How are you? I am fine but I have been sick. I had pneumonia but am bettir now. I can not go back to school any more this term. My Sunday school teacher wants me to hurry up and come back. I want Santa Claus to bring me a doll bed for my big doll. I hope that you had a nice thanksgiving. I had a drumstick.
Write to mother and me real soon.
Your Baby [age 8]
November 30, 1937
This letter (unedited) was written by my mother to her father who moved to another state and rarely visited after their family dissolved. She was fond of telling me stories about being a “depression baby” and about how money was almost nonexistent after her father left – how they cooked on a wood stove and received food rations from a soup kitchen. My mother’s letter expresses her strong love and longing for her father’s presence in her life. Even though she rarely saw her father due to her parent’s breakup, my mother hungered for his attention. Distant or absent dads, like my grandfather, perpetuate a sense of “Daddy Hunger” that can create a deep craving for male attention for a daughter of divorce.
Many women underestimate the importance of their father in their lives. Like other researchers, we found that the women in our study were profoundly affected by their relationship with their fathers. Fortunately, many of them reported that their fathers were able to maintain loving relationships with them. On the other hand, some fathers were preoccupied with their new lifestyle or family. Others lacked the financial means to support two families. A father’s presence (or lack of presence) in his daughter’s life will affect how she will relate to all men who come after him.