My dearest daughters,
I write this to you not as any father,but as your father.Until you have kids of your own,you will never know what that means.You will never know the joy behind the joy.You will never know the sense of humor that makes a man want to be more than he is and to pass something good and hopeful into the hands of his daughters.And you will never know the heartbreak of the fathers who are haunted by the personal demons that keep them from being the men who are proud of their daughters.
Sometimes i feel i have done more than anyone can ask,other times i feel i am a charlatan and a failure.I carry with me the sparks of greatness and the darkness of heartless crimes.In short,i am as human as you are.
To be your father is the greatest honor i ever received.It allowed me to touch mystery for a moment,and so see my love made flesh.If i could have but one wish,it would be that you pass that love along.After all,there is not more to life than that.
I am lucky to have you.Through my anger that ran deep and my lonely heart at the core in my childhood,my father did me no damage.His hand was as at times on my shoulders when i needed it and he worked hard not to visit the sins of his father onto my life.I still love and respect him and honor him as my father.Over time,he suddenly became weak and he gave up on the horizons of life.He used to be strong at face value.I am afraid he gave up because he no longer considered himself a man.He couldn’ t stretch further into the unknown distance before him,like he used to.It is harsh,but clear.He confused being a male with being a man.Being male is part of my biological coding.It has to do with strength,domination,territoriality,competition and a host of other traits,that were essential in the days when dominance was key to human surivival.
Being a man is something different.It is taking these male traits and forming them into a life that meets the demands of the world around you while serving the needs of others.It is action in service of a dream.It is being grounded in belief while reaching for the stars.The world into which my father was born didn’t allow him to see his manhood as separate from his maleness.Mere survival called forth all the powers of aggression,competition and physical strength he had to offer.Now his sense of dominance and mastery has been replaced by a sense of dependence.He feels purpoless and meaningless.The loss of his ability to control the world around him is the loss of his manhood.
I need you to consider this distinction as you go forward in life.You will meet gentlemen,who will be your suitors and potential husbands.Remind them that being a man,is a right to be earned and an honor to be cherished.I will not tell you how to make them earn their right or deserve your honor.But i can tell you that the formation of manhood must be a conscious act governed by the highest vision of the men,they will want to be.
If you are able to transform them into competitive beings who desire for outreach,then they will be the greatest sons -in-law who know the true measure of manhood-strength and honor and moral force,courage,sacrifice and confidence of touch.
But even as you listen closely to your hearts,making the right choice is difficult.You can’t really know what you want to do by thinking about it.You have to do it and see how it fits.You have to let the work take over until it becomes you and you become it,then you have to decide to embrace it or abandon it.And few have the courage to abandon something that defines their security and prosperity.
I want you to know that the pursuit of possessions is nothing more than that- a pursuit and you should give real thought to the objects you are seeking before you invest your time and energy in the act of acquiring it.
Almost as quickly as the day ends,we become takers,measuring our happiness by what we can gain for ourselves.I have worked hard all my life,and amassed possessions but that didn’t keep my sight from weakening.So,value your lives by the joys you bring to people before you go back to the practical business of assessing your actions by how they will benefit you only.
Giving is a generative act.While you give of yourself,something new comes of being.The world is expanding,and you must bring forth abit of goodness.A simple act of sharing brings forth warmth and joy.Simple openings of the heart can be created anywhere,with almost anyone.
You will discover that we have the power to create joy and happiness by your simplest acts of caring and compassion.Your mother( and my wife too) has taught me that i had the power to unlock the goodness in my heart by sharing it with others.That is why the bundle of joy she is carrying inside her,is the sign of our happiness.The ultimate reminder that,what is meant to be fixed can’t be broken.During our time apart,she never told me that she was carrying my child,and she might have used it to see how i would treat her.The fact that i intuitively never forgot that she was my spouse of two decades made me warm up to her,even in that difficult moment of our union.
There was always a dark side to that equation,which was meant to remind me that she is as human,as we are.If you ever reach to that point,and i hope you never do,rise above the desperation of anger,because you will have little or no strength to battle it.The forces that swirl inside of you can’t be avoided.But they need to be tamed.
Be a giver and a sharer.In some unexpected and unforeseeable fashion,all else will take care of itself.As i sit here and squint my eyes and rub the lenses of my glasses,i can tell you that you never know what awaits you.When i reclaimed myself from the bubble of my legal career,i realized that it had changed me.I never really considered my health as a game changer.I was always of the idea that there was a larger realm than what it really was.But here i am,being reminded of my daily responsibility of taking care of myself.It is a chance od thinking about life afresh.
I chose to respond to my tragedy by insulating myself in more work.Perhaps i had to.But in the next 23 hours,i will be enduring the most significant part of my life.Perhaps the scars of my past made me a workaholic.But all i ever wanted was to give you two and your mother the best of life.
I was born with a belief in God.It hasn’t faded.It has no name of a face.You may not see it,But i believe it is there.It is the sense that comes over you as you stare into the starlit sky and smell a richness in that which you don’t know.It is a love from somewhere you can’t recall.It is the mystery behind all the questions i asked myself as a young man.I used to wonder what before the beginning of time or what is on the other side of space.
I argued with people.But i realized a frog in a well can not talk about the seas.I was raised in a tradition that strictly defined a single path.I was then left alone by my parents too unsure of which path to follow.I have left you in the same way.I will teach you to believe but i will not teach you to seek.Step firmly into the path that you will take.If you find that your faith in God is something silent and personal found in the solitude of your own heart,do not be afraid to embark upon that path.The source of your belief has to be cultivated.Seek out the wisdom that helps you find the peace and meaning of life.We will die with undone work.There is no sense in trying to defeat the labors of life.They are endless.Accept the rhythms of life and know that there are times when you need to draw a breath,no matter how great the labors are before you.
I can’t assure i will make it from the operating tabe,but i don’t want you to fit over the surface of life trying to figure out what might happen to me,i want you to re-create your space.Do not be limited and don’t settle for small.
I want you to have the peace of seeking the blue moment no matter what happens to me.As i stare into your gentle faces on this photograph of you both here on my desk.i am convinced that you are the best of my creations.I know that you have the experience to change this globe to a better place.You are now part of a generation that defines well-intentioned actions.
Do not fall for men that cheapen themselves and the women around them by the kind of casual,brittle talk that turn women into objects and sex into sports.It is a tall order.It has to start from somewhere.It’s a struggle.
Love is something more than the sum of interests and attractions and commonalities that two people share.It is an unfathomable gift that cannot be questioned in its ways.
Your true motivation must remain the adoration of what it can bring forth.Do not unleash your physical passion to man who is just targetting to build his ego.Get to the magical knowledge of lovemaking that tells the truth about your heart.
Do not fear marriage.Do not rush into it for the wrong reasons.Marriage is an act of faith and it contains the power of tramsformation.You will need to embrace the cycles and seasons that your love will experience.Have patience.Then a thousand flowers will bloom.
Avoid the pitfalls of life.In all things,exercise moderation.Your life doesn’t extend much beyond reach.I have taken you both by hand and led you.Now i am setting you on your own.Will you find more hands to guide you?Yes,you have your gorgeous and witty mother for that.
Acutely,your mother is one of the most refined human beings with a huge heart.She believes in the visions of fellow beings.She is a complex of wonder and wisdom and love that has no limits.She has brought inexhaustible miracles in our lives,collectively.She has elevated simple truths beyond the anecdotal and added value to all our lives.She is compassionate and passionate about you both.Continue to take care of her.
As the clock ticks,i hope that we will all see the end of this successfully.
I am afraid,yes.But i am optimistic.We need the greatness of spirit and the physical strength to get through this.
I love you both.