It's Been 10 Years And I'm Still Mad at My Father

It's Been 10 Years And I'm Still Mad at My Father

And somehow, I never told him how hurt I was, or that I was angry.  I’m a little surprised that I still am ten years later.

Loving someone who you know is hurting themselves is one of the most difficult things to endure. Watching by silently as years of self-abuse takes its toll is gut wrenching. And when I’m angry I think of all the things I’d like to say or change or do differently, but I know that the time I had with my dad was an incredible gift. Even a second you shared with him would make you smile.

So it’s taken ten years, but I’m finally letting my anger, my resentment, my bitterness go. I no longer want to think if only my dad had stopped smoking, he would still be here with us today, because I am starting to understand that I was given more than I realized, more than maybe I even deserved.  And his death, like his life, made me who I am today.

My dad and I in  1975.

My dad and I in 1975.

Yes, I finally understand that my dad did not do this to me, my mom or anyone elseHe unfortunately did this to himself.

And in letting go, I choose to remember his greatness, and promise to learn from his mistakes.   I want to continue sharing his memory with my kids and teach them how to love life as he did. I want to remember all the good — the kindness, the humor the generosity — because that far outweighed what we endured. And I want to encourage and empower other people to quit smoking — if not for their families, than certainly for themselves.

Because it’s been ten years since the most amazing man I’ve ever known has been gone.  And I’m still missing him.



Whitney Fleming



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