jlodle11 submitted a contest entry to Write a letter to someone who inspired you 10 months, 1 week ago
A letter to the person that has inspired me the most
You have no idea what you have done. I cannot begin to describe the significance that your actions have had on myself, as well as my life. As a child, I vividly remember how you were there for me any time necessary. Every time I wrecked my bicycle, you were there. You would pick me up off the hard, extremely coarse pavement and dust me off. You would spin me around as you scanned my entire body for damages done, and signs of hurt. Once you finished your assessments (regardless as to how intensely I would be crying) of my damages, you would pick my chin up, look me dead in the eyes and assure me of the fact that I would be okay. Although during those times, my body would ache tremendously, and bleed profusely, I would gain a sudden confidence in myself, because of your words. I knew (even at that young age) that you always meant what you said. Truth always formed in your heart and traveled through you until it’s departure from your lips. To this day, I still don’t know if you’ll quite understand just how much that means to me. No matter how I articulate it to you.
In my early years, you were very stern, however now that I have two sons of my own years later, I know now that your sternness comes from a place of love. It takes more courage and strength to do or say what is necessary as a parent, as opposed to letting a child do or say what they want. This is how you taught me many things. In doing so, you taught me the difference between right and wrong. You did the absolute best you could in ensuring that you instilled manners in me. It worked. I recall being roughly five years old, walking inside of our town Wal-Mart around Christmas time. The man dressed as Santa Clause offered a piece of candy to me. I happily took his offering and responded to him with a “thank you”. We made it roughly ten paces from him as we walked into the various aisles of the store when you took the time to tell me “Thank you, for saying thank you to him”. Your compliment was a reward in my eyes for communicating my appreciation to the man for his offering of candy. This is something that has stuck with me forever.
You were a police officer for ten years. During that time, you remained humble, as well as kept an altruistic nature in your serving of the public. You were genuinely there to help people, and you did just that. You did so with the honest intentions of helping whenever, and wherever needed. Any time we were in a group setting, your presence was welcomed, and respected by the others. They would look to you for advice on any given subject. During conversations, they patiently and understandingly awaited your responses.
When you would take me to your weightlifting sessions with your fellow officers, you kept a positive attitude. You would all laugh and encourage each other to do more. You would all talk about things and laugh deeply. You weren’t the biggest or the strongest of the lot, however you were still able to lift the same amount of weight with ease. I remember listening to the music you would play over the stereo in the field house weight room, while you all strengthened your minds and bodies. I remember singing along to “Fly” by Sugar Ray while you all took turns bench pressing at least two hundred and twenty-five pounds.
You took me everywhere with you. whether it be a trip to the local convenience store, or for a peaceful trip to the lake to do some fishing. Regardless of the destination, the memories made on the journeys have stuck within me throughout all these years. I like to believe there’s a good reason for this. We listened to music everywhere we went. We would sing along to our favorite songs, while flying down the highway at all hours of the day or night. Sometimes to the scene of a crime in your police care, sometimes to grab a new video game from the local store in your Chevy s-10. Either way, we jammed. Always.
Alongside these core values you instilled in me, are also some of the best memories I behold. These core beliefs and memories, in conjunction with my imagination, have had a tremendous impact on the person I’ve become today. I spent many years making bad choices. I felt the weight of the consequences (I would say more-so than your average person) every time. I would hear your voice saying things to me. This also occurred through-out the duration of my addiction. Most people get high and feel like God himself. Not me. I felt miserable. Shameful. Guilty. For years.
Now that I’m sober, I still hear your voice sometimes. Whether it be while debating on which choice to make, or when I experience something that reminds me of you, and your loving spirit. I will admit that I hear it less and less, seeing as how I’m now able to make choices that are good for me, as well as those around me, hence the lessoning amount and frequency of your guiding words in my mind. I believe it’s because you taught me which kinds of choices I should make, and for a long time I didn’t make those choices. Now I am.
I’m now bettering myself in every way that I’m capable of doing so. I’m now working on things that bring me peace. I’m now working on things for a reason much bigger, and greater than myself. I’m now able to give and show love to others. For so long I wasn’t truly able to that, due to the battle that was going on within me. My want to give and show love to others was always in me, and I tried to do so, I was unable to properly actualize doing it. Things are much better now for me, and to be honest, my circumstances as a whole are not considered “great” by any means. However, the values and virtues within me are now able to externalize themselves as kind acts for others, regardless of the amount of adversity I currently face daily, as I continue trying to make a better life for myself simultaneously.
I’m now able to face my problems with a level, clear head effectively. I take pride in that. Although I am starting fresh in the opportunity that I’ve been given, and I can’t help but to feel beyond grateful for these bold, love encompassed choices I now make. You taught me everything I needed to know about how to successfully navigate these open waters that I call life. I know I wasn’t an easy child to raise by any means (nor was I the most compliant of adults) yet you consistently did and said what you believed was necessary, and I’m here today to tell you that it paid off. I find myself becoming more like you day by day. I used to despise that fact (especially when others would point out the obvious similarities we share) that we were a lot alike, however I’m now grateful beyond belief. I have you to thank for that.
I’m not sure that you’ll ever read this, and that’s okay. You don’t need to, because I know that my actions have been, and will continue to ring true of my words in this arrangement, and you will see for yourself. I look forward to that day. You didn’t just positively impact my life, you laid the foundational values and virtues by which I would ultimately live my life by. Again, I am beyond grateful to say that to me, you are the one person in this universe that inspired me the most, Dad.
Voting starts May 16, 2023 12:00am