(Aspiring) Author, Travis Weston

Hoping To Drop The (Aspiring) Soon Enough

Archive for the category “To You”

To You – The Last Letter (Letter #7)

To You,

I don’t know what today is, but I’m betting it’s a happy one. I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re doing this, I’m sure you’re old enough. What I do know is that you might be thinking of me today. If you are, know that I’m standing beside you, hand on your shoulder, hoping for you to be happy. This is your day, and I want you to make the best of it, because if you are my son this will be the only time you ever do this.

Weddings aren’t for the woman, we just let them think that. You’ll look back on your wedding down the road, and you’ll remember how beautiful she looked in her dress, how much you wanted to run and kiss her right there in the aisle, how difficult it was to stand your ground and watch the most beautiful woman in the world coming towards you. And you’ll tear up every single time you do, because that’s what is supposed to happen. You’re supposed to get those emotions built up, you’re supposed to have those feelings of love, tenderness, and excitement whenever you think of your wife.

Make the most of this, my son, you’ve had a hard life, you have done many things that I never thought you would when we watched you in the hospital fighting cancer. But there you are, the answer to the prayers I made for God to take me instead. Just know that I am happy for you, and if it rains today, it is only because I cannot hold back my tears of joy to see my baby boy grown into such a man.

I love you.

Love,

Dad

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To You – Letter #6

January 23rd, 2007

 

To You,

You’re a man now. 20 years old. You’ve most likely graduated, and are in college now. If not, what the hell do you think you’re doing? I want more for you than I could have. I want you to get a degree. Make something of yourself. I don’t care what in, make it something you love, make it something you’ll enjoy doing for the rest of your life, but do it. Even if you never use the degree, at least  you’ll have the experience.

But don’t spend your entire life working. Find someone, skip class, take fewer hours at work, work enough to survive, but then do something with that life. You’ve been granted a gift, and you should make the most of it. God didn’t let you stay on this earth for nothing. You’re meant for great things.

I hope you see that.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #5

January 23rd, 2000

 

To You,

You’re my teenager now. Here I sit, my eyes closed, picturing you as a teenager, seeing you as no longer a boy, but a young man. I can’t imagine not being able to see you, I can’t imagine missing you. It happened way too soon, and I want to apologize for that. It was my fault, it was all my fault, and your mother was right the entire time. She knew my smoking would ruin our family. I should have listened to her.

I imagine by now she’s moved on, found someone else. I want you to know that whoever it is, no matter what you’re feeling towards him, give him a chance. It’s not easy stepping into the role of a father, I’ve been there, I know. I was horrible at it, and it’s even harder when the child is already grown. I’m gone, and she has every right to be happy. I want her to find someone she can love, someone to make her happy.

As I write these letters to you, it amuses me that here I am dieing, and you were the one with cancer. God granted me my wish. The wish I wished the first day we found out. The day I hit my knees, the day I prayed for us to switch places, for God to take me instead. I meant every word of that prayer, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love you, my son. I love you more than anything in this world, and you need to know that.

I may be dead, but that doesn’t mean I’m gone. I live forever for you in each of these letters, and in everything I ever told you. I live forever within the heart of your mother, and your own heart. Whenever you need me, just think of me, and I will be there.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #4

January 23rd, 1997

 

To You,

Your tenth birthday. I miss you. I wish I could hold you right now, hold you tight and tell you that everything will be fine, that you’re growing into such a stunning young man, that you’ve just hit double digits and you’re closer to being a teenager than you are to being a baby, but I can’t.

Death is an odd thing, it reaches in and pulls at your heart. It takes you whenever it feels like it, wherever it wants. It’s the only constant in a world of changes. Things change so rapidly, I don’t know what you’d be interested in, I don’t know what I would buy you, or what you would enjoy. You’re mother was always the better one for that. I was the disciplinarian. I guess that’s how you see me, the mean Dad, the guy yelling at you all the time.

That’s not how it was, though, that’s not it at all. The things I wish I’d let you know, the things I always wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t find the words to say them to you, or didn’t feel you could fully understand them even if I did say them. I regret it, but I do love you. That’s why I would watch you as you slept, watch you from the doorway as you lay on your bed, quietly breathing, peacefully. I wish I could see that more, but I can’t.

I love you.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #3

April 1st, 1994

To You,

What the hell were you thinking? You hadn’t had that gun more than 20 minutes and you go ahead and shoot the glass out of the damn window? God, sometimes I think you try to piss me off. I’m just glad we decided to go with the BB gun and not the .22 that I had original thought to get, though I suppose if we had this would have been avoided, since there’s no way in hell I’d have let you out of the house alone with a 22 caliber rifle.

I’m sorry, this letter isn’t meant to yell at you, but boy do you frustrate me sometimes, and I can’t hide that from you. You may never remember this day ever happened, but I will, and now you know about it. I want you to read these, I want you to know, so you can be prepared for the day that you have kids. If you do.

The doctor’s are saying that you’re remarkably healthy for a kid who’s had cancer twice now. I quit smoking, you might not remember that either, and we did try to hide it, but I really think your mother blamed me for your cancer, even though the doctor’s told her it wasn’t that kind of cancer. It’s just unlucky.

On the outside, you’re a healthy kid, and if you’re reading this now you must have survived it all, so look back with a smile on your face, and just tell the world “This is me, look what I have accomplished.”

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #2

October 31st, 1992

 

To You,

You were so adorable tonight in your Batman costume. I wanted the Ross Perot, but your mother didn’t think you’d like it. I’m guessing she was right, but hey, what do I know. I’m just “dad” right?

By the way, when I tell you not to get into your candy, I mean it. You thought I didn’t see, but I did, I just didn’t say anything. It’s for your safety, believe me, I know the temptation, I was a kid before. God, you’ve grown so much. Five years old already, nearly six. I can’t even believe it’s come this far.

Not sure why I decided to write tonight, I haven’t written in a long, long time. It’s been difficult these last few months, I lost my job, then you got sick. It wasn’t easy seeing you go through all of the pain of chemo, but thats what this entire Halloween was about. We got the green light, you’re in remission, the cancer is gone and we have our son back again. I missed these moments, but you’ve been smiling every day. For some reason your smiles made me hurt more than your crying, maybe because you, my little boy, were stronger than I was. You were going to be alright, and I was the one falling apart.

You’re sleeping now, laying right here beside me as I write this out. You’re so peaceful when you sleep. I should have taken you to bed hours ago, but when you came down from your sugar high, you cuddled up against me, and fell asleep, and I haven’t had the heart to carry you away. I will, but, maybe after just a little while longer.

 

Love,

Dad

To You – Letter #1

January 23rd, 1987

To You,

It was snowing when we woke up this morning to meet you for the first time. Your mother and I drove from our house to the hospital at 8 in the morning, and I’m not ashamed to admit I broke a few traffic laws on the way. As I told your mother, if they wanted to arrest me, they could do it in the parking lot. I wanted to meet you, wanted to hold you in my arms for the first time, see your little eyes, touch your hands. My son, my first child.

I just want you to know how much I love you, and I guess that’s what the letter is for, so you can be there at your birth, so the love that I’m feeling towards you can travel through space, through time, and through the many headaches and heartaches that time will dish out, and re-enter your heart in the future, to help you through all of these. I won’t be around forever, and I want you to have something of me to look back on, something for when the words I speak to you are fading away to your memory.

You were determined to come out today, and it didn’t take long for the doctor to get you out, though we did have to wait a little while before we could hold you. You couldn’t breath right. It’s ok, though, obviously you’re fine, but I have to admit I was afraid. I couldn’t imagine seeing you come into the world, fall in love with you, and then have you gone just like that.

I was the first to hold you, and I know growing up it may seem that I am a bad guy, or mean, or angry a lot, but I just want you to know, this moment, this day, that I love you, that I will always love you, and nothing will ever come in the way of that. Anything else is just to guide you to who I think you should be, who I know you can be, the best man you could possibly be. You are my son, and there’s nothing that can change that.

Love,

Dad

To You – A Serial

To You began as a challenge to myself to see if I could create a second-person narrative without it sounding horrible. This was in no small part due to reading in article on, again, Chuck Wendig’s excellent blog, Terrible Minds, titled 25 Things You Should Know About Narrative Point-Of-View, if you don’t already stalk his blog multiple times a day, you really should.

Anyway, when I was growing up, my mother would keep sporadic journals for each of us kids, my sister, my brother and I. Just recently I was given the journal she had written for me, and I read it in a single sitting. It was a trip down memory lane, and into areas of my mind that I’ve never been, places I couldn’t remember, but there I was, on paper, living those events. It’s as close to have amnesia as I hope to ever come, because it was most definitely a disturbing and unsettling event. That being said, I love that journal. It’s one of my most prized pieces of writing. I started, and failed to continue, one for my own children, though I may begin again.

It was this journal that gave me the idea for To You, a journal from father to son. It’s a short story, written entirely in second-person narrative, with the hopes that I don’t cause you the same discomfort as Mr. Wendig, who said it much better than I could:

To be honest, whenever I read a second-person narrative, I keep thinking in my head, “You are eaten by a grue.” Then I quit reading it because, y’know, grue. (Full Text)

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