The doctors almost lost me on the operating table. I remember this because you told me. I remember that it was difficult for me to swallow food. I know there were things that I did that were difficult for you to swallow. I know I said things to hurt you, and I remember the tears building in your eyes, but you never cried in front of me.
I know that it scared you when the truck ran me over and when my face was smashed with a baseball bat. I know you were angry when kids stole my lunch money and broke my things and beat me up at the bus stop. I know you wanted me to be tougher.
I know you’ve prayed for me, even when I didn’t want you to. I know you’ve trembled at night with the thoughts that a part of you was bad. I know it was hard for you to love me when I tried so hard to make you hate me. You sat in courtrooms for me. One year, on this day, when I was supposed to spend the day with you, I called you from jail. I know that despite all of these things, you kept your faith in me.
I know that my tattoos bother you, and you wonder where some of my scars came from. I know you fought when someone hurt me. I know you tried to protect me from broken promises.
You gave me life, vision, and the courage to conquer myself. You gave me a heartbeat, forgiveness, and the ability to recognize my faults. I know you sacrificed for me, even when I didn’t deserve it simply because I was your son. I know you have spent more than half of your life trying to show me that you love me. I know that I need more than this lifetime to show you how much I appreciate you.