(This letter was originally written in January 2018)
I hope this letter finds you well and in great spirits. I just took you back to Dallas the other day and it was such a treat to have you for Christmas break.
This visit we stayed with Lauren and Eva in Lauren’s apartment. You and I shared Eva’s room for the week and Lauren and Eva stayed in Lauren’s room.
You’re growing up so fast and you’re so smart and beautiful that it makes my heart melt when I’m with you…which brings me to the topic of this letter.
I already hate that we don’t spend enough time together, and my thoughts on life sometime make it that much worse. Let me explain.
In 2007, I acquired rocky mountain spotted fever from a tick bite. That illness led to a massive blood clot in my left leg, and many pieces of that clot went to my lungs. I should have died, but I was lucky enough to get to the hospital in time.
In 2016, my appendix ruptured. I didn’t even know it had happened. I got to the ER and was rushed to surgery. A week later, I had more blood clots in my lungs and I was in the hospital for an additional week. I probably should have died then too. If I had been born even just a few years earlier, there’s a good chance I would have died from either event.
Today, I worry about what might happen to me as you grow older. I hope to see you grow up and get married, and I want to be a grandpa and have all the joys that come from that.
But then I see my friends and family passing away so young.
My mom died a day before her 53 birthday. Her brother, only a few years older, died the year before. [Another brother, Mike, passed away in the time since I originally wrote this letter and when it was published online]
I have had a client die in her 30s from a blood clot, classmates killed when I was in high school, two coworkers die young of cancer, etc. etc.
As you get older you’ll no doubt experience the same. But the point I’m trying to make is not to depress you. It’s to instill in you the belief that life is precious and the only commodity you never get back is time.
You can be broke and earn more money, you can be homeless and find shelter, you can be hungry and find something to eat, but every second of your life that passes is a moment that will never come again, and eventually everyone’s time comes to an end.
In my case, I’m not religious. I don’t have a belief in an afterlife. Having this perspective fuels my desire to make the most of every moment we have because I imagine “life after death” is the same as “life before life.”
No matter what you believe, make the most of life here on Earth. Seek your own dreams. Say no to things you don’t want to do or that don’t drive you toward your goals. Stay laser focused on the things you want to accomplish and make them happen. There are a million reasons why other people would never want to do what you want to do. Ignore them all. They aren’t living your life.
There’s no reason to do anything other than live your life such that you have no regrets when life is over. Be kind and help others, and others will help you too.
I believe in you and your dreams. You are amazing and you can do or achieve anything you want in life. And I hope you never settle for less.
I love you for eternity.
P.S. Why did the skeleton go to the party alone? Because he had nobody to go with him.
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