you.

I wish one day I will wake up and have the memory of you, daddy. I wake up all the time and I have dreamt of Colton and Collin. Yet I do not ever dream of you. I wish I knew what it was like to dream of you.

I do not know what it was like with you in my life. I will never know what it is like to have you in my life and to grow up with you. I just wish you would come in my dreams. I will never have the things many other girls have. I won't have you walk me down the aisle or clean your guns when you meet my boyfriend. I will not have you be there to say yes to the man I am going to marry, but first you would bust his balls. I wish you would just show up in my dreams. Maybe one day you will.

But I dream of my friends that pass. I dream that they are still there then I wake up and for a split second they are still alive for me. But daddy you never show up. I wish you would. I wish you would be there to just tell me you love me and that everything is okay. I wish you would tell me that you are proud of me and where I am going. I am always so nervous that I am not making you proud. I wish you would show up and tell me. I have joined the Army, I have almost finished my associates degree, I have met an amazing man, I have decided to be a psychologist, I have done so much yet you are not here. I wish you were here to tell me that you are proud of me. I miss you more than anything.

I just want you to show up in my dreams. To tell me you are happy that I am working hard, that you are proud of everything that I have done and will accomplish, and most importantly that you love me. I never remember hearing those words, I never will hear those words. Yet I just wish you would tell me.

Forever your baby girl,

Harley Ann

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Only Felt Close To My Father When He Was 7,000 Miles Away

The reason I hold onto his letters.

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My father is a hard man. He's often uncaring and can, at times, be mean spirited and controlling. He has always been this way, and our relationship suffers most every day because of this. It's a shame, but I try not to complain because, after all, there are so many people who never knew their father, and at least I have that opportunity.

When I was young, my father's military unit was sent overseas to aid in the United States' terror relief efforts. I was sad to see him go, but I knew his work was important. After he left, we didn't hear from him for a while, and there was little news to be gleaned from the military spouse meetings. But, about a month into his time in the country, the letters started.

I had never received a hand-written letter, and it was exciting to visit the post office each week and return with something just for me. The letters he wrote were raw and kind, so unlike his demeanor in person.

It was as if the thousands of miles had baptized the letters removing all malice and ill will away leaving nothing but love and joy remaining.

The man who couldn't be bothered to kiss me goodnight two nights in a row was now writing me stories about camels. The person who was often annoyed by my mother's love of photos sent home rolls of film filled with exotic places and people. The father who never said much more than a short, "I love you" as he flew out the door in the morning filled his letters with an underlined "I love you" and well wishes for his "angels." I memorized his address, I wrote back to him, and I hung on every word of his letters.

Eventually, though, he returned home safe and sound.

And I was glad, me and my mother both were, and still are. But the man I had grown accustomed to for fourteen months stayed behind. That kind-hearted, loving man is somewhere in the Middle East, rotting, and all that remains are his letters. We hardly talk anymore. he's made decisions I can't live with, and I've chosen a life for myself in which he can't control me, and for that, I feel we will never be close.

So now, as I emerge into adulthood, still clinging to my father's letters, I'm often questioned.

People often ask why I still hold on to those crumpled letters when I hardly speak to my father now. What many fail to realize is those letters were the closest thing to a father's love I've ever known. They weren't a hurried "I love you" on the way to work or an awkward, sideways hug at church. They were lines of hand-written ballads and warm embraces that transcended the miles to reach me. They're my last link to the man that began and ended overseas, the one I never met face to face, but will never forget, and the father my father could've been.

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