A Love Letter to My Son

By: Mike Nault

Mike and ShaneSo I was asked to write a letter. Not just any letter but a love letter to my son. I have struggled with this, not because I cannot write such a letter, but because I needed to decide who I was writing this letter to. Was I going to write a letter to the son I knew and watched being born and raised?  Or was I going to write a letter of love to the son that was sent back to me from Iraq? The son who was broken and never be the one I once knew? I decided to write to the son that was sent back from Iraq, for this is the son I now have had for the last 7 yrs. The other son will

not and cannot ever come home; he is gone forever. With that said here is my letter:

Shane in IraqDear Shane,

I want you to know how I feel. That is really not a guy thing to do. We got word that you, a 3rd generation Tanker, had been critically wounded the 8th of May 2007, by the 10th we are by your bed side. Your Mother can tell it’s you by your freckles, otherwise it is hard to tell. If I had known that the 6th of May would be the last time we would be able to carry on a conversation I never would have let you hang up. For the next 11 months you and I would fight to get you out of bed. Then we would continue to work, no words spoken, but we knew, and you have spoken volumes. I love you for the first words you spoke again, “I LOVE YOU MOM”.  I love you for the “F” bombs that told me you were being pushed to your limits, and yet the next day we would go again.

Shane with his MomI love you for staying strong when Mom got cancer and passed in April 2014.  I knew you were suffering and yet could not express it until the seizures came and for the next month you pushed to make sense of it all in your own way. I love you for laughing at my silly jokes and I love you for knowing when I am in deep despair over the loss of your Mom. The hugs that come from nowhere, the times when walking you to your chair, and you break into dance.  For this I love you.  I love you my only son for believing in your mission.  I love you for telling me at the ripe old age of 19 that you knew that your priorities in life were, “GOD, COUNTRY, AND FAMILY.”  I love you for being more of a man then I could ever be.  I love you for giving up your chance of a family. I love you because I know the type of Dad you could have and would have been. I am your caregiver 24/7 and I love you for having fought so hard and never giving up.  I love you for seeing even though you are blind.  I love you for your thoughts of kindness even thou you left your frontal lobes on the sands of Iraq.  I love you for the way you stand tall even though you are paralyzed from a stroke.  I love you for showing me what true inner strength is by walking with assistance even when they said you would never walk.  I love you for being here another Father’s Day. God blessed me with one son and I know he has blessed all who have come to know you. THANK YOU FOR BEING MY SON and Letting me have the HONOR and PRIVILEGE to be Your Father.

LOVE ALWAYS,

DAD

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11 Responses to A Love Letter to My Son

  1. Cheryl Walsh says:

    I have no words, only tears…

  2. Courtney Paul says:

    Beautiful letter dad. You couldn’t have said it any better. I know mom is a blubbering mess reading this up in Heaven. Love you and Shane tons!

  3. Lois says:

    This is indeed a tribute to Shane and it is also a true reflection of what a wonderful Dad Shane has.

  4. Jodi says:

    Mike, what wonderful words from a father to his son. You have a very special son and he has a very wonderful father. I can’t imagine the struggles you have all overcome learning to deal with the son, brother and uncle they sent home to you, but what I do know is he is so loved by everyone he had crossed paths with. I know this because of his sister and brother-in-law, the love they show when they talk about him, the smile his name brings to thier faces. May god bless you all as you carry on with the daily struggles you have with your son, the son you sent off to war and the same son they return to you, wonded but so deeply loved! From a loving Mother of a Navy Son! HUGS to you!

  5. Gail Ulness says:

    Very well written ,Mike. So true. Lori his mother loved Shane so much like we all do. YES she is crying in heaven. However she knows how well Shane is taken care of. Proud that Shane is a hero.

  6. Gail Ulness says:

    Nicely written. Mike. You said it all. Lori would be so happy.

  7. I’m very emotional right now before I even read this. But I cried from the moment you choose to write to the son you have now(post war).

    To me, it means you have grieved your son that you helped bring into this world. And you have learned to love this new son the war changed. You have accomplished what many have not been able to achieve. We long for who they once were. Many never realizing we must grieve the loss of who they were and then learn to love who they are now.
    I am glad you are part of WWC’s FB page & bring a different perspective to our group. I’m considering reading your article to my WW and then possibly to my WW Veterans participating in this weekend’s WW Catfish Grabbing event. Which happens to be on Father’s Day weekend. But I want to be able to read it aloud without tears or choking up or sniffling…it will be tough but I will try.

    Thank you for your article/letter,
    Kim

  8. Lee Silverman says:

    Mike,
    Just want you to know this is a great letter, I was moved. I served with your son in a different platoon same company. Please give him my best and yourself.
    Tanker Pride
    Sgt. Silverman

    • Michael Nault says:

      Thank You Sgt. Silverman for your Service and Sacrifice for this Great Country. I know that in my Letter I say that I have only one Son. I want you to know that we were Blessed to be able to make several visits to Ft. Bliss prior to your units departure to Iraq and feel that we were Blessed to Gain Many more Sons as did my Son who Gained Brothers. You and the Brothers he served with are all ways welcomed here and are and always will be part of this Family. God Bless
      Mike and Shane Nault

  9. Berti Ross says:

    I could hardly read this due to blurred vision from tears. Beautifully written Mike. Your entire family has been through so much and I salute you all.

  10. doodlebop123 says:

    Mike I admire you and your son. I am a wife and a caregiver to a wounded warrior. This was a beautiful testiment to your love an devotion to your wonderful son. Very well written and spoken from the heart. Thanks for sharing!

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