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Letter to my Son on Graduation

Dandelion against a sunset sky

Dear Spencer,

For you on your eighth-grade graduation.

I am in awe of the person you are. You teach me daily how to be better and to always question. In all of the time of the universe, light years, cosmos, you came to me like pinpoints of stars to ignite my imagination. Always imagine, every moment, every day, it is never idle or silly to imagine.

Always know this: I love you no matter what. There is nothing about you that can disappoint me when you are being your truest you. Do not hide from the world. Treat each day as if something truly extraordinary is happening. Now is your time. This very second, minute, hour, is your time. Do not waste time. There is so much less than you actually think. Lie in the sun’s rays. Bask in all that this world has to offer. Go after everything you dream. There is nothing to lose except your fear. Shed your fear.

As my father, your grandpa Dave told me, I tell you, “Do what you love and the rest will follow.” Trust there is a greater plan than you can ever imagine. Listen to the fire that radiates from your sternum. Don’t ever stop: it will always burn, it will always guide you. Burn your fears, and run right into the fire. That is where you must go to grow.

Be ready to fail, my dear one. Time and time and time again, fail, fail, fail and get back up. I will always be proud of your efforts. Failure will embolden you. It will teach you how to use your imagination to find a work around. I will tell you a secret: much of my life is a work around. I fail all the time. But somehow, I learned to surrender and have faith. Always have faith that things will get better, be better, and are better. With you, you are my light, my faith, my home, my touchstone. Your light amazes me.

Spence read, read, and reread. You, my verbal one, my dictionary, master of words. You teach me new meanings of words. Books are everything. So much for you to learn and build from. Books are magic. Always be open to magic. The most obvious daily things hold beauty like mountains, wind, snow, rain, spiders, snakes, petting Coco and Star, walks, waves, ocean, sand all of this will bring you back to who you are. You are never alone. Your connection to everything like a web that guides you.

You will have pain and you will suffer. It is like the seasons. Pain and suffering are transient just as beauty and joy, they are one and the same. Know you have the power to transform your suffering into something beautiful. My artist, always act, sing and build your craft of embodying words. Speak your language and teach us to see beyond ourselves.

You have everything open to you. Love and respect the planet. Take care of its natural forms for us. We need your passion, your creativity, your tenacity. Stand up for your beliefs in all that you love.

Play fair. Be honest and compassionate to others. Understand and watch people. Let them reveal themselves to you. Do not judge others. Do not compete with others. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. It is a cycle, like the weather, like anything in life, transient. Know you can never know what is going on inside another person’s mind. Be open to compassionately listen and learn, they may tell you. Everything, every day, every moment is an opportunity for you to learn to be better. Choose to be better and listen.

I love you eternally. You are a work of art. You are my imagined. You are my home.

Yours forever more with love,


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