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Anger – An Open Letter to Dads Everywhere

11 April 2013

Mr Rude

I think it was Tuesday morning that I woke up angry.

It started Monday evening, but I assumed I was just tired and went to bed. By the time Meatball decided we were going to get up on Tuesday morning, though, it had blossomed.


Husband noticed right away. “You okay?”

“I’m pissed off.”

He looked worried for a pause. “At who?”

I disregarded his grammatical error, and stopped to consider. I wasn’t immediately sure.

I wasn’t angry at God, convenient as it would have been. I know better. I wasn’t angry at my dad; he fought harder than anyone that doctor had ever seen. I wasn’t angry at Husband or myself or my mom or our prayer warriors back home.

I was angry (“was?” “am?”) at every absent, deadbeat, abusive, uninterested father the world over. “I want to line them up, everywhere, and scream at them.”

So here it is.

Dear Inadequate Fathers and Grandfathers,

I hate you. 

I know I lose Christian Points for saying that, but right now I do. I hate you. 

And you’re probably rolling your eyes and turning away because you don’t care what some little suburban, new mommy thinks about you, and I get that. You’re a tough guy. You bad. I don’t know you or your situation or what she did or how it is, so I don’t have a right. Right?

Shove it. 

You’re a tough guy, except when it comes to really tough things. Except when it really hurts you, or really challenges you, or really affects you. You’re a tough guy when it’s convenient for you, but when someone else is depending on you, you don’t have time.

I don’t know you or your situation, right, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter because this isn’t about you. 

In no way is any of this about you.

I’m not even going to say this is about the woman involved, or the kid(s). Because right now, I don’t care about the kids you abandoned. I care about my kid.

My kid will grow up without his Pawpaw. My little brother will get married someday, and not be able to shake his father’s hand. The rest of our children won’t even have pictures of themselves as babies with their maternal grandfather because death stole him away from us. Unjustly. Without warning. Without goodbyes. 

And that stings even more because he was good at it. He was a good father, and a wonderful grandfather. He loved. He worked hard. He regretted his mistakes and he tried to fix them. He was present.

But now he’s gone, just like that, and someone somewhere owes me for that. Owes my father for that.

And it’s you, baby daddy. Because you get one more day that he doesn’t get. You get one more chance that he doesn’t get to hug your kids and kiss your grand-babies. You have days that he doesn’t have to talk to your sons and listen to your daughters, to hold your grandkids’ hands and play dumb games that they make up. You will have opportunities he doesn’t have to watch your grandkids take their first steps, and to sit in the bleachers at their games.

My dad would have done those things – all those things – and someone owes him for that. There is slack, now, that someone needs to pick up.

I don’t know your situation, and you didn’t know my dad – too bad for me, and too bad for you. This isn’t about you.

Suck it up. Get your lust under control. Stop being an accident and be a man. 

The world lost an excellent father and pawpaw last week. He deserves to be here, but he’s not. You are. Earn it.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 April 2013 11:25 AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad. How hard and awful. I have the dad (and grandpa) you just wrote to. Its no fun. Keep your memories with your dad safe, write them down so they will never be lost. How wonderful they must be!

    • Lex permalink
      11 April 2013 1:37 PM

      So sorry to hear about your dad too, then, Toni. I keep trying to remind myself I am blessed to have the memories that I do.

  2. Kathy permalink
    11 April 2013 3:18 PM

    I am Tammy Wheatley’s mother, Kathy. My love to you Lex and thank you for your well written feelings from the heart. I remember that anger when my father died suddenly when I was a young mother. Oh, how I remember!! May God surround you with his love! I always felt my father was with me in spirit as I was raising my children, but how I would have loved him to be by my side. Love and prayers!!

    • Lex permalink
      11 April 2013 6:53 PM

      Thanks so much, Kathy. It’s terrible and wonderful to know there are people who share the experience.

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