Fathers and Sons

At seventy-three, there are things that I wish that I had said, and not a few that I wish I had not. The letter below is one I am glad I said. I found it during some recent early spring cleaning.

I trust that you will find in it a father’s love and admiration for the man his son was about to become.

August 28, 1990

Dear Son,

This is day one of what promises to be the most eventful year in your life. I know you are excited about new possibilities that await you at the end of this year. As you enter this year of significant changes to you as an individual and to our family, I wanted to put down in writing for you some of my thoughts about the future and reminisces about your past.

I remember seventeen years ago as if it were yesterday because it seems like yesterday. It seems impossible that I have leapt from age 26 to age 43 and that you are now ready to graduate from the high school I lead.

One of the pleasures of my professional life will have been to have my son graduate from the school I led during his high school years. Few professionals have this opportunity, and I am glad it came my way. Your performance has been exceptional. You have conducted yourself academically and personally in ways that bring such pride to me that it is beyond description.

When you were small, I used to walk quietly in your room and watch you sleep. I still do that now just to marvel that you are my son. The joy that you have brought me over the past seventeen years is beyond measure. And so, I wish you all the great things that a senior year should be. Enjoy every minute of it. Savor it, for it will not pass this way again. Few experiences in life are like a senior year because few times do we work two-thirds of our life at a single task.

Remember, you are what you think about. Stephen Covey writes that when we live out of our memory, we live out of our history.  However, when we live out of our imagination, we live out of our potential. Your potential is unlimited. Think positive thoughts and make them real, but always remember, I love you without reservation or condition. You are… THE BEST A DAD COULD HOPE FOR. 

Have a great year,

Dad

These days he lives in Atlanta with his family of five. We talk almost every day. Usually, it is about sports or the kids or my ailments or his. Some days we text voraciously and others we talk while one or the other of us are headed wherever sons or retired fathers head.

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