June 13, 2019

Letter To My Father

From Real Talk Always by Anthony P. Heard Jr.



You were born June 1, 1967 into a city that didn't like black men and yet, with the strength of your father Albert James Heard Sr. and your mother Betty Marie Irvin-Heard, they made sure you went to school and got your education. They provided you with every tool you needed to be successful in Chicago and, for the most part, you were.

Then the '80s hit, and drugs and gangs entered Chicago. They took every good black man down with them.

You gave birth to Angel Marie Heard, your only son Anthony Phillip Heard Jr., and your youngest daughter Antwanette D. Heard. You were able to marry your love and finish school, something that never happens in Chicago nowadays because every young black boy is dead in the streets.

With all that you did right in your young 23 years on this Earth, you made the fatal mistake of being a part of Chicago's most dangerous gang, becoming a high ranking member. You left the house that night of November 14, 1990 and never thought you weren't going to see your kids, your family, again. Yet someone else had another plan for you, and you were shot. Killed in front of the store you went to your entire life.

You left a confused son, not understanding why he didn't have a father. Who was forced to grow up in the late '80s and '90s in Chicago. I always held that against you and hated you for so long.

Now, as a grown man, I understand the struggle of life and what you went through growing up in the Windy City. I no longer hold you responsible and hate you for leaving me. Instead, I want to tell you happy 52nd birthday, and Happy Father's Day. I love you, Anthony Phillip Heard Sr. I'm proud to be your son.

We have no more room for hate. Now we must forgive and love. I try my best to cherish the little time I had with you and to keep those memories close, for I can't ever forget you. Every time I look into the mirror, I see you staring back at me.

I love you, Father.

From your only son,
Anthony Jr.

Written June 1, 2019


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