To My Dad on His 54th Birthday

Alison L.



Dear Dad,


I’m here. Barely, sometimes. One day I’ll tell you all the things you want to know. But that day is not today.


Sometimes I go walk at Lake Ella, like you used to do with me when I was a baby and my mom had just left us. I feel so close to you then, knowing my footfalls cover the same tread yours did. Our hearts both heavy, weighing us down.


I want you to know I am okay. I’m going to be okay.


You can’t blame yourself any longer for me not having a mother in my life. MawMaw has been more Mother than anyone really needs in her life - she’s been wonderful. Over the years, I found myself bonding so quickly with older women in my life: my aunts, my partners’ mothers, women at work. I looked for in them what I perceived I was always missing by not having mother.


But then I realized that what I was looking for inside of these women all of these years was inside of me all along. And I’m strong, Dad, I am. And that’s because of you. Thanks for being my dad.


I’ll tell you what’s going on one day. But not right now. Because now I need to call you and tell you happy birthday.


Happy Birthday, Dad.