Sunday, June 17, 2007
Fathers Day 2007. Letters To My Father. Letter 1.
It's been a long time since we were together, you and I. You left us on December 26, 1965.
I miss you as much today as I did then.
You were such a good man, you loved us dearly, and showed us in so many ways.
You and I were so close. We shared a soul, I think.
I am so deeply grateful that you were my father ... the kind of father who never betrayed my trust, hurt me, or took advantage of my innocence and love for you.
You protected me, educated me, and gave me the strength and internal resources I needed to survive in this sometimes difficult world.
You loved me with the warm, pure, innocent love that good, normal fathers have for their daughters.
Do you remember my friend, Cathy? It broke our hearts, yours and mine, when we found out her father was brutally beating her ... and who knows what else he was doing to her ... . I know you tried to help, but the 60s was a different era, and people didn't try too hard to rescue kids like Cathy at that time. You gave it your best effort, but you couldn't perform miracles.
Dad ... she finally broke. I cried when I find out she had been committed to a Mental Hospital when she was 16. I guess her mind couldn't take what her father was doing to her body anymore.
You never knew Georgie, Dad. You probably wouldn't have liked her anymore than anyone else did. But ... Dad, I saw the real Georgie, unlike most, and she was a fragile girl just trying to get through life as best she could.
She used to call and beg me to convince Mom to let her come and stay with us for the weekend. I didn't really understand why, but the desperation in her voice was compelling, despite her efforts to appear cool. Mom didn't like her, so convincing her was always a bit of a challenge, but I pulled it off.
Georgie and I were 13 then. I met her one year after you passed away.
When we turned 16, Georgie finally told me that her father had been molesting her for as long as she could remember and started raping her when she turned 11. She explained that she tried to avoid his assaults by spending as much time as possible out of the house.
Her father was a Correctional Officer at the prison and had lots of friends in the local police force. Her mother worked shifts and was regularly out of the house overnight when she was working midnight shift.
Georgie and I both knew no-one was going to believe her if she reported the abuse, not in those days, and considering who her father was, and his connections. To my knowledge she never has.
The last time I saw her was in 1970. We lost touch with each other then, largely due to family interference, because no-one liked the fact that I had a friend "like her", and so, I don't know what happened to her.
People can be very petty and narrow minded, as you know.
I think if you had met Georgie, you would have understood my friendship with her, and that I was just trying to help someone who was hurting. She was like a fragile, little bird, with broken wings. I just wanted to see her fly.
Dad, I was just doing what you taught me to do.
Your loving daughter,