Reflection: the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected. Reflect: to think, ponder, or meditate: to reflect on one's virtues and faults.
What kind of example was I setting? My conclusion was that I was setting a very poor one.
Below is the letter that I wrote him...during that meeting in July...a meeting that I was supposed to be paying attention and taking notes.
"July 26, 1990"
It seems like yesterday that your mom and I were driving down US1 in our blue Toyota Camry in West Palm Beach, Florida. We were driving to St. Mary's Hospital as your mom was starting to have labor pains. Initially we went to Dr. Lopez's office to get advice concerning your mom's condition. They told us that she was fine and that we should consider going to the mall to walk around for awhile to accelerate your arrival.
"Day 2 and I'm tired already"
If we would have gone to the mall you would've been born in Macy's...the Ralph Lauren/Polo section no doubt.
It was a good time for your mother and me. We were young, and full of promise and hope. We were making good money and we were blessed with a spirit of gratitude. We were grateful for everything God and our parents did for us.
Our parents gave us everything we needed. They gave us love, support and at times money. They were really good to us.
As I mentioned, your mother and I had it good. It was a great time for us.
In looking back I realize I was gone too much. My love was basketball and I played all the time. I also hung out with my friends all the time leaving your mother by herself too much.
It was selfish and it was wrong.
That being said, you were born 35 -45 minutes after we got to the hospital. Even in the beginning you gave us very little trouble. Your mom was incredibly strong and poised. I on the other hand was a mess. Every emotion one could feel I felt, with inferiority being the strongest feeling I entertained.
Can I be a good father? Will I be able to always provide for my family? Will I be enough? To this day I have those same thoughts and feelings.
I also ask myself the question, "is my oldest son enjoying his life?" I hope and pray you are. This is a time that is supposed to be joyful. Your childhood is a time when responsibilities are few and that positive experiences should be many.
1st birthday... July 26, 1991 (Jupiter, Fla)
You are in the "springtime" of your life (newborn - 21 yrs.). And even though tomorrow is never promised, this season of your life should be full of joy, warmth and comfort. Many times I reflect upon your childhood and wonder if, and worry, that I ruined your childhood with the divorce that I caused.
I hope and pray that I didn't.
Divorce is tough because it separates parents from their children. Nobody fully recovers or feels comfortable with that dynamic. Your mom and I love you dearly... we miss you when you're gone. I miss you when you're gone.
I think about you every day.
Each day often brings thoughts of pride. It was once said by William Shakespeare; "Tis a happy thing to be a father unto many sons." I do have a lot of sons and it is great.
Logan turns 16 (July 26, 2006)
Logan I'm proud of you.
I'm proud of the person you are and I'm proud of the person you are becoming. Robert Frost in his poem "The Road Not Taken" spells out for all to see the importance of being true to yourself and to travel down the path that best suits you, no matter how infrequently your peers travel down this road.
Their path doesn't necessarily have to be your path, and visa-verse.
The road of excess is a dangerous road to explore. Many of your peers will find this out the hard way.
Do what is right, not what is popular. What is popular isn't always right.
Frost wrote that; "I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Travel down the right, not the popular road. Let your actions and behavior display your leadership qualities.
Be a leader, not a follower.
I call you "Chief" because Chief Logan was a great Native American leader. I FEEL IT'S YOUR DESTINY TO BE A GREAT LEADER SOMEDAY...I really do. Many of your peers are involved in alcohol, drugs and sex. The joy of sex will come later in your life...please, much later (that was a poor attempt at some fatherly humor).
Anyway, remember that physical intimacy is a gift. That gift also comes with a tremendous responsibility. If you don't believe me just look at my life...enough said.
Drugs...NEVER. Drugs are for losers. This is a non-negotiable truth. Choose drugs, choose to be a loser.
Alcohol will be your choice as you become an adult. Be careful... very careful. Alcohol can and does ruin lives. When you're older the choice will be yours to hang out with friends and have a few beers, but you have to decide now that you're going to be responsible.
NEVER DRIVE WHILE DRINKING and NEVER GET INTO THE CAR OF SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN DRINKING....NEVER!
I like to have a beer from time to time, but in no way does alcohol rule my life. Moderation, moderation, moderation... everything in moderation. Just be careful with drinking. When, and if, that day comes (if you don't drink that's not a bad thing...that is a great thing) just be careful. Respect the power of alcohol and it's extremely negative consequences. It can ruin your life. (As I was rewriting this in 2010, five years later, I would advise you not to drink and to stay out of bars. Both will limit and weaken your witness and testimony as a Christian)
High School graduation party (2009)
Thank you... thanks for being such a wonderful son and a great student. I love who you are. You are a good person. Continue to spend your time being positive with people... not negative. It is too easy to give yourself over to having a critical and complaining spirit. Choose to see the good in everyone and in every situation.
Attitude truly determines outcome.
Your attitude has been really good most of the time. Your goal should be to have a great attitude all the time, but I can assure you that will be one of the toughest things to accomplish in your life. Always remember, you can only control your attitude, not others. Romans 12:18 states; "Do your part to live at peace with everyone, as much as possible."
It's your choice.
People are going to hurt, disappoint and discourage you...GET OVER IT.
Some people are not going to like you...GET OVER THAT TOO.
So far as it concerns you... be at peace with everyone.
I would also like to thank you so much for loving and treating Bryce and Ryan so well. I would also like to ask you to do the same with Austin, Mary and Tate. It's vitally important to me and your mother that you treat all your brothers and sisters well. Thanks also for treating my parents (your grandparents) and my sister (your aunt) with the respect and with the honor they deserve.
They have earned it and truly deserve it. They are good people and are your biggest fans. Don't ever forget that.
I'm also thankful, very thankful, that you are a good student and a leader within your school. Your choice to be successful in school is obvious to everyone. Don't ever lose your motivation to do well in school.
Knowledge is power. Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write.
Reading will aid you in becoming more intelligent, and writing will help you convey your thoughts and knowledge in a convincing manner.
Logan turns 20! (July 26, 2010)
Socrates once said; "that life without self examination is a life worth not living." Praying to God and reading the bible daily will help you with your self examination... it's important to be introspective (look the word up if you don't know what it means). Enjoy your birthday today... you deserve it, but take stock of where you are in the early stages of your life, and more importantly, where you want to be later in life.
I hope your birthday was a great one and always remember that I love you...I really do love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
sbb 27.7.2010 (You've Got A Friend . James Taylor) . 1598