This coming week marks your 50th birthday. It marks another milestone on my calendar, another day missing your face and another year without you by my side. You’ve missed over half of my life by now so I guess we have some catching up to do.
Here are the things I wish you knew about me, that I wish I could tell you and that I wish you knew before you did what you did.
I wish I could tell you how loved you were, how through whatever crazy, stupid and plain evil thing you did, you were always my main man, my dysfunctional super hero; you always will be.
I wish you knew that I spent my childhood Christmases sat on the bottom stair waiting for you to waltz through the door. More so, I wish you knew how your absence, how you not ever walking through that door ruined me. I hate Christmas for that very reason.
I wish you knew that I take two sugars in my tea, I put the milk in first and I must have it in my russian doll mug.
I wish I could tell you I’m sorry for saying the things I did, for cutting you off and feeding you to your mental demons. I’ll forever feel guilty for abandoning you and not giving you the time of day. I’m sorry for not being there.
I want you to know I still go up the mountain. I miss the times you used to take us walking up there. I remember the day you saved that guy from the river and how you held my hand as I got to the ‘rocky’ bit. Your birthday, just like every year since, will be spent at that spot with L. I can see the mountain from my bedroom window now.
I wish you could see the amazing man your son has grown to be. How protective he is over me and mum, how thoughtful he is and just how damn awesome he is. You’d be so proud of the gentleman he’s grown to become.
I wish you could meet my fur babies – Jesse & Bobby. I remember telling you that I was going to live on top of the mountain with all the animals and struck off any person that came near. That plan’s still in the pipeline.
Remember when you bought me those Princess Leia pjs for Christmas? The velvet ones? They were my favourite. However, I still haven’t seen Star Wars. Soz Dad.
I want you to know how strong you’ve made me. How you’ve inspired me, enlightened me and reminded me that there’s support out there. I learn from you every single day. You’re my biggest life lesson. You’ve had the biggest impact.
You should know that I still have a phobia of fish and it’s getting worse now. It makes me physically ill. I still can’t watch Finding Nemo on my own.
So all those times you told me to eat my carrots because I’d be able to see in the dark? I now know you were playing me. I still can’t see in the dark. However, I still eat the crusts on my sandwiches and I still have curly hair, so I guess you were right about that one.
Remember that time you told me you stole the local park? Yeah, I believed that up until about three years ago. Mam told me at the age of 21 that you worked for the council and that they’d given it to you. You won that one.
I want you to know that I don’t think you’re selfish for doing what you did. I don’t hate you and I’ve come to realise that it would be selfish of me for wanting you to live a life that was eating you alive. I’m content with your decision; although I’ll forever wish you were here to sail through life with me.
I wish you were around so we could bask in your love of punk, beer and Dr Martens. We’d be the perfect little duo.
I want to thank you for introducing me to writing. When I lost you, I poured every little bit of me into it. It was my coping mechanism and it was the one thing that made me feel better. So I thank you for helping me find my niche, helping me find my first love and for helping me find a career.
I want you to know that you didn’t deserve the blood you were born into. You were better than that. They’ve not bothered with us since you left and I don’t plan on ever doing so either. I lost them, when they lost you and I’m completely fine with that now.
Although I don’t hate you for what you did, it will forever make me feel like I’m not good enough for anyone. I guess my confidence issues came when you left. Wanting you to live a life you hated would have been selfish of me but there will always be something in the back of my brain, telling me I wasn’t good enough for my own Dad, let alone anyone else. I’m working on that though.
Last of all, I want you to know that there will forever be a list of things you’ll never know about me. A list of Christmases you’ve missed, there will forever be another birthday without you and there will be more milestones like this where you’ll never know me.
I’d like to think that you’re looking down at us. I’d like to think you cared. I wish you were here so I could spoil you. I wish I could give you some balloons and have a few beers with you, but instead your birthday will be spent thinking what could have been of us; what could have been of you.
Time is supposedly a healer, yet time just adds to the list of things you’ve missed out on; the things you don’t know about me.
Everyday is a day that’s spent thinking about how things could be.
So Happy 50th birthday Pa.
I wish we weren’t strangers like this.
Love you always,