The Pen Project Volume 1 Issue 2 - Page 70

dear daughter by Eric McIntyre in response to ‘Dear Dad’ in the pilot issue I had no idea that this would be the outcome. In my head, I was going to sell a lot of dope, convert my illegal money to legal money, build up a reputation as a man who people wanted to stay on the good side of, take you out whenever, wherever, and do whatever you wanted to do. I would buy anything you wanted and have all the time in the world to spend with you. I had done it so many times before… miss a little now, to see a lot later. I stopped going to the clubs every week so I could invest more money in being up (That’s buying drugs to sell). And it worked. Now instead of hundreds of dollars, I had thousands. But dirty money usually only buys dirty things. So instead of your love, I sought love from women whose dads weren't there for them, and so they sought love from all the wrong people, places, and things. I looked up and years had passed. You seemed to be doing well where you were, so I thought I had time. But I got addicted to drugs and selling them and doing them. I got addicted to women, money, and power. You were growing up, but I wasn’t. To no one’s fault but my own, I haven't seen you in over seven years. Why did I think that I could neglect you all those years to live my life, but expect you to come running when I called? I was a horrible father, son, brother, boyfriend, friend, and person in general. You were not worth anything I got in return for not being there for you. I’ve missed your first days of school, swim meets, concerts, watching you ride horses, teaching you how to drive, trips out of state, and was never there for any of your hospital visits. In the future I will miss prom, graduation, you passing your driving test, your first day of college, and many more milestones in your life. If they would've said it was going to cost this…cost you… I would've chose a different path. The messed up part is that I can’t even begin to fathom the damage I’ve already caused, let alone its lasting effects. What will you be able to overcome, what won't you? Only God knows. I’ve damaged your view of men, possibly how you value yourself, and more. All because I wanted to kick it, chill with so called friends and sell drugs. Having a job and you in my life sounds so nice right now. Why didn't it back then?! Have I already done irreparable damage to our relationships? I pray not. My decisions as an adolescent have adversely affected my manhood. I pray my absence in your life doesn’t prompt you to make a decision that will affect your womanhood. There is nothing wrong with you. It was all me being selfish. I didn't set out to hurt you, but I know I did … and greatly. Most men in prison know more about the sports team they follow than their own children. While I don't follow sports, there is so much I don't know about you. I don't know what you like to be called; your best friend’s name; what type of music you listen to; your favorite subject in school; any of your teachers’ names; your favorite food; what you want to be when you grow up; who’s mom and who’s momma; what you think about me; or what made you become a vegetarian. I’m ashamed of myself for not knowing the answer to any of these questions. And I’m disgusted with myself over the fact that I may never know the answer to some of them. Again, all my fault. I would like to earn the title of father in your life. If I promise to never put unimportant, immaterial, and temporary things before you, can we start over? From what I’ve heard, you’re a wonderful young lady, and I’m missing out on the opportunity to know a great person. If so, hello, I’m Eric Lovale McIntyre, father-in-training. What have you been up to lately? Me, I’ve been in prison seven years. I became a Christian six years ago. That literally changed everything. It changed me, my life, and how I view everything. I’ve learned that whenever I’m tempted to sin, Jesus provides a way out of that temptation, and the power to take the right path. Not only has Jesus shown me all the wrong to eliminate from my life, but He’s shown me that some of the things that I thought were right, were actually wrong. I no longer look to satisfy my own interests only, but also the interests of others. It still shocks me, but at times I find myself putting the needs of others ahead of my own. At some point, while driving down the highway of Life, I passed Jesus walking on the side of the road, as everyone does. The fact that I’d seen Him walking on the side of the road, gave me the right to say that I was a Christian, or so I thought. After all. I did believe in Him. I’d just passed Him on the side of the road. Later in my life, I saw Him on the side of the road, and stopped to let Him in the car with me. Surely this qualified me to say I was a Christian. Sadly though it wasn't. But most of the people who say they’re Christians, only have Christ in the car with them. When it’s convenient to listen to Christ give them directions about their life, they do. As long as it doesn’t clash with their plans. You’ve seen these people, saying they’re Christians, but use profanity on a regular basis. Or engaging in some other things that even non-Christians know a Christian shouldn’t be doing. 70