Dear John Doe,
This is an extremely belated Congratulations, but better late then never. I here your girlfriend just gave birth to a baby girl. Wow! You’re a father now. I bet you’re very excited. The relationship between a father and daughter is precious. You are her first love… her superhero… you’ll be the one who protects her from the monsters under her bed and teach her how boys should treat her as she enters the dating world. Cheering her on as she walks across that stage to accept her Diploma and see her off to college. You’ll be there to wipe her tears away during her first heartbreak and walk her down the aisle on her big day. Creating endless memories with Daddy’s little girl, becoming her best friend when she’s grown.
I’d like to take a moment to say that I know you must be nervous beyond words, especially since your daughter was born with a very rare disorder. Through the grape vine I have been passed along the details that it’s Epidermolysis Bullosa. Doctors say that there’s practically no information on that disorder, in fact only one case has been seen previous to your baby’s. Guaranteed concerns that she will suffer from mental disabilities along with the physical. Brain mentality will likely stop progression at the level of a toddlers. Life expectancy is 14 years or less. News that no parent should have to hear after “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”
Two weeks spent in the ICU… now she’s home with you both, I’m ecstatic to hear that. A couple months have passed, how are things? How’s that beautiful baby girl of yours? You’re not sure, why not? Oh… you’ve left your girlfriend and baby. Oh…. why? Where you too overwhelmed with the abundant amount of information that the doctors threw at you? Did you just not want to be apart of the responsibilities of being a father. Or, perhaps, you didn’t want to have to deal with a damaged kid. Whatever the reasoning, it’s a shame your gone.
Well, I can correspond that your baby girl is grown, healthy and if I may add, an intelligent witty sarcastic adorable smartass badass. 😉 This awesome freak has had quite the journey, a few times she’s fallen while constantly picking herself up. There was a period of time when giving up was a constant thought swimming through her busy mind, but an outside force has kept her going. As for the mental disability, well that was never an issue. During Kindergarten she tested at the 3rd grade level for Math and English. While most kids were learning to print their names, she could handwrite hers. She graduated high school in 3 years with a 4.0 GPA. Turns out she is one smart little cookie. As for the physical disability part, well, her hands look like two fists, but she doesn’t allow anything to prevent her from doing whatever she wants. This chick is one determined human being, always leaving “asking for help” as a last resort. She’ll push herself and failure is not an option in her world. She found her voice in becoming a writer. From blogging to having her book come out next spring. All of her life encounters forming a career pathway to help and inspire.
I’d like to take one more moment to say that your absence caused several times of mental and identity struggles. A life lived with only knowing 50% of her origin. Caught in a spiral of unanswered questions. 1/2 German, 1/8 Norwegian & 3/8 of ?????? The capability to only fill out her Mother’s side on the medical history form. Only able to build half of a family tree in school. Secretly feeling like to odd man out in family photos. You have no idea what that poor girl went through knowing that her own blood didn’t love her enough to stick around and give her a chance to prove all those so called statistics wrong. 31 years of breaking rules and defying every odd. Yeah, you heard right, she is 31 years old. Guess death at 14 wasn’t approved by her.
Applause for you though. Why you may ask. Well, a couple years after you left your girlfriend met an amazing man who fell in love with her and that invincible baby girl. A flower girl at the age of 3 1/2 is what that little girl had the honoring of being at her parents wedding. 6 years old, sitting on her Dad’s lap in a courtroom listening as the Judge approved the adoption. A family now built, forever creating memories together. Years down the road that family of three grew to a family of five.
Even though your baby never knew you, you always were and always be a permanent blank space in her mind. Turns out that after all is said and done, now at the end of the yellow brick road, you gave her the best gift she’s ever received in her life… you left.
“I guess we are who we are. Headlights shining in the dark night, I drive on. Maybe we took this too far. I want a new life…” -Eminem
I’m not sure where you reside these days or the kind of person you’ve become, but that’s ok. You made your choice all of those years ago to abandon ship and I’ve made my decision to let go and forgive you.
Sincerely, Baby Girl