Learning To Love You More




Assignment #52
Write the phone call you wish you could have.

San Francisco, California USA



Me: Hello?
Him: Hi Laura, it's your dad.
Me: ...How did you get this number?
Him: Hey, just listen. I know I've said and done a lot of things to hurt you. Things that no father should say or do. It hurt me when you went out of state for college and started growing away. I didn't know how to deal with it, I got angry. I should have been at your graduation, your wedding, but I didn't want to deal with your mother, her parents, and all the land-mines of it. I've been seeing a counselor. I've started to realize the way that I push people away. I didn't mean to tell you that I'd grieved the loss of my child and moved on. The only thing you could have done is shut me out.
Me: I feel like we've been through this before.
Him: I understand. But the other thing is that I've been diagnosed with (? psychological condition ?) and I think that's a big part of why I treated you and your brother the way I did. I never wanted you guys to be upset with me. I just couldn't ever say things the right way. I can't promise that it will be an overnight change, but I'm working at it, and getting help.
Me: I don't know if I can ever forgive you. And I don't want you to be dependent on me again. You need to get a job, make friends, and clean yourself up.
Him: I understand that I have a lot of ground to make up for. But maybe someday I can again be the dad who left you notes from the tooth salamander, loved felix the cat, and spilt mustard down his sweatshirt. Hey, and I'm proud of you. I'm glad you're a designer and not an engineer. I never meant to discourage you from it, and I'm sorry I made you cry in high school at the juried exhibition when I told you that it was all crap, including yours. I just knew how smart you were and wanted you to challenge yourself mentally. But you're really good. And I read about your award and was really happy for you.
Me: I don't really know what to say, or think. It's just all so sudden after a lifetime of issues. I think about the father that I am missing all the time but not having the burden you put on my life has almost been a relief. You're not an easy person to be around.
Him: I can see that. Let's just start with some phone calls and see how things go. Can we talk soon?
Me: Ok.
Him. Goodnight, and I love you.