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Emma and Nora,

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that you just never know.

Right?

I mean . . . 15 minutes.  That’s not nearly enough time.  But at least I get the chance to do this.  Not many do.  And so, I’m going to leave you with this:

I love you.

More than anything.  Ever.  I love . . .  You are . . .  a part of me.  A big part.  And I could go on, but just know that, okay? I love you.  Hugely.   Immensely.  Powerfully.

And now, because I am, after all, your father . . . I just have to do this.  You know.  I can’t be here now, so I need to leave you with some markers.  Some landmarks.  Some light posts.

Live it.

All that sentimental stuff you read in poetry about every moment being sacred, and enjoy the journey and all that?  Sure it’s true, but, seriously . . . every moment?  Our brains just aren’t wired that way.  Just do the best you can.

Be aware.

You can’t stop it.  The world, the stress, the energy.  It’s all just here.  Swirling.  Open up to it.  Accept it.  Love it.  Enjoy it.

Because, really–you can’t screw it up.

So relax.  Just do the best you can, and search for the humor in it all.  There is power in humor.  More power than any of us can really grasp.  Follow it.  The path of whimsy is straight and I think it’s true.  And if it’s not, you can at least be sure it won’t hurt you.

It’s safe.  Trust that.

There’s much more to say here about humor, and I’d love to show you a way to attach it to forgiveness, but the clock’s ticking here and I need to get on to a few other big guiding principles.

Your mom is awesome. I love her too.  And I’d write her if I had more time.  My point is, listen to her.  She’s got a good head.  But she may not always be able to help.  And in those cases, when you’re agonizing over a decision, ask yourself which is the path of love . . . for others sure, but mostly—for yourself.

Love yourself.

Take care of yourself.  Be gentle.  Forgive yourself.  You’re fine.  You’re awesome!!  So please, for me, but mostly for you, don’t worry.  Live your life.  Seek and follow love, and humor, and light.

Understand also that there will be fear, and anger, and really—that’s okay.

It’s all good.  It’s all part of it.  Drill down and expose the fear.  Call it by name and bring it to the light.  Don’t resist it.  Tell the truth about it.  The sooner the better.

I absolutely love this from Joseph Campbell:

“We have not even to risk the hero’s adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known.

We have only to follow the thread of the hero path.

And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god.

And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.

Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence.

And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

–Joseph Campbell

Ooh, ooh and this one’s good too:

Come To The Edge–by Christopher Logue

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came,
and he pushed them,
and they flew.

Take risks. More often than not, you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.

And now my time (this time around) is up.  I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again.  We are connected and leaving you this time hurts.  But I leave today without fear.  I leave filled with hope.  And I know you will bring light into this world.

Dad.

(What’s this all about?  Fear not, just my response to a writing prompt.)