What divorce does to a family.
|"A Dead Beat Father's letter to His Children"
I just wanted to write to you today, like so many times before. I long to hear your voices, hear your laughter as we play and see your beautiful faces. I’m not sure you will get this letter, like so many others that have been returned. But I have them all unopened for you to read one day. I want you to know that I love you with all my heart and I miss you dearly.
I want to tell you about the things that happened. I know that you won't get this until you’re older. Do you remember when I lost my job and was out of work for a few years? It wasn't because I just didn't want to work. I applied for job after job and went on so many interviews. But, still, no one wanted to hire me. They told me that I was (basically) too expensive for their budgets. See, they were afraid I would quit after they hired me at a lower wage for another job that offered me more pay. They were right, I probably would have. Although I told them that I would work for lower wages, they wouldn't hire me. They just didn't understand that I needed the job.
So, during this time I lost what was most important to me – my children. I also lost my home, my car, and my friends because no one wants someone who doesn’t have any money. When you called me that night and told me that you didn't love me anymore, it broke my heart. You told me you never wanted to ever see me again because you were afraid after what your mother had told you about me. I have no idea exactly what she said, but it hurt no matter what. You asked me to sign my rights away and that you no longer wanted me as your daddy. You have no idea how much that hurt. You constantly yelled at me, telling me that you didn't love me and never wanted to see me again. I don't blame you for what you said. You were only a child. Since your mother told you things I had no control over, you never really knew my side. But that's ok because I know the truth and it shall set me free one day.
Everyone started calling me a Dead Beat Father. I was nowhere near that. It broke my heart to hear those things. I even would cry myself to sleep. You might be saying to yourself, “Right! Sure you did!” I have no reason to lie to you. Lies always catch up to you. As you all get older you will find out. The truth always comes out eventually. Sometimes it takes longer than other times, but it always will come out.
I have written all 3 of you every week, each a letter about how I loved and missed each one of you. I’ve asked how you were doing and about things I thought you might be doing. I always imagined you dancing, playing sports, joining the choir and even the school band. I would tell you about my week and what was going on with me. The letters tell you of days past of the things that we would do when you came to see me. Yes, I only got you 4 days a month and six weeks in the summer, but while I had a job, your momma always had her child support and extra to boot when needed.
But when I lost my job I couldn't give your momma her money, so she stopped letting me see you and took you away from me. Now I am not talking bad about her to you and I never will. I always supported her in raising you, even when she lost her job and house. But you always had food and clothes at my house and we always did things.
You threw that in my face that I never spent time with you guys when you came to see me and we never went anywhere. But you didn't realize that it was because I had no money. But when you came, I did take you to the lake on picnics and the creek to swim all summer. We played games and watched movies at other times. We even had BBQs with friends. When you read your other letters you will remember.
There are also pictures that I saved for you guys of the trips we went on and the things we did. I wanted to make sure that each of you had copies. There are pictures of us even staying up late playing cards until 1 am. Oh, the fun we had laughing and teasing each other. We always had a great time. You really enjoyed the BBQ's that we had. Maybe I should have just done hamburgers and nothing else. I just stayed home and done nothing at all. Then maybe you would've come to see me. Nope, I couldn't have done that at all, because I wanted to show you things and to have fun with you.
I really need you to know my side. It's been so long since I have seen you all. All of you should be about to graduate now. I can't believe the time has gone by so fast. I did get to go to 2 of your graduations. I heard about them through the grapevine. I wanted to see my precious babies graduate. I have pictures of them for you also. I wanted to show you I was there and show you what it looked like through my eyes. I even did a few selfies for you..... hahaha. I can't wait for you to see the videos of me telling you congratulations. I have made all of you a flash drive to see.
I just wanted you to know, that. I'm not sure if I'll get to see my baby boy's graduation. But I will try my best to go. You looked beautiful my angels, as I stood from a distance watching you. I didn't stay too long because I didn't want anyone to yell at me for being where I no longer belonged. I really wanted to hug you and tell you how proud I was of you both.
I need you to know that after I received a job, I got caught up on my child support. But I was still not allowed to see you because the judge said I was a bad father. At the time, I couldn't afford an attorney, so I had no one to fight for me. I'm not even sure if your mom told you that I was paying your child support, all those years. That's ok, though, all the money that I would've spent when you came to visit me, I put in a savings account for each of you. I never told anyone about what I was doing, because it is yours.
I have all your birthday and Christmas presents unopened, still, in the boxes, I mailed them in. They were always returned, unopened, to me. I had no idea what you would like so I got the latest thing on the market. I wanted you to have the best as always. Sometimes I bought clothes, then I realized that you were probably growing and they would not fit. I had gotten some really beautiful dresses and even a suit for you, my son. I can’t believe how much you have all grown. I almost didn't recognize you when you graduated. When they called your names, I perked up and never took my eyes off of you. I have such beautiful daughters and a very handsome son.
Oh, I need to tell you about Rex. You remember him, right? I know he even missed you. He would always get so excited when I'd tell him you were coming. Then when I'd have to tell him you weren't, he would be sad for a while. I stopped telling him so he wouldn't hurt anymore. But I think he still felt my pain. He is now on Doggie Patrol in heaven, waiting for me. So, if you ever felt like you were being protected, it was probably him. You remember how he always followed you guys around everywhere and had to sleep with you when you came? He really loved his sisters and brother. I lost him a few years ago, I didn't have the heart to get another. It just didn't seem the same. I just thought you should know.
I guess I need to tell you the real reason why I'm writing today. You might say I have been putting this off for some time. Now I need to tell you that I will be seeing Rex sooner than I thought. See, I went to the doctor and he tells me I don't have long and that I need to get things ready to go to Heaven. I wish I could have had more time on this great earth, but our Heavenly Father needs me. You see after everyone left me, I started going to church and He changed my life. I wish you could have known the man I have become. You would know that I truly love my children, and I always did. I was told so many times that I didn't love you. That has not ever been true.
But, that's in the past, I have forgiven people who had hurt me in the past. I wrote them letters telling them, but those also were returned. So if you would please give them to them for me, I would appreciate it. It tells them that I'm sorry that I was not in their life anymore. It tells them that I love them and ask them to please forgive me, as I have forgiven them. We all are adults and should never let petty things get between us. Life is too short and this is a fact for me.
Please forgive me, my children, for not being there. I promise you now that if you ever need me, just whisper, “Daddy,” and I'll gladly be there. I'm sorry that I won't be there to see you marry or to see my grandchildren grow. Son, I'm sorry if I can't make your graduation, but I have left you a video to see. Matter of fact, I left all of you videos for your wedding days. This nice attorney will give them to you on your wedding days. He has everything that you need for your future.
I just wish that I could have handed them to you myself, to hold you like when you were small, to kiss away the tears, tend to your boo-boo's, tuck you in and kiss you goodnight. I miss those things. I do want you to know that I cherish every moment that we had together. Please don't cry, I could never bear it when any of you cried. When any of you got hurt, I hurt inside. I know that you will get everything that I have left for you. The money is for school, a car or a down payment on your first home.
I want you to know that no matter what, I love you and have always been there for you. My door is always open to my children. I hope you have a wonderful life and please always remember to love one another and always forgive one another. You never know when that person will be gone. I thank God every day that he blessed me with 3 of His angels. May He bless you and keep you from harm until we meet again.
I love you all so much,
Your God-given Daddy
(Your Dead Beat Father)
Revised: April 19, 2018