When I think of my father,
the first memory that flings itself
to the forefront of my mind is
him reading to me as a child.
Bedtime birthed a world
the sun would’ve been jealous of.
I’d sit on his lap, admiring how hands
as rough as his could be so delicate,
How his coffee brown eyes could
shine so golden.
Our favorite book was
“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
We read it at least 100 times and
every time we would read, my dad
would talk about how horrible “The Waiting Place”
“Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow."
Everyone was always waiting for something.
He always read in this calm and soothing voice,
as if he were an ocean
his words, waves washing over me,
sending me afloat on a sea of tranquility.
My most meaningful memories
are of my father telling me
that he loved me.
It’s not so much that he said it,
It was the way he said it.
"Son, you know I love you.
I'll always love you, because
you're my son, and no one
can ever take that away.
If anyone ever tells you that
I don't love you, they're a liar,
And a liar is one of the worst
people in this world."
It took me years to realize
how important that lesson was.
It took me even longer to realize that
I needed that nourishment.
I needed to know that if all else
fell through I'd still have him in
So Dad, I would just like to
say "Thank you."
I've owed you this ode for far too long.
You are the brightest star the cosmos
have ever had the pleasure of holding
And I'm sorry that
it's taken 17 years for me
to appreciate you with the respect you deserve.
I want to apologize for the moments
that I’ve failed you,
like when you got out of surgery
and I didn’t even think to call
Or not allowing you to come to my middle school graduation
because I thought my life would be better without you,
Or even the time I stole from you
to make myself feel cool.
I'm sorry that I've garnered your graces
and failed to return them
without a whisper of remorse. -
I'm sorry that
I've let my love linger behind locked lips,
that I only care to do something
when it’s beneficial for me.
Thank you for investing in me.
Thank you for your unwavering
support, for every shouted compliment
from the sideline,
for every concert appearance,
for every hour spent teaching me
the math you knew I’d need for high school.
Thank you for your love.
Even in times when I felt like God didn't love me
I knew you still did.
You are all the father I’ve ever needed
You were the first person to teach
me that love can be unconditional.
The first person
who modeled what is was to be a real man.
And as I grow to be strong as you,
I will be waiting,
Waiting for the days
when I can reap what I’ve sown.
For my mind to grow
and my intellect to show.
To most often do right
and hear the words “You’ve got your father’s light.”
Because then I’ll know, in my heart
that I’ve done something right.