Today is Father’s Day and it’s not my favorite day to acknowledge and here is why. Four men have been placed in my life by my mother. All four of them to be called dad, but not one of them called me daughter. I never do this, but today I am guided to note each one of them and how they measured up to the name father, or didn’t.

Lloyd…You were a man who was given a violent beginning and then continued that violence into your adult life. You were a mean drunk. You beat my mother while she was pregnant with me. You almost shot my brother in one of your drunken stupers and you never once treated me like a daughter should be treated.

I was for you a glorified maid in your roach infested home. Filth, drugs, booze, anger, torment and rage were what I remember. You never told me that you knew I wasn’t your daughter by blood but you showed me in your actions. I feared you and that was an awful feeling. You didn’t have it easy coming up in your life so I know that you did what you learned but you had chances to turn it around and for some reason you didn’t do it.

For all of this the only thing that I got from you was your name. Thank you for the name and I hope that in the next life time its a little easier for you.

Robert…Known to all as Bob, you were brought in as my mom’s second try for a husband. You didn’t want the family that came with her but because you were so obsessed with her you had no choice. You moved our family twelve times by the time I was kicked out of the rotten hole that you called home.

You were jealous of every head that turned toward my mom. You had many chances to stand up and be a real man but instead you crawled into a bottle. You threatened and intimidated me as a child to get me to do what you wanted. I was ten when you threw me up against the wall and screamed in my face. This was the only way you could control me.

You didn’t do any better with the daughter from your first marriage. When you were fighting with your wife you took it out on me when she left. That’s not what a father is supposed to do. You came up in a big successful family. You had everything you needed from that family. I’m sorry that your obsession took over and you learned nothing.

In the end you had a sad death with an abundance of anger and resentment. Due to the alcohol your liver failed. I hope that you recover well from this life and learn the difference between love and obsession, so that you don’t have to repeat another life like this one.

Tom…You are my moms third husband and at her age her last. While I know that you love my mother very much, you are all about you. You are a nice man and you don’t drink and beat my mother and I am grateful for that. However you are a man who doesn’t bond to anyone.

You make it hard to trust that you are doing the best for my mom. That is my problem that I feel this way, not yours. I have tried to connect with you on several occasions. I even shoveled shit with you and I got nothing in return except to smell like shit.

Though when I came to you both for help later in life you said no problem, of course without emotion. You are not and never will be a dad for me and that’s as it should be. You are the best of the lot that mom has married. I hope that you will take the time for your own daughter and give her moments to treasure because every daughter dreams of those moments with her father. Tell her you love her because even though she knows this she dreams of hearing it from you.

Leonard…You are my moms true love and my father by blood. I only met you a few times. When I finally found the courage to come looking for you, you had already died. You were too young,  at the age of 46, but at least you died while you were fishing. I’m told that is something you loved to do.

I know you were a cowboy, a bartender and a CNA at the end. I’m also told that you loved many women in your life and had a few children spread out over the country. I wish with me you had tried harder. I wish you had taken me away and been my dad for real. I would have been a good daughter for you. Like you I am courageous and strong and have a gypsy soul.

You were a secret for many years. I was made to promise never to tell to anyone about you. That’s a hard thing to do to a child. To say to a little girl, here is your real father but you can’t tell a soul. I know your not here in the physical but you have been a guide for me and I appreciate that. I know that you are waiting for my mom and I think that is a beautiful thing. She has never stopped loving you on a soul level and when its time and you are together again, the stars will shine a little brighter that night.

There were four of you and not one of you cherished me and called me your daughter with love in your heart. You didn’t stop the molester, the rapist or death from harming me. You didn’t hover over the guys that dated me. You didn’t watch my sporting activities or my crazy antics later in life.

You weren’t there when I came home from sailing across the Atlantic for the first time. I couldn’t say to you “Dad, do I make you proud?” There were chances and none of you took those chances that were laid before you. Now all but one of you are dead and it’s too late.

What I hope is learned from these words is not anger. I’m not angry at any of you. I don’t hate you, but I wish it could have been different. What I hope is that anyone who is a dad now, to a daughter, please take the time to love her. Not just by actions but by words. Your daughters need to hear you say it, so they can feel it from you. Don’t let a day go by without a hug or an I love you. It will mean the world to them. It would have meant the world to me.