My Dad wrote this for my 18th birthday many years ago then he died less than a year after that at the age of 46. He was the only person in my life who showed me unconditional love. He saved me by loving me as a parent should love a child. Even though he was away so much of my life and I was left with an unloving and very disturbed 'mother', I always felt my Dad's love for me. Here is his letter:
"My Very Dearest Helene: As I lay down breifly this afternoon I again had one of my occasional relaxing rests in which all sorts of pleasent thoughts and things I wished to say to you came to my mind. The main thin is to re-affirm how much I love you and how proud I am of all you've acheived over the years. Parenthood is something like this typewriter ribbon: constantly adjusting but with one big advantage: no replacements necessary. There is never a time when all your problems are solved and suddenly you are one of the 'big guys'. One of the most shocking revelations to me was the realization that there are no 'big guy', just millions of small ones trying at various stages of development to solve the same unsolvable problems. Why are we here? What do we matter? What's the meaning of it all? There are no answers to any of the above questions adn they can deaden the soul and preclude the possibility of going beyond them. I feel that one should ask instead: What concerns me? How can I be a part of the continuum called life which encompasses everything? What can I contribute? What can I learn? What will make me more distinctively human - which means caring and being concerned and able to use my unique humanness? What can I add to the world? How can I serve principles of humanity, intellect and knowledge to the best of my ability and what is realistic of me to expect of myself? In the long run it's better to have a positive rather than a negative attitude. Those this may seem self-evident, it isn't; both possibilities exiist. Helene, I've had the pleasure of seeing you in the hospital the day you were born when you, like all newborn babes looked more like a squashed turnip than anything else. I enjoyed your first cries, even when I changed your diapers. I remember throwing you around like a fottball, chasing you through parks and woods, watching your cavort on the beach, telling you stoies, taking you on trips and so many other things. I am very proud indeed of all you've accompished adn never more so than now as I see you start your way into the world....to stretch your wings toward your ever expanding goals. Always stay as sweet as you are. I love you. Old Dad.