I miss you. I follow the trail of dimes you leave for me, but it’s not the same as sitting next to you. I am writing on amends and it just happens to be your birthday. You would be 88 today.
It’s been 7 years since I first wrote to you. You have seen me stay sober, despite life and self, the entire time. I know you are proud.
Although we communicate across the unknown, similar to the unspoken way we did when you were alive, I am told that an honest letter is the best way to reach someone who cannot be seen. Much has changed since I found you passed away, alone in your tiny apartment. I have grown and I have healed. I need to check in and make sure that I remain true to the living amends I made to you.
I was resentful.
I was dishonest.
I was selfish.
I was afraid.
I blamed you for my problems and my illness. I was upset our family didn’t look like other people’s. I wanted more of your time and attention. I was mad at you for giving up and dying.
The truth looks different.
I made my own choices and I was sick. I didn’t appreciate what I had. I was rarely present. You were in pain and did your best with what you had.
Today, I am developing into the person you always wanted me to be. I have taken the virtues you gave me and recognized others inside of myself. I practice these ideals daily.
I am resentful, but I respond instead of reacting.
I am dishonest, but I tell on myself and find the truth.
I am selfish, but I put the needs of others before my own.
I am afraid, but I walk with courage and faith.
I continue to move towards being a better person. I do my best each day. That is all you ever asked of me and that is what I will keep doing.
I wish your grandchildren could see the man I love and admire. I am resolved to be the best example of that man, a person who would make you proud to have help usher into this world.