Phoenix Blood

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but I needed to write it regardless. I love you, son. I hope with everything that I am, that you never have to endure the pain and hardship that I have. I’m not naive, I know that you will have your own cross to bear as you grow but the particular demons that have chased your father must stay with me.

I’m flawed, son. I’m flawed and scarred, and I’m not sure in what state I’ll emerge from this inferno. I’ve been burned and branded. These are hard days and long nights. I miss you. I miss your mom. She was my best friend and I lost her.

I spend much of my time alone and in so many ways the things I’ve always feared are the things that I’ve become. Still, I push myself to be better. I refuse to quit because despite this agony of loss and flirtation with self-destruction I still find beauty in this life. I still believe that it’s a life worth living and that will hold true even if I have to shoulder this burden until my dying day.

I draw courage from a lot of sources none greater than you, son. Your eyes shine with a joyful innocence and your smile is a singular ray of hope to which even the most perfect dark must bow. You’re my boy and I’m your father. And just like my dad has persevered through a whole host of ugliness, so too will I — flaws and all.

Enemies have marshaled against me. Sometimes, I catch a wisp of them out of the corner of my eye. They attack when I sleep. I’m assaulted by memories that haunt me, tormented by unanswered questions. They’re a cruel and heartless breed, son.

But just today, a friend told me that I was the brightest diamond in the dirtiest rough. To be that for somebody is powerful. Something of that nature cannot be faked or bought, it’s innate, it’s fundamental to who you are. It’s evidence of an indomitable kindness, it’s a light when all others lights have gone out. And that’s our secret weapon, son — a weapon the shadow cannot comprehend. I may burn in his fire but it’s only to rise from the ash.

We have phoenix blood, son.

We rise.

So remember, when you miss me that I am forever in your heart and you in mine. I carry you with me everywhere I go, my boy. You make me a better person. I will return to you no matter the cost, no matter the distance, no matter the time.

I adore you, son.

Always.

Always, always.

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