Letter to a Ghost

Read a Father's Day card while at work and was inspired. Lets see if I can write what I thought 6 hours later.
Rights to American Greeting's for their card stuff. It's the actual card's insides that inspired me for this.

I was working today. While I was cleaning I picked up a card.

There's seven days to Father's day and I figure I should get something. At the very least I could get a card.

This one card stuck out, the outside said it was for a "wonderful father". The colours were bland, the picture wasn't special, so I figured the inside would be something more satisfying. It said:

"Whenever I look back
on the journey of my life,
I see you there for me -
calm, steady, strong, wise,
confident in the face of difficulty,
full of optimism...

For all that you've done
and all that you've been -

I could never tell you
how much everything has meant.
Happy Father's Day
with Love"

and my first thought was "wow, this card would mean so much to him if any of it were true."

I'm not sure what another person's father was like, but mines nothing short of a specter. A phantom.

Every word of that card stung with an unreal sort of mockery that can only be achieved by an elementary school bully. Something cold and calculated, designed to sting on the surface of what was going on. Something that preyed on the unguarded, defenseless emotional state of a seven year old.

A father who exists, yet does nothing to actually be there. No more than a figure headed entity, something that's 'there' but you'll never see it physically do anything.

In the scheme of things, you performed your civic duties, loving from a distance, giving the minimum to allow the adequate benchmarks to be made along the scaling mountain climb that is growing up.

For this, I thank you.

But for filling me with confusion, fear, and sorrow for my life. Explaining the pointless and stupid things you've done for me, pointing out how my plans of a career are going to be a disappointment in your eyes, and setting an unobtainable standard for me to achieve without fostering any sembalance of confidence in me setting the stage to fail crash burn and diappoint.

These things, I don't thank you for.

There is a reason that all the memories I have of you I choose to laugh about.

It's because, in 18 years, there are so very few memories.

Some might say that it's the quality of the memories than the quantity of them, but I beg to differ when it comes to your family. A gap can hurt all the same.

And so I will rewrite this 'greeting card' to something a bit more appropriate.

"Whenever I look back,
on the journey of my life,
I choose to see the few times you've been there for me -
laughing, loving, caring, befriending,
not the times you've gloomed and angered,
sat darkly pessimistic.

For you might have been able to do so much more,
I'll make sure I remember all that you actually got done,
because growing up is a two part thing,
What is taught from the teacher,
and what is accepted by the student.

Happy Father's Day
with Love,
Dan"

The End

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