The Things I Wish You Knew

January 17, 2012
By nicoledietzman BRONZE, Camas, Washington
nicoledietzman BRONZE, Camas, Washington
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

wish you knew the way I feel remembering the days when I use to sit on your lap and hold the steering wheel. Back in the day when I hadn’t a worry in the world, you’d lift me up with a spin and a twirl. Whenever I fell you’d put me back on my feet, you’d hold my hand as we skipped across the street. I look back on those days and wonder where it all went. Instead of listening to you sing, all I get is an argument. I try to see things from your point of view but as my mind wanders off, it all comes back to the things I wish you knew.
The long months you were gone I’d sit out on the docks, hoping you didn’t come home in a box. Hoping for the best and expecting the worse, to prepare myself if life decided to involve a hearse. I counted down the days until you could come home for leave; everything was going to be fine, at least that’s what I was told to believe. Our country is proud of the duty that you do, but you still don’t know all the things I wish you knew.
I was foolish to think everything would be the same when you returned; it only took me a week of experience, and I learned. War can scar you both inside and out, I can learn to live with you or without. But I was wrong yet again and you kept caring less. You made us go to family therapy, and I had to confess. I told her how you distance yourself and about all that you drink. Alcohol, in your life, was the missing link. Our relationship started changing from bright, to dark blue. And you still don’t know all the things I wish you knew.
We all soon figured out that nothing would change; you spent even less time at home and more at the shooting range. You had to live at McCord and leave me once more, as I sat in the kitchen and watched you walk out the door. I only saw you on the weekends if nothing more important was going on, but even when you were home it felt like you were gone. You grew stronger and stronger and I knew you’d pull through, and yet, you still don’t know all the things I wish you knew.
It doesn’t take much to be a father, but a lot to be a dad. I’m great full for having what other kid’s wish they had. Even though you don’t pay attention to me and you like my boyfriend more, and even though trying to spend time with you has become like a chore. I know that you love me, and I love you too. But love’s not enough to make you know all the things I wish you knew.
After reading all this I want you to now understand, that hurting your feelings is not what I planned. You’ve been there for me and I know you always will, when I feel like my life’s headed downhill. You might not show it all the time, but I know the memories are still there. Like the time in third grade when you tried to do my hair. It didn’t work out and I started to cry, but you told me I looked pretty, which I knew was a lie. But it’s the thought that counts through the good times and the bad; it’s the thought that counts especially when it’s from my dad. Now don’t get me wrong, I still look up to you. But each day you show me, you still don’t know all the things I wish you knew.
I wish you knew how much it truly affects me when you’re gone, and how the memories of my childhood still linger on. I wish you knew how far you’ve pushed me away, and how my anger towards you increases everyday. I wish you knew that drinking doesn’t help your life. It just complicates things with your children and your wife. I wish you knew why I don’t talk to you as much as I should, and why I don’t spend as much time with you as I probably could. It’s because dad, I’ve given up after trying for years. I’ve tried to get you to notice me and all it always ends in tears. I know we have some moments where your loving side kicks in. Then it’s usually ruined with some vodka and gin.
I wish you still wanted to spend time with me like you use to. I wish you’d still take me out to lunch, just me and you. I wish I wasn’t affected by what you do and what you say. I wish most of those feelings would just go away. But I’ll take what I can and cherish every chance for love. And remember it’s you I use to be so proud of. I love you with all my heart, and nothing will ever change that. I’ll always be, with all of my heart, your little Army Brat.

The author's comments:
I wrote this poem for my dad, but never ended up giving it to him.

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