Thursday, June 14, 2018

Letter to Cameron on his graduation

"Awhile ago, as we were running side by side you said to me, “Mom, I always want to run with you. Someday, I am going to come to your house when you’re 80 years old, knock on your door, and take you on a walk and we’ll call it a run”.    Cameron, I want you to know that I’ll be ready: ready to swing open the door and walk into the sunshine with you, throwing our hearts to the sky, as we’ve always done.   I’ll run with you any place your dreams take you.  I will run with you in the darkest times and in your most exhilarating times.  We can chase the light together.  Because it will always be there.  So will I.  So will you.  So will us." 

I surprised Cameron with this letter that I wrote and recorded for him, along with a lil summary of our memories. 






May 2018
Dear Cameron, 

I’m writing you a letter as this part of your story ends and a new one begins.  

Life is a series of milestones, a reflection of dreams gained and some lost along the way.   Today you’re graduating high school.  You’re finishing the pages of your first book.   You’ll flip the last page, run your hand along the back cover, take a deep breath, with eyes closed, and hold that story tightly to your chest.  This is YOUR story.  It’s not the end, today starts your sequel.  You can always take a peek back inside these first pages,  and reflect on the amazing memories we’ve all made as a family.  You started us…our family five.  From the day we knew about you, Dad and I locked hands and purposely worked together to create a family with a beautiful life, one that would provide opportunity for you and for your brothers.  

I watched you make forts in the mud with your Bob-the Builder, I cut your sandwiches like butterflies, evened out the buttons on your shirt, tried to explain all the little things your inquiring mind constantly wondered. I held your hand through it all.  But suddenly, in a moment, change started.  I remember the exact day I noticed the transition.   We were hiking.  You were helping me over ledges, you slowed your step, glancing back to check on me, you flipped open your pocket knife to cut open a water bottle for the dog,  you pulled back branches from our path.   In that very moment I realized things were different.  I had spent a lifetime caring for you and now you were watching out for me.  It was a quiet, gentle switch. Almost not noticeable.  The noise muted and I paused, looking at you as a young man.  This was several years ago and it hasn’t stopped.  

I’ve always been taught that parents are for kids.  But I know that you are for me.  You bring me clarity and soften my bad days.  We often catch glances and I know that you’re asking if I’m ok.  You push your hand on my back when we are running, encouraging me to keep going, you ask me what is on my mind…and you really mean it.  We have this beautiful dance: taking turns, whenever either of us need the other.  You help me understand the world in new ways, you give unique perspective and advice.  You care so much, and I know it.  I care so much, and you know it.    

You’re the most unique human I know.  You analyze the parts I never even noticed and you make gentle sense of everything.  You care and you feel, yet you allow logic and reason to keep you true and grounded.  You think often.  You’re not afraid of exploring the layers of life.  Hard work never scares you.  You push like a workhorse, even when no one tells you to, and no one is watching.  You demand a level of excellence from yourself, and in turn, the world opens wide for you.  You have consistently set a solid example for your brothers, gently loving and guiding them.  You have self-respect, and you do the right thing.  You always impress me.  And not because I’m your mom, but because you are admirable.  You evaluated the world, decided what you believed, created your foundation, and then firmly stuck close to those principles.  You never waver.  You stand solid in our family, using duty and commitment to guide you.  We see you.  We notice your work and dedication.  

You have flaws too, of course.  Don’t flinch away from them.  Be aware of them, learn from them, accept them.    I’ve made endless mistakes.  Oftentimes I reflect back, regretting my actions.  But this heaven on earth includes regret.  Try your best anyways.  Never stop trying.  Sometimes you will mess up.  Sometimes you will make a bad decision.  You’ll fail.  Don’t linger in negative feelings long, just enough to understand what’s going on and to grow from it.  Get up and press forward.   The ambition that churns underneath your skin is the life that will keep you going.  Set goals, realize them, and then make more.  You won’t succeed at everything.  We weren’t designed to.  You’ll find success at the VERY things you are meant to, with the talents you’ve been blessed with.  Breathe movement into your talents, let them rise in action.  Stay hungry always.  Always work hard.  “Work hard. Play hard”, as our family motto has been.  Give life to your dreams.  Feel the rush of achieving and of doing remarkable things. 

 Lazy days are ok.  Sometimes, get cozy and just be.  Respect yourself, and take care of others.  Give grace to humans.  If given a choice, always choose to help.  Don’t work so much on “self” that you forget to serve humanity.  Pleasure and happiness aren’t always the main objective.  Embrace the challenges too.  They’ll change you in ways that you need, but you weren’t aware.  


Life is complicated and simple and wonderful and amazing.  Trust carefully.  Love fiercely.  Guard your heart, but keep it open. Recognize the strength that wholesome love provides. Life happens when you’re not paying attention.  Be aware, stay sharp.  Pay attention.  Always do the next right thing.  I’ll tell you this forever.  Always do the next right thing.  Life hurts more than you think it will.  It is uncertain, painful, scary, frustrating.  If the monsters of life sweep down with a hulk-sized fist, knocking your life to pieces, please know that you will someday be okay again.  Light always find a way to peep through if our soul is protected.   Keep your soul at any cost.  You control how you respond and how you feel.  No one can take that from you.  Remember that.   Don’t give up on life and it won’t give up on you.   

We were made to feel pain.  We were made to feel.  When you’re feeling desperate or having a bad day, look at the sky.   I’ve always told your brothers and you to look at the sky.  It’s the most simple way to center, to find your quiet place, to feel thankful.  The sky is God’s gift to us.  It’s new every day.  It is giant and majestic and beautiful and will remind you that our problems are so small and the world is so glorious.    Beauty is everywhere we look.  Be sure to seek it out with gratitude. 

Look around and be grateful.  Be grateful for every little thing.  God’s blessings will overspill your cupped hands, even during the difficult times.  Raise your hands to heaven when you’re hiking outside.  Shout with exclamation when you’ve received the BEST NEWS.  Hug someone you love and tell them they make you happy. Celebrate God’s wonder.  Always remain in awe.  Notice how the sun feels on your skin, the smell of laundry tossing in the dryer, notice the way your loved ones smile, think about the satisfaction from pencil-scratching the right answer onto your paper.  Notice the way your favorite blanket tucks in around you, notice the way puppy kisses brighten your day, feel the way your body moves as you’re pushing up a mountain.  Be grateful for these things and they will give you light.   

I can’t wait to watch you.  Whatever story you make with your life, I’ll support you.  That’s true.  You pick the path, and I’ll stand behind you.  Don’t be concerned about making Mom and Dad proud.  We are already in your corner, unconditionally.  

One of my most cherished dreams as a young mom was to run with my boys when they grew older.  That dream was realized and is overflowing.   We have covered a lot of miles together.  Running together is one of the best parts of my life.  Awhile ago, as we were running side by side you said to me, “Mom, I always want to run with you. Someday, I am going to come to your house when you’re 80 years old, knock on your door, and take you on a walk and we’ll call it a run”.    Cameron, I want you to know that I’ll be ready: ready to swing open the door and walk into the sunshine with you, throwing our hearts to the sky, as we’ve always done.   I’ll run with you any place your dreams take you.  I will run with you in the darkest times and in your most exhilarating times.  We can chase the light together.  Because it will always be there.  So will I.  So will you.  So will us.  

Cheers to 2018, cheers to my graduate.  
I love you, 
this you know so well,

Mama

1 comment:

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