A few weeks ago, we began a journey into understanding my relationship with my father and how I view it through the lens of the Tarot. This week, we finish this discussion about that relationship and how it has shaped me into the person that I have become. I have decided to do so through a letter. Please indulge me.
Many years have passed since we last spoke to each other and a lot of things have changed since I last laid eyes on you. I have grown up now and I have become someone I always knew I’d be. I am sure that it would repulse and disgust you, but I am happy. I am sure that you would be ashamed, but I feel light as a feather and sleep like a baby.
On a daily basis, I fight to be everything I have dreamed of, the man I am supposed to be, and nothing at all like you. I see our relationship clearly now and find myself at peace with it. Actually, that may be a lie. At the very least, I understand what happened between us and view it as a learning experience.
Because of you, I learned never to judge others; instead, I value others. I value people based on their heart, their character, and their potential to be amazing. I choose not to condemn them, chastise them, or make them feel less. I see people as they are, inherently born with a gift and great potential.
If it wasn’t for you, I would never have understood the darkness and why it is important I fight it. If it wasn’t for you, I would never be able to clearly see the negative attachments people carry in their lives. If it wasn’t for you, I would have never been able to help others release themselves from deep-rooted pain and suffering. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t understand the Devil and how it can suck the life from you.
Every day, I wake up and do battle with my own darkness. I don’t always win and those are the days I feel most in touch with you. During my darkest periods, I would sometimes pass by a mirror and see your shadow where my light should have been. All too often, I hear you in my voice when I have lost my temper and became violently angry. I guess you would say, “That the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” But I would rather like to think of myself as the entire fruit basket.
There are very few moments of our time together that I remember fondly. In good will, I will recount them here. I remember how you once made me a Batman mask out of Ductape and how I wore it until it reeked. I remember going to the lake and having one hour of calm and peace with you. I remember the stories you told and your love of art. I remember you being the first person to ever play Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and The Eagles for me. I remember how you used to sometimes dance down the hall when you would first wake up. But believe me, these few memories are the only ones I have of you that didn’t end in sadness and disappointment.
Someone asked me last week what I thought your punishment should be for all you did to hurt our family. I gave the question some thought and came to a startling conclusion. You are already living your punishment. You are old, broken, alone, and will never lay eyes on your son for the rest of your days. This is punishment enough. Just know that if things were different, I would have always been loyal and true to you. If you had unconditionally loved me, there would never have been a moment when your son wasn’t by your side. Sadly, you did this. Now, we both have to live with it.
Take care of yourself, Dad. I wish you well and all the peace in the world. What is most important here is that I truly mean it, from me to you. Thank you for making me work harder, be stronger, and have the courage to live true to myself. Thank you for teaching me to not take shit. That is something that will always come in use. Lastly, I want to thank you for proving that family isn’t always defined by the blood in our veins, but by unconditional love for another person.
All my Love,