I’m guessing you never thought I’d say this, but thank you. Even though you left, I learned a lot from you. I learned from your mistakes. I learned that I deserve to be treated with respect. Because you walked all over me, I now know when it’s time to let go of a friendship or relationship. I learned that if I’m the only one putting in effort, that it’s time to find people who will love me as much as I love them.
Thank you for teaching me how to treat people. Even though you missed birthdays, concerts, and basically my whole middle school, high school, and college years, I know what it means to be there for people. I know the pain that comes with disappointment, so you taught me to keep my promises and to be an honorable, honest, trustworthy person.
Thank you for teaching me to find my worth in Christ rather than people. It took me a long time to love myself because I was chasing your love for a long time. You’re not a Christian, but after being rejected over and over, the unconditional love and acceptance I’ve found in Christ has been so much sweeter to me. It took me a long time to understand God as a Father, but His Fatherhood is much more meaningful to me.
Thank you for showing me what it means to be a parent. It’s easy for you to be a father, but a true parent is more than a birth certificate. So many people may think I won’t understand what it means to be a parent because you weren’t there, but I know my children will receive my love, attention, and guidance. I’ll be involved. I won’t make excuses. I won’t lie. I won’t disappear. I will be someone my future children can rely on no matter what.
Above all, even though you left, we still have many good memories. You introduced me to my love of adventure. We used to go hiking. We used to go geocaching. We used to have Cub fresh made pizzas and make key lime pie together on Friday nights. We used to watch movies together. You used to sing and dance with me before you went on trips for work. You used to bring me tubing and used to make butterfly pork chops on the grill at the cabin. You left, but not without some good memories.
Even though you’re not in my life anymore, I still love you. You weren’t an excellent parent, but I still learned so much more from you than you probably think I did.