Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)
TITLE: But You Never Did
By Lori Othouse
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You weren’t there the day I was born. Or the next day. Or any day after that. I never knew about you for years until I started wondering why I didn’t have a daddy. You are my father, but I’ve never even heard your voice. Never looked into those eyes my mother adored.
I would’ve loved you. I would’ve crawled up in your lap and asked you questions about why the sky is blue, why dogs bark and why your hair is curly. I would’ve stood next to you in pictures and kissed you goodnight. I would’ve waved to you at graduation and danced with you at my wedding. But all I ever knew of you was a name on a child support check and a few old, faded pictures.
I waited for you to come back and be my dad…but you never did.
We were more than friends, but less than a couple. A wonderful, but hard-to-define relationship. So much of our lives intertwined. So many, many memories. All I knew was that I loved you and couldn’t imagine a day of my life without you in it. I hoped and prayed that you felt the same way. Quite often, I thought you did - it was implied in many ways, but never declared.
Then you left, looking for a new life. So easily you walked away. You wanted something different, and I was still the same. All that I ever wanted disappeared as quickly as you did. No love, and barely a friendship anymore. I hoped, still, not knowing what else to do, until you made it clear that I was no longer needed.
I waited for you to say you loved me…but you never did.
My husband of ten years, the one I gave everything to. The one I looked to for support and strength and love. Do you know what you’ve done to me? With your careless, cruel words and screaming anger? You say that you love me, and God, and then cut me to pieces over and over again. Even using His Word against me. Or, as you call it, to ‘help’ me.
I’ve cried and tried to tell you, but I guess you’ll never understand. Or maybe you don’t want to. Your denials and justifications are proof of that. You say if I just listened to you, things would be better. I would look better and be happier and have the self-esteem that I’m so sorely lacking. The truth is, I have listened to you. And because I did, I am all too well aware of how inadequate I am as a wife, mother and person. You’ve left no doubt in me about that.
I waited for you to realize what you’ve done…but you never did.
God. My Father. Lover of my soul. You’ve been there with me and for me since before the beginning. When others chose to walk away, You came alongside me and stayed. You are the Father that I need – with never ending, unconditional love and belief in me. You are the love that I long for – Your sweet words guide and soothe me, singing to my soul and infusing me with strength and hope.
For all that I’ve waited for in vain, for all my hopes and longings that were crushed to dust, they have served one great purpose - to point me to You. To expect only, and yet greatly, from You. My experience with love makes it hard to understand how You care for me the way You do. Even though I still stumble and hurt and fall, I can look up through my tears and see You there, beside me, where You’ve always been.
I waited for You to fail me like the others…but You never did.
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