Dear Son, loved and treasured One:
When you go to the movies,tonight, with this sweet sweet young girl, young woman even, remember these things.
Dwell on them, never forget.
It’s hard to wrap a lifetime of learning into a very short letter. But I shall try.
And I’ll stammer and struggle and try to bleed my love for you as a man, in days now, my son, on this white page.
And what I want for you in all your relationships, but most especially with women.
Be gentle, be strong.
Be a rock, a strong place to lean on. With big ears and an enormous heart. With room to grow and room to love.
Your Dad wooed me from the very beginning with his strength and gentleness, his compassion, his caring.
I never told you, and you wouldn’t care much before now, but early on, very early on, as we sat in a restaurant in New York with friends, he cared in the smallest of ways for me and about me. My memory fades like early morning fog, but I remember my hair in my plate or something similar and he loving pulled it out. He is gentle and attentive that way. He still married me.
Be attentive to the small.
You have watched your father cherish and care for your sister.
Care. Every time.
Do not follow the crowds, the throngs of people following the culture and all its siren song ways. Just rest in who God created you to be and be yourself. Comfortably you.
You, my son, are witty and funny. Enjoy that, but don’t be a peacock, calling attention to yourself. Use your gifts gently.
And you are creative, oh so creative. This is a gift to use for God and His glory.
Look to Him and His beautiful plan. Look in His eyes and ask and seek. Ask, be bold, ask. Then listen.
And listen well, my son.
Your Daddy does that so well now. Watch him listen and bend an ear to me.
And be selfless not selfish. In all you do.
Argue, not. Demand to be right, never. Be a peace-maker. Discuss with a gentle spirit. There is no need or time to fight. A gentle tone will take you far, strong one. Stand firm, yes. Find your balance with your words. Stand on what is right, noble, honest, pure, worthy of praise, and lovely.
You don’t have far to look, my son. Your oldest brother is tender and gentle and strong with his girl.
Follow these men, be yourself, be a gentleman, you were raised in the South, the premium on this is huge. Its our tradition. Carry it on.
Think of your grandfathers. They loved you and love you. And all their ways. Carry on traditions of kindness and gentleness and strength.
And look ’em in the eyes. Always. Everyone. Don’t look away, or look astray or wander off, not in their presence. Be fully present. Your beautiful blue eyes have always been so big, so unimaginatively handsome, these windows to your very soul.
Be right where you are, in the beautiful moment and savor it all. Remember the details as they unfurl.
Your father is my memory. He remembers often for us both. He has seen and he has remembered the details of a life, our life.
Pay close attention, such close attention, to the details, that are your life.
Listen to music, enjoy art, walk on the path outside our house that leads to the shore, often, daily, savor that salty place. Share your love for where we live. It’s glorious, its gift. It’s the ocean and the river, it’s God-beauty all around.
And get into those words God wrote for you, for us. And linger there, you man, you son, you child of God.
Your pecan pies and all your masterpieces, offer them in love.
And know that you were always loved by us, by Him.
Enjoy the movie. And be a gentle-man. Be respectful, so full of respect for others, for women, for all people, always. Shower others with a spirit of respect. And dignity.
Hold your shoulders back, your head up, wear your seatbelt every time.
Loving you this day and always, your very verbose,
P.S. I wrote you once before. Please remember those words too, of love to you. I wrote them in the summer months. These words from down deep in my soul.