dear dad

I wrote a letter to mom on mothers day last year. I considered writing one to you on fathers day but didn’t know where to start… I still don’t really know, but it needs to be done and so,

here i am.

thank you, for giving us all the fortitude and joy that can only be found with a knife in hand and onions sizzling on the stove.

thank you, for great movies and long discussions.
thank you, for the sarcasm and grit to stand up for what we believe (even if we aren’t always right).
thank you, for insisting we attend church and discuss the sermon.
thank you for the classic music we always have blasting through the house.

thank you for dancing with me in the kitchen and in the grocery store and in front of people I was never planning on dancing in front of.
thank you for passing on your thick, fake Mexican accent and your love of hot peppers…

thank you for teaching me to speak the truth, even when it hurts.

this is me, doing that…

i forgive you.

i forgive you for choosing an addiction over your family.

i forgive you for using bible verses and God to justify anger and sin.

i forgive you for the constant manipulation and misuse of authority.

i forgive you for placing the role of protector on Phillip, Kealen, and Noah’s shoulders, even though the person they are protecting us from is you.

I forgive you because I believe God is greater that anything we will ever know here on earth and I forgive you because I have come to understand that your salvation is not dependent on anything I can say or do.

I forgave you before you even apologized. I forgave you because I love you.

But I don’t trust you, not because I don’t want to but because I can’t. 23 years of trust that has been exploited and dismissed so unconsciously cannot be replaced in only a few years.

I cannot give you a list of everything I need you to do in order for me to trust. I cannot give you a list because there isn’t one. The only thing that I want you to do for me is turn back to the One who is calling you by your baptism.

Turn back to Him and repent.

I believe you believe you have but actions speak louder than words.

You do not see the burdens in the eyes of the child who hopes in you but hates himself because of it. I remember that feeling of hate, I remember hoping that this time would be different, this time Dad will actually follow through…and when you didn’t I didn’t hate you, I wasn’t angry at you but at myself because I let myself hope, again.

You do not see because you cannot see. That is because for over 30 years you have lied to yourself and now you don’t know any other way.

Because of you I am a sarcastic, pepper loving, kitchen dancing, knife welding, movie quoting, whiskey drinking ninja…

Because of you I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and strength.

Because of you I understand that sin is blind and forgiveness has less to do with the other person, and everything to do with the forgiver.

Because of you I am grieving the death of a father I never knew.

Because of you I am praying fervently for the stranger three hours away.

I am not afraid of the future because I know who has planned it. And I am not afraid of you because I know who loves me.

Thank you for the memories, I love you anyways.