Dear Dad


Hi Dad,

It has been 14 years since you left us. You sent me a message last year?

Do you do know you have a father? Of course, how could I never forget?

I know you worry, has she forgotten me? No, I will never forget you. Honestly, I probably think about you every single day.

I may not see you anymore, but a day does not go by when I do not think about you in some way. Sometimes with fondness, sometimes grateful for the time we did share, sometimes melancholy.

When you sent the message to Miriam for me, you asked her to tell me,  “Please remember you had a dad”

Miriam please ask her “can she forgive me”?

Dad, I forgave you a long time ago. For me, there was nothing to forgive. You actually gave me a gift. You did not understabd that at the time, did you?

I understand you loved me, I also realized as an adult that you didn’t want me. Funnily, that didn’t hurt me at the time. I was young and part of me was scared of you.

I grew up, an adult and then a mother myself, then, it did hurt me. How does a parent not want their child?

Mum made up for all you did not give me. She gave me double the love, so much love, so please do not be hard on yourself. You gave me the best gift of all. You gave me her. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I will tell you, you missed out on the most amazing life with us. Mum is the most magnificent woman, you really lost out there. Dad, she is still with me, we talk every day, she is the kindest human, she blows me away every single day with her acts of kindness.

I am heading down to pick her up for dinner tonight at my place, with your two grandsons and Kade’s girlfriend Olivia. She is gorgeous. I just adore her.

Dad, I cannot express enough gratitude, you picked well!

So did I forgive you, if you want an answer to that, I guess, I forgave you when I was 16 years old. When I went in search of you and I found you. How and why? Because I am determined. I wanted my dad in my life.

I do often wonder, would I have ever seen him if I have not searched?  I really don’t think you would have looked for me. That’s sad.

We had a relationship, “do I call it that”? I’m not sure. We were not your regular father/daughter relationship, but we had our thing.

Over many years, I came to see you, once, twice, sometimes 3 times a year. We chatted, we shared stories and we shared secrets. I kept those secrets dad.

You loved the woman I became.  No longer a child, you had the ability to communicate with me at a grown-up level.  One incident remains in my mind, I laughed so hard and when I think back about our bus trip from Brisbane to Coolangatta,  I know you remember, I sat on my own on that bus and laughed uncontrollably until you came back. Do you remember we continue to laugh throughout that whole day. That was probably one of the best days of my life with you .

I took off traveling, you came to meet me in Ireland,  what a beautiful time we had,  I had never met my Irish family, and you had not been home in over 20 years. It was an experience that is still very dear to my heart.  We had many laughs and we had a few not so p,Asante moments. Those moments were caused by your drinking dad. Did you understand that all your problems came from alcohol? Life problems, relationship problems, and subsequently serious health problems. Dad, I forgave you again.

I was there for every health issue. Cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, then stroke after stroke. Each stroke slowly taking a little bit more of you away. Until you had locked-in syndrome. Yes, your brain was still active, your body was no longer alive.

Your wife would not allow you to go home or come with me. I felt helpless,  I wanted to care for you, I lived over 2000 km from you. Your eyes yelled at me, take me out of this hell (the care facility, which WAS lovely)

You just loved being in your own home. Please forgive her though, it was too hard for her to care for you. At the time, I was angry, it broke me, watching you in hospital. Your eyes, staring at me, pleading. How could I help, it was out of my hands. You were so fragile. You gave power of attorney to her, you left me no rights dad.

Do you realize the series events that took place from that moment? I was helpless. You were helpless. You trusted and that’s ok because at that time you needed peace of mind

The phone rang one night, I answered to hear, “your dad is not going to last the weekend. Crushed, I got a flight immediately, I headed straight to the hospital.  I sat with you for hours, all night in fact. I held your hand, and whispered, let go, dad, its ok. Just let go.  Your pain and sadness will be gone. Please, dad. That weekend was damaging to my soul, I was broken. You did not go at that time. You stayed for a few more months. You left me, I never saw you again. Boxing day, 2004, I got the phone call. You were gone. I said a silent goodbye, I was sad, I was relieved and I was confused.

My marriage broke down after that. Perhaps self-sabotage, though at the time I did not realize. I went through a few years in a fog. It was only when I came out of it, I realized I had lived of automatic pilot. Yes, I functioned. No one realized. I worked, I parented, I socialized. No one knew my heart ache or turmoil.

I continued to question why I wasn’t loved enough for my dad to stay. Was it me that you left? You had been happy with Mum before I came. We’re you jealous of the love that she gVe me? You felt I took a bit of her from you. That’s okay Dad. We are who we are and that was who you were.

You never got the opportunity to meet my beautiful Kyle, my youngest son. What an amazing kind hearted boy, who like me, loves animals. We have 2 dogs and he dotes on them. Kyle is an apprentice groundskeeper at a golf club. Yes, I can hear you now. I hope he follows in my footsteps and plays. I remember all your awards and trophies. You were quite the competitor. He plays probably once a week. Both my sons play dad. They are good sportsmen. Good at anything they play. Unfortunately, to my chagrin, they are not into fitness. How does this work? I thought I was being a good role model haha

Do you remember Kade? You were quite taken with him. Both of the boys are talented cricket players. They could have gone far, however, they have decided on different lifestyle choices but still play A grade cricket.

Kade is quite academic. So damn smart, only he does realize his potential just yet.  He is at uni now, it took him a few years to find his path, fingers crossed he has found it. If he has any of me in him, it may take a while longer haha.

I am so incredibly proud of them both.  They are popular, funny, kind, generous, compassionate. They are my life. They have, I will say, unfortunately, picked up some other bad habits from you. What? I hear you ask? They are party boys. They love a drink, to my dismay. You see alcohol conjures up many negative images and memories for me. Not just from you dad, you remember Steve? Dave?

Mum and I have both been left scars from alcohol and its users. Fortunately, we have both had positive influences also. You remember Peter my husband? He probably has the most positive impact on my life. He was good to me, dad & I messed up.  We are still friends. Do you think perhaps some of your traits rubbed off on me? The ability to walk away from something so good?

Were we crazy? You see I picked well to dad. I picked the best dad I could have for my children. He is a best friend, a mentor and probably one of the best people I have met in my life. We both had great moments and we threw them away. So the answer to the question, were we crazy, hell yeah!

Well, life has taken some crazy turns for me. I never got what you promised. But that is ok. I hope you are not stressed about that. I know you had good intentions. I was momentarily resentful, but that’s not me. I live only with what is meant for me.

I also inherited you rebelliousness, your love of travel but unfortunately not your strategic money-making sense. Damn it. Give me that one please, please, please. haha

I went and met with a medium called Miriam. She passed on your messages dad. So again I answer, Yes I know I have a dad. Yes, I forgive you and yes I know you come to visit me.

Dad, no matter what happened in my life, you were always my dad. As a child, I will admit, I did not miss you. My mum gave me everything you didn’t. No, not financially. You left us destitute. Mum worked her butt off to keep us both. Shame on you for that.  Emotionally, my mum gave me so much love, she still does. I am her world and she is mine. Thank you again.

Dad, I love you. I know you are here now, as I write this. I could feel you earlier. I miss the father-daughter relationship that story books are made of. But what the heck dad, you and I are unique in our own ways.

Oh, by the way, I am in touch with Alan. He was Carmel and Derry’s, grandson. I met him when we were there. he was 15 then. He remembered and found me. I was so chuffed. Oh my god, he looks like a Mason. I really like him. I hope to catch up with him in the near future

So, for now, my dearest dad, I shall say farewell, please be pain-free and at peace. Say hi to Granny and Granda, Billy, Neil, Aunty Batty, Stuart, friends and all my animals who have passed over. Please cuddle, kiss and pat them all. Sending my love and forgiveness

Your daughter




Published by Janette Bendle

I have reached my fabulous 50s. Guess what, it’s okay. 20 years in the health and wellness industry. Educating men and women on the importance of nourishing their bodies with good food, moving with integrity, recharging their energy levels and empowering their minds. I love my job. A mother of two boys who are now men and my greatest achievement. A lover of words, an aspiring author with a book written and no idea where to go next, a poet who writes from the heart and her vulnerability. A foodie who loves to experiment, a salad lover , But not just your Every day salad, I throw in anything you can think of it ends up in my salad. I have a reputation for making the greatest weirdest salads around. As a total contradiction, I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. I rescue abandoned souls in the bodies of dogs, an animal lover, Who sometimes likes animals more than humans. My teacher in life, my mother never ceases to amaze me. I am one fortunate human being who is filled with gratitude for the life she lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: