There was a time in my life when I thought to myself, “I am not scared of Death… I am scared of living long enough to lose everyone around me”. After having kids your perspective on life changes… a lot. Now I am scared of missing out on the opportunity to see the milestones of my children, and the opportunity to pass down lessons, guidance, and love. In the event that this life should ever have another plan for me, I decided to write this letter to my son.
Life is unpredictable. No one really knows how many years, days, or hours they have left. Most people just go along as if their time here is infinite, until someone or something forces them to wake up. I hope that I will be able to teach you everything I know, and pass down lessons and advice that have been given to me… but who knows if this life will give me the opportunity or enough time to do so. On the off chance that time slips through my fingers here are some things I want you to remember:
- You are loved… more than you know. You are loved by people here and no longer with us. Don’t ever think otherwise.
- Family is #1. Put nothing over family in your life. Work exists to make some money to provide a roof and food, but work and money cannot love you.
- Don’t stop smiling and laughing. The world is a reflection of your attitude and outlook. Keep everyone around you laughing…someone has to.
- Always keep your head up. You direct your life with your eyes… look up and you will continue to drive yourself forward, look down and you will drive yourself into the ground.
- You are not alone. No matter what life drags you through, no matter how alone you feel, there is someone else going through the same or worse. Things will get better.
- Not everyone wins. No matter what society teaches kids these days, not everyone wins…but everyone loses. Learn to lose with grace and win the same way.
- Dream bigger. Don’t let anyone make you downsize your dreams.
- Reach out to someone who needs help. You will appreciate someone doing the same for you if you ever need it (even though you come from a family too proud to accept any help).
- No one person is better than another. No matter where life brings you, remember no one is better than you and you should not act like you are better than anyone else.
- Don’t ever lay down and give up. You come from a long line of hard headed men and women who don’t know what it means to give up. Do us proud.
- Be a gentleman. Treat the women in your life with the same respect you treat your mother.
- Embrace different views. Let people have different opinions from you. Do not try to quiet them, try to listen to them and understand. You don’t have to agree with them. If we all thought the same way this would be a boring life.
- Don’t let hate into your heart. There are people in this world who try to spread hate. Love everyone and accept everyone.
- Take time to reflect. You are on a journey. Understand how you got to where you are, and uncover lessons to help you as you continue forward.
- Most importantly: You were born into a crazy family… embrace the crazy.