Writing 101: Dear Dad


Today’s Writing 101 challenge is: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. We are supposed to be as brief as possible in this post.

Oh dear, me? Brief? I guess that’s why these are challenges.

Here goes…

“What’s this?” I say aloud to Scrappy, my dog, as if I expect him to answer. He doesn’t. He trots right by the crumpled, damp envelop simply addressed, Dad.

I pick it up and the once-sealed envelop opens easily revealing a single sheet of lined paper with rather sloppy printing peeking through the moist parchment.

“Scrappy, wait!” I call to him. He stops. “Come here, boy.” He comes. I give him a treat so that he stays near me while I carefully unfold the damp letter and read it.

Any letter that starts with “I’m sorry” spells trouble. I read on, not knowing if a son or daughter is apologizing–or even how old the child is. Then I get to the part that says, “I’ve known for a long time that I’m gay. I’m still the same boy you’ve always loved, don’t ever forget that.” I stop reading and start wondering.

Is the letter on this path because the son lost his courage to give it to his dad or because he gave it to his dad and things went horribly wrong.

Either way, the soggy letter is testimony to unimaginable suffering.

I carefully put the letter back in the envelop and gently rest it on the dewy grass. I’ll let the wise earth decide what to do with it because this pain is more than I can bear.

~ by Lorna's Voice on September 19, 2014.

24 Responses to “Writing 101: Dear Dad”

  1. This was fictional, but I bet this happens more than either of us would like to think…

  2. A moment that begs us to walk on but fear beacons a peek to view what our heart refuses to accept. 😍

  3. Thanks so much. Writing for the pure act of just doing it is kind of fun.

  4. Well done.

  5. My sister has the same experience. She’s the mom several of her daughter’s gay friends wish they had. It is sad but I’m glad she’s there for them and they know that there are people like us who treat them like people.

  6. I want to hug you too!! As the mother of a gay son, I wish there were more people like you 🙂
    Over the years, several of his friends have ‘adopted’ us and become regular fixtures in our home even though our son has lived on his own for almost 10 years. It makes me both proud and sad that they prefer to spend Christmas with us rather than their own families.

  7. Me, too. My niece is gay. She made a point to sit down with me and tell me. I listened to all she had to say with compassion. And then, after assuring her that I support and love her just as she is, I said, “I’m heterosexual and never felt the need to ‘come out’ and declare my sexual preference. Either everyone should have to or no one should have to. And my vote is for no one having to because one’s sexuality is a private matter.” She laughed and hugged me. Then we talked about other things. 🙂

  8. Such a compassionate response. This was fictional, but I can imagine it really happening.

  9. There can be moment, or accidents or fates which give you a brief insight into another’s quandary or suffering and it always makes you reflect, as does this post. The alternative to love and tolerance is so horrific that, in almost all situations, I try to think with kindness on what I see, and so, in your shoes, real or imagined, my heart would go out to that young man faced with such a tricky revelation. some parents might hardly blink, and some never speak to their child again. If the boy is writing, one suspects his father is towards the less understanding side of the spectrum. We wish him luck, poor lad.

  10. When a story invokes really strong emotions, you know that you’ve done a good job. This story does exactly that. My stomach is still twisted – unimaginable suffering indeed!
    I hope I live to see the day when a child doesn’t feel like they have to apologize for being gay.

  11. Yeah, let someone else deal with it! 😉

  12. Thank you. Sometimes I wonder how this stuff come to me…or through me.

  13. Thanks so much. I had the general idea, but Peter made it happen!

  14. Well done!

  15. Wow! What an emotional piece of writing.

  16. Oh my, let’s not talk about book three before book two is even out. It’s close though…really close. 🙂

  17. Thanks so much for the compliment and for commenting! 🙂

  18. my type of endings,, like it. 😉

  19. That was touching…Awesome writing!

  20. Really nice writing. I love the beginning with Scrappy and the way you put the letter back down. Book 3? 😉

  21. Since the letter was discarded (crumpled up and thrown away in a field somewhere), I was thinking that the exchange was a difficult one or the son was too afraid to tell his father. Either way, the situation would be tragic for someone.

  22. Well, what do I say to that? Thanks, I guess! 🙂

  23. WOW!

  24. “Unimaginable suffering.” Did you think about it being something other than that? I liked most all of your little tale except for those two words.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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