I was told that I’m not allowed to offer family advice.
Twenty years gone but I made it out alive.
Let me tell you why you’re wrong, because you are.
what it’s like to hold bitterness
what it feels like to reject those who love me
what holidays, loneliness, and anger tastes like
what Christmas morning looks like without oranges
what Thanksgiving is like without mincemeat pie
what birthdays feel like without shared history seeping
what anguish unsupported loss endures
what it took to wake me up (although I’m sure you think it was you)
what I had to realize before I could bolster my courage
what it is to ask forgiveness for being a fool
to walk into the unknown with hat in hand
to step cautiously to the edge of the cliff and
how much damage I’ve done but not to the extent
what rebuilding a bridge with still smoldering lumber is like
that sometimes bitterness takes the form of pride
that abuses of history, privilege, and birthright exist
that time goes faster than a blink
that it’s far later than you’d think
right now, (not that you’ll read this) you’re lost
you blame me for not having money, not loving him, but
most of all for loving you and not choking on your pride.
You are so far in the darkness that the light feels like an insult
I love you despite yourself.
I’ll still be here when you’re ready.
I made my six year old vow to always be there for you,
you didn’t and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t and didn’t for him
you won’t believe me.
I’m okay with that.
you need to return home before you’re too afraid to come back
you’re a better man than you’ve become
I believe in you even if I don’t understand why you chose this way.
I KNOW. I see. I LOVE you anyway.