A 'Thank You' Letter To My Absent Father

A 'Thank You' Letter To My Absent Father

Sometimes water is thicker than blood.
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Dear you,

I want you to know that writing this letter did not come easily for me. There were parts of my life that I wished you were there, but then I finally understood that growing up without you was the best thing for me. Our paths have crossed and then they divided again, and to be truthful, I like it much better that way. This isn't a letter expressing my bitterness, but rather my thanks to you for not being there.

I want to be mad at you. I want to throw something at you and tell you that you ruined my life, but that simply isn't the case. Growing up without a biological father was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I want you to notice that I said biological. I had many people take your place. My mom, my grandparents, my siblings, my friends' parents, the list goes on and on.

You were simply not needed.

Not having you in my life made me strong, powerful, careful, and happy. I was able to experience things differently than my friends who had a two parent home.

I was able to experience an overwhelming amount of love and support from all different angles. I was able to have my mom go on every school field trip and watch me learn. I built a relationship with my mother that is twice as strong as it would be if you were around.

For years, I watched my mom grow with me. At the time I didn't know it, but I now I see that she struggled. She wanted only the best for me and she did whatever she could so that I would have it. She understood that early mornings and long nights would be tough in the moment, but help me in the long run. My mother played both roles and I couldn't be more proud of her. I hope that one day I'm at least half the women that she was and twice the parent you could ever be.

Most importantly though, I'm proud of myself. I'm proud that I made it through high school and that I will be a college graduate come May and I did it without you. I'm proud of myself that I finally understand that my life is perfect without you in it, even though I spent years trying to figure out why you weren't a part of my life. I have family who supports me, a boyfriend who loves me, and friends who are always around. I'm proud that I was finally able to realize that I did not need a biological father because I had many different father figures in all of the people around me.

Blood does not always symbolize family and sometimes water is in fact thicker.

I wish nothing but good things for you, but my life is better because you were not there.

Sincerely,

Me

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Confessions Of An Only Child: What Life Without Siblings Is Really Like

I may be spoiled, but not in the way you think.
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As an only child, I’m a bit of an anomaly. I can probably count on one hand the number of close friends I’ve had over the years who are also only children. This means that when people find out that I’m an only child they usually have a lot of questions. Well, today I’m here to answer these questions and tell you what being an only child is really like.

I may be spoiled, but not in the way you think.

One of the biggest stereotypes about only children is that we’re spoiled rotten. I may be spoiled, but not necessarily with material things. I’m well aware that my parents provided me with a very comfortable life, but I most definitely did not get every toy that I asked for as a child or a brand new car for my 16th birthday. Instead, I was spoiled with love and support from my parents. They attended every band and chorus concert, every dance show and were always there to help me with homework whenever I needed it.

My relationship with my parents has been the most important relationship to me growing up.

Because it’s just been my parents and me my whole life, I have an extremely close relationship with both of them. Without siblings, my parents were my playmates a lot of the time when I was little. I also rarely had a babysitter because it was always just as easy to bring me along. Now, it’s my parents that I go to when I need advice, whether it’s about school, friends or finding an internship. One of my favorite things to do when I go home for the weekend is to go on coffee dates with my dad, and I still call my mom almost every day, even as a junior in college.

Yes, I do wish I had siblings sometimes.

Even as close as I am with my parents, I do feel like I’m missing out sometimes by not having siblings. I don’t have anyone to create inside jokes with about my parents, and sometimes I can get a little lonely. I also get to see the excitement of my friends as their siblings are getting married and having kids, and wish I could experience that, too.

My friends become family.

Because I never had an older sister to give me advice about boys or a brother to look out for me, my close friends have taken these roles in my life. I often brought a friend along on family outings when I was younger, and I share clothes with my roommates like they’re my sisters. I also have a tendency to adopt my friends’ younger siblings like they’re my own (and make sure I never miss their prom pictures).

Being an only child is a foreign concept for many, but it’s all I’ve ever known, and I can’t really imagine my life being any different. Hopefully, this list has debunked some of the myths and answered your questions about what it’s really like to be an only child.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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15 Reasons My Parents' Love Gives Me Hope For The Future

Seeing my parents love and care for one another has taught me so much about how relationships should be and God's love for his children.
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1. My dad told my mom on their first date that he knew she was the one and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her (scary or romantic?).

Got engaged 4 months later, and married 4 months after that. The guy was not wasting anytime there people.

2. After 21 years of marriage and 3 kids later, my dad is still obsessed with my mother.

I mean she is almost 50 and still rocking it, but whether she is a hot mess or all dressed up, he is complimenting her and still head over heals. He is always taking her picture; I guarantee you over half of his camera roll is pictures of my mother.

3. They are constantly motivating each other to their fullest potential.

When one is slacking behind, the other picks them up, not leaving one behind.

4. They work out in our basement together and my dad takes my moms classes (she is a yoga and group fitness instructor).

SO they are both fit and killing it.

5. Whenever I go home, there is always packages being delivered, and I’m like mom what is this and she is like oh it is just dad buying me another dress or bathing suit.

After all of these years, he still spoils her.

6. They are so goofy together.

They blame their farts on each other (or my little sister even when she’s not in the room) (farts are very funny in my family, don't judge). Also, we have a mug of my parents kissing on a bike and it is my friends favorite mug to drink out of (you know who you are).

7. They are always putting each other before their self, which results in a constant build-up of positivity and encouragement.

8. My dad writes my mom little love notes on sticky notes and sticks them all over her bathroom mirror. It is adorable.

9. My mom deals with my dad’s impatient-ness in a way I will never be able to comprehend.

They recognize each others faults and don’t discriminate each other for them.

10. Whatever challenges come their way, they always come our better and stronger on the other side, and they have been through a lot.

11. My mom is always putting my siblings and I before herself, and my dad is always pushing her to do things for herself like getting a massage, her nails done, or traveling.

They recognize how much work they each put into our family and love one another that much more because of it.

12. My dad is a pilot; therefore, he travels a lot.

My parents are constantly saying that the time they spend apart from each other just causes them to cherish the time they have together that much more.

13. They persistently say how they fall more and more in love with each other every day.

They say that they are more in love with each other now than they day they got married.

14. Making sacrifices for each other is huge.

This ties in with everything else I have been saying about my parents relationship, but sacrifice is essential in making a relationship successful and they got this down.

15. Recognizing what makes each other happy or upset and acting accordingly.

Knowing how to treat one another to uplift their mood and when to take a set back.

Overall, because I've grown up watching my parents relationship and witnessing how much they love each other, it sets my standards high, it gives me hope for what the future holds. Just seeing my parents love and care for one another has taught me so much about how relationships should be and God's love for his children. I just can't believe it has taken me this long to realize it. In a world where divorce has become so popular, I pray for this kind of love for myself, my siblings, my friends, other couples, and everyone else out there. No matter who you are, you deserve to be loved. God created us to love. Spread that love baby.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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