Dear Dad,

It’s my birthday today and I’d like to think that you are thinking about me.

Although I know, that you probably don’t.

You are somewhere between the seven seas and the seven mountains, somewhere where the sand gets so hot that it burns your feet. And where it will always leave a mark on your skin.

But I wouldn’t know that for sure, because you wouldn’t take me there.

I was three months old when you left us for the first time. Mom had lost all the breast milk in one night. She said that she was crying so much, that all her body dried up. Like those hot sands of your country would dry up any body.

But I wouldn’t know that for sure, because you wouldn’t take me there.

The doctors told my mum that probably I will be getting sick a lot, that I will be a weak baby because the formulas that we had back then in those days might have not been good enough. And I was getting sick, a lot. All the time. One time my fever was so high that when I got to the hospital they thought that I will die. If mom would have had any breast milk left back then, it would all disappear again. She was crying so very, very much.

But you wouldn’t know that for sure, because you weren’t there.

When I was three years old, mom and me went to see you in another country. A country torned down by war, a country that doesn’t exist now anymore. Like I don’t exist for you as your daughter. I’m this lonely, unknown piece of a place that died years ago because of the war that my little 3 year old heart could not win against your grown up heart.

You would have known that for sure, because you were there.

When I was five, I saw you for the last time.

You were standing on the pavement in flared jeans and a tight light grey jumper with a pale yellow stripe across your chest. You were squinting your eyes because of the sun. Your hair was black and curly. I don’t know how, but I remember all those details. I can’t only remember what you were shouting.

And then you left.

That was the last time I saw you as a person.

From then on you were just a dream.

When I was nine, I saw the mountains for the first time and I didn’t know how to feel. They were just there, so silent, so magnificent. One of the mountain people had told me, that when you see the mountains for the first time, you have to look for the stream, a little river. “Write down the thing that you want the most in your life and ask God to give it to you”, he said. I run fast and fell on the way back to the house. My knee was cut. When I got there I climbed upstairs, locked the door and wrote 20 times my request to God. “Dear God, please give me my daddy back.” I rolled that piece of paper and tied it with a piece of a blue string. Then tossed it into the river stream and asked the water to carry this message to God. I was nine years old dad, I was only nine.

But you wouldn’t know that for sure, because you weren’t there.

In my twenties I moved to a different country and by accident I’ve found some people who promised help in finding you. We were looking for you for two years. One time we were so close…A phone call away. And then the civil war came and everything went silent for another year. My head was going mad and I was so worried about you.

More time has passed.

They have found you. You were alive. My heart collapsed on the floor with my body. I was a million pieces and I was one.

We talked on the phone for the first time few weeks after that. You said, that I was never forgotten to you and that you have always loved me. As I had loved you, daddy.

You were travelling around Europe and you said, that you will come to meet me in August. August was meant to be a beautiful month. The date seemed to be miles away as it was only September. Still, it was only 11 months in compare to a lifetime. September was also the month in which I’ve told you that by the time we will meet you’ll see me with a baby. I was pregnant and you would have become a grandfather by then. You were happy.

A month later I had to tell you that the baby was gone. You said that you wished you could have been there with me. And I thought the same when I was looking outside the window wearing the hospital gown.

The warmth of August and your face arrived quickly.

Everything was so real about you when I saw you. The olive skin and wrinkles around your eyes and your hair, your brown jacket. Everything. You were still a kind of a dream, still some sort of a ghost, yet I could touch you now. You held my hand so strongly on the way home, but I couldn’t tell you that it hurts because I was afraid that you would let go of it. And I just got you back.

We were supposed to enter September together but one day, after two weeks you just left without saying goodbye. First you didn’t want to come and see me and when I called you to ask what happened, you said to give you one day to think and to come after that. I listened to you and waited one day. By the time I called you again, you left the country. Without saying goodbye.

You crushed my heart in so many ways. A heart which resembled the one of a little bird who lost his voice. It had stopped singing.

This was the first time when I thought that leaves are falling down because the trees are mourning Summer as I was mourning the loss of my father.

But you wouldn’t know how I felt, because you weren’t there.

After a month you wrote to me and asked for forgiveness. I didn’t ask you why you did this, I just forgave you.

I was in Paris in December. It was cold and I turned 30 there. You didn’t call. Mom didn’t call either.

It was February when you wrote to me for the last time. You were gone for good. I could feel it. No coming back.

In my heart I forgave you everything what you did to me and everything what you didn’t do.

It’s my birthday today and I’d like to be your daughter. Just today, just for this one day, one unit of time, few seconds, a breathing.

I love you dad. And I miss you.

But you can’t know this for sure, because you aren’t here.

Your daughter