I didn’t call you the other day. I reminded myself multiple times, many ways. Even set my phone to let me know. But I worked that night so I allowed the thought to slip from my mind, between my fingers, and into the trash.
I made sure to call another man, who reminded me of you, before the afternoon had even started. I wanted to make sure he knew so his heart wouldn’t be heavy as the hours passed. But for you, those hours became long and my voice never hit your ears.
My memories of you were pleasant until recently. Until I was told about your past. Until I was told how you treated her and how you now treat my own. With anger masking the hurt, you wondered why I couldn’t take the time to listen to the phone dial your number that constantly changed. Why I couldn’t take a moment to ask how your day was. Even as I stood in your presence why my hugs were short and my kiss goodbye came too soon.
It’s because their memories of you aren’t so pleasant. Their memories of you are full of pain and I will not be the one to continue to pass them down. He told me he remembers telling her to leave you. When I asked if you had hit her, he was almost positive you did. When her son was born, you looked her in the eyes and said, “I will not raise another man’s child” before you kicked her out. The tough love was not worth all that, as she attempted to succeed in a world already set to watch her fail. You later fixed your mouth to call her a “bitch” when she needed you to be her support and I cannot stand by as you treat her as though she is not deserving of love and kindness.
You never told me you didn’t love me. You always took the time to watch me as I made my own path and I never seen you angry with me. But these memories are stronger than my own and I will be okay as I break this chain, knowing what you put them through.
There is no Happy Father’s Day for men who haven’t earned it.