It has taken me several months to write this letter. I drew up a letter some time ago, but, unable to find the right words to say, unable to be satisfied, that letter will probably never see the light of day. My excessive perfectionism works against me most of the time. I hope you will forgive me for sending this so late. Here goes, after writing and rewriting, rough draft, second draft, millionth draft, my final product.
Father’s Day has come and gone. Summer is coming to a close, and, most importantly, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!
How old are you now? 40? 100? 250 years old? Haha! How’s the wifey? I’ve only seen a couple of photos of her but, I can tell she is so happy and she loves you. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman in love! What about baby Joel? You better be teaching him well! If not, I’ll fly up there to Iceland and kick your ass! I’m not kidding…😛
I know I’ve said this before, but even though I haven’t met him yet, I feel that he is my baby brother already. I cannot wait to hold him, to squeeze him, to see his smile. When would be a good time to do that, to visit you?
I am nearly 30 years old now. I have lived a crazy, interesting life. I wouldn’t trade my experiences, good and bad, for anything in the world. Yet, as the days, weeks, and months pass by, certain things cross my mind that I never thought of before. These thoughts plague my brain and haunt my dreams.
Like you, my Father. I imagine you as a youngster. I imagine you and my Mother, together. I imagine you falling in love with her. I imagine the moment you first met me, Rashundra.
What was that like? Was I a cute baby? Was I still in diapers? Did I have my dimples already? When did you decide you wanted to be in my life, be my Father? Were you even ready to be a Father? Were you excited? Were you scared shitless? Do you ever regret that decision?
You, dear Father, are and have been the greatest male figure in my entire life. For such a long time, most of my life, you were the only Dad I ever knew. You introduced me to the beauty of music and life.
I, unfortunately, as you may or may not know, cannot remember a great deal of my childhood, huge chunks missing from my memories. I do not know why, but it’s the truth. Amongst the missing pieces, I remember you. Vividly. I remember you used to sing to me. I remember your corny sense of humor. I remember your laugh, always airy, carefree, and goofy as heck! I remember the music. The O’Jays. The Temptations. That song “Patches.” You playing the saxophone for me. Those songs brought me endleas joy, even still to this day! It’s because of you, music has become my life, my love, my religion. Music and creativity and beauty in all of its forms!
You’re a successful musician and actor. You played ball for a long time, you grinded, you hustled until you reached your goal. It all came full circle! I want nothing more than to be like you, to emulate you in every way. Your kindness, your patience, your leadership, your sense of style, your easy-going demeanor, your joy, and, above all, your ability to spread the art of song to everyone.
About a year ago, I lost possession of all of my belongings, including photos of us and the mix tape you sent me years ago. I can still hear it in my mind, clear as day, your voice as smooth as silk, as deep as the ocean floor, every word crisp and deliberate.
Why do you love me? What have I done to deserve your love? What would I have done without you?
Even as a young man, you stepped up and helped raise me. You didn’t have to do that! I understand that now, more than ever. The sacrifices you must have made for me! The opportunities you must have lost
…for me! Because of me. I will never understand the overpowering love you must have felt for me. I probably never will. But,
because of you,
I know what a Father is, I know what a brother is, what a musician is, an artist, a friend, a man, and foremost,
I know what true love is
Love that goes beyond friends or family or even personal preservation. Love beyond any conceivable thought or reason. Love, true love, of a young man, barely in his 20s, looking into the eyes of a small baby girl, scared to death, and accepting her, teaching her, mentoring her, Fathering her.
We don’t even live in the same country, but the thought of loosing you devistates me. I couldn’t have asked for a better Father.
I will never forget everything you have done for me, Old Man. The love, compassion, and selflessness you showed me I will spread to as many people as I can. I promise.
Have a Happy Birfday, Dad!
And Happy Father’s Day too…
I adore you more than words could ever describe
Your eldest, the Nameless,