Written on January 09th, 2007 by Shawn Anthony
Son - This letter will always be here for you to find it, wherever you may be. It will be accessible from any place in this not-so-small world of ours. I am pretty confident that when you are older Internet accessibility will not even be an issue. So, you’ll probably be able to find this letter. Pull it up and read it whenever you feel the need.
Always know you are loved. You are loved more than anything could be loved. The statement seems paradoxical, perhaps even impossible, but you’ll understand it some day, if you don’t already. I bet you do …
We started off this journey of ours pretty rough. You came to us with emergency lights flashing. We were terrified with thoughts that we might lose you. You managed to beat it though. You made it. Thank God you did. I’m positive life would not have been the same without you.
You were a fighter from the start, even before you were born. Life tried to take you before you could even get a grip on it. It failed; you succeeded. Never lose that quality son. Use it wisely and compassionately.
You jumped more than your fair share of life’s hurdles - before you were eight years old. You cleared them all buddy! You know you did! You were incredibly resilient even before you were ten. Don’t lose that quality either, son. You’ll need it in this world. Use it wisely and compassionately.
You always loved our houses, cars, and pets, not because of what they materially represented, but because they were ours. You wept profusely when we got rid of the old red Ford Taurus in late 2003. You would have rather taken it home and left the shiny new Accord in the parking lot where you thought it belonged. You loved our old stuff because it was familiar. There’s nothing wrong with that son. Hold onto those things in your life that give you stability. Change, for the hell of it, isn’t change. It’s restlessness. Don’t be unwisely restless. It isn’t necessary and only causes more restlessness. Only change when change is required; otherwise, hold onto the stable things in your life. You always seemed to do just that … which is very good. You’ll find yourself depending upon that quality as this world shifts beneath your feet. Use it wisely and compassionately.
You always were athletic. Keep your mind, spirit, and body healthy son. Don’t wait until you are forty-five years old to start worrying about your health and spirit. Begin in your mid-twenties and never stop. Forty-five is too late. Be wise and prepare for forty-five when you are young enough to do so. Exercise, meditate, and stay out of fast-food joints. Remember, I know how much you love going to restaurants. Go! Have fun! But be conscious of life’s balance. Use it wisely and compassionately.
You never really cared too much for reading when you were in K-3 (the time of this writing). I do hope you have reconsidered and will for your lifetime be a fan of literature of all sorts. You better get used to books, son. You getting my entire collection someday. You better not get rid of them either … ever. They stay in the family. Build an addition onto the side of your house, if need be. Read son, a lot. Books are full of knowledge, you’ll need as much as you can get to make it in this world. Use it wisely and compassionately
Son, don’t worry too awfully much about being totally prepared for love, marriage, children, and life. Life simply happens. When we let it simply happen it is refreshing, sustaining, and perpetually new. I imagine you’ll be comparing most of your future girl-friends to your mother. That’s good, really good. Stay away from shallow, materialistic, women who demand brands or commercial logos on their clothing. They are pretty much useless when real life kicks in - and real life always kicks in, trust me.
Look for a life partner, not a woman over whom you can dominate, but a woman with whom you can authentically share health and sickness, joy and sorrow, success and failure, wealth and poverty, life and death. Look for a wife who’s idea of a good Friday night would be cheese and crackers and a few home movies. When you find her be sure to wine and dine her, with much respect. Treat her right son, love, cherish and respect her.
Also, don’t make your work your whole life. Learn how to play. Learn how to invite your family into your personal play-time. You know how to play right now. You do it naturally. As you get older responsibilities will steal most of this natural ability away from you. Try to put some of it back, at least enough to break up the monotony work and adulthood can so often become.
Son, make the holidays in your house events your own children will never forget. We tried to do that for you, you guys loved it. Give your own children memories they will forever be able to taste, smell, touch, visualize, and long for deeply when they grow older. You can do it! You are creative beyond belief! All the artwork you brought home from school confirms it. Use your creativity; pass it along. Make a lifetime of memories!
Finally, son, I just want to say: “I am who I am because of what YOU taught me. You have probably taught me way more than I taught you. Thank you.”
I remember looking at you, when you were just a few days old, wondering how I could pull off raising a son without doing too much damage. I don’t think I did too bad a job so far. We have made it to this point with a relatively minimal amount of damage. We still have all those rough teen years of yours ahead of us. There may be a bit of trouble waiting for us there, but don’t be too awfully hard on me. I’m just a human being, like you. Just realize that we still have a journey ahead of us, and I promise to do my very best for you. Save your final judgment until later son. When you are my age, and have a few kids of your own. Judge me then. You really have to be a father yourself to fully understand what I’m doing. I think you’ll be pleased when you fully understand.
Hang tight to the Gospel of Christ,