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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)

TITLE: A Letter to Dad
By Marie Agustin


A Letter to Dad

We didn’t see much. You started working abroad since I was in grade three. All these years, we communicated through letters. We shared problems, joys, sorrows, and heartaches through it.

You were a good provider. I wouldn’t be here if it were not for you. Through you, I was able to finish university. I remember those years I had to sleep late or early in the morning to finish my drawings, review for exams, or finish my assignments. You were regularly encouraging me, through your letters, to study well so I could have a bright future.

Your work as a seaman, a radio officer, brought food on the table, clothing, shelter and education. You were specifically enthused to provide for me because I, among your three children, showed hope. I was diligent with my studies and didn’t fool around with bad companies.

I grew up fast and oftentimes with cries. I carried so much responsibility in such a young age. A mom and a dad should have carried those. There were questions that raved my mind. Why am I in this family? How come it is dysfunctional? Why can’t I have a ‘normal life’ as a teenager? Why do I have to act as an adult when I was too young to handle adult stuff?

When I wrote you these questions, you can’t answer me. You hang on with mom…until I was thirty. And then you left her. You said it was enough. You can’t change her. Then you got another woman…younger. You thought getting a new one will change your life for the better.

But things didn’t turn out right. Job was hard. Shipping companies didn’t hire you. Without money and confidence, you went to me, monthly, asking for money. Yes, the man who provided for me is asking me to provide for him and his second family.

There were months that you didn’t ask money from me. I thought you were straight. I was surprised that you goofed, selling drugs. I felt guilty and angry.

“Dad, what happened to you?”

“Life is hard. I sold drugs so I wouldn’t bother you.”

“But isn’t it you were driving a cab? What happened to that clean work?”

“Selling drugs is big money. Besides, those cab owners treated me like a trash. They should’ve known who I was.”

“Dad, you were big time before. But now it’s different. You have to humble yourself to get a job. Driving cab is clean. Selling drugs is dangerous.”

“I already stopped doing it that’s why I’m here again asking your help.”

This went on monthly. You knew my payday. You regularly visit my office.

The day before I moved to Canada, we met. We had lunch and that was the last time we talked.

“Since I paid for your education, isn’t time you provide for me? Just send money monthly and I will be fine. I’ll also ask your brother some money.”

It’s been almost four years since we talked. Then you wrote a letter.

“I want to live there. Please help me.”

“Live here? With me? Live here together with my husband and four children? I’m not sure I am ready for that. I’m sorry.” I thought to myself.

I am in a difficult situation. God said I have to honor you. Is sending you money enough? Do you think I honor you if I let you live here?

Help me God. My expression of love is conditional. Please remind me that

I have to be patient with my Dad
I have to love him
I have to be kind to him
I don’t have to envy other children with different Dad
I don’t have to boast or be proud that I am trying to be a better parent
I shouldn’t be rude to him, or self-seeking, or easily angered when he keeps asking money.
I should keep no record of his wrongs
I should delight in evil but rejoice with the truth.
I should always protect and trust him
I should hope that someday our relationship would get better
I should persevere
Because love never fails.

Dad, you didn’t choose me and neither did I choose you. God crossed our path so we could seek Him. I sought Him when I couldn’t find answers to my whys. I hope you’ll do that too. Can we spend the rest of our lives doing what he made us for?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Brown06/13/05
Wow! That was definitely a good reading of I Cor 13. My prayers are for you now.
Carol Shaffron06/13/05
Truthful writing touches the heart. What a predicament! What would God have a child do in this kind of situation? What comes to mind is how Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes of the little boy's lunch.
vicki mccollum06/16/05
A very heartfelt story, told very well. Readers will empathize with a young girl who grows up with a difficult dad. Love never fails....but be sure to look after your self, too.
Shari Armstrong 06/18/05
Very nice -and I loved the practical application of the "Love Chapter"!