His father died of cancer at the young age of twenty-seven. But the letters he left behind are a beautiful testament to how someone can live on even after they’re gone.
With a shoebox under her arm, a nurse came by to comfort me. The box was full of sealed envelopes, with sentences where the address should be. I couldnt understand exactly what was going on. The nurse then handed me a letter. The only letter that was out of the box.
Your dad asked me to give you this letter. He spent the whole week writing these, and he wants you read it. Be strong. the nurse said, holding me.
The envelope read WHEN IM GONE. I opened it.
If youre reading this, Im dead. Im sorry. I knew I was going to die.
I didnt want to tell you what was going to happen, I didnt want to see you crying. Well, it looks like Ive made it. I think that a man whos about to die has the right to act a little bit selfish.
Well, as you can see, I still have a lot to teach you. After all, you dont know crap about anything. So I wrote these letters for you. You must not open them before the right moment, OK? This is our deal.
I love you. Take care of your mom. Youre the man of the house now.
PS: I didnt write letters to your mom. Shes got my car.
It didnt take long before I read WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY.
Dont worry, it gets better with time. It always sucks the first time. Mine happened with an ugly womanwho was also a prostitute.
My biggest fear is that youd ask your mother what virginity is after reading whats on the letter. Or even worse, reading what I just wrote without knowing what jerking off is (you know what it is, right?). But thats none of my business.
WHEN YOU GET MARRIED made me feel very emotional. But not so much as WHEN YOU BECOME A FATHER.
Now youll understand what real love is, son. Youll realize how much you love her, but real love is something youll feel for this little thing over there. I dont know if its a boy or a girl. Im just a corpse, Im not a fortune teller.
Have fun. Its a great thing. Time is gonna fly now, so make sure youll be around. Never miss a moment, they never come back. Change diapers, bathe the baby, be a role model to this child. I think you have what it takes to be an amazing father, just like me.
Now that I am lying on a hospital bed, with tubes in my nose and my throat thanks to this damn cancer, I run my fingers on the faded paper of the only letter I didnt open. The sentence WHEN YOUR TIME COMES is barely visible on the envelope.
I dont want to open it. Im scared. I dont want to believe that my time is near. Its a matter of hope, you know? No one believes theyre gonna die.
I take a deep breath, opening the envelope.
Hello, son. I hope youre an old man now.
You know, this letter was the easiest to write, and the first I wrote. It was the letter that set me free from the pain of losing you. I think your mind becomes clearer when youre this close to the end. Its easier to talk about it.
In my last days here I thought about the life I had. I had a brief life, but a very happy one. I was your father and the husband of your mother. What else could I ask for? It gave me peace of mind. Now you do the same.
My advice for you: you dont have to be afraid
PS: I miss you