(Gray News) - Son, I love you more than life itself. I don’t know what I’d do without you.
From the day you were born, my life changed forever. I knew as soon as I looked in your eyes that my reason for living had changed for the better.
There aren’t many moments during the day when you are not on my mind. I worry about you more often than you know. I smile, I laugh, I cry ... all because you mean the world to me.
There were and will be times we disagree. I don’t claim to always be right, but I do know my best intentions always drive my advice.
Should you be blessed to have your own child someday, you will understand how strong a father's love for his children really is. There's nothing better than seeing your best qualities in a man whom you love.
It’s not been a cakewalk, I’ll tell you that! Would my life have been easier without the sleepless nights, constant worry and heartache? Probably. However, I wouldn’t trade my responsibilities as a father for anything else. Seeing you grow and develop has been the highlight of my life.
My goal for you is to be a better man than I. My goal is for you to make this world a better place. My goal for you is to grow up knowing your mother and I did the best we could to give you a good life and even better guidance.
When I leave this earth, I hope you will always remember everything I taught you (whether you knew I was doing it or not) was to mold you into a kind and responsible man. I have not been perfect, nor will you be. Please do as I say, not as I always do.
Here's some simple advice:
- Treat others only as you'd like to be treated.
- Love unconditionally and big.
- Be kind.
- Stick to your values.
- During a disagreement, be open to others’ opinions.
- Say you're sorry and mean it. Then adjust your behavior.
- If you need help or advice, do not be embarrassed to seek it out. You will never know everything.
- Take care of yourself.
- Exercise and eat well.
- Do your very best in school and for your employer.
- Trade material things for experiences when you can.
- Live life like today is your last day on earth.
Allow me to share something my father, my only hero, once told me: “A man’s word is his greatest asset.” I’ve never forgotten that I hope you don’t either. Be honest and true to yourself and others. If you do that, you’ll reap the rewards of friendship, love and happiness.
Finally, my grandfather (my dad’s dad) always often said this to me when I was a little kid: “Keep your nose clean.” He wasn’t talking about nasal mucus! Think about that for a moment...
Thank you for being you. I don’t necessarily want you to carry my legacy on, but I hope you carry your last name with pride.
I love you,