To my ex-husband on Father's Day. I sent this to him back on June 6th.
Some of you will think it was stupid of me to send seeing as he will never really understand who I am, but part of being who I am is trying to bridge this gap I created when I told him I had to leave him. I am still in denial most days that we knew so little about one another after being together for so long.
"What you said to Lana a few weeks ago about us wishing each other dead has really stuck in my head. I have had a couple of dreams about it recently, so I am going to get this out of my head.
When you told Lana that you and I wished each other dead and that the interesting thing would be that if either of us died, that the surviving parent would be the first suspect, I was angry. The amount of detail and thought that went into this analogy for Lana was shocking. Many of the conversations you have with the kids astound me and upset me.
There was so much going on that day, stress, fear, worry, unknown that I didn't want to piss you off when we needed to stand firm together as Lana's parents. You and I stuck in a room together for 5 hours made it difficult to breathe. I left that day with my mind processing all of the information about Lana and school.
But since then in the rare quiet moments, I see you saying to our daughter that there are times you wish I was dead.
I want to be make sure you know that I do not wish you dead. Not even at my most angry with you have I wished you dead. I do not like you as my partner. I am not always thrilled with the fact that you are the father to my children, but it has never crossed my mind to wish you gone. For whatever reason, we were meant to meet and meant to create Liam & Lana.
Have I told the kids you drive me crazy, yes. I have even said you are a huge pain in my ass. But since you are a part of them, I have always tried to tell them stories of good times I have had with you. I tell them about matching you slice for slice eating pizza for most of our early marriage. I tell them that you are one of the smartest men I have ever known. I tell them about how you were on the cutting edge of computers and video games when we met and that is where Liam gets his skill from. I tell them that their ability to learn and assimilate math is from you. I tell them about how we met dancing and how I had hoped to being dancing with you when we were very old. I tell them about your ability to speak and retain multiple languages and multiple instruments.
I hope you live a very long life. Not in a million years would I waste a wish or prayer to make you disappear. I hope that you will dance with our daughter at her wedding. I hope Liam will be blessed to change his first diaper under your tutelage and that you will tell him he is as slow as his mother.
I hope that like my parents, that our kids will grow up to see that the best thing we ever did was have them and divorce. They deserve their mother and their father. They deserve to get to know us as beautifully flawed adults who were doing the best we could.
It may be decades down the road before you can believe this, but I only wish you happiness and love and success. It costs me nothing to feel that for you and I know that your happiness doesn't cost me mine. There is enough out there for all of us."
I read his response and let it go. It is still very difficult for me to accept that I lived and loved someone for 17 years who doesn't get me.
This is my first Father's Day without my dad in this world. He and I have lived on different continents or at least different parts of the country for all of my adult life.
I don't have rituals or family traditions for what to do on Father's Day other than the ones I created for my ex-husband. I don't ever remember celebrating Father's Day as a child.
When I had children we always had a special breakfast and the kids and I would make him something. Last year my anger that he doesn't recognize or help the kids make my day special meant that for the first time since our divorce, I didn't gather items for the kids to make him cards or take them to the store to get him something. I was pissed.
It was stupid of me. I pulled my head out of my ass this year and made sure they knew that this is a special holiday and that I would help them show their dad that they celebrate him.
I am missing my dad. The kids and I had breakfast with him this morning. I put his box of cremains on the table with us. Then I put him on the foot stool while I laid around reading a book. I found that I have a phone message he left for me and saved it so I don't accidentally delete it. I can hear him telling me who he is, like I wouldn't know his voice and then, like in every message, he tells me that he loves me.
I remembered that the kids and I are heading to my sister's in a couple of weeks and that we have talked about doing a little funeral ceremony with all of our kids since none of them were able to attend dad's funeral. Stuff to think on.