Distracted, you were always distracted. You would be there at the football games to watch me cheer, cooking breakfast, working, or at dance recitals; but you were never sober. It could have been worse, you could have hit me, but you didn't, you at least made the effort to be a part of my life.
Our relationship was never something that I had to question. I admire how hard you worked to provide for our family, working countless hours of overtime so mom could stay at home and be there for us. My childhood is filled with memories of singing songs in your truck, drinking chocolate milkshakes, and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers. But I too have memories of fighting parents, grabbing beers for you, and wondering when you were going to come home from the bar.
If you didn't go to rehab I don't know how much longer mom would have put up with all of it, I don't know if I would have a father who would be sitting in a jail cell for killing someone because of a drunk driving accident, or if our relationship would be as strong as it is now.
For me, I had the child's 3D glasses of rainbows and unicorns. I was invested in all things Barbies, "Lizzie McGuire," and Lisa Frank. My perception of the situation is absolutely skewed because I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings as much as I could have been, but I'm thankful that I wasn't.
I want to thank you for going to rehab before I noticed that you were always buzzed at my dance recitals. Instead of noticing the smell of alcohol on your breath, I noticed the flowers in your hand and the simple fact that you were in the audience clapping along to the beat of the music.
By going to rehab you've taught me that I am able to reinvent myself if I need to. If I have bad people in my life, I should cut them out, or if I'm not healthy then I need to put that first.
You've been sober for almost eight years now; just keep taking it one day at a time. The road to recovery couldn't have been easy, but you've helped so many people along the way by sharing your story. Thank you for going to rehab for yourself, for our family, for your friends, and for me. I love you always.