Dear John Doe,
I know that is probably not your name. I don't want to know your name because it serves no purpose to me. You are probably reading this thinking that I am going to tell you how you were an awful father and that you should be ashamed about how you walked out on me. This is not the case. What I am here to say is…
I forgive you.
I forgive you for not being there because it made me stronger. When I was younger and we would do a Father's Day celebration in school, I would have my grandfather. When I was asked "Where's your dad?" I told them I didn't have one, but I had the next best thing. He'd already been a dad before so he knew what I needed to be taught to be stronger and a better gentleman. He always taught me not to back down to anyone or anything. He showed me that I was never going to be treated anything less than a human being.
I forgive you for pushing me away because that made me find new arms to be close to. My grandmother taught me how to be respectful and trustworthy. She showed me that always be truthful to everyone you come in contact with because lying to them would be worse than any words you could say to them. She would not allow me to be disrespectful to others and if I was she also taught me punishment was a real thing. And I am telling you, she wasn't afraid to use it.
I forgive you for not being a parent because mom was able to pick up the slack. She has had the same job from the second I was born. She raised two children, held an 9-5 job, and was always able to provide for us. Sometimes, it may not have been exactly what she wanted to give us, but we are eternally grateful for everything she has done for us. When we went on vacation, she worked her butt off to get us there and back and made sure we had the greatest time ever. She went to every event I was a part of, every show, every concert, and has pictures from every one of them. She was always there for everything and was proud of me for every memory I created.
I forgive you for all these things because I know I am a better person for it. I went to my first day of elementary school without you, I graduated high school without you, and I started and made it halfway through college without you. I have come to terms with who I am and who I want to be. I now know which parent I want to model when I become a parent. Not having you has not defined my success, it pushed me and motivated me to succeed even more. Not because I wanted to prove it to you, but that I could prove it to myself. When I look around, this family that has grown over time and the people who came in and out of my life have filled the void you left behind.
So just remember, you didn't screw me up when you left, when you stopped being with mom and when you ran from your problems. My world continued on without you. I really hope you have found happiness and I forgive you for being the man who created me but didn't want me.