Daddy, My Brightest Star
Dear daddy, I am 5 years old and we live in Brazil. I wrote you a poem today at school and it reads: daddy, out of all the stars, you are the one that shines the brightest.
Dear daddy, I am 12 years old and you left. Mom says you went back to Brazil because you got sick. I know you didn't leave because of me, because you are my hero. I'll wait for you.
Dear daddy, I am 15 years old. Turns out you are not coming back to live with us because you are working and sending us money. You only visit sometimes, and when you do, there is a lot of fighting. I've started to talk to boys, and some are even older than boys. I like to go out dancing and staying up all night. I dress up in heels and tight dresses, because I know this gets their attention. If you don't care, then I don't either.
Dear daddy, I am 21 years old. I've made it to college and I don't get financial aid. I pay for my out of state tuition and for all my expenses. I'm also a workaholic. I guess I take after you, after all.
Dear daddy, I'm 28 years old and I got accepted into grad school. I'm in a serious relationship and I think this is it. He reminds me of you. He is supportive and believes in me. I am getting straight A's and I've received a few awards. I guess I really am smart.
Dear daddy, I'm 33 years old now. That relationship ended horribly and I'm heartbroken. Deep down I knew I was settling. I feel like I seek men to fill the void you left. I am able to travel and see you more often now, but I am always operating from a sense of nostalgia when I am around you. I wish you had come to live with us. We would have figured the finances out, I'm sure. I am sure that your presence would have shaped my self-esteem, which is still underdeveloped. I forgive you now, but I am still left with the original feeling of longing.
You continue to be my brightest star. ~ N.S. (Florida)
[Editor: Most of you reading this letter are either good fathers seeking encouragement and advice, or the daughters that want these men to succeed. One of the key fears that we carry as noncustodial fathers is that time will ‘run out’ as we try to build/rebuild the relationship with our estranged daughters. We often need reminders that the Father/Daughter relationship is a lifetime creation. As N.S. so creatively shares, this relationship is almost always ready to be reengaged, repaired, and improved if truth, authenticity, and forgiveness are present.
Personally, I am interpreting N.S.’s story as one of optimism…that my mistakes may be forgiven and that the bond I seek is always a possibility.]