This is going to be a different type of column today.
There will be no pictures attached to it, and quite frankly, it will be very difficult for me to write.
I will not post it on Facebook as I normally do with my Rants--the only place you will read it is here.
But I think that the time has come.
I wrote a similar entry a few years ago, and at the request of someone, I took it down.
This one, I'm afraid, is not going to be taken down so quickly.
Here goes. Bear with me, and I promise, tomorrow I will be back with my usual Rant.
Today, I am sad, really sad, and I guess this column will be the salve I use to heal, inwardly and spiritually.
I am the father of two kids who I love dearly.
My younger child, my son, has some problems, but he is working on them, and my wife and I are very, very proud of the steps he has taken to make himself better.
I have another child, my daughter, my first born, the child from my first marriage.
At her request, I don't write much about her here, because that is how she wants it.
This blog is not that important to me--she is, and I only wish that she could see that.
I have seen my daughter exactly one time in the past six months or so, and that was when I arranged a lunch date with her so I could give her her Hanukkah gift.
That was back in late December, so I have not seen her since that time.
Prior to that, she bowed out of a couple of family events, including my wife's 60th birthday party and our family party for Hanukkah.
I figured yesterday would be a good time to get in contact with her. It was the beginning of March, and I thought that with the new month might come a new, fresh approach to getting together with her, or at least having a conversation with her.
I last texted her on Valentine's Day, wishing her a happy day. I thought that might spark her, but other than a "Thank You," it never dawned on her that I was trying to reach out to her, to make the connection more than just a text.
I have asked her repeatedly to call me once a week on the phone, just to touch base with me so I could find out how she was doing.
She has constantly refused the offer.
Anyway, I contacted her yesterday, and asked her where she had been. She texted back that she basically works, comes home, eats and goes to sleep, and that is that. She is also babysitting on the weekends.
She has a boyfriend, of three years standing, who I have never met.
Fine. But you can't find five minutes in your day to speak to your father once a week?
She also has a brother, who she never speaks to. And what is worse, she has two grandparents--my parents--who she completely ignores.
Anyway, one thing led to another, and I basically said--without using the actual words that I texted--that one day, she will regret her stance, she will want to have a relationship with me, but it will be too late.
I asked her what I have done to deserve her stance, and to this moment, she has not answered.
This is basically a summary of what has been going on for months if between her and me, and really, for the past couple of years.
She basically reaches out to me when she needs something from me, but otherwise, her absence is deafening.
Look, I know she is a child of divorce. What happened between myself and her mother happened. It takes two to tango. There was animosity on both sides, and I guess it petered down to my daughter.
But I look back, and I fought for her dearly in court. I did whatever I could to make things as right as I could, but back in those days, the burden of proof was on the father to prove that he could be a good parent. I am not going to argue about it here, but today, things are much, much fairer. Courts do not make decisions based on gender as they once did. Parenting is not based on gender anymore, nor sexual orientation, and I applaud that.
I only wish that back in the 1990s, things were as they are today.
Again, my daughter is the child of divorce, and I did the best I could with her. She was my focus, she was included in everything I did, and we shaped everything on this side of the fence so she could participate in everything, even though I only saw her every other week.
We also had phone visitation, and I loved it. In the days before cell phones, it was often dicey to find a phone if I was out, but I just about always managed to speak to my daughter when I was supposed to.
We loved to be with each other, and I really cherished my time with her. It was my daughter who unwittingly brought me back from the dead, so to speak, and when I had the confidence again, I went out and socialized more.
I met a wonderful woman, and in June, we will be married 24 years.
We continued to include my daughter in all our activities, but she was growing up, and it became more difficult to balance her needs with my visitation rights.
We still had a decent relationship when she went to college, but it wasn't the same as it had been, nor should it have been. She was older, and wasn't a baby anymore.
But college did something to her, to our relationship. Absence often makes the heart grow fonder, but for some reason, this was not the case with her.
She became someone I never imagined her to be. She became a sneak, lied to me on a number of occasions, and the distance made her into a person that I could not figure out.
That has continued to this day.
She has a responsible job, she lives back with her mother, just about 12 miles away from me, but she might as well live in Siberia.
I never hear from her, never see her, never have any contact with her, and that appears to be her choice.
She has basically divorced myself and my side of the family.
I do not understand her, and yesterday's text conversation might have been the last straw.
I have been fighting for her for nearly 29 years. I love her dearly, and I always will, but the ball is in her court.
I cannot fight anymore.
I only ask, "What did I do to deserve this?" and I left it at that.
I am still waiting for an answer, an answer that I know probably is not going to come.
And that makes me sad, really sad.