By: Mike Nault
So 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:
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.
I 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.