This is not a poem, a story, something for people to read and congratulate.
I’m writing this here
and I’ll read it to you whenever I can
and years from now
when you need reminding
you can come back to see
what I really feel about you.
I saw you, the way you really are.
I have never been the best at showing my feelings, but I was paying attention to you.
I saw you when you were excited, happy, sad, distraught, tired, goofy.
I saw you being smart, silly, dangerous, wild.
I saw and I cared and I see and I care still, you matter to me more than I can show. You are my life.
I know what it must feel like, when you desperately want my attention, my approval, and I’m seemingly distant.
That isn’t about you, and that is something you’ll learn as you go through your life. Most of the ways that people treat you or interact with you are defined by the lives they’ve lived. The way they’ve loved and been loved.
Trust me, they think that you act strangely also.
Nobody can give you what you need.
You have to find out what it is and go after it, fight for it, live for it, demand what you need from life.
But from other people you can only take what they’re willing to give,
or not. That’s your choice.
I remember thinking when I was your age that I needed my mother or siblings or teachers or friends to show me what I meant to them, that I needed them to show me how I fit in, I needed them to define for me where I belonged and who I was.
I was wrong.
All of those things come from inside.
As I grew up I realized that nobody can be more important to me than I am to myself. I am the captain of this ship and I have to set the course.
I know that you’ll come to that, in your time. I’m hoping I don’t keep you from getting there, in fact I’m trying to guide you to that place.
The place where you can see who you are. What you mean. What you need and how you can try to find happiness.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll find happiness. But you can try, and in trying you might learn more about yourself.
I am not a person that is easy to love, I have rough edges and I have my issues.
But I do love you. I want you to find your best life and live it, and that means that I have to work hard at being something I’m not suited to being; gentle.
I can’t force you into being you.
I can show you how to figure out the way, but you have to walk the miles.
And ultimately what I want for you doesn’t matter.
What you want for yourself is the only force which will motivate you to act. To grow. To learn.
So when you look back at your Dad, and you remember me being hard, unbending, strict, sometimes aloof,
I hope you realize that I’m living my life, the only way I’ve been able to accept, for myself.
And if you’re reading this in twenty or thirty years and I’m gone,
I hope you know I’m not really gone.
I’ll never be gone.
I live in your mind, in your life.
You are my life.
As long as there’s a You,
there will be a Me.