December Writing Prompt
Bonni Rambatan

Dear Dad,

It’s weird to think we haven’t talked in months, yet strangely, it feels so normal.

I got your Christmas card, but I couldn’t believe you wrote “give me a call sometime!”. The door swings both way Dad.

I’ve grown so use to your absence that I actually feel more comfortable now that I don’t have to see or talk to you. I use to get upset, knowing that you’d rather spend your time with anyone but us, but I actually think I’m better off. Staying distant has allowed me to see your true colors: the things and people that are really important to you and where your moral compass points, but I still can’t help but wonder, do you ever wish you knew me me?

What my favorite color is?
What is my boyfriend’s name?
What was my degree in college?
What do I do for work?
What are my hobbies?
What is my favorite kind of music?

The simple questions that barely even begin to define me, I don’t think you can answer and it makes me feel sad; not sad for me, but more for you. I’ve grown up: so independent and mature.

I’ve learned more from you being gone than I ever did while you were around. It’s not like you left us when we were little, but honestly I wish you did. I wish I never got to see you for who you really are. It makes me so desperately sad to have seen you regress instead of develop and grow with our family. Always playing the victim, condemning everyone for your life except the man in the mirror.

There were days when I would envy girls that had good relationships with their fathers. The ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ girls, with their eyes wide with admiration for that nurturing man in their life.

The one they would one day look to for advice and confirmation.
The one that would be inspiration for the man they would one day marry.

But now, looking back, and looking forward, I am so glad that you didn’t only leave, but that you left me with a lesson, it takes some people a lifetimes to learn: how to recover from heartbreak.

I started dating a man, who is everything you are not and I couldn’t be me more happy. He is confident and driven. Affectionate and thoughtful of me and my needs. The main qualities of a man that you lack and will never understand their worth.

When I do get married one day, I will not be asking you to give me away because you gave me away a long time ago…

I wish you knew how much your absence affected me. I have never (until now) let a love consume me. I’ve even followed in your footsteps and left someone when I shouldn’t have — a mistake I will never forget. I was cold and that is not only my own fault but your fault, too.

Maybe I was afraid of the uncertainty; scared of someone leaving me first (heartbroken again), but I found a love that reminds me that it’s not about the ones who leave, but the ones who choose to stay. So, I no longer focus on the things that I can’t change and instead, find comfort in the pieces of my life that I was able to put back together.

There will always be a slice of my heart reserved for you, but I will only fill that slice with love when you are capable of doing the same.

My wish for you this Christmas is enlightenment. For you to find your true north, optimism, and insight.

It may be too late for you to mend the bridges you’ve already burned, but you are never to old or too late to see the light.


The Daughter You’ll Never Know