Where do I begin? We’ve been at odds for so long, it’s sometimes hard to remember the times when our hearts were aligned and even. Tonight, I find myself remembering. Another night of quarantine, and here I am. I’m thinking about you. As much as I’m angry and frustrated, I’m also thankful and proud. I’m thankful that you helped me grow during the times that life wouldn’t allow you to do the same. I’m thankful that you showed me love during the many times that I showed you it’s opposite. I’m thankful that despite you not doing the same, you were able to celebrate my dreams while placing yours in a metaphorical bag. I’m thankful. I’m proud that you were able to take some of the pieces of your broken dreams and make something that you can still be proud of. I’m proud that your word is the final word no matter what I seem to say. I’m proud of the woman that you were, are, and ultimately, will be. I’m proud of you. Honestly, I’ve been so consumed with what it means to be a good father that I’ve neglected what it actually takes to be a good mother. While I was afforded the luxury of pondering parenthood, you were on the front lines fighting a direct battle with sickness, homework, housing, food, employment, clothing, friends, potential relationships, and me. I don’t know how you did it, but you did. It’s crazy because at times, you seem more like my mother than you do my former lover. I guess it’s true what they say; women mature much faster than men. God knows that you matured faster than me. Tonight, I want to let you know how I really feel. I remember the first time I saw you. I had never seen anything like you. You made me feel something that I never felt, dream something that I had never dreamt, and aspire to something that I had never seen. I remember our first date. God, when you opened the door, I almost passed out because you were so beautiful. I have no idea how I was able to keep myself together, drive, and do my Denzel Washington at the same time. We went out to eat, but honestly, what I was hungry for wasn’t on the menu. It was you that I wanted. You told me that you had your heart broken before, and I promised not to break it. I was too young, naive, and blind to understand that I had to mend my own broken heart before I could fully take care of yours. Unfortunately, history taught us both that dark lesson. When you gave your love to me, I had never felt so warm. You asked me how I could love so sweet. I was afraid to say that I love sweetly because I feel deeply. I wanted to show you my scars, but instead, I showed you my tattoos. I wanted to tell you my truths, but instead, I told you my highlights rather than my bloopers. Honestly, I felt as though if I had shared those things with you, would you have continued to love me? I should have been more concerned with when I was going to start to do so. I’m writing this letter to you to say that I will never forget the sacrifices that you made in order for me and my child to grow. The person that actually builds the road rarely gets as much credit as the person that travels it. As a person that has traveled the road that you’ve built, the places that you have allowed me to grow have afforded me the opportunity to see things that I never imagined. I will never be fully able to say all the things that you actually mean to me. Honestly, sometimes it was hard to see my child because I really wanted to see you. I needed you to be proud of me. I needed you to still believe in me. A part of me needed you to still love me. Me and my needs. Tonight, I need you to understand that my child and I are because of who you are. Breathe deep Baby, you’re still young enough to dream, strong enough to climb, beautiful enough to astonish, and rooted in your faith deeply enough for God to listen to you and hear. The best of you is yet to come. Thank you for helping me to find the best of me. Thank you for encouraging my child to do the same. I have made so many mistakes, but I promise you, you and everything associated with you are not one of them. Thank you. Patrick
As always, this week, please so something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better. Also, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love.