Father’s Day Message From Unsent Letters & Michy

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the writers who sent in Father’s Day letters for the Unsent Letters blog. I was surprised to see how few we received, especially in comparison to the Mother’s Day requests. I’ve known, for some reason, over the years, that Father’s Day doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal as Mother’s Day. The reason for that became abundantly clear to me as I sifted through the letter submissions this week.

Someone on the AWF forum said that they had stopped reading Unsent Letters because the subject matter was too heavy. It’s funny, because the really heavy, hard-hitting, gut wrenching letters are being saved for the book — along with some humorous and lighthearted and uplifting ones too — but generally speaking, we can share and say the ‘good’ things. It’s the hurtful, harmful, damaging, angry, ‘bad’ things that we leave unspoken, buried deep inside of us.

Then we come to the Father’s Day letters. The one theme I saw running through the majority of the Father’s Day Unsent Letters was that of an ‘absent’ or mostly ‘absent’ father — the deadbeat dads, the dads who kids never knew, children raised by grandparents, etc. So much of the negative aspect of fathers overshadowed the handful of positive Father’s Day letters I received.

I had to take a moment and think about that. You see, for so many years, I was a single mother. My daughter, who is now 21 years old, was raised without her father, only having met him one time briefly when she was 7, again when he popped into her life at 14, and then he disappeared, leaving behind nothing but broken promises.

Having seen what she went through with her issues with not having a father, I was determined to make sure my son had one. When my son’s father and I called things off between us, I would fight him to spend time with his son. I pushed and pushed, made excuses for him, took the blame when he didn’t show up, all so my son wouldn’t feel his daddy had let him down.

In the end, my son’s father left town and disappeared on my son’s fifth birthday, leaving a very sad and angry little boy all dressed up and waiting for daddy to come take him to see a movie and go play miniature golf. As bad as that was, a few years down the road, after I pushed to get him back in my son’s life, he molested my son and faced felony charges for his actions. He admitted and confessed to the crime, so there is no allegations. He is no longer allowed to see my son and they have no contact whatsoever. My son is a happy, healthy and amazing almost 15 year old ‘man’ now. Hey, he shaves… sometimes.

I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter. I was a good mother — no, I am a great mother — and I love my children. In fact, most who know me in real life used to call me Super Mom. I never missed a play or music program or soccer game or school assembly or anything. I did everything I could to ensure my children had both a mother and a father in me. I wrestled on the floor with them. I learned how to kickbox (sorta), and I played video games, darn it all!

I was a good dad!

So I do want to take a moment today and say Happy Father’s Day to all the Mothers out there who are Fathers too. You deserve the extra recognition of filling in for two salaries, two parents, and still staying sane (mostly).

Next, I want to say a very Happy Father’s Day to all the ‘daddies’ out there. I’m not talking to biological fathers, though some of them are daddies. I’m talking about every man who has held the hand of a child while a needle was getting shoved in their vein at the hospital, or every man who doctored a scraped knee and kissed away tears. I’m talking to every man who has ever read a child a bedtime story and tucked them in at night with a kiss on the forehead and a, “See you in the morning, buddy.”

It doesn’t matter if the child was born of your blood as long as the child resides in your heart– that makes you a daddy.

I have a man now who loves my son. I watch my son look up to him, respect him, talk about him with a twinkle in his eye and a smile. I see my son do things on purpose because he knows it will make this man proud. He sets and example for my son to live up to, look up to, and it’s an example of a fine man.

Through this man, I’ve seen my son change and grow, come alive in ways I could never teach him, no matter how hard I try.

Then, even at 21 years of age, I watch my daughter blush and giggle from a compliment this man gives her.

So I have to admit today, on Father’s Day, that Michy has been wrong all these years… while children can flourish and grow with just one parent, because so many have done so and excelled, I am wrong to say that kids don’t need a daddy.

They do.

I’m not saying it has to be the man who donated his sperm to their creation. I’m not saying it has to be someone who is there every day of their lives, day in and day out.

But it needs to be someone they can count on, depend on, trust to be there when it matters most.

So if you are a man… if you have children… don’t JUST be a father. Be a daddy. Be a man. A Real Man.

Little girls need someone who the can sit in their laps and kiss on the cheek goodnight and be the little princess… or someone who they can go and be a tomboy with. Little boys need the example of a good man to grow up to be like and admire, someone they can hope to become, live up to.
Plus, ask any mom, especially single moms, and they’ll tell you there is nothing sexier than a man being tender to a child.

The world needs fathers for one reason only — to procreate. The world needs daddies though, to make this world a better place, to bring our next generation up differently and better than the one before it, to constantly improve and excel.

Who knew daddies did so much?

I knew. I knew it when I wrote my own Unsent Letter and put it up on the blog awhile back. You can read it here if you’re interested. I only wish my father would read it and he would understand this himself.

I have a decision to make today… I haven’t talked to my father in over a year. Last Father’s Day, I called and left him a message and he did not return my call. I don’t know what I’m going to do this Father’s Day. What do you think I should do? I just don’t know.

So while I’ve tried to convince myself that daddies aren’t necessary, both for myself and my children, here I am, nearly 40 years old, and I still wish I had a daddy.

Be a daddy…

Happy Father’s Day to all the ‘daddies’ in the world. The world is a better place because you are a daddy.

Love and ‘daddy’ stuff,

PS: To read all the Father’s Day Letters that made it to the blog, click on this link:

Then you can scroll through them, or you can click on the Father’s Day category on the right-hand side of the blog—–>

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10 Responses to “Father’s Day Message From Unsent Letters & Michy”

  1. Jennifer Wright says:

    This was amazing! You’re right some moms are dads too…and vice versa. Happy Fathers Day!

  2. Angel says:

    You are so right, Michy. I am thankful Roy has always been in Ian’s life and is a good daddy! I wanted to write a Father’s Day letter, but just couldn’t right now. I miss my dad so much still. I WILL write him a letter soon though.

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful. As a mom who does both parenting roles thanks for bringing this out here.

    Sometimes the kids are better off without the negative influence of the father. Sad but so true, and I am really realizing that one lately.

    I am glad I have a father that I treasure, and I am with one who is an excellent daddy to his daughter.

  4. Suzanne Alicie says:

    I couldn’t have said it better. My boys luckily have a man to be a Daddy to them, to help shape them into good men, and not only did he take me on while I was a mess with a lot of emotional baggage, he has helped steer the boys through the scary sea of anger and upset over the divorce and the whole situation. He stepped in and did the things for them that I wasn’t able to do at the time. Sperm be damned, the man who loves my kids and is always there for them is the Daddy.

  5. Kim says:

    Happy Father’s Day to all the mom’s out there too. It is so true that many have to be both mom and dad.

  6. Clarissa says:

    This is so true and it made me all teary eyed! My dad used to let me sit on his lap when I was little but when I grew up he didn’t want anything to do with me and he still doesn’t. All because I am a girl and I don’t get into talking about cars and wrestling. He treats my cousin and my husband better than me and it makes me sad.

    When I see father’s and daughter’s and how close they are I get sad. I wish I had a dad I could have looked up to. Thanks for writing this. My mom has been both mother and father to me as I grew up. It’s funny though because my dad has always been there but has never “been there”

  7. Maggie Ray says:

    I have to agree that Daddies are very important. And as you said sperm may make you a father but it doesn’t make you a daddy. I was a Daddy’s girl. I still am, but it has been almost nine years since I lost my Daddy to cancer. And I still get teary eyed thinking about it. Writing the letter was just more than I could handle. But I must say, the ones you have published are touching and although hard to read in some cases, they have strong messages. Thank you for highlighting Father’s Day and giving the chance for many to share their unspoken thoughts.

  8. Jamie says:

    It takes a Y chromosome to make a father, but a MAN to be a daddy. My kids all have the same daddy, though they don’t share the chromosomes. All I can say is, I have darn good taste and I’m very fortunate.

  9. George Kramer says:

    If I had been oline and saw the Father’s day unsent letters, mine would of been the same. Abandoned by my father and giving no support with nine mouths to feed and then dying when we were still young….
    However, I would have told you that I am a daddy who consciously decided to be the opposite of my father. If I was not working, I attended all of my daughter’s swimming lessons, make sure I have time to spend with her and read to her. I instill values and the difference between right and wrong and a plethora of other important information I never received.
    So yes, technically I am a father, but I am proud to boast that I am a daddy too.

  10. Harasho Puck says:

    I have sympathy for you in the case of your father and that you have not spoken with him. It does hurt.

    I have several stories to add here. You can move it to another blog if you’d like, but this is my reply:

    First, I called my Dad today to wish him a Happy Father’s Day, but the subject was on the back burner today. I love my Dad dearly and I was so glad to be able to talk with him today. Last Wednesday, he was driving south of Dallas and the left rear tire blew out on is little pickup. He said he was trying to wrestle it to the side of the highway, when both front tires blew out. This threw him against the right hand guard rail and that impact threw him across the road and into the left hand guard rail. No other cars involved or any one else hurt. I have the feeling he ran over some debris in the roadway.

    I live in Seattle and my sister called that afternoon from Baylor hospital and told me he had been hurt in the accident. He had fractured vertebrae in the neck and broken ribs, a long gash on top of his head and broke his glasses. He had a neck brace on when I spoke with him that day and his teeth were out due to the swelling; so he was having some trouble talking though the pain had not yet set in. Today when I spoke with him, the pain had hit and he had asked for some medication earlier this morning. We talked about several things; the med’s, the pain (only when he moves, coughs or laughs) and other things. He was in good spirits, but he is hurting pretty bad right now. At 82 he is a tough old fellow, but it scares me to see him this way. This will pass and he will recover, but he will be doing a lot of rehab.

    Next, you are correct that a Father is not necessarily the Daddy. I have not had the opportunity to be a Daddy, though I have been a Father. From your article above, that makes me a bad specimen doesn’t it? Husband Fathers a child and then splits makes me a louse, right!?

    I married a young, immature girl, when I was also young and immature. We thought we could conquer the word, but we had so much going against us. We discussed our life together and together we decided to NOT have children for three or more years so we could establish ourselves before we took on the burden of children. We both got good jobs and started building a nest egg to put towards a home and the children we talked of having one day. She was on the pill and we were being careful in other ways. Timing, etc. One evening, we had just finished making love, when she told me that she missed her pill. I said that we should go and take it now and not have sex for a few days. Her reply was that she thought she was already pregnant. Did I mention that we were immature? I asked her if she had been taking the pill regularly. She broke down and said she had stopped taking it two weeks earlier. Of course, she didn’t tell me. What did I do? I set about working to get a home of our own, not an apartment, where we could have the baby. I worked overtime to put money away. I scour the papers and the real estate magazines to find the right place. I tried to do everything expected of me as an expectant father, even though she had lied to me. Or was she just untruthful? We had good jobs. Well, I had a good job. A few months before we got pregnant we were paying the bills and I asked her for her paycheck so we could deposit it, just as we had done for the past year. She said she had not picked it up at work but would get it the next day. This was early on a Friday afternoon, and we were going to drive back to our honeymoon cottage for the weekend. So we dropped by her office to pick up her paycheck on the way out of town. When we got to the office, she told me she was not feeling well and asked if I would go in and get the check. I stepped in and asked for her manager, who came to the front of the office to see me. I identified myself and asked for my wife’s paycheck. The manager looked at me in astonishment. When I asked what the matter was, she told me that my wife had not worked there for three weeks. I asked for clarification, and dejectedly walked out and got into the car. When I got in, I didn’t say a word, only laid my head against the steering wheel. She started bawling and apologizing. This went on for a few minutes before she settled down. I only asked “Why?”. She didn’t like the work. She felt like they didn’t like her. She didn’t understand her job. Etc!! I again said, “Why. Why did you lie to me?” She thought I would be upset. I was. Not because she had quit, but that she lied and hid it from me. So, I have a wife who lied to me twice. Or was it that she was still just untruthful?

    We bought a house, she dolled it up as she wanted to. Painted the baby’s room and got all of the appointments. We had the baby and he was a healthy fellow. Nothing wrong with him. Perfect!

    Her Mother, who never had a nice word for me, began to show up twice a week to help her with the baby. Then it was three times a week. Then she started staying over each night. I wanted my wife and baby happy, so I didn’t say anything about this while it was happening. one day her Mother was watching the baby and I was getting ready to go to work. Her Mother started telling me that I was no good, lazy and not good enough for her daughter. I told her that she was no longer welcome in our home. I told her she could come to visit, but that she was not to expect to stay in our home again. I told this to my wife and her mother told her some other story, so she filed for divorce.

    Based upon her mother’s lies and hatred, I was taken to court for divorce and her lawyer lied through his teeth, and I proved every one of his falsehoods. But the judge was a hanging judge, and he decided he would grind me under his boot heel. I went through six months of this, then my lawyer and my parents told me I could not win. There was no way to make this work. I wrote a letter to the judge and told him that he had been lied to. I wrote a letter to my wife and told her that she had been lied to by her mother. I left funds to pay child support, and I left rather than face another day in that situation. I moved out of state. I sent funds for child support and my parents took it straight to the court to assure that she got it. I sent Christmas and birthday presents. I called to talk with my Son and was told I could not. My Parents took my presents and theirs for my Son, to her home and she refused to even open the door. Her Mother’s car was parked in the driveway. She had moved into our home.

    So, I am one of those “runaway Dad’s!. I am the fellow who walked out on his family. I am one of those fellows who is just dirt in the eyes of those who are decent and upstanding.

    Still, I have friends who wish me a Happy Father’s Day. Those who know I love my Son, even though he has been poisoned by hatred and lies that I have had no chance to dispute.

    Have I tried to contact him? Many times, but that poison went deep.

    So, on the close of this Father’s Day, may I wish you all a Happy Father’s Day. All Fathers, Dad’s, Daddies, and Mothers who have stood in for us.

    Harasho Puck

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