Dear Dad

Ana Robbins


I sat down on a bench just outside of the Administration building, a spot surrounded by flowers and flowering bushes that looked out over the green campus. It was early fall, one of the few times of year when sitting outside comfortably was possible. I took in my surroundings. Yes, this feels right. There were people walking here and there, but none were within twenty feet of me. I pulled my notebook and black gel pen out of my bag, set the paper open on my lap, and began to write.

Dear Dad,

I know it’s been a long time since you’ve seen me. I barely remember you, but I have some memories that will always be in my brain. I’m sure I am probably a piece of your past you’d rather not think about, but I wanted to tell you a few things.

I don’t hate you. I understand why you left. I understand why you never came back. I applaud you for making it with my mother as long as you did. She lied to me about you, but my brothers put some truth bombs into perspective for me. So, I no longer believe anything she ever said about you. I’m sorry you had that life for as long as you did.

Thank you for being there when I was a baby. Babies aren’t easy, and I know I was just a paycheck for her. I don’t know the truth of what happened between you two, and I don’t need to. I hope you have found happiness; I believe you deserve it.

I’m not writing looking for a relationship or to try and kindle any latent connections or love. I know it’s probably been too long for any of that. I’m not here to disrupt your life, or bring back painful memories, or make you doubt yourself. I want to tell you it’s all okay. You were right to leave. I was an unfortunate casualty of her, while being brought to life by her at the same time. I hope you are doing well, and I know you were always a hardworking man. My brothers may have been hard on you as kids, but they’ve told me enough about you to make me realize I take after you in all the important ways. I fight against upbringing, but I like who I am underneath. And underneath all that time, there is a little you.

So thank you.

Your daughter,


I looked down at the paper, sighed in relief and satisfaction, and promptly tore the letter into tiny pieces. I tossed the pieces into a trash can right by the bench and walked down to the dining hall for lunch.