The future; no matter what

We had your 10th birthday party at the skating rink with 13 of your friends.

We had your 10th birthday party at the skating rink with 13 of your friends.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I purposely sat you in the back passenger seat – so that I could quickly glance back at you as we drove, Izzy. I took you to Nana and Papaw’s house for Spring Break up in Hendersonville.

You spent the week shopping, getting manicures and pedicures, going to church, fishing with Papaw, and going to out to dinner with Nana’s “secret women’s group.” Like every year, you had a blast.

But for the hour long drive up there I had you all to myself. Just an hour. But as we rode we talked, and sang, and laughed.

My sweet first “baby.” The one who just turned 10. The one who I used to lay in the floor beside your crib, with my arm outstretched, holding your hand while you tried to fall asleep. The one who is growing up before my eyes. The one who writes secret prayers on note cards and seals them up. Still the one who gave me my first glimpse of what heaven must feel like.

I stole  quick glances at you staring out of the window from the backseat. I couldn’t help but to think about the future and all that it may hold for you. I smiled and couldn’t stop the smile from growing wider for the entire trip. It was the sort of pride and joy that had me on the verge of inexplicable laughter.

Max and Kate, you two started tee ball a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had a great time watching you practice and play in the dirt. Max, you’re  powerful little guy and Kate you are the fastest kid – boy or girl – on the team (the Indians).

teeballpractice

I haven’t written to you much lately. I’ve been busy. Not just with work and training and normal home life, but also in real contemplation, finally, about the future.  Mommy and I have been having coffee together alone at least once a week to discuss where life is going.

We’ve started at age 65 and are working our way backwards in 5 year increments creating a life plan. 65, because we figure that’s when I’ll stop working – 25 years from now. We’re painting a picture of what that will look like – and that exercise has made me more sentimental than usual (and that’s a lot). There are weddings, college educations, mission work, and service to the kingdom that shall drive us to succeed – no matter what.

I intend to get back to writing to you more frequently. Perhaps I’ve been overthinking it.

I started reading Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning” and believe that after just 75 pages this book will be life changing for me. It’s reaffirmed for me that love is the most we can aspire both to give and to receive in this world. And that no matter our present circumstance, our response to those circumstances is the one freedom that can never be taken from us.

It’s paralleled my commitment to memorizing God’s Word this year – most recently this passage resonates with Frankl’s assertion about our ultimate final freedom:

“No matter what happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” – Philippians 1:27

I love you,

– Daddy

ps. A few nights ago, Max, I was shirtless, searching for a DVD for you to watch before bed. I paused for a moment and scratched my stomach as I puzzled over where the missing movie might be. You paid me an unusual compliment: “You sure are good at scratching your belly, daddy.” The things I’m teaching you are many, my son.

TRAINING:

Tuesday: Ran 6 miles

Wednesday: Swam 1500

Thursday: Ran 4 miles

Friday: Rode 26 miles

Saturday: Rode 30 miles