Dear Daddy,

You don’t have a blog and god knows you can’t navigate your way through the internet that well. You also don’t have much of a knack for reading, but I thought I’d write this anyway.

Mom always told me that you weren’t very hands-on with me and my sister when we were babies. You didn’t even hold us until we were at least a year old. That doesn’t make you a callous father, though. On the contrary, it makes you caring because you weren’t familiar on how to handle babies and you didn’t want to hurt us by carrying us in a wrong manner and breaking our fragile little bones. You’re also not that expressive with your emotions. No I love you-s or hugs or kisses on our foreheads. The most heartfelt text message I would get from you would be a “take care” or “stay safe”. That’s why I was so touched when you sent me that long message on my eighteenth birthday. I had classes that day so I was at the dorm and I woke up to my beat-up white phone vibrating. Mom had sent me a really, really, really long message. Grandma did as well and so did some friends. I read your message last and it was so sincere it made me cry.

When I was a kid, I admit I felt some estrangement towards you. You were barely home, and if you were, you would be busy talking on the phone or with work at home. You took me and mom out on Sundays but when works calls, we would be home in a minute. You weren’t even there when I had my Halloween party or my recitals in school. It made me upset sometimes, but it didn’t make me angry. I always understood that you wanted to go but you had to work to give me clothes to wear, food in my stomach, and a good future because that’s what you always wanted for me. I would see you come home tired and I wouldn’t be upset anymore. Instead, I felt guilty for feeling upset and I also felt the need to help you, to make sure that I wasn’t a burden. I did my homework on my own. I taught myself things on my own. You and mom had a lot on your hands already, and with my little sister being born, I knew I had to learn how to stand on my own two feet.

Also, I want to thank you, dad. There’s so much I’m grateful for and too many things I want to tell you but when the words come out, they don’t make much sense. Thank you for being the best dad you can be, for bringing me to school when I have a seven am class and we have to leave at six am when you’re still supposed to be asleep, for picking up from my dorm so late in the night whenever I feel terrible and sick, for buying me ice cream whenever you pick me up during Fridays, for giving me advice even when I don’t follow them all the time, and for so many things, and mainly, for believing in me and inspiring me even when I think I can no longer go on. You’re the best father I can ever ask for.

Happy father’s day, daddy! I love you very much.

Love,

Your Daughter

I am vain. I am ugly. I scrub at my skin until it turns red. I scrub at it in hopes that I can scrub the ugly away. I watch the suds dance on my body and circle down the drain. I turn the know and step out of the shower, wipe the mirror, and stare at my reflection. The ugly is still there.