I know you wanted me to forgive him, but I didn’t. I couldn’t do it.
I never expected that, Maya. That kind of forgiveness, it doesn’t come so easy. But life is a long time. And I hope you get there someday. –Girl Meets World (Season 2, Episode 23)
It’s been almost eight years since you left this Earth. September 19, 2012; I still remember that specific day to this very day. It was eight months and eighteen days since you walked out on your family. Eight months and eighteen days of me blaming myself; I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the reason you couldn’t just take it anymore. Thirteen years old and believing that you had already grew sick of me.
Growing up, I always saw trouble with you. I grew accustomed to it. If you had a bad day, I knew to leave you be. If you were upset, I stayed away. If you were to raise your voice, I knew that it was not a good time. But after all that, I never saw you anything else but my very own prince. You were the one person I always thought would be there for me. You were the person I thought would be there during my biggest moments. I always had this scenario in my mind of you beating up the first guy to break my heart. I always imagined you walking me down the aisle to the man I was going to marry. I never wanted anyone else to do any of this besides you.
I still remember that last phone call I shared with you. Every single word. August 28, 2012; my fourteenth birthday. We spent a whole hour of you just listening to me update you on my entire life. You seemed to proud of me. I still don’t understand if you felt the same during that conversation as me, but for me, that phone call helped me in the month following. I am still so happy that I got to hear your voice one last time. You see dad, you sent my mom and I away before walking out. New Years Eve 2011. It’s the main reason why, to this very day, I hate having people leave me right before New Years Day. I still remember the excitement I felt when I found out I was going to spend New Years going on vacation. I still remember saying goodbye to you because you had to “work” right before we left; not realizing that was the last time I would ever see you at home.
I still remember the cluelessness I felt when we came home after that little trip. I had fallen asleep in the backseat of the car and was woken up and told that you were gone. Of course I just thought you were at work. Remember, dad? You worked late night at this time of my life. It wasn’t until I stepped into your little office and noticed how everything was gone that I realized what gone had really meant. You left me a note as well. Wasn’t that sweet? You packed up and left after sending mom and I on a trip only for me to come back to a note. I don’t remember what the note said exactly to this day. To be fair, I think I just blocked it completely from my memory out of anger. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I threw the note in the trash thinking that if I just got rid of it that it wouldn’t be true.
You were my favorite person, dad. Of course as I grew older, I remembered all the memories I somehow managed to block out while growing up, but as a child, you were my number one. Growing up, I always thought you were going to be the one to protect me from my first ever heartbreak, but I never thought that you would ever become my first ever heartbreak.
Although I still can’t be without a person I love during New Years without fearing they’ll abandon me, it did take me five years before I was able to get through September 19th without crying. I still remember how confident I felt on September 20, 2017 when I first realized that I made it through the 19th without becoming severely depressed for the whole day. You would’ve been proud of me, dad.
I know what you’re thinking dad. How am I? What did I manage to get myself up to while you were away? I’m making you proud of me. Of course I had a few rough patches during my teenage years; I suffered quite a lot with depression, eating disorders, and childhood trauma – but after being lost for so long and having long awkward talks with my doctor and therapists, I figured out exactly what I needed to help cope with my past. It involves having to raise a service animal but dad you would have loved him. Remember how badly I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd when I was growing up, dad? Well I finally have one. He’s even named after a 1970s legend – you’d be proud of how I came up with his name.
Now, brace yourself dad. Don’t get mad but I dropped out of four different colleges. I know, I know. How could I allow myself to drop out of four colleges? Unbelievable. But doing all of that did help me figure out what I actually want to go to college for; Veterinary Medicine. I had to take quite the journey to find this path of my life but now that I’m here I absolutely love it. I hope you wouldn’t be too disappointed in me for how I found the path, but I know for a fact that you would be proud of what was to come at the end of this path.
You’ll be glad to know that I still love sports. Mostly baseball. Of course a huge part of my heart for sports is dedicated to you and no matter how many years you will be gone, I will still go to a game, look out at the field, and imagine you sitting right next to me cheering on your team. Of course I still love the Boston Red Sox. Sorry dad. I know you love those Yankees but I can’t just let go of the little playful banter we’ve had over our favorite baseball teams just because you passed. I do still love the Steelers to honor you though. I think I began to love them even more after your passing in memory of you.
Well, I’m twenty one years old now. That’s quite a long time to pass since I was thirteen years old. Now that I am older, I do understand a lot more of what happened way back when, even if it still doesn’t change the amount of hurt I’ve suffered. Although I will never get to have you walk me down the aisle, or to watch me as I graduate from college, or to watch me bear your first grandchild, I hope to always continue making you proud. Well.. that’s all I have to say dad.
Thank you for being my guardian angel.
This wasn’t you, Maya. This was all me. I couldn’t provide comfort for you in a lightning storm. And I was no good for you on a sunny day, either. I blew every paycheck instead of providing food for the refrigerator. And when you know you’re not good for people, you start not showing up and then you don’t show up enough times, and it begins to feel like leaving.. until you do.
You’re there for your new family, aren’t you? What did they do that I didn’t do?
You never did anything, Maya. You were just a little girl. I was who I was. And there is nothing you did or could have done. I just I wasn’t ready for you or anyone. But I think I’ve changed. These people believe that I am capable of something. They don’t know who I was. They believe in who I am now.
Who are you?
I found a job. And I’ve managed to keep it. I came back to tell you that I am grateful for what you wrote. And I am sorry for what I did. I’m glad you’re okay.
You found a job?
Your job was to stay. Thank you for telling me your side. My teacher thinks if I forgive you, it’ll bring me peace. And he’s usually right about these things, but I don’t see how he’s right about this one. And I can’t. Your job was to stay. You don’t think I had it in me to allow my father to grow? I’m happy I wrote to you and heard what you had to say. And it makes me feel better knowing that I had nothing to do with what you did. I always thought that this was my fault somehow, but it’s not. I didn’t do anything. I’ve been angry for so long. I’m not angry anymore. –Girl Meets World (Season 2, Episode 23) – this conversation from this episode is one that I’ve always wished I was able to share with my own father, but sadly.. I never got that chance.