I hate Father’s Day.

There, I said it.

I don’t have one, never did. He chose not to be in my life before I was even born. I am a fatherless daughter.

The fact that he rejected me, stings still, nearly fifty years later.

That man doesn’t deserve a holiday, but I did deserve a daddy. All children do.

His absence shaped me. His abandonment haunted my relationships. His choice influenced mine.

Part of me has always been missing and questions have always lingered in the corners of my mind.

As a young girl, I wanted to acknowledge my single mom’s efforts, but she didn’t want accolades on Father’s Day. I tried to focus on celebrating my grandfather, but the holiday still felt phony.

I was gifted a lovely father-in-law and even though when he calls me he says “Hi this is dad”, he isn’t really mine.

When my husband became a father, I thought the holiday would be given new life. And I tried, I really did.

But I’ve choked back countless tears while picking out Father’s Day cards and I’m weary from the hype. It is a day I’d like to ignore. Ignore it as my father ignored me.

I read stories and posts of dads who sound like fairytale characters, strong leaders with gentle hearts, loyal and dotting. They sound to me like some kind of foreign superhero and I’m envious of what they have or who they miss.

Even in my bitterness, I’ve prayed for my father. Prayed that he was a better father to his other children, prayed that he found salvation. I’ve tried to make peace with him, forgiving him from afar. Pondering if my life turned out better without his presence. Forever curious about how things could’ve been.

My disdain for this holiday isn’t fair to my husband. He chooses to be present. He tries his best to be a good dad and deserves celebrating. And I’ll try, but my heart just isn’t in it.

My Heavenly Father has filled much of the void, removed some shame, and made me realize my worth – on most days – but on Father’s Day, I’m still a girl who wishes for something she never had.