I don’t know how old you are now while you read this.
I want you to read this letter when I have left my body and moved on.
I’m writing to you as you sit next to me on the plane on our way to our first Chattanooga/Florida trip. Chloe and Ella, you are playing on the iPad and Phoebe you are sleeping. You are 9, 7 and nearly 2.
I started this blog in September 2012. I had never been good at keeping baby books or journals and for whatever reason I found the on-line journalling or blogging came more natural to me. Part of why I blog is to have a record for you about what it was like from my standpoint to raise you and to record some special memories for you to keep and look back upon if you ever have the desire to do so.
I guess it’s a little odd that I also shared these memories with the public and I hope you are ok with that. I’ve been told when I write my more personal essays and posts they help other people who may be experiencing similar situations. The stories give them comfort in knowing they are not alone. The value of community in raising a family and getting through life cannot be overstated.
It is my deepest hope that we get to have a long life together.
I’m 35 right now.
Here are some things I’ve learned so far in life I want you to know:
- Be nice. It gets you way further than being mean.
- Let go of toxic people. Just because you’re nice doesn’t mean it’s ok for people to be mean to you. If you find someone makes you feel bad after you’re with them, limit your contact. It’s not worth it.
- Don’t do drugs. I have seen drugs destroy lives and mess up the thinking process of hundreds of men and women through my work. Just don’t.
- Try smoking if you must, but it’s a vile disgusting habit. I smoked for a year like a chimney.
- If you like a boy, go for it, but if he doesn’t like you back get over it. I wasted many years liking boys who didn’t like me back. Then I found your dad. He liked me back.
- Helping and serving others is more important than your immediate needs. I have gained more joy from helping other people than anything else in my life.
- Don’t pick at your skin. I have so many scars from doing that. Leave it alone. Get a gentle cleanser and by the time you hit 20 all the acne will be gone.
- Learn how to read and write well. Command of language and the written word is vital. Please work hard at that. The world is tough for people who cannot communicate.
- Don’t ever let the world make you think you are all alone. You are not. There are so many good people in this world who work continuously to help their fellows and who will be there for you when you need them.
I’m sure there are so many other little things I will try to teach you over the years and my wish is that I am there to share our lives together and learn from each other well into our older years. But if I am not, I want you to know how very much all three of you are loved by me.
You are my world and I value the time we have spent together so very much.
p.s. Phoebe, you took this picture of me one day walking back from the grocery store.