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The Invitation

In "How She Met Her Father" Series, Non-Fiction, Writing on May 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm

 Part 3 of “How She Met Her Father.”  Read Part 1 and Part 2.

She could count the number of times she had seen him on one hand. In almost 18 years, it was that few.  She remembered every time, even though she knew he didn’t.  She remembered every glance, every passing, every time knowing that he had no clue who she was.

She remembered the stories. Her mom’s friend coming to visit almost once a week, bringing toys and playing with her so it could be reported back to him how she was growing up.  Her newfound sisters recounting the plethora of times he polished off a case of beer and cried and voiced his wishes of how he would have liked to know her.  Did this affect her? No. He was the adult here, he made the decision to deny her from the very beginning. That’s not something you can so easily wish away. That’s not something very forgettable when you’re on the receiving end.
But she had made it just fine – undoubtedly better off – without him. She had all the family she needed in her mother, grandmother, and uncles.  Was there even room for him in her life now? She wasn’t sure. She wasn’t even sure if she was interested in making room or making that effort, especially since he never had.  But that wasn’t her intention right now, by far.
She had reached a pivotal point in her life, a point that neither of her sisters had made it to despite their being older.  Soon, her entire world would be changed and this gave her a confidence and a bit of an attitude that she had never felt before.  No, she had no interest in making a connection or filling the hypothetical hole in her life that people of traditional families always assumed was felt by those in a single parent home.  She had no room for holes because she was full of pride, for herself and her accomplishments, for her mother for getting her there independently.  And she was full of fire because she knew women needed to be independent and strong – she had been raised by a shining example of why and how to do it.
All the envelopes were stuffed with high school graduation invitations, sealed, stamped, and addressed to relatives and family friends.  She had 2 for her sisters. Then there were 2 set aside. One for a grandmother she didn’t really know, and one for him.  But his needed something extra.  So instead of just labeling and stamping it and adding it to the pile, she turned to her constant companion of pen and paper.  Turning off her over-critical mind for a moment, pushing her second-guessing to the side, she put her thoughts down and didn’t turn back.
Dear —–,
I don’t expect a gift from you. I don’t even expect you to show up. I just thought you should know that your daughter is graduating high school.
She added a brief description of her plans to move away to the college she had been accepted to and, even further, what she hoped to accomplish in her area of study.  She signed her name only at the bottom. Not even a “sincerely”, just her name.   Then she folded it into the last invitation, stuffed it, sealed it, stamped it, and tossed it on the pile. And knowing that her mother’s no-nonsense attitude that had been passed along to her was clearly evident in every word, hoping that he felt that when he read it, she smiled.
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  1. […] How She Met Her Father, Part 4.  See Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3. […]

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