It's been almost 12 years since you died. I remember getting the phone call. I took 30 minutes off of work to mourn your passing. I remember feeling sad, not for you being gone but for never getting to tell you a few things. So I'll say them now.
Thank you for teaching me how important your children are. Oops. You didn't teach me that, you never missed a chance to tell me what a no good, useless, son-of-a-bitch I was.
Thank you for teaching me violence was never the answer. Damn. That wasn't you either. You made me fight my twin brother while you held a 2X4, threatening to beat us if we stopped. You were serious.
Thank you for teaching me how important friends are. Wrong again. You cheated your friends out of their paychecks every Friday, in a crooked Craps game.
Thank you for teaching me to never hit a woman. Once again, not you. You beat my mother on a regular basis.
Thank you for teaching me not to cheat. Fuck, wrong again. You cheated on my mom with your best friends wife.
Thank you for teaching me not to steal. Nope. I remember you getting arrested on a regular basis for car theft, somehow the charges never stuck.
Thank you for teaching me that alcohol was never the way to go. Am I ever going to get this right? You drank from sun-up to sun-down.
Thank you for teaching me that hard work was the way to get the things that you want. Uh-oh. You killed your best friend so you could have his wife and both of his bars.
Thank you for teaching me to stand up for what I believe is right. That wasn't you. You beat and kicked me until I was damn near crippled because I wouldn't tell my mom I was lying about the red head that came to visit while she was at work.
Thank you for being a loving and supportive parent. Definitely not you. If you weren't talking to me like I was a piece of shit or beating me, then you acted like I didn't exist.
Thank you for teaching me to take responsibility for my actions. Wait, that wasn't you. You ran out on every woman and child you ever had.
They say that a man that hits women are cowards, I don't think this is true. You hit every woman you were ever with, but you weren't afraid of a damn thing. I think you were just mean. You had no problem hitting man, woman, or child.
You fathered 11 children that I'm aware of, I'm sure there were many more. That's 11 lives you had a negative impact on. Eleven fully fucked up individuals, I hope your proud of yourself. I know you gave us a lot to be proud of. Out of the 11 kids I know of, you fucked up my twin brother the most. All he ever wanted was your love and you hated him for it, and it showed.
You didn't love any of us but at least, I had your respect, even if it meant getting beat until I was almost dead. I was 10 years old and you beat and kicked me until you were too tired to move, but I stuck to the truth. You still didn't love me, but I made you respect me.
I look back at this list and I realize you may have taught me some things after all. Regardless of what you may or may not have taught me, you're still my father.
So for me, Gary, Bill, James, Marshall, Steve, Diane, Norma, Sharon, Patricia, and your son I never met. Happy Fathers Day. I hope you're burning in hell.