A letter to Joe and his 2.0

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She’s attached to her mom as if a rope binds them together. A weight felt as if it was holding her underwater; she’s unable to resurface, suffocating by the fear of abandonment, her only light being the motherly love she was given. But hands suddenly pull the knot around her ankle, and her face shatters the water. Those hands were her father’s, her new best friend.  

As a kid, she and her father were never close, they loved one another, but there was no laughter. She kept with her mother, buzzing around her like a bee. Her sister gravitated toward him; there was no need for her love to shift toward him too; he had her.

Plus, their personalities differed far more than their looks. She was a social, kind-hearted girl who cared for anything—even stuffed animals. On the other hand, her dad laughed when someone got hurt, made fun of everyone, hated socializing, and had no patience. How could they ever get along? 

But as she grew up, she became a “Mini Joe.” She laughed when her mother twisted her ankle on a rock, kept to herself in the halls, and couldn’t stand being in a store for more than five minutes. She reflected on her father, creating a second version of himself, and she could not have been more proud of who she has become. 

Laughter swirls like little snowflakes around them, and the bright smile on her face when accompanied by her dad is unbeatable. ”

She begged her mom to sit out and stare up at the pink moon with her last April, yet her mother slept when the dark sheet of the night covered Michigan. 

She wanted to see that pink moon so bad, but it was dark, and she was afraid of what lingered when nighttime began. A text chimed on her phone as she cried on her bed: Come out onto my deck. We’re looking for this pink moon. Her father, although sleep-deprived, had put her needs and wants before his. 

They stood, leaning against the deck railing, silently staring at the night sky. The pink moon was supposedly shimmering through the clouds, though not apparent behind the big oak planted in the middle of the backyard. A song quietly played in the background, but there they stood, staring, no words spoken. She never forgets the feeling of gratitude and love she had felt for her old man that night; it was one of the simplest yet caring things anyone had ever done. 

Laughter swirls like little snowflakes around them, and the bright smile on her face when accompanied by her dad is unbeatable. 

Her Snapchat memories now are full of videos of him dancing to songs that could make ears bleed and pictures of him doing his signature smile—his mouth open and teeth bared. One photo sits in her phone of her dad, mid burp, and their stomachs still ache from laughter thinking about it. 

Though the love for her mother still shines brighter than the sun, the relationship she’s now built with her father has reached a higher point. The energy around them is friendship; though he parents her, her father gives off a radiance of comfort and love in a friendly way. 

Anytime spent with her dad is grand, and she couldn’t be more thankful to have become “Joe 2.0.”