The Boss Babe Blog
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This is a belated birthday message. Happy 40th Old Man.
First of all, happy belated birthday. I would have written this yesterday, but I couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of the screen and face you…or at least the absence of you. I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking of you a lot recently. You’re on my mind, you’re in my nightmares. I can smell the bonfires we used to create and taste the food that you taught me to make. In everything I do, I’ve been thinking of you.
I thought of you when I sent the first text message that would eventually compromise my relationship. You know, the kind that you used to send to other women before mom found out. I can see why you did it, the thrill was incredible. I can see why you hide from us now, the pain it caused when they found out was unbearable. The entire time I worried: “Am I turning into him?” Yeah, I was a cheater like you.
I thought of you when I scored that 83 on my Biology class. Why couldn’t I do better? You were always pushing me to be better…and bashing me when I didn’t meet your unrealistic expectations. Mom came home to me crying…crying over a passing grade. She was confused. She was even holding back laughter until she heard me say, “If dad were here, he’d be screaming at me. He’d be disappointed. He’d have whipped me by now…”. Yeah, I was a perfectionist like you.
I thought of you when I was bent over the toilet with the seat raised. You had told me to lose weight, you had told me I could be prettier. I trusted that you weren’t lying to me. I wanted to find out. Ironically, I didn’t look very pretty in that moment. Mascara running down my cheeks…my face flushed red…vomit on my shirt…snot dripping from my nose. I asked out loud, “Am I pretty enough for you now? Can I stop?”. Yeah, I was obsessive like you.
I thought of you while I was screaming at my mother over something that had started as such as simple disagreement. I knew I was in the wrong, but I also knew I was in too deep to back out. I inherited your stubbornness, I suppose. My brain kept registering, “Make it stop, make it stop, make the fighting stop”. I remembered the night I watched you stand at the back door and scream at my Mom before pushing her out of your way. Yeah, I fought like you.
I thought of you when the dogs were at the foot of my bed and I was tired and they wouldn’t stop whining. They needed to go out to pee, but I was too lazy to move, and no one else was home. The noise that erupted from the back of my throat was an octave lower and a whole lot rougher than I even knew my voice could sound. When they slinked away, I started to feel bad. Yeah, I sounded like you.
I thought of you in the middle of a panic attack. When all I wanted was something to make the pain go away. I wanted pills, I wanted alcohol, I wanted weed, I wanted drugs…I wanted anything that could make the world disappear, or make me disappear from the world. The pressure was too much to handle, and I wondered how you ever coped. Yeah, I was damaged like you.
I thought of you when I knelt down in front of the alter a few Sundays ago. I needed to say a little prayer for myself. I was taking life for granted. I was overlooking my blessings. I was pushing myself too hard. I needed the ability to slow down and enjoy the life around me. I wanted to not be so cynical. Then, I said a little prayer for you, Dad. That wherever you’re at, whoever you’re with, that you’re happy, because that’s all that really matters. Yeah, I guess I love like you.
I thought of you when I stood in front of the mirror this morning. I didn’t get my hazel eyes from Mom…it had to be from your Dad, and Momma never had this thick of hair. She never had this wide nose that bothers me so much, but that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It had to come from somewhere…yeah, I look like you.
I’m thinking of you now, and I probably will tomorrow too. I hear you’ve left the state, and your whole family behind too. I guess you think I hate you, but that’s really not the case. I think of you daily, and I miss your smiling face. I’ve shed too many tears to count, I’ve cried too many times. I’ve poured my anger out as an ocean, and I’ve forgiven all your lies. If you ever did come back around, I’m not too sure that I’d be ready to see you yet. Just like you I’m quick to forgive, but I’ll never ever forget. So, I wish you well, your wife and children too. I hope someday we’ll meet again, but until then…happy birthday to you.