June 19, 2016
The daughter of a Caron alum shares a letter to her sober father:
Dad, I sit here 20 years to the date of my wedding and so much has changed... I know this is hurtful, but I want you to know:
I can remember not wanting to dance with you at my wedding because of who you had become. My father, the person I emulated, loved beyond word; the man who held me as I was being torn from my best friend many, many years ago no longer existed. Instead was a man who was cruel, cold, unloving. In fact, he wasn't a man; he no longer loved, he no longer cared, he just existed. He existed to drink to numb the pain - a pain that only he knew; a pain that he shared with only his bottle. He had destroyed our relationship through times of violence, passing out, etc. He wasn't my father.
I sit here today like a little girl, filled with tears because my daddy is back! But this man is better than what I could've ever dreamed of having. He loves, he hugs, he believes in himself. He is the best father that any woman could ever ask for!!!! Kudos to you dad, you did it, you are doing it, you will continue to be the FATHER THAT I ALWAYS DREAMED OF HAVING! You are a better grandfather now to my children than you were when they were young! I thank you for the hard work that you do every day! I thank you for being true to yourself. Above all, I thank you for fixing every relationship that was broken! Thank you to Caron, Mom, and you for all of your hard work! So, as I celebrate my 20 years of marriage, I want you to know as your foot continues to heal from surgery, you OWE ME A DANCE! I will cry like I did so many years ago when my best friend and I were torn apart, only this time, my tears will be thankful and loving! I thank you and love you for all of your hard work! I thank you for remembering who the man was who played ‘giant’ with me all those years ago. I thank you for coming back and being a better dad than I have ever known!
I LOVE YOU more than words can ever, ever express!