CHILD OF DIVORCE
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD !
I am so glad you asked me to recall some memories. Be patient. My recollection of the the things we did together, from such a young age, may be different and not quite as accurate as your recollections would be. Bear with me. I love you so much and how can I even express my gratitude to you on this special day? Well this is one way, so I’m going to go for it. You know me, not the most affectionate daughter outwardly, but in my heart you are always there every day, and always will be.( It feels weird not writing a Lined Paper) LOL..But I am tugging on my heart strings to say things the right way. I hope you like this letter. I should have written it long ago. So here we go Dad…..I’m gonna be a Doctor, I mean it. So I study stuff. Mom says no computer til high school. Anyway, this is about you Dad. You and me.
First I need to tell you that you have been a funny, responsible, and adoring father. No matter whatever has come into your life or mine, you have always, always, been there for me. I rarely express my loving feelings for you. My fault. To say the words is just not my style. Dad you know I have to be cool. LOL! But today, I am telling you how much you mean to me. I want to first say I LOVE MY DAD ! Now I am going to make an attempt to show you, with my recollections going way back, how important you were to me in my formative years and how you still are to this day. I don’t have to see you every day, nor you me. We both know our bond started with night feedings because you wanted to do it, not because you had to. I believe that is the first reason that I feel so close to you today. I can tell you anything and you always listen. So from my perspective you cradled me, spoiled me, would not let me cry ( so Mom tells me to this day), fed me, changed my diapers, walked in the dark with me on your shoulder even when I was 5 years old and had a bad dream. Good thing I was a small kid. You smelled so good and clean. I remember how nice you always looked. You were my cuddly Daddy. Still are.
Now, let me begin with Temple. Oh yes. Temple Judea, and the Jewish Day School. You wanted me to sit next to you at Services so you could make fun of the Cantor and Rabbi by quietly reach over and squeezing my knee to make me laugh. Very embarrassing for Mom. Guess she had to get use to us ! I have to admit I hated sitting so long. You know Dad, when you were home, you went with us every week. I give you credit for bringing GOD into my life. I know you didn’t want to be there. You did it for me. You gave me roots and a value system by taking me. Thank you for that. Once again I love you.
So let’s move on to the fancy Hotel you owned. I looked like Lady Astor’s pet horse. I remember you telling me I had to wear something pretty. I had plenty. The dinner I remember best, was when you were the boss man and you took me into the really big kitchen to meet the people you bossed around for the first time. Well I was really feeling important. Want you to know it was all about me. Anyway, you picked me up in your arms and brought me to the table where our family was sitting. Sat me down, and kissed me on the head. That is a really vivid memory. You smelled like cologne and I think you had either a tux or a dark suit on. I felt like a Princess in your arms. I didn’t want you to leave me for a moment. I was reminded by Mom that you had to go boss people around, so that helped a little. I remember pouting. When you walked away I cried. I bet you never knew that. You were running all over the place making sure everything was perfect for the guests. Pretty ritzy place for a 5 year old. Your exquisite taste was noticed by me. It is to this day. Please always know that. It is rare for me to tell you how I feel about you. I guess I can still just be a brat. Thank you for enduring my attitude. I am improving in that area. Or at least making an attempt to be more gracious. Takes time. So it’s your fault that I am a compulsive shopper. Yes, I blame you for that. Wow..Neiman Marcus. Loved seeing you in that job.
How about Disney Land Dad!!! Oh Yeah Yeah the Blankie incident. Do you remember how we left the hotel room without the Schlankie ! I was hysterical. We actually drove out of the parking lot without him !! OMG. ! Trauma of my life. I was in the back seat strapped in, Mom in the front holding on for dear life as you did a huge U turn back to hotel. I remember you getting out of car and coming to tell me that the room had been cleaned. No BLANKIE. BLANKIE WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE ROOM ! I was crying. Hard. Now it gets a little blurry as to the next step. I think I went with you to the DUMPSTER. Maybe not. You may have just looked there by yourself. Not sure. But you found him!!! One of the happiest days of my life, and YOU made it happen. Did I tell you I love you for that? Do you have any idea that I have never forgotten that and I cherish that memory. Once again, you knocked yourself out for me. I don’t think I even said thank you. Well it’s never too late. Thanks Dad. You are the best.
The sunrises at the beach when we left the house so early to make sure we saw it together. Another very special memory. I remember how warm the sand was, even in the early morning hours. I especially remember us being the only ones there. You and me. Just the two of us. I felt so safe when we went over the little bridges to get to the dunes. They were kind of scary because I didn’t know what was under them. You never let go of my hand. I never really liked those bridges and never had to tell you. You just knew. I love you for that.
For all the years that have past, and all the times you took care of me, I want you to know what an important role you took in my life to make the person I am today. You have made many sacrifices for me. Believe me. I am aware. You have helped me every time I needed you. But it’s so much more than the things you bought me all thru my life. I need you know that it is the love that really matters. How incredibly selfless of you to keep me as your little Princess. I hope I can finish this without crying. It is a wise father who recognizes his child’s faults. But it is a loving father who forgives her for not always reaching out with love. Dad, you are the best. I know you are proud of me. Never forget the role you played over my lifetime to keep me on track. You did it with love. Nothing can ever work better than that. Happy Birthday to you Dad. In your way you were a role model. Thank you Dad. I love you.
Oh, and one more thing. Your advice is appreciated. I know I don’t always act like it is, but I will always do the right thing. You are kind and generous to a fault. Sometimes I do not deserve it. You never give up on me. So here is a big hug and kiss for you with this letter. Hold on to me tight. I need you to be strong for me. I have a long road ahead of me to achieve my goal in Medicine. I will make you even prouder. Why? Call it a payback for everything you have done and all the love you have given me.
PS …Mom has always said I can’t fire you! Thank you for sharing me!
(Child of divorced parent’s letter to her Dad on his Birthday) Priceless
Karen Anne Kramer