However, I wanted to share with you something he told me the final time we spoke. He had been planning to leave a letter for myself and for my brother to read after he passed away, but due to a sudden turn for the worse, he was unable to write them: he delivered them instead face-to-face.
I will share with you but one sentence from his “last letter” to me:
“I know that there are some things you have been secretive about – and you have the right to be secretive – but you should know that your mother and I love you unconditionally; we always have, and we always will.”
The “secretive things” he was referring to was mainly my sexuality; both of my parents (and all of my friends) know that I am gay, but my extended family does not.
This one sentence, this one thought, touched me so deeply. Unconditional love is something that all children deserve from their parents, but which so many fail to receive. Love without exception, love without qualifier, love without prerequisite – that is the only type of love a parent must foster for his or her children.
My father, by the way, was a Republican, through and through. There was a lot we would disagree on when it came to politics. But my father was a good man: he believed in equality for all people, and that included in the institution of marriage. I remember several years ago, when Massachusetts was first legalizing gay marriage, my father told me he believed that gay marriage would be a reality, nation-wide, in 10 years. Who knows if the future will validate his prediction.
These were my father’s last words to me, his final confession to me: that he loved me unconditionally, regardless of any one aspect of my being. Would that we were all so fortunate to be given the boundless love that my father had for me.