02 January 2009

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Happy New Year! I've been thinking alot about our relationship as of late. Actually I spent alot of 2008 thinking about you. Wondering what happened, why we don't talk. It's not like I hate you. I don't really miss you either. I don't know you enough to miss you. I've realized that I need to know you. I have to many questions that I think only you can answer. I need a father. I need someone to give me advice. Someone to share life experiences with. I read books that provide me with the knowledge that I'm sure you have. You see I'm bitter. Bitter because your brothers raised me, they were great but they were not my father. I'm bitter because I had to be the man of the house. When mom is sick I'm the one who has to be strong, I'm the one who has to fulfill the oath to god you took to care for her. what happened between you too? I'm bitter you were not there to teach me how to be a man. Why did your brothers and TV have to do it? So many times I could have used some fatherly advice and you weren't there. I needed you to teach me how to be a dad. I had a baby and realized I've never seen a man be a father. I literally had to read books to learn. I needed you.

I realized that I don't even know you. I never heard stories about your youth. how did you grow up? what were you doing at my age? how did you feel when I was born? what life lessons have you learned that you should teach me? I mean I just learned you drove a mustang. I know so little about your life. Nobody talks about you. Your brothers mention you in passing almost like you didn't live in the same house. What happened? How can I tell the baby about her granddad when I don't even know him? I only have a handful of memories of you. How much of me is you? I know I'm not completely like mom but am I more like you? I know I got my love of sci-fi and Japanese culture from you but what else? I just learned I have a knack for cooking. This was amazing to me until I learned your a champion chili cook. I never knew you took cooking so serious, you were on TV? I learn everything about you second hand. Why is that? We had fun when me, Cra and Wade came to visit. Why can't we be closer?

Then what about me? you don't wanna know about my life? I'm your only son don't you care how i'm getting by? Did you know me and your nephew started a cooking show? you can see it here www.cookinwithdave.tv, Did you know all that computer stuff you left in the house birthed my career? How being a military brat changed my life? how the move from Cali to DC molded me? so much I'd like to share. I want you to know me. I was jealous when I heard how much you and Jasmine spoke. Jealous because I never had that with you. You were a being a grandfather to her. I never knew my grandfathers. what was your dad like?

I could go on like this all day. Long story short, it's a new year and I'd like to build our relationship.


Your Son

Copy of the letter I emailed my dad today. I'm focusing 2009 on improving my life from the roota to the toota... lol


Caspar608 said...

your letter made me cry Dave.

Why do children have to scramble and grasp for a connection with their fathers even as adults? Why dont fathers make the effort to scramble and grasp for a connection with their children?

I applaud your efforts nonetheless. Your reaching out to him is courageous. And I sincerely hope it all works out.

Happy New Year.

Sweet KeiKei said...

happy new year dave!

i agree with the above poster that it is so sad that children have to reach out for love and support from their fathers when it should be the other way around.

i hope it works out too. either way, continuing to be a wonderful father to your child will plant the seeds so things will be better for future generations.

Kayos said...

Dave, that was deep. I feel the same exact way you feel.

I have a question though...

You had the displeasure of not having your dad in your life while my dad was present but was just as absent as your dad. So what's worse: not having him around or having him around but not fulfilling the duties your uncles fulfilled for you?

RunningMom said...

I woke up this morning pissed because my son's father hasn't spent any time with him. The excuse used to be: "I'm 2 and a half hours away, WTF do you want me to do?"

Then when he moved back to town it was: "I work every Saturday, WTF do you want me to do?"

Now he's off work for the next 6 to 8 weeks (or more)... (since like 2 weeks ago)... has he spent any time with him? Nope. Took him to basketball practice and left. Came by to drop of the single video game he got him for Christmas and left.

When I call, he just doesn't answer the phone. Guess he ran out of excuses.

But if I was "giving it up" he would be over here in a second.

I have to raise my son by myself because he's a jackass.

But enough about me.

I think that these men like your dad and my son's father and many others feel guilty. They feel ashamed. But they cannot change and they cannot take back the years they lost. So they continue to behave as if the things they do do matter.

Look at Dave, look how successful he is without me. I should just stay away. He doesn't need me. It's just easier this way. I would just ruin him.

He might be right.

RunningMom said...

Sorry: "The things they do don't matter"

Ieisha said...

Happy to hear that you are reaching out.

I hope it all goes well.

Not sure if I could do the same. Thought about it. Been noncommittal on that topic.

You're the second person I know who's reached out to their dad. She got a response rather quickly so I am hoping you get the same.

Keep us posted!

Super Dave Van Buren said...

@Caspar - Happy New Year! As Children we want to know where/who we came from. Parents don't feel that.

@Kei Kei - Hey babe! Thanks for swinging past

@Kayos - I can't really say since I've only seen 1 side. that's like the chicken and the egg.

@Running Mom - Unless he looking for a kidney I don't see how he could ruin me.

@Ieisha - Thanks, we'll see.

Veroncia said...

Happy New Year!

Your letter really touched me. As the mom of a little girl who is growing up without her father, I know this time is coming and coming soon. It just like Obama said. "I was molded just as much by his absence than his presence." I pray that your letter reaches him, and you get the answers and contact you need.

brran1 said...

You get much respect from me for posting that letter, because I never would have e-mailed/posted it.

I had to track my dad down through INS, and after I did that, dude was around but he wasn't really around (if that makes sense). My mother used to stress the fact that I should call him to check on him, and my response to her was that they had me, and that he should be calling me because he was the parent.

Needless to say, when I stopped calling him, I didn't hear from him for over two months.

Although he passed awhile ago, I did get the chance to meet that side of my fam and I'm now keeping in touch with my siblings. So I guess there is a positive to the whole situation

(Sorry for Blogging in your comments)

QB said...

Dude your letter makes me want to give you a hug. It also makes me realize how lucky I am.

Glad to hear you are tryin to get to know your dad. I hope it goes well.

Sophia said...

I'm glad you're putting this one here. Gives a voice to what so many young men are thinking and it was bold and brave of you to do it.

I never had a real relationship with my father either and he died when I was in college. If given the chance I'd write him a letter too. We always want answers.....

Peace2332000 said...

Wow. I had those same exact questions regarding my absent father.

A few weeks ago he contacted me. I was stunned because I had just come to terms with the fact that he was never there. Like you, I didn't hate him, yet I didn't love him either. Yet I was so furious with him because he failed to be the man and the father that he was supposed to be.

After conversing with him I was able to tell him how he missed out on my life. How he failed to see me grow into a young woman. I told him how he failed to threaten potential boyfriends. Lol! After twenty years ( my entire life) of him not being around, I decided that I do not want him to be here for the next twenty either.

Just know that there is no answer great enough to explain his absence. No matter what his tells you, there is nothing, except for death, that can justify him not being in your life. What I have witnessed for myself is that it was best that he wasn't in my life, but that is just me.

But I wish you the best in this situation. I know how difficult it can be coming to terms with something like this. But just know at the end of it all, once you have dealt with and accepted all that it is, you will have peace.

FREEDOM said...

Hey Davey...Happy New Year

What a touching letter. I so HAPPY that you sent it to your dad. If not know then when. By you taking the first you are opening up the fellowship that your dad might have thought was irreversable.

JNez said...

powerful letter. i hope you find the peace you're looking for with the relationship with your dad. god knows i'm still looking for mine...

The Jaded NYer said...

You've read my blog long enough to know I can sympathize with the absentee father thing, and you're very brave to put yourself out there like that to him (and us), but something kept tugging at me...

you said your uncles helped raise you, so by saying you never had a father figure it sort of does them a disservice. I know that it's not the same as your biological father, but still... I don't know, maybe I'm sensitive about it because I had surrogate parents in my grandparents, and if anyone were to even imply that they weren't enough... I'd go for the jugular... just my 2 cents.

I really hope his response is positive, though, because I can tell you really want this ;)

*sends good vibes*

JACK said...

It pisses me off that fathers make their children feel like this. I read running mom's comment that her baby daddy's excuse is that he lives 2 and a half miles away ... seriously? I live THREE hours away and I drive those three hours, each way every mother fucking weekend to be with my kids. So, Running Mom, you tell that fuckface that there are REAL men out there that would be one-upping him even if he WAS doing the drive. I'm upside down with the car because of all the miles I put on it (fuck it, I purchased gap insurance as a result), I devote every weekend to my children and don't have a weekend social life of my own (because mine doesn't really matter) and my children know their daddy.

But Dave - I made a little discovery of my own when I had children. Yes, I read books (I highly recommed The Expectant Father for any new dad to be. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Expectant-Father-Advice-Dads-Be/dp/0789205386/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231009136&sr=8-1) and yes I surfed the web ...however, I realized that my father taught me a tremendous amount about being a good dad in absentia.

I had a good model of what NOT to do ... and I decided that was just as good as having a model of what I SHOULD do. So, i have a list of don'ts:

Don't make promises and then forget to keep them.

Don't cancel when you're going to pick them up

Never, EVER be late when you're going to pick them up. Those 15 minutes is like a fucking ETERNITY to the kid. If it's unavoidable (like it better be that someone's car got fucked up by a jack-knife tractor trailer and the whole interstate is on lock), be on the phone with them the entire way until you get there.

Talk to your kids about how THEY see the world, not just about how YOU see the world.

Discipline consistently




As gripping as this note of yours is, if it is ineffective, consider what it teaches you about fatherhood that he didn't respond.

I refuse to let my father's absence be nothing but a negative in my life. I'm too good for that, even if I perceived then that he didn't think so.

And you're SO much better than his absence might make you feel ... the way I see it ... the man can't have my self esteem.

But I pray that his heart softens to your note - making amends with my father in adulthood really opened my eyes to a lot of the things that were going on between him and my mom that I never knew about ... and I've learned to accept it and have a decent relationship with him. In fact, last year, when he had open heart surgery - I took off a week and flew into town to be with him ... I think it meant a lot to him.

Like I said - I pray.

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

Wow, we are on the same road. . .a little.
I have been searching for my mother and recently after one failed attempt have writen her a letter.

I hope that your father and you can build a relationship before it is too late.

kayellejaye said...

My dad is in my life and I still don't know much about him. But then again I never asked...

I hope you get the answers you're looking for, Dave.

RealHustla said...

I hope you get the response you think you deserve. I had a brief little convo with my dad this past weekend and he tried to play victim. Even had my step mom taking up for him.

Sugee Andersyn said...

What a great letter, that takes a lot of courage.