Letters From a Son

I have never been so sure how time moves so quickly between now and then. Yesterday piles up, one after another and somehow, here we are, exactly two years away from the last time I saw you.
We were so different then from the spirits we are today. You became you and left to exist in a different way. And me, I took steps to become the “Me” I’ve always wanted to be.
It’s strange though. It’s strange how we see ourselves while alive and in the flesh. And it’s hard sometimes too.

It’s hard because I suffer from this thing they call “Imposterism,” and what that means is I somehow feel like we’re always the imposter.
Take now for example. I have people turning to me Mom. And they’re asking me for help. They want me to talk with them and they ask me to be this person, which I’m not sure that I am, and yet somehow people tell me, “Yeah, this is you.”

Usually when this happens, I would call you. I would either be on my way to or from a job and you would tell me something like, “They’re right. That is you.”
And I would roll my eyes afterwards because in my head, you’re a mom and moms are supposed to say things like this.

I’ve been meeting with different mothers who went through so much with their children. I see what they go through and then I see a different side of what you went through with me.
Now I understand more about your frustration. I never knew what you went through and I never knew much about the sacrifices you made. I never knew about the rejection you felt because of the choices I made and I never knew how much this hurt you.
I was blind then and I talk about this blindness often, which makes people think I know something special.
But I don’t. I just know me and i suppose this is special enough.
I know when people are upset. I certainly knew when you were upset. I knew that you always wondered why things happened the way they did or why I behaved like I did. Why was I so distant? Why was I so angry? So lost?
Why was I so unable to express myself? And as hard as this was on me, it was equally hard on you because somewhere inside, you thought this was entirely your fault.
But it wasn’t.

I’ve been given the chance to express myself. I’ve been allowed to speak and tell my thoughts on my process in life. And because of this, I’ve been moved into a position that is new to me. It’s something to be proud of; however, this is also something that makes me look around and wonder, “Are they sure they mean me?”

Usually when this happens, I would call you while either heading to or from a job and you would tell me, “Yes. That is you.”
You would tell me, “You can do this, son.”
You would tell me, “Don’t be afraid.”
Then you would say five simple words that every son needs to hear. You would tell me, “I believe in you son,” and I may have smirked this off a few times; I may have seemed like I never listened when you told me this—but I did. Believe me, I did.

As a Mom, we kids think that you are contractually obligated to say these things to us. You have to tell us, “I love you.”
You have to be our biggest cheerleader. You have to tell us how we’re your favorite, you’re proud, and that we’re capable of anything. And potential, that’s it. You always told me I have a lot of potential.
And I guess as kids, we all roll our eyes when moms say things like this. I guess we take these things for granted because a time comes when we don’t hear them anymore.  I can tell you this much — I could sure use to hear these things now.

I really could.

So I’ve been asked to be me in the public eye. And what that means is I’ve been asked to sit in on panels and in conferences. I was on T.V. the other week. As a matter of fact, I was on the front page of the newspaper. And these are cool things. It’s exciting; I can say that for sure. But it’s strange as well
I don’t mind being me or telling people about my story. This is easy but the compliments distract me and the spotlight is uncomfortable.

Anyways, I’ve been trying hard, studying, and working on a new trick. Hopefully, figure out a way to pull it off.
I love you Mom. It’s hard to believe you died two years ago today. It’s strange because time moves so fast. Yesterday adds up and piles one on top of the other.

I miss you

Your son

Ben

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