Friday, October 11, 2013
Letter to MY Daughter
Dearest Little Ms. Fishgutts:
I love you. I love you so much it is ridiculous. I never thought a “step-dad” could love someone as much as I love you but I do. I love you and I am sure at times when I get upset, correct you or try to get you to understand where Mom and I are coming from you might question that love but a good Dad (and Mom) always tries to correct their daughter when she is doing something wrong and love you even when you screw up. Sometimes parents have to correct their children! It stinks for the parents just as much as it does for their kids. But making mistakes or not, we love you plain and simple! We constantly pray for you, put your name in the Temple and think about ways to help you whether you see us doing it or not.
I appreciate that though you don’t enjoy Church or Seminary, you still go. My one wish is that instead of acting like you are wasting your time and acting annoyed, you would keep an open mind about these things we are asking you to do. Looking pissed off and not paying attention just means you are physically there. Though you may not enjoy Seminary or Church, you can still learn something and get something out of these meetings if you will just keep an open mind.
You are one of the most talented, outside the box thinking, in the front of the crowd, funny young people I know. Your ability to be friends with anyone is a great blessing in your life. You always keep it honest and have no problem expressing how you feel or what you think other people should do because you see the mistakes they are making in their lives – a trait that you don’t always appreciate in Mom and I when we try to help you by expressing the same kind of things.
I worry about you more than you will ever know. I worry that you feel like life is so hard (school, seminary, Church, etc.) that you can’t see the things Mom and I suggest will actually help you. We can’t and won’t force you but feel very strongly about these things and the reason is that we know from first hand and very personal experience that these things will make you a better person and make life’s bumps just a bit easier. That is why we keep bugging you about doing these things! I feel like the things we are asking you to do like keeping an open mind about religion, reading scriptures and praying are so simple and will improve your life so much because they are so simple and show God you are willing to do the little things. I have personally offered many times to help you find a Church-home whether that be a Baptist Church, Catholic Church, the LDS Church or whatever church (within reason) you find comfort in. I hope you see this as me being open minded to help you find yourself. You tell me that you are not a Church person – I totally get that. I don’t throw the covers off on Sunday morning and jump up and down excited to go to Church but when I get to Church I am glad I am there and I know I am supposed to be there. I love the Lord and know that I should be there for not only me but those around me. How am I going to know how to help my friends if I don’t worship with them and find out what difficult things are going on in their life?
Last night you asked me why I can’t just love you for who you are. Little Ms. Fishgutts I DO! If you can’t see that, you need to look again and re-examine our relationship. If I didn’t love you would I bother wasting my time with trying to help you with anything and everything going on in your life even if you don’t understand that I am trying to help you? Would a guy that doesn’t love you help with homework, encourage you, correct you when you make mistakes, try and build you up and share personal stories about my personal life if I didn’t love you? Gonny and Granddad, like me, have loved you from the minute Mom and I got engaged. That is not common and you and I are lucky to have Gonny and Granddad in our lives. They are good people. They taught me well and helped me build a strong foundation for life. That doesn’t mean that life has been easy and I know you remember the stories of my divorce from your brothers and sisters’ Mom. Life sucks sometimes!
The time is soon coming where Mom and I are going to have to step back and let you suffer the full consequences for your action. We are scared though. Parents often run to their kids when they are in pain or to “save” them from the mistakes they have made but you are not going to learn anything if we are constantly saving you. Sometimes you are going to have to learn the hard way. I have learned this way and so has Mom. We hope that you won’t make the same mistakes we made.
No matter what life deals you either when you live in our home or not, we are always here from you to love you no matter what. We are always here for you to talk to. We are always here to offer advice and sometimes that advice is going to be something you don’t want to hear – this is the same characteristic you have with some of your friends. Sometimes your parents are smarter than you think they are. We have experienced life a lot more than you have and have learned from our mistakes. We keep hoping that you will just take our advice instead of learning the hard way but alas.
I have been here for you almost 10 years – that is 2/3rds of your life. I volunteered to be your Dad and not just because I wanted to marry Mom. I did it because I love you. I did it because your biological Dad won’t play a more active role in your life – and we all know every kid needs a good Dad. I am not perfect. I am very sure I have made mistakes raising your but the foundation of being a good person, helping those in need and having a strong belief in God (whether your believe in Him right now or now) are there. They just won’t go away even if you want them to.
You have gone through a very difficult situation with your cousin killing himself. I would NEVER, EVER wish this on anyone. I am sure you are still having a difficult time with it as I would be if I were in your situation. Know the whether you believe in Him or not, the Lord is there for you.
I love you! Plain and simple. I don’t love punishing you. I don’t love correcting you. I don’t love having a stressed relationship. I just love you!!
Love always no matter who you are or who you become,
Your Dad (whether you like it or not J)