Meeting Unconditional Love with Aniesah Miller

Every person has a different definition of love. Just last week, I was blessed with the opportunity to learn love from the perspective of my roommate, Aniesah Miller. This story is one of familial love. This love is chosen. This love is needed. This is love born from circumstance; born from the willingness to support, appreciate, and encourage one another no matter the situation. This love is one that's wanted, one that isn't taken for granted. This is the story that made me sit back and realize that love is a choice, and a beautiful one at that. This story made me realize how much I appreciate my family. All our love is different, but it's all ours and it's perfect.

The Day I Met My Father by Aniesah Miller

​Considering the title of my story, one might be wondering how I was able to remember “meeting” my father when this is something normally done at birth. They say you can’t choose your family, but it almost seems as if I did. I met my father at age seven and at this age, he was not my father. He was a stranger and we didn’t even share the same blood. 

​Up until I was seven years old, my world was just my mother and I. She filled the role of both parents for me and it was not a strange concept at all. I knew who my biological father was but he spent more time in a jail cell than he did at home with me, his first and only child. I knew where he was when he wasn’t around. But to a five year old, this didn’t seem ‘wrong’ to me. It was just the way things were and whenever I got to visit him, it seemed as if the prison visiting room turned into a child’s heaven. I lost all recollection of where we actually were. But visits to see my biological father came fewer and farther between. I was getting older and my mother decided that she didn’t want to pretend this was normal for me anymore. Without my young, fun-filled, rainbows-and-sunshine brain knowing, my mother was moving on in her life. When she introduced the idea of her dating again, I was devastated. It seemed as if my whole world was coming crashing down. I had a father already and I didn’t need a new one. Mine was a mean, abusive, careless criminal but he was mine and he was perfect. 

​When I turned seven, my mom knew it was time to tell me the truth and all the things I should know about my biological father. We sat on the floor of our tiny kitchen painting an old ugly stool a vibrant red. She told me how she wanted to wait until I was somewhat old enough to understand the situation and she tried her absolute best not to completely crush my heart. Looking back, all she ever did was make my heart stronger. After being introduced to the reality of my biological father being this negative, dark cloud hovering over our lives, I began to let go. I stopped wondering when I’d see him next, I stopped waiting to get a letter in the mail, and I stopped speaking to him on the phone, willingly. When I would spend time at my cousin’s house, that come from his side of the family, they would put me on the phone with him without realizing that I now know what I know about him. I would have no words for him, only constant tears. But that too, would eventually come to an end and it seems as if he’s just become a distant memory. 

​Now that I have somewhat “healed” from the painful truth about my once perfect biological father, I became a little more comfortable with the idea of my mom dating again. But not too comfortable, I would still cry and still hate the idea of this big change but that gave my mom all the more reason to introduce me to him and this is when everything really changed. It was a random and casual night sometime in the summer and I’m sure it was one of the most exciting nights for my mom and her new, so called boyfriend, but to me, I didn’t know how to feel. I wasn’t against it, but also wasn’t for it. I almost feel as if I was emotionless. We arrived at our meeting destination, the Dairy Queen on Abbott Road in Lackawanna. Not too far from home. It was dark outside, with the only light I can remember was the bright orange tinted streetlight that shined behind the man I would soon call my dad. My mother and I got out of the car and he headed right towards us with the world’s biggest smile on his face. He knows me but I do not know him. This was a brief introduction because I’m sure my mother didn’t want to overwhelm me, but within that brief interaction, we clicked. This was the day that I not only met my dad, but it seemed like I also met my best friend. As time went on, I spent more and more time with him and my mother, like an actual…family. It seemed like I never stopped laughing, and every day spent together was so much fun. I had moments where I still struggled with the idea of this not being my biological father, but I soon realized that I loved my new best friend and I never wanted to see a day without him. 

​Let’s fast-forward a bit to my 18th birthday. Eleven years later, I still have my best friend, except now he’s my dad. My 18th birthday was a very special day for my dad because he could finally adopt me with without the hassle of me being underage, and the decision ultimately was up to me. It was definitely something worth celebrating. Glen Miller is now my dad, but if I’m being completely honest, we didn’t need a court date and a sheet of paper to know that. When he met my mom, he took me in like a package deal. He decided to be my dad before he even met me and I became his first child. He has done anything and everything he could to set my mother and I up for the best life possible, and he even gave me a little sister too. 

​I always love to share this story because I would not be where I am or who I am today, without him. Him and my mother gave me love, they gave me knowledge, and they gave me compassion, among other things like setting me up to become the first college graduate in the family. They didn’t have the easy life growing up and they worked so hard for everything they have now to make sure my sister and I have everything. They are the two best gifts my sister and I will ever receive and I’m so glad I met my dad.

Story courtesy of Aniesah Miller, orginially written February 8, 2019.