Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Handle with Care

I love gifts. Honestly, who doesn't? Even more than receiving a gift, I love giving them. Most gifts come wrapped, packaged carefully with precision and attention to detail. Some gifts however, require no shiny paper or bag. I am relatively sure I have not made a gift since my childhood, but this one is sure to be better than any macaroni necklace or ashtray I ever made in my youth. It is a gift I have been working on for years, one that will fit perfectly alongside the ones I made in my younger years. I pride myself on how I attempt to give someone something they really want or need, something that they may have mentioned so long ago they cant even remember they told me. Or sometimes I just have the perfect present in mind without much thought needed at all. Like this Fathers Day gift I have come up with. 

Each year I debate sending a card, but searching through Hallmark I was unable to find "For the Man Who Helped to Give Me Life & Then Walked Out of It" category. This year I have a message that doesn't even need a card to be heard. It is a gift that needs no card attached, a gift that needs to be delivered once and for all. So to the man that is not present in my life, I have decided to give you a present. In all reality,this gift isn't for you though Dad, its actually for me. Call me selfish, but its a present nonetheless. This year I am giving you the gift of forgiveness. Absolute forgiveness. I forgive you for walking away, for leaving us and causing us to grow up with no parents. I forgive you for giving up on my sister and I, and for deciding to live your life without us in it. I forgive you for choosing to put yourself and your new life before us. I forgive you for missing out on the biggest and most exciting moments of my life thus far. I forgive you for not cheering me on as I accepted my college degree, or holding my hand and giving me away to my husband on our wedding day. I forgive you for not being there when I was sick, hugging me and telling me it would be alright. I even forgive you for not being there for me after my hysterectomy, when I needed someone to calm my nerves and assure me that I was a fighter and would be okay. I needed you to be there all those times when Mom couldn't be, to be both parents, but you couldn't even be one. And for that, I forgive you. Whether you realize it or not, you have helped me to become the strong independent woman I am today. I am a fighter, I am tough and I am able to always search for that silver lining because thanks to you, I know that no matter how bad things are there is something good that can come out of it. I know because of you, that you can not change what happens to you, but you can decide how it will happen to you, how you will react and grow from it. You have taught me exactly how I do not want to act as a parent.You have reminded me to always put my family first and tell and show people you love them. To make sure my children know how much they are loved and that no matter what happens, I am there for them. I may not yet be a Mom, but I am and will be a better parent because of you and all of the life lessons you and your absence have taught me. I already have a heart full of love and can not imagine my life without children. I can however, imagine it without a father. This gift is a one size fits most, and the return policy doesn’t exist. Whether you want this gift or not is up to you, but giving it is mine. My choice to make room in my life for all the good memories that are going to replace all of these negative ones from you. Soon it will be spent celebrating my husband and the love he has for our children. We all have someone in our past who may benefit from this same gift, a gift that seems as though its easy to give but in fact it may be the most difficult gift I have ever parted with. The gift of forgiveness, a gift that truly does keep on giving. 
     I am giving this gift of forgiveness because in all complete honesty it is something I want and need for me and me alone.Because forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. I am going to forgive you so that I can be free of my painful past with you. I wont' be able to hold onto the happiness the present and future are holding for me if my hands and heart are full of the pain and bitterness that I have now with you, because of you. So this Fathers Day, I forgive you Dad because forgiveness isn't something we do for other people, its something we do for ourselves. Since our children are awaiting us in the freezer ;) I am in the meantime taking advice from another Frozen entity, the Disney movie, and  deciding to"let it go". Forgiveness is my gift to you, and moving on is my gift to myself.


  1. You are much stronger than I am!

  2. Colleen I am so proud of you and respect you in more ways than you know

  3. Forgiveness is the hardest gift to give, but the most meaningful. May you find peace.

  4. Colleen, I'm certain if your father could go back in time and change everything, he would. We all do things in life we regret and it's not easy going back for a "do-over"

    It's good to let go. Hard to do...but once you let it go - it can't hurt you anymore.