Dear Daddy,

I don't remember you. It's as if we've never met. I hear stories, some of happy times and some were heartbreaking. None from your point of view, so lately I've been going back and forth in my mind about writing...getting to know you. Your story. I want the whens, wheres and whys of you. I grew up with a father. Adopted into a family that I feel didn't give to me all that I needed to survive. I went through life blind with pain and demons on my back. Angry that the father I knew wasn't you and even though he did his best I feel like parts of me were missing. Every girl needs her daddy.

Thank God for Mr. Rivers. He raised me without a wife. Without his helpmeet, he raised 5 kids. Divided himself between us and I believe I got the smallest share. A piece is better than nothing, right? Tossed to the wolves by my lack of knowledge about life. I needed you. I needed you to teach me about boys of the wrong sort. Instead, sexual abuse, my bruised pride and a list of meaningless relationships taught me what you should have helped me avoid.

I had forgotten about you at one point. I was told you were crazy. You did bad things in your past. Things that had you trapped mentally. Smoking on the fruit of the enemy, you tainted and then puffed passed it to my mother who became an enemy of self. You caused her to lose me. She got wrapped up in the drug and hell took hold of her for long enough to be stripped of what she fought so hard to hold on to. I wasn't just without you. I was without what until a few years ago became the very best of me. My relationship with my mother. I love her from the depths of me. You see, I needed her too and you took from my my birthright to experience a love just a step below Christ's. A mother's love. I never had that, "pinch me I'm dreaming" thought when reflecting on my childhood. Instead, "I missed out, I wish I knew my mom or I wish I was never born" consumed my thoughts.

I'm grateful nonetheless. I had food and shelter. My basic needs were met, but even now at almost 28 I'd give anything to go back to the beginning. I wish I could remember faces from my youth. I have no pictures to reflect on or cry about when I revisit. I have no recollection of Jasmine from way back. I'm only left to daydream on days of the future's past. So yes, I'd like to know you, maybe. Visit you behind the bars that have kept us both imprisoned all this time. I can't make up my mind. Is it worth it to write you? Or is it better to die without never knowing?

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