Letter to my Children
Dear Ben and Micah,
I knew from the first time that I held you that you would make a mark on this world. I did not want to taint your direction with my own desires, so I chose to watch you and, in a sense, let you go as you experienced the world on your own terms. I have watched you over the years, gently guiding you, listening to you, bouncing ideas around with you and I see such wonderful, intelligent, positive adults budding from curious, excited, playful children. I know that you have not only the ability, but the desire and passion to continue growing, developing and learning. If I could share with you just one thing I have learned it would be this: Make positivity a priority and positivity will come to you. Find joy in everything you do and in every situation. You always, always have a choice, even it is to choose to do nothing. Choose to find the good things in every situation and you will always find the joy that is yours.
Many people call me an “opportunist” and other just say that I am unrealistic or even childlike and gullible. The truth is, I have a pretty cool ability to find the good in every situation. You know my past, that people have hurt me both physically and emotionally – people very close to me. You also know that I found a way to discover good that came from those experiences. I chose to take what I learned from living in a very abusive situation and use that knowledge to help others and their families who are experiencing the same thing. There is a silver lining to every cloud, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find it.
We all have a path to follow and sometimes it will be easy with no obstructions or challenges. Other times, the path will barely be discernable or passable because of adversity and trials that will be placed before us. Just remember; it is the adversity that allows us to enjoy the prosperity and it is the winter that shows us the glory of spring.
The adversity will teach you strength, wisdom and courage. You will emerge from each difficult time smarter, tougher and with a stronger character than when you began. It is important that we walk through the fire because it is the fire that builds us, strengthens us and forges our integrity and character. Don’t shy away from it, but embrace it and always look at the difficult situations as opportunities to learn and grow.
I treasure every moment I have had with each of you and although I have made many mistakes, I never stopped loving you, I always tried to do what I felt was best for you and I always did what I felt would make you strong and independent. I wanted so much to shield you from the mistakes I made, the heartache I have endured and the painful events in my life of which I still bear the scars. But that wouldn’t be fair to you. Pain is a valuable teacher. It is a tough teacher, but a necessary one. Some may have disagreed with my methods of raising you, but the young adults I see before me tell me that I really wasn’t so wrong after all.
I want you to go forward in your lives, press through the difficult time, rejoice in the good times and treasure every moment because life passes so quickly and in the blinking of an eye you will be sitting down to write a letter to your own children. I hope that you carry me in your heart and teach your children the lessons I taught you, as well as the ones you have discovered while on your path. I hope that I have left you a legacy of love, laughter, strength and joy in every situation as you carry on the life lessons we pass on to each other from parent to child.
And finally, always dream. Don’t be afraid to dream big and hope for everything. Without your dreams, you die.
I love you,