As of today you’re 12 and have never read a letter from the man who knew you best and loved you first.
He knew the energy you possessed needed to be harnessed before any negative dope inducing labels could take hold. He knew that same energy was a manifestation of great inner passion. He knew because he could put words to what you could only feel, what you could only shrug your shoulders at and say I don’t know. He was prepared for at least that much of being your father after being a fatherless son.
If he had the opportunity to impress on you more than what has only stuck subconsciously he would’ve explained much about his own past to alleviate the stress of your present. He would’ve given you strength to stand up for yourself and never be bullied because he’d been there. He would’ve given you the keys to success at making friends because he’d lived a lifetime of loneliness.
He would’ve given you the lessons he only learned too late. Your days together would’ve been filled with growth, laughter, exercise, videogames and discipline to balance the two of you out. You can’t know this but you were the first of men he could hold eye contact with without feeling uncomfortable or afraid and so he would’ve continued to spend days looking into your brown orbs no matter what emotion they portrayed.
It occurs to him that this is a letter of what “would’ve happened if” as well as an admission of knowing how much you both missed out.
Truth is he recognizes the subjective pain of many while having no qualms of displaying his own. The truth is he recognizes what the truth is and that truth is that he wasn’t a part of the would haves while others were. He recoginzes that you’re angry for a multitude of reasons and believes that one day when you’re ready he will sit across from you and say with no remorse, “I understand your anger as well as the reasons you may be angry and if I don’t I’ll sit here and listen for one reason and one reason only; because, despite what you might think or what anyone ever said, I love you.”
That’s our truth as father and son and although I wasn’t always able to be your father you will always be my son.
Zachery Matthews #209462
Stillwater, Mn 55082