Be Strong. Take Heart.

Letters to my daughters

I have recently started to think about writing letters to my daughters.  The letters would be given to them at a certain age I deem appropriate for a message that I want to give to them.  The letters would have certain things about what to and not to do in life, you know those little life lessons that given at the right time can do nothing to influence a teenager. But still, I want to write them.  I imagine my daughters will be smart, independent and as stubborn as their father.  If I am not around to give the letters to them personally, then my daughters I know would respectfully follow them out.  Even at their young age, I can tell that they are growing with character, grace and wisdom beyond their years.
My daughters constantly disobey me or do something to anger me.  I confuse the two.  I am not sure if it is the drugs or just my own intolerance to deviation from my own standards.  My daughters are also always looking to me for approval.  They look for daddy’s stamp, you know, the little smile or nod of approval.  Every once in a while a secret wink, a wink that my two-year old returns with both eyes and my five year old with one.  I tell them every chance I get that I love them.  I also discipline as a regular father would.  I say a regular father as if I am something different, but I am not.  My circumstances are different and the circumstances of our lives are different.  But I believe that difference will shape my daughters into future world leaders, physicians, teachers and mothers as wonderful as Mary.
If I had to write a letter about today and how it would be a lesson for them it would follow like so: 
  • never accept an undefined answer
  • when people try to take advantage of you remind them what little advantage it is compared to a life burdened with questionable character
  • never be afraid to question the smartest person in the room, even if it is you
  • be an advocate not only for yourself, but for those that have lost their will and their hope
  • plan for tomorrow, but also plan on attending the moment you are in
  • worry, begets worry, begets worry and in the end will betray you
  • life, no matter how painful, is life worth fighting for
  • write daily, it will not only examine today, but will show you things to come
  • love, there can never be enough.  grace, is needed around every corner
  • hope must always be true, not lofty, wishful or awaiting a miracle.  That way wishes can be surprises and miracles will be unexpected
I am fighting to give my daughters these letters myself.  Everyone knows this.  Until someone gives me a date of demise then I will hope, truly.  I will wish for things silly and things good for the soul.  And if a miracle is needed, I will pray that it is indeed in God’s will, unexpected to me and a gift from him.  Today, I suffer great pain.  My body is swollen from limb to limb.  No doctor has a well-defined answer or treatment.  I am losing the ability to use my hands, one of my greatest fears.  But I type through the pain, stretch and wrap my swollen parts, and I wait for answers.  The answers are of hope, not wishes or miracles yet.  I believe that I will make it through this, shaped for a better purpose.  For this purpose, I do not fully understand, nor do I fully understand all of the pain.  But I do understand hope and that is where I am.
Andy BarwickComment