SMALL TALK BETWEEN TWO STRANGERS - ALCOHOLIC DAD MISSED EVERYTHING
Five years ago Dick threw Elle out of his house in a drunken rage - telling her to never come back. She never did. They had not talked since that day until two weeks ago.
Elle felt prompted to invite Dick to lunch. To check in - see if circumstances had changed. Or better yet, if he had changed and just forget to call Elle.... She asked if I would join her as she was still apprehensive about meeting her Dad alone. I agreed, but felt overcome with worry that Elle had underlying expectations that her Dad from the old days would show up.
The 50 minute lunch felt more like five hours. Dick and Elle's conversation deeply strained due to Dick pretending like the past five years, well actually the past twenty had never happened. It all boiled down to small talk between two strangers.
In the days following, I jotted down some of the things I wished I had said that day:
While you were drinking your daughter grew up. Plain and simple. You MISSED everything! You missed the thousands of tears she shed because you loved alcohol more than her - the grief she felt of losing the Dad she once knew and loved- grief that life would never go back to normal.
You missed your daughter being able to do what you as an adult have been incapable of doing; work through her pain - her heartaches - her stresses without turning to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain.
Elle bravely felt every emotion - turning all of her hurt and anger into following her passions. Passions that you always were quick to dismiss - perhaps due to the fact you were never brave enough to pursue your own - perhaps worried that without your heavy hand she would leave you. Sadly enough, she left you anyway.
You missed the screams of excitement when Elle got accepted into her dream College - beating out 5,000 other talented kids. Moving to a strange city - tackling a new school - living on her own. Elle handled it all with grace and determination.
Elle has grown into the woman she always deserved to be; confident, smart, full of passion, drive, determination, beauty inside and out.
They say that everything in life happens for a reason. I've never known anyone in this world who has made a difference that had their life played out on easy street. I just never imagined that Elle's road would include a broken heart from the man who was always supposed to protect it at all costs. Elle offered you forgiveness and a helping in hand which you met with lies to protect your alcohol addiction.
Elle will always love the Dad she once knew; before alcohol, before the abuse. If you ever find that guy, I know a young lady that would very much like to get to know him again.
- Elle's Mom
As we pulled away from the restaurant Elle said "I'm never going to get the answers I want from my Dad. I know now that he's never going to be able to give them to me."
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