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Letter to Sophia
Last update January 1, 2016
To my beautiful baby girl Sophia:
I feel very bad for you. You donâ€™t deserve to grow up without a father. I never wanted to be the kind of father that never comes home. I am sure most of your friends have fathers in their lives. The other fathers come to the school to watch your violin concerts. The other fathers have parties and sleepovers for their kids. I wanted all of those things. I wanted to be that kind of dad.
Morey is older, so she and I lived together for many years. Morey and I have some memories together. But you and I have almost none. And that makes me very sad.
No matter what anyone tells you, I am telling you that I want to live near you. I want to be able to see you all the time. I want to go to your violin concerts. I want to watch you grow up. I want us to go hiking and have memories together. I want to teach you great things that you do not know.
I want all of those things.
So, why am I gone? The answer is hard to explain. I can work and make money in Lynchburg. But I can make much more money if I live far away. And the judge decided that money is more important than being a dad. He decided for you, and for me. He wants me to live where I can work and make the most money. Itâ€™s really stupid because he is a judge in â€śFamily Courtâ€ť, but all he did was destroy my family.
Do you know what I remember the most? Back in 2015, you asked me, â€śDonâ€™t you know where I live?â€ť I said, â€śyes,â€ť and you then asked â€śthen why donâ€™t you visit us?â€ť. It broke my heart to hear your question.
Do you know what else I remember? I came home from Afghanistan in 2011, just to visit you in Lynchburg. You were about three years old. You and your sister and mother came to pick me up at the airport in Roanoke. A few minutes after I arrived and met you all, you asked me, â€śAre you Daddy?â€ť.
You didnâ€™t even recognize me. I was gone too much. I wanted to be closer to you and Morey. I told the judge I deserved to come back the USA, and be close to my little girls.
Did you know that you have a great-great-great-grandfather named Johann Zander? He sailed from Germany to the United States in 1855 on a boat called the Genesee Bark. He had many children, and each of them had several children, and so on. Itâ€™s from this man you got your middle name. Thatâ€™s just one story. I have so many more stories to tell you.
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