My name is Herc.
Something I’d never let you call me years ago.
Something that would have made me weep years ago.
Something that would have made me break down.
But I’ve progressed since then,
We’ve progressed since then,
And each of us have new things to face.
Maybe we may learn something from each other,
Years from now,
Because I haven’t made that much progress quite yet.
I haven’t called you daddy for a long time.
There was a bitterness tinged “dad”.
To a rage full “Dick” behind your back.
To “Richard” now that I’m older and see that your neglect was a product of your illness,
The illness you passed on to me.
So while I may not remember your voice,
Vaguely picture your face,
And would never know your smell from a stranger’s anymore,
We share something.
Something that connects us across the miles,
The lost phone calls,
The photos never taken.
Something that will make me weep at you death.
Not for losing a father whose physical grasp in his arms I will miss,
But for losing the stranger who made me understand and deal with this,
For the stranger who made me feel so not alone on the nights I cringed to sleep,
For the stranger that this illness took from being my daddy again.
I’ll always hate the things you did instead of coming to see me,
I’ll always hate the things you said to me or my mom,
But I’ll never hate the person you tried to be behind it,
Because I know those bad things were the monster crawling out.
I may never hate you,
But it’s hard to love someone who gives up on the fight to keep their daughter and destroy the monster getting in his way.
Here’s to being beautiful strangers,
And to the determination your failing gives to me to finish my fight.
Goodnight, my father.
May the monster inside you lay in peace for a time,
May mine grow weaker from the wounds I inflict.
For I said my final goodnight to my daddy years ago,
But I wish for my final goodnight mommy to be with the last beat of my heart.