Friday, May 29, 2015


To my son Tommy,

Lately, I demand you do your own seatbelt. You have been switched to a booster seat and you have been given this new responsibility of securing yourself in the back seat. It is still my responsibility to make sure you did it correctly and are safe, but the initial effort is now coming from you.

Today, you struggled with that seat belt. I heard a bunch of "I can't..." and "It's too hard..." followed by whatever challenge seemed to be thwarting you at the moment. It was like you were searching for an excuse I would accept so I would go back and do it for you. I didn't. Instead I sat there waiting patiently after saying, "Don't tell yourself you can't. You can do this!" You finally got the darn thing buckled and I saw some pride on your face as I cheered a loud and sincere cheer and offered you a high five. "Daddy, it was just a little difficult and I didn't think I could do it. I was having trouble seeing it and pushing it. But, I got no worries," you replied humbly.

You see that picture above? That is me posing with one beautiful intelligent soon to be official nurse (aka your mom) who just walked across the stage for a recognition ceremony. You know what? There were times, throughout the past couple years, that she wanted to give up. There were times she said, "I can't." and "It's too hard." A quick browse through the letters over the past couple years and you can see that it was difficult, with multiple challenges, on every front, from health to family. There were many times when she questioned if she could, but she persevered.

You see that green cord around her neck. That denotes her excellence and her induction into the Alpha Eta honors society (a ceremony we went to previously). She also got into Phi Theta Kappa honor society (though we missed that induction ceremony because you had pneumonia) and made Dean's list every semester and had (I believe) high honors. The only award she didn't get was some "Outstanding Student" award that the nursing department at her school forgot to fill out the paperwork for the entire class. So not only did she at one time want to give up and didn't, she pretty much knocked it out of the ballpark with her effort and success.

So try not to tell yourself you can't too much. If things get tough, look at what your mom accomplished with all the things going on around her. Keep struggling, keep trying, keep on keeping on. Know that it is in your genetic makeup to overcome and succeed. Just like today, I will try to avoid just doing it for you, but know that I will be there, watching, supporting, cheering you (and your mom) on with loving pride in my heart for every challenge you face.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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