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To My Son
Patrick Goins
3 July 2002

Some would say that it was wrong to bring a life into this tumultuous world. Some would say life itself was the cruelest of punishment. I say otherwise. I say life is the greatest joy a soul can have, for without life, would our souls even know joy? Is this Purgatory? Is it some waystation on the journey through the cosmos? I don't know. I only know what God has shown me, I can only give you what God has given me. Life is confusing at times, dark and clouded like the stormy skies in June, but there are moments, son, moments when Life comes into a focus so clear that it staggers your mind. In these enlightened moments, visions and visionaries are born. It is in these moments that greatness is inspired. The fogged glasses of reality are lifted from your weary eyes, son, and life is shown in all its beauty. Appreciate this. Appreciate beauty. Art, nature, literature, women. Appreciate beauty in all its forms. Praise it and love it, but do not indulge yourself or succumb to some kind of degradation. Temperance is a virtue. Son, you have stumbled upon the life of a dreamer, a quasi-sage, a blind man. What lot of fate did you draw to be thrown into my arms? You have fallen, son, into the world of dreams. I will tell you now that nothing is impossible. Nothing is beyond your reach. Persistance, perseverance, and determination are all you need to pick a star from the sky. At this time in my life I am 17. 17. That is but a tiny scratch on the surface of the pool of time. I don't have all the answers right now. I don't have many. But I promise you I will have a multitude more by the time you are ready to ask them. You are my legacy. You are a piece of me that will carry on into eternity. With you I will live on. With you I will be born again. I can't begin to fathom the circumstances of your birth, or the kind of family you will find yourself in. You might have an older sister or you might be an only child. We might be rich or we might be poor. God has given me so many gifts, son, but you are by far the greatest he could give. My mother told me when I was a boy that I was destined for great things. She told me I had some great future to live up to. I don't know if I have lived up to it. I can only hope. If me, being the amalgamation of my mother and my father, am destined for greatness, then you, being the future amalgamation of your future mother, and myself are destined for a future unparalleled. I always said that I wanted my name to live forever. You will carry it. Whether it is a stigma or a signet of great importance is unknown to me at this time. You must be the torchbearer. You must clear a path into the unknown haze of your own future with your dreams and your talents. You must forge yourself anew. I can guide you only so far and after that, you must sail on into the fog, but know that a light burns for you in my heart, a light unquenchable to guide you back. I can tell you what I've learned so far in my life, son. Which isn't much.

Try and get along with your mother, no matter how much you whine I will probably take her side.

Be the best you can be, that is all we can ask.

Never back down. Never give up.

Fighting is only a last resort.

Be yourself. Don't conform.

Life gets better, even at its worst it can still be worse than that.

Hope. True death is only the absence of hope.

Dream. Dream the world as you want it and work to make it so.

Use what you've been given, whether that be big feet or an unequaled brilliance.

Have faith.

The best thinking is done in solitude.

There is nothing better than a quiet sunset in Autumn.

Live. Each day is a blessing that you must use to your advantage.

If it is meant to be it will be.

Live as if today is your last. Love as if tomorrow doesn't exist.

The future is yours to take - grasp it.

Ask yourself the questions.

You can only be what you are.

Don't be afraid of getting hurt, it will only stop you from starting relationships.

Figure out what you want and pursue it.

In art and literature, the uglier and more complicated it is, the more it is praised.

Don't play games with hearts.

Don't let your pride drag you down.

Feel. Don't repress your feelings.

Girls are complicated.

Make friends, but don't try to make everyone your friend.

Keep only one face, don't try and pretend that you like someone when you don't.

Rage against the dying of the light.

The world is a big place.

Seek and ye shall find.

Do unto others or they will do unto you.

Do unto others as you would have done to you.

A flower can bloom even in the most hostile of environments.

You can't choose who you love.

Listen to yourself above all others.

Control your temper. Don't let your anger overwhelm you.

Don't compromise yourself or your morals.

Don't let anyone tell you that thinking is bad.

Never give up hope that there is someone out there especially for you.

Never stop believing in something greater than yourself.

I haven't learned much in 17 years, but I hope to learn more. I hope to learn enough to answer every question you have. The world is a strange place, a strange glowing orb with 6 billion other inhabitants who think nothing like you. I don't know how you'll look, son. You might have my frame or my hair, or my eyes. You might have your mother's face, or her hands, or her smile. However it is, I know you'll turn out better than I could have imagined. You will make me proud, and I will love you with every fiber of my being. Remember that. Nothing you can do will ever make me stop loving you.

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