Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Letters to my son

Dear Son,
I’ve been thinking about buying a journal where I can write to you. Then I thought about using my blog to do that because it will be (hopefully) still there when I am gone. I’ve written journals before. I’m sure you’ll find them someday. I’m not much good at writing for the public anyway. And there is so much I want to tell you and I’m afraid I won’t remember everything or I’ll be caught up in some other event that causes me to not tell you all the things I want you to know. So really, you don’t have to know them at all, it’s not like you have to study this and take a test. Take what makes sense to you and keep it in your heart, pass other things on if you want, discard what doesn’t resonate with who you are. Be who you are … maybe that’s what all this is about. I want you to be the person you are meant to be not a clone of me or anyone else.
You know, it’s a bit chilly today. We are living in New York now. I had wanted to move back to New Mexico from South Carolina and had everything planned to do so, right up to three days before the moving van was to arrive. Then the company that served me so well exploded, the investors pulled out, there was no money to pay anyone and I was left with no work. I made the split second decision to turn the truck around and head to New York where we have family. Thankfully, the owner of the moving company is an old friend from high school.
After arriving here, I was so unhappy that I could not be where I wanted to be. Others, in their way, wanted to advise and guide and know and insist which caused more unhappiness. That manifested itself as sadness, seclusion from others and sometimes arguments with the very people who meant well. Part of that is because I am happy to run my own life. I can’t abide trying to live like someone else just ‘cause they think it’s best for me. You can only do what your heart and mind tells you is best for you. Nothing good ever comes of wearing someone else's boots. I’ve always been my own person and I hope you will be too.
There’s a lot that my family doesn’t know about me and perhaps I like it that way. Some because I’ve lived away from them since I graduated college, going on 30 years now. Maybe that’s what causes the divide. There’s also a lot they don’t know because they chose not to know and because their egos can be as big as a harvest moon. There was a time when I wanted them to know everything about me but that stopped when I was around the age you are now. That event helped to mold the person I became but that is not important to anyone but me, nor can I define it as either good or bad, it just is. I know it drives you a bit mad when I do not buy into their perspective but there is much you do not know nor do you need to know now, maybe in time.
For the first time in my life son, I’m struggling. Some would say I’ve struggled through two divorces and some hard financial times but really that is nothing compared to this struggle. I’ve always bounced back, been resilient. I’ve been proud of those qualities and they have served me well. This struggle though … this is my struggle to strike a balance between what is the right for you and what is right for me. I’m sure it will be a while before I figure the lay of the land and probably will pen many more letters to my son. You’re all I’ve got boy. Chances are you won’t read these letters until you are much older and maybe you’ll never read them at all.
I do the best I can as a parent alone and I’m proud of the man you are becoming. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. Then again, I’m sure God saw I was going to be alone so I was given a very special person … you. Keep on doing your best, look up at the stars and visualize your dreams, see them, touch them in your mind and make them your reality. When I was a teenager I came across a poem that I had printed up, framed and put on my wall. Over the years and with many moves, that print has been long lost but not the poem by Rudyard Kipling.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
You know son, ideas, thoughts and philosophies held for many years by people can change over time. Perhaps they just evolve. The ideas held in Kipling's poem have never changed for me but many other thoughts have. The first part of my life was certainly different from the second part and both of those appear to be different than what this new stage of my life will be like. The way I think is changing some and I guess that’s OK. However, my world view is essentially the same. I don’t think that ever changes. What you think is perfect now for you may not be in 5 or 10 years but the convictions you have … your world view will always be your own. Go with the flow son, don’t fight change, evolve but evolve with conviction. Henry David Thoreau said, “If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.”
There is still a lot of music in my heart … I have so much more to give and I have more to say but I’ll stop here for now. Just know at this moment in time I am overflowing with love and pride for you…that funny, sweet kid of mine.
Love ya’
Mom
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2 comments:

  1. that was just beautiful....ur an awesome mother and friend:) i think writing here to him and yourself is the perfect thing to do. Don't stop. I love it:)

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