Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The saddest thing is knowing that some men abandon their children...regularly. But the cycle of pain doesn't have to continue - it can be broken - as this heart-wrenching letter proves.
Happy Father's Day...To My Mother - by Rickey Brown
I want to begin this letter by acknowledging you as my father. We will spare the semantics and the embarrassment of trying to recount your contributions as either. I would love to tell you that you had no direct influence over my life in any capacity; unfortunately it is not the case.
In spite of my mother’s claims that you weren’t shit, I tried to love you with reckless abandon. The more my mother told me about you and the fact that you never attempted to contact me, somehow the angrier I became inside and yearned to be near you. Eventually, I realized that you were who you were, and at 16 or 17 I certainly could not expect that you would be in my life. However, I saw past your shortcomings because I inherited such a rich family to whom I am eternally grateful for the familial ties they’ve helped me to establish.
Because you were not around and my life inexperience, I was doomed to repeat some of the same mistakes that you had made. My mom is not perfect, but she was certainly in my life to impart upon me her lessons from her past mistakes. I would never need to touch a hot stove to know it burns had I seen your scar. Reminds me of when Jay Z said, “ Like I told you to sell drugs, nah Hov did that so hopefully you don’t have to go through that.”
I am now 38 years old with a family of my own. I buried my anger and resentment towards you to try to establish a father-son relationship. I attempted to do so by allowing you to be a part of the lives of my children - your grandchildren. We will never recover from the disappointment my sons felt after you promised to have them stay the night...only for you to not keep your promise.
You are a piece of shit. I am finally man enough to admit it even if you are not. You deserve this biting criticism for running away from your responsibilities. You are truly a coward. Of this I am resolute: I WILL NEVER BE LIKE YOU. In fact, I have spent my adult life ensuring that is the case. Here is what your cowardice gave birth to:
As I stated, I now have a family of my own. I only recently discovered I am the father of a biological daughter that is 18 years old and I did not have the honor or the privilege of being in her life. Although, her mother and I may never agree the decisions that were made, the fact remains she is my daughter. I did not exemplify the cowardice you displayed upon discovering this, but opened my arms and my heart to share in a life I feel so wonderful about. The connection to my children is a bond that will never, ever be broken. And that is your only legacy here.
Here’s how your absence affected me: Without you I have simply graduated from college, (the first in my family), own my own home (also a first in my family), have produced one step child and two biological children, and have a successful career. My daughter is now the first grandchild to attend college as well. This is actually the best father’s day present I could have ever received. Maybe if you had stuck around you would have something to be proud of as well.
Rest in Peace.
P.S. Since you have never taken the time to tell my mother "Thank You" for doing your job, it is only appropriate that my children and I celebrate Father’s Day with my Mother. Happy Father’s Day Mom! I love you...and sadly, you were right.