God blessed my wife and I with a wonderful daughter (Alana.) She has always delighted us with her quick wit, her intelligence and her love. I have just been made fully aware of an area in my relationship with my daughter where I have failed. (She posted this message on Tumblr – read if you have not) My son (Matthew) posted a very thoughtful and open CONFESSION to his own failure and I will try not to repeat what he said, but it does apply to my own failure to my daughter.
I cannot make any excuses for not reacting in a more positive manner when Alana complained about pain in her joints and other areas of her body. I should have been more attuned to her voice and not my own inner voice and the voice of her teacher(s). Like my son, I am very introverted and try to analyze every situation, that does not help when someone like Alana is hurting. Empathy is not one of my gifts and I really need to try to empathize more. I am guilty of “blowing off” most of Alana’s complaints for all the reasons Matthew mentioned in his confession. When you were younger and active I did think (wrongly) it was “growing pains”. As you got older and spent more time in more artistic and less active endeavors I did blame your pain on your gaining weight, I tried to relate it to my own over-weight pains and aches rather than listening to and believing you. I had no way of knowing the extent of your pain and I tried to use my own tolerance as a guide to your pain – something I should never have done.
I also have no excuse for not trying harder to find out what was wrong with you as I had very adequate health insurance provide and it was available but I chose not to use it to try to find out why you were in pain.
To sum this up, I am very sorry I did not listen to you, empathize and react correctly to your pain. I am sorry I listened to your teacher(s) when they said you were just complaining. I am sorry I have failed you in this very important area and ask your forgiveness. I cannot change the past, I can try to be a better listener and more attuned to your and other people’s suffering and pain in the future. I love you very much and want you to know that I do and always will.