To my Guardian--whomever and wherever you may be:
Despite the thoughts that have crossed my mind, the tears of gratitude that have traced my cheeks, and the numerous times I've uttered "thank you" under my sobbing breath, I feel I've never properly thanked you for your presence or anything you've done for me. We may sense each other, but mutual understanding is nothing compared to when one approaches another and spills his heart on his own accord. Words have always been my specialty, and words I believe are the only way I can convey just how strong my feelings are.
I was young, naïve, but you made the best of my innocence. You graced me with a friend that the rest of the world felt I didn't deserve, a boy who protected me until I found my own strength, who opened his ears to my woes and his shoulders to my tearful face. I have a brother (whom I love), but you gave me a brother with whom I can bond, something I could never achieve with the former. You gave me a way to stay standing, despite everything that was being thrown at me, so I could continue down that treacherous path toward enlightenment that you so desperately urged me to follow. Then, when things became complicated, you helped me maintain that brother- and sisterhood.
At least, I think you're the reason behind my best friend. I suppose no one will know for sure. None of us--not he, not I, neither of our families--recall the origin of our friendship. I can only assume it involved your influence.
As I grew older and a little more aware, you slowly made yourself more and more apparent to me. I began to sense your presence and your influence, your feelings about the choices I made. (I like to think I never made terrible choices, but I also know that children don't have filters. Oh, well. I'll take a clumsy mouth over drugs and alcohol any day.) The bullies went away and were replaced by a rainbow of different personalities. I went from knowing no one to everyone: people of different genders, sexualities, belief systems...some to which I could relate and some that needed thought to grasp. However, the lessons you taught me in my early youth put knowledge under my belt that many of my peers seemed to lack in adolescence, and I knew to accept them regardless of their identities and of how they received mine.
You've given and taught me so much more that I can't detail, but these are the big things.
So, here I say thank you: for your patience, for your wisdom, for your generosity and compassion. Thank you for all the gifts you've given me and all the lessons you've taught me. Thank you for every part of my life, whether good or bad, that's been touched by your influence. It's because of you that I open my arms to struggle and hardship and embrace everything as either a blessing to be cherished or a lesson to be learned. I look forward to what you have in store for me in the years to come.
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