“My dad was an addict. He died from an overdose in 2018.
I once got mad at him when his food stamp card was denied and I had to cover his groceries. It wasn’t about the money.
I gave him a hard time when he broke my glass measuring cup. It wasn’t about the cup.
He commented on a new haircut and I was enraged because he’d already seen it and I assumed he was too drunk to remember. It wasn’t about my hair.
I drove him from doctor to doctor, from rehab to rehab, but I was frequently short tempered. Visibly put out by what he required of me. It wasn’t about the time.
He was homeless for many years.
He used to stand on corners with a sign and ask for whatever money or food people were willing to give.
I loved him, but I was frequently embarrassed by him.
I was mad about my childhood and what bled into my adulthood, and I found any way to take it out on him.
He’s gone now and I’m not mad at him anymore. I’m mad at how much I let my inability to forgive him affect our relationship.
Now he is free and I’m chained, weighed down by all the grace I couldn’t bear to give a person who so wholly was in need of it.
Because my regret over withholding it is stronger than all the anger I felt throughout the years.”
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