Saturday, March 23, 2013


I want you to be happy. Above all things. It won't be easy. It never has been and it surely will not become so any time soon.

Don't hang yourself up on the little trivial things that never mattered to begin with. We're incredibly silly little creatures that find solace in silly little things whose matter only mattered while we held their importance.

That's an incredibly verbose way of saying you construct your own world, good and bad, and you do it willingly. You'd better repeat that previous statement to yourself. Often and with intent.

I want you to be happy.

To do so you'll have to read everything I just wrote, ignore it, live it, hate it, love it & ultimately remember that once upon a time someone felt its worth... and felt it worth saying.

Daddy's don't know everything but they know the shit that matters.

Or so I've heard. Either way... I'm Happy.

Saturday, January 5, 2013



For your ninth birthday, I got you a telescope. We looked at the moon. Life was good.


P.S. You were 3,285 days old the day after Christmas. Savor them. They go quickly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#1 Pals

Life is a strange little journey.

At first you're overwhelmed by every little thing. Whether its who pushed you down on the playground, who made fun of you in the hallway of your school (or who you made fun of, in that same hallway) or who didn't choose to go to a movie with you (when you FINALLY have that car and that ability to GO). You're awash with ever single decision, every single consequence & every little outcome. It's overwhelming. You'll think "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THIS THING CALLED LIFE?!?!"

Life is a strange little journey.

None of that matters though. Not really.

No matter how many times you're pushed down on the playground and no matter how many times you push someone else down. No matter who makes fun of you in a hallway full of your peers & no matter who you make fun of in that same hallway. No matter who goes to a movie and who does not. It doesn't matter. Sure, you'll remember everything, Everything, but it doesn't matter.

Not like you think, at least.

Life is a strange little journey.

You're going to grow and you're going to experience every tiny, ever so little, facet of this human condition, as we know it, that we have honed to perfection. Whether it be embellishment, indulgence, persecution, praise, violence, passivity, apathy, trust, betrayal, hatred, love, falsities and even, on occasion, truth.

It happens. ;) Not often... but it happens.

Payton, when you were 3 years old and you asked me about the stars and the planets and how they came to be, you curled your lip and looked at me as if I were an alien when I told you what I knew.

Please... Please... Please... keep that hesitance. Keep that skepticism. Daddy doesn't know everything. He never did. But he knows what he believes he knows. And that is what he told you. You have the inquisitive nature of a question mark. I know you want to know everything. I know you will always look for it. Keep looking. Always keep looking. You have a passion for understanding the complex things that I wish I had when I was your size. Your strength was born of intuition and acceptance, layered with a wee bit of "I'm Callin' Bullshit on This'.

Cayden, you're as patient as a caterpillar. I only thought I had patience. I was wrong. You're better than Me, hell, you're better than Job (and we both know what I think about that little story).

Use that, Son. Use that. Don't let it use you, though. A Man can wait his life away if he isn't careful.

You have always wanted to understand how things work. Why they click and clack as they do. Embrace that feature of yourself. Your strength was born of curiosity & perseverance. You were born in a bubble, as it were, but you did not stay there. You tore it wide open. Just ask the nurses.

They charged us for that. I'm just saying.

Life is a strange little journey.

I'll leave you with this little gem that my 92 year old Grandmother once told me.

"As far as I'm concerned the only thing that sticks around longer than People wanting your money or Death itself wanting your body are the Pals that sit beside you the entire time... waiting on the other two to show their cards."

You see, she was right. I still have have Chappy. I still have Sature. I still have Preppie. I still have Pooter. I still have Squirrel. Through everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, they are still there. Not because they have to be but because they choose to be. That's a very powerful thing.

Now you know why Pals matter to your old man.

Now you know why I hope they eventually matter to you too.

I've got nothing else worth listening to.

Well... I might have one thing left worth listening to.


I am Me, as it were. ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#2 Goodness


That's what defined our day in the eve of its departure.

I sat and watched you two try to gather those insects for the better part of an hour. Running around, with & into each other until the dusk that settled around all of us could not discern to me who was who and who was not.

That was Goodness to me.

I've written these letters for a reason. Every single one has something you'll eventually want to know I said. Now, what I've said may not always be what you will eventually want to hear from me, but that's how you learn where the two sentiments differ.

Now I want to tell you a story.

A long time ago I hated a boy. I hated him with all of me. His name was Jerry. I hated his name, his face & his existence. I hated. Not because he'd done anything to me but because I was told that's what I should feel.

I hated him because my Mom told me he was "no good" and that I shouldn't "hang around" someone "like him".

In school we'd always been pals. He'd been held back a year. He was older. We played on the playground together in elementary school. Jerry always had dirty clothes. I didn't care. He was a great kickball partner. He was awesome at duck duck goose. He was my friend. He laughed a lot.

One day my Mom told me I shouldn't be friends with him. She told me he was "Bad news".

Mom didn't know Jerry. But she was forewarned about him from other Parents. She was just trying to make sure I didn't get in with the wrong crowd, as it were.

When she and I discuss it now, I see her countenance fade. I know it bothers her.

I don't recall him in middle school. I think he dropped out in High School.

One night in 2009, while perusing news about my hometown, I happened to stumble upon this...

I had not seen his face in over 20 years.

The man who defended his home that night goes to your Gammy's church. He is a good Man. Your Gammy is my Mom, as you know.

I often wonder what would have happened if I'd been allowed to be friends with Jerry. Would he still be here? Would I? Would none of that matter?

These are the things your Dad thinks about.

I think Goodness, like many things, is relative. I think it has always been so & I believe it will always remain so, wearing a shawl of subjectivity as it goes. I think if it were able to give its own definition, it would say...

"I'm just a kid trying to catch fireflies at dusk with a bunch of other kids. Figure out which one I am."

Because if you can... you are Goodness.

And much better than Me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You have one life. Just one.

Whether you clutter the closet of that life with hopeful gifts of your chosen religion, whether you scatter your pride with those indigenous wares you assume your good deeds will reward you with or whether you let all of that bullshit go... is up to You.

In the end, we all find ourselves at the same depot. That place that has a sign that reads "From Here On... Good Luck".

What defines you has never been what you've done. What defines you has always been who you are after doing the things you've done.

The only judge in that courtroom is You. So I want to ask you who you are. Who are You... really?

I want to know the answer to that question. I desperately want to know.

Did you give up on those moments when you didn't have to? Did you stomp through the grits of someone who was only trying to serve you breakfast? Did you reach out a hand only to have it severed? Did you never reach out a hand to begin with? Did you look up instead of down? Did you do the best you could for you, for those around you & for those you don't even know... yet? Even when the outcome wasn't fair, all things considered?

You wear my Last Name. These questions matter to Me.

The organ in your skull needs to be taken for a walk on occasion.

I'll always be with you. Simply because you know me.

Don't let that picture define you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


<No Picture Necessary>

This is one of the last letters. We're getting into the final stretch, as it were. I've told you everything you'll ever need to know. Mostly.

I could convey to you, until the end of time, my observations, my explanations & my absolution. That would never solve a damn thing for You, though.

You have to find your own way. You have to survive your own trials. You have to wander out of your own wilderness. That is the nature of life. That is how it is lived.

You're going to love so much that it hurts. You're going to lose so much that it kills.

Keep Breathing.

There will be days when the world around you is yellow and full, robust and hopeful. Those are good days. There will also be days when the world around you is dull and blank, bland and as gray as gray can be. Those are good days as well, though. Trust Me.

You see, you have the greatest ability anyone or anything has ever had. Choice.

Perception and action have always been Choices.

Employ that ability within every endeavor you might undertake. Every single one. From "What am I going to eat tonight?" to "How can I save Humanity?".

It all comes down to Choice. It always has. It always will.

You can do anything. Anything.

Choose To Do Something.

One night, a long time ago, I opened doors leading into your rooms. I looked at you P and I pulled up your covers because I worried that you would get cold. I looked at you C and I put you back in your bed, because you were sleeping half in and half out. Boys... what the hell.

That's what a Daddy Does.

I love you more than I have words.


Monday, July 23, 2012


A wiser man than I once described the heavenly body in the picture above far more eloquently & unequivocally than I could ever dream. Mind you, he never ascribed it to a heaven and most certainly did not call it a body. He merely spoke the truth about a dot, once upon a time. The picture his words captioned was taken from so much farther away & so, in kind, seems that much more impressive by its very token. If you wish to find that picture, then go do so. Comprehend what you see. That is not the point of this letter, though.

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

-Carl Sagan

You, admittedly, have no idea who Carl Sagan is, was or will eventually become. I would challenge you to find out each of those outcomes. Make haste in that endeavor. Good luck with the latter of the three as that has yet to be determined... but I have Hope. ;)

I don't want you to wish on shooting stars. I want you to know what meteors are.

There's greater magic to be found there.

Oh, by the way. This is the the marble he was talking about.

See it yet? Do you see You yet?