An open letter to my dad...
Today is your birthday, and I could not be more excited for you! You are (something) years old, and today is a day to celebrate. There are many things that I could say on a day like today, and all those words together would not be enough to equate how proud I am to be your son. I have seen you at your best, and even at your worst, and no matter what, you have been everything that I could hope for in my father. You have corrected me when I didn’t want it, you have supported me quietly throughout the years, and you have done everything in your power to make my life worthwhile. I find it interesting at times how you think that my life is so much better than yours. It is that “be a better version of me” complex, I think. If I am honest, I don’t think that I can be. There are many things about us that we share. We are both funny (I think), we love on people, we will fight for the ones that we love, and we have an interesting way of reading the people around us. With that, I know that you know me. You know everything about me. My successes and my failures, my strengths and weaknesses, flaws and all, you love me the same. Although you rarely say it, your actions speak to the love that you have for me. You have been the rock in this family for all of my life, and for that, I am truly grateful. There have been times where you have put yourself to the side for the sake of someone else, and for that I have an example. You are the man that I want to be. You are the man that I aspire to be. You are the man that I look up to, and will always try to be. You are a man that has taken on a lot in your life, but you have been true to not let that ever take you over. That is something that I am trying to learn myself. My 20s have not been the most perfect, and I have had my share of pitfalls, but learning to continue to move on in spite of what may be going on around me is something that I am learning from you. Life is a constant movement, and it never stops for us to sit and complain. Instead, we find solutions. Fix things. You have been there to fix things. You have been a loving husband to my mother, and loved her unconditionally. When we picked up and moved (at what seemed like the middle of the night), you worked to make sure that our lives were taken care of. Never taking us for granted, you strived to give your wife and kids normalcy in a foreign place. If that meant driving home to Portsmouth whenever we needed to (which you still do to this day), to assuring that my mother felt loved in a strange place, to being the friend that she needed you to be until she found friends in Lynchburg, these are all things that I remember growing up. I remember the tough times, and how with tears in your eyes sometimes you would persevere through. I can’t say that I would have handled it the same, but that’s what makes you such an example to have.
I remember hating my name growing up. I would never tell people what my name was, I was always just “B.A.”. I wasn’t sure why this was, but I wouldn’t. As I grew up, I didn’t have to worry about it as much, because people only knew me one way. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I thought about it, and really tried to figure out what it was that made me hate it so. I hated it because I hated being in the same sentence as someone that I didn't think I could ever live up to. I knew that being a “Jr.” comes with it a responsibility, and I fail at it miserably. Daily I make mistakes, and with that, I think about what you would do. It just comes with the territory. I have realized that I will never be the person you are, and until recent years, it made me miserable. Not anymore. I am finding my own way. I am striving to make decisions that will never tarnish this name that I am now so very proud to carry. So here I am, Bernard Alvin Scott, Jr., son of the great Bernard Alvin Scott, Sr. Seeing you at my show last week made me so nervous, but I cried after because having you in the crowd cheering me on is something that I have always wanted. Your support means the world to me. I can’t way for the day that you get to hear me preach. I never wanted to do ministry, but when you are called to something, there is no need to fight it. Mr. Got To Tell It has a successor haha. All this to say, I love you pop, and I hope your birthday is amazing. I am proud to be your kid, man.
As you say so often, that’s all I got.
B.A. Scott, Jr.