November 23, 2017
For several months, I’ve debated if I’d send this letter to you. It was only at Clare’s insistence that I not do so that kept me from doing what it is right. Clare insisted I not send this letter, and she insisted that even if I didn’t respect you that I do my best to feign acceptance of you so her life would not be further complicated.
Clare is not with us any longer. I am going to share with you what will be very difficult for any person to hear.
The first night Clare and I spent together was not a romantic evening. She called me, and she was beyond exceptionally drunk. Much of what she was saying scared me, and I asked her if I could come stay with her because I was worried for her safety. I offered to stay on the couch at her place and her preference was my home because of the mouse infestation at her home. She understood she needed safety that night and turned to me for safety.
Clare and I had been growing close over that month, and she told me many of the horrors of the men she dated before me. It disgusted me, the way such a wonderful person with such a caring heart was treated. And knowing what you do of the men she dated, this is sure to hit you hard.
You disgust me just as much if not more.
You see, this evening when I brought Clare to my home to watch over her, she related to me the story of your affair. This is why she was so drunk that night.
Personally, I feel infidelity is the most selfish and disrespectful sin a human can commit. It affects everyone in the cheater’s life. Obviously, you are divorced, and this might be where you feel the most emotional impact from your sin.
If so, then you aren’t aware of what your infidelity did to Clare. What you did to her is despicable. What you did to her is not what a loving father would do.
You made her lie to her mother. As Clare shared that evening, she lied to her mother for years, at your insistence. You did this. You made a very young girl lie to her mother for years. And your selfishness is compounded by what Clare also shared that evening. Your mistress was pressuring you to stop forcing Clare to lie.
The impact of your choice to make a young girl lie started her on the self-destructive path that I personally and strongly believe is why Clare is no longer with us.
I ask you a series of rhetorical questions, all with the same answer:
1.) When did this affair begin?
2.) When did you make Clare start lying to her mother?
3.) When did Clare begin drinking alcohol to deal with the stress, anxiety, guilt, and insomnia of being made to lie to her mother?
Do you know when the damage to Clare’s body began, the irreparable damage that destroyed her organs? This is when it began. Many physician colleagues I consulted (for my own guilt) assure me of this.
This isn’t the only time Clare and I had this discussion of you forcing her to lie to her mother about your affair. We talked about a great many of the hardships she faced in her life, and it broke my heart time and again when she would bring up your affair, her lying to her mother, and how she started abusing alcohol as a result.
Are you aware that after the affair came to Cleo’s attention, one of Cleo’s favorite pet names for Clare became “You fucking little bitch”? Nice work, Rudy.
About three months ago, when Clare and I were driving back from Santa Fe, she once again talked to me about how you made her lie. And she shared with me something she never had, and this is what I want you to hear very clearly:
“I wish my dad would apologize to me for making me lie. But I know he never will.”
That day, looking at her when she shared this with me, I’ve never seen her eyes look sadder. Ever. All she ever wanted from you was a simple apology, an apology that would have been simple for any man to make. To me, you are not a man.
I know for a FACT that Clare died never getting this apology from you.
And it is my strong personal belief that if you had apologized to Clare at any point, she would be alive today and would still be changing the world for the better.
I’ll share an important anecdote to help you understand things clearer. My son, Scott, was living in Las Cruces, and he called me in distress one day asking for me to come get him. When I told Clare that I needed to leave for the weekend and what she and I were planning to do would need to be postponed, Clare asked, “May I come with you? You’ll need my support. And Scott is your family, so Scott is my family, too.”
When Clare passed away, I lost a member of my family. You are not my family. Nobody in your realm is my family. Clare is my family, and you cannot take this from me ever.
Most people inherently understand it is a central component to the human condition that our choices affect more than just ourselves. How shameful is it that Clare had to learn this lesson in a manner not of her own doing.
So I’ve been debating writing this letter for so many months. I don’t respect you, Rudy, and I never have. For Clare, I did my best to feign respect. If you had apologized to her, I wouldn’t be writing this letter. I still would have no respect for you.
Am I writing this letter to give Clare a voice? Yes. She would do the same for me. It saddens me so much that even with what you did to her as a young girl Clare always craved your acceptance and validation. She is not here any longer, and I encouraged her during our entire relationship to confront you for her own health and wellness. She never got that chance.
And am I writing this letter to give me a voice? Yes. My pain, sorrow, and fury are accurately described in this letter, and it is a useful confluence that this letter can be a voice for Clare and a voice for me.
Whatever happened between me and Clare in the final month of her life is immaterial. The focus is on you, Rudy. The focus is on you and how your despicable selfishness destroyed one of the strongest, most cherished human beings I’ve ever known.
I am going to give you some comfort. While Clare was with me, she told me she had never been happier in her life, and that it was the first time in her life where she felt safe enough to sleep without having to drink alcohol. Our first night together, I held her in my arms and she slept. And over our far too short time together, she so rarely drank alcohol because she was so happy. Everyone saw this. Including you. Hopefully, knowing that Clare was truly happy at least once in her life can bring you some comfort, and hopefully enough comfort to counterbalance the destructive impact you had on Clare’s life.
It was effortless for me to love Clare and she passed away knowing this. From this, I take comfort for myself.
I don’t expect a reply from you. I won’t accept a reply from you. If I am to define our relationship, it is persona non grata.
I will say a prayer for you,