I’m not much of a writer, in fact I usually only write to express my emotions because I really don’t know how to express them any other way. So, with that I felt there was a need to give just a little background on the poem I wrote below.
My mother had me out of wedlock, I didn’t have a father in my life at all, until one day she met a man who she decided she would marry. That man adopted me when I was five years old and has become the only father I ever really knew. Of course I loved him…always did…always will. But as you can expect, my parents had another child and I did have some resentment at one point of feeling he may not love me as much as he loved my sister. Later, I became a teenager, and struggled with my emotions regarding my dad. I said things like “you’re not my dad” and even set out to find my biological father. My dad and I struggled a lot when I was growing up. Sometimes I look back and wonder if he thought I didn’t love him, because I sure didn’t act like it some of the time.
I’m now 37 years old, and my daddy just passed away this March 5th after a long bout of liver cancer. The irony is it was nearly two years to the date of his liver transplant. In October of last year he was officially told the cancer had engulfed his liver and there was nothing else they could do. He was expected to have less than six months. I demoted myself at work and my husband and I dedicated myself to helping my mother care for my father.
The thing many of you may not know about liver cancer is one of the stages one will go through is the loss of their mind. They tend to start acting “drunk” at times. This is due to the toxins in your body no longer being able to be filter correctly, and thus, beginning to poison your brain instead. I really really wanted to be able to express to my dad how much he meant to me. But, as I told you, I don’t express my feelings and emotions well. So, I decided to write him a poem for his 60th birthday that December. However I had to give him the poem early because he started to show signs of his brain deteriorating.
Below is the poem I gave him. It’s not my best, nor do I really care, because it totally expresses the way I felt about him. I don’t expect you to understand some of the lines as they were written specifically for my dad with little tidbits only he understood.
By Sarah Cooper
I’ve never been much for words,
Or showing much emotion at all,
But I’d like to tell you a story
That started when I was very small.
I never had a dad you know
But always dreamed I would
It’s something every little girl should have
A special part of their childhood.
I’ll never forget that day
Seeing him come through that door
Somehow I seemed to know
That I would get to see him more.
Eventually he and my mom got married
That special day years ago.
However he didn’t marry just my mom,
He married me too you know.
Shortly after that special day
My name was changed to match his and his new bride.
I remember feeling super special
As we left the building to head outside.
He carried me closely in his arms
And I knew he loved me a bunch
But he quickly passed me off to my mom
Because he spotted a way for a celebration KFC lunch!
Although I now had a daddy,
Growing up wasn’t the fantasy I thought it’d be
I learned my fair share of discipline
And occasionally questioned his love for me.
There were times we’d fight and yell
And I’d say things I didn’t mean
I really don’t think he took my words to heart
I think he chalked it up to me being an irritable teen.
Like any normal parent,
He made his fair share of mistakes
But I was definitely not the perfect child
I know I caused plenty of heartaches.
It wasn’t until I became a parent myself
That I realized the sacrifices he’d made
That despite his imperfections
I’d always been a recipient of the love he displayed.
My dad has always been there,
And has shown what it means to lead.
He always displayed hard work for us
As well as being available for those in need.
Although he may not believe it,
He taught me many important things in life,
Like how a man should provide for his family
And always be there for his wife.
I wish there were words to express
Just how much love I have for him inside
How much I love calling him my dad
And how it fills my heart with pride.
Dad, you showed me how a father
Isn’t blood at all,
A father is a man
Whose daughter sees him as ten feet tall.
You will always be my daddy
And I’ll always be your little girl.
I love you and will love you always!