By Ben Hall
Oh how I’ve longed to reach you, to give you clarity, but I’ve always been up too close to see clearly. The winds of time have pushed bitter cold carrying one hurt to follow, as another has ended. The side of my hair now spottily blending to gray as if the smoldering holes, my knees ache when I run and the years have started to corrode gray and brown crimson. I remember your bright blond hair and blue eyes, running care free from the fountain at Disney Land. I want to talk some sense in you and somehow imprint my experience on your young heart.
The storms of change can be sweet but so frigid. Please listen to your mother, obey the tender words that speak to you in the violent moments, express sadness in your heart. Look on your father with hope. I long to somehow promise you that the bottle of whiskey will not always be hidden behind that pillow on the couch, that the harsh words hitting you like bullets are simply the demon in the rusty liquid and it will not defeat you. I want to tell you that your father loves you and he is a good man. Don’t run out into 39th until the light turns green, when you eat all the strawberries under the cover of darkness by the light of the refrigerator, don’t wipe the scarlet evidence on your underwear, and don’t keep your eyes open when you kiss Tina for the first time.
Please look in the mirror and remind yourself that you are of value and worth, take courage that your weighty pain has purpose, the wounds will heal and not just you, but those you encounter. Remember that your own momentary pleasure is not worth the carnage of those who love you.
I would tell you don’t get into those cars with Jay and Dominic, or with Bones, but I know you will not listen and if you don’t get into those cars you’ll be robbed of a lifetime of friends who are family and that your scars will turn to stars. Remember you have purpose.
Finally, love your Momma now, cherish every moment. Those moments are life. Tell your Dad you love him and need him and remember everyone has a context of value. I have learned to love you and I’m sorry it took me so long. And remember to celebrate every moment you have with gratitude, because those moments slip away so fast.