Congratulations on your high school graduation. Where to begin? All the years come suddenly to this moment and I am proud, I am thankful, I am emotional, I am nostalgic. And there is in me the dawning realization that every step you take from this day forward will be pregnant with the possibility that your path could take you further away from me than I am comfortable with. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings with you. Being your dad has meant, and will continue to mean, the world to me. I was truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be your dad. From the moment I held you in my arms, I have been a better man.
You have many uniquely wonderful gifts that will take you far in life. You share many fine traits with your older sister as well: You are sensitive, loving, intelligent, responsible, and passionate about succeeding in your chosen paths of study. In short, you both rock!
I have enjoyed tremendously all of your sports seasons from little league baseball, ski team, Cross Country, winter and spring Track. As a parent the satisfaction I felt watching you grow on the field and on the track is something I will treasure forever. Equally memorable, though, were the many nights spent simply lying next to you as you fell asleep as a toddler. During that bedtime routine, you shared your world with me in profoundly meaningful ways. As you got older you brought music into the house. Listening to you play piano will a;ways be a happy memory.
At the risk of making this letter too long, I would like to offer you some college and life advice.
First of all, find good friends. The kind of friends who enjoy life, who are active, and who are mature enough to realize that studying hard and doing well in college are important. Get yourself into a routine so you can make the most of your time. Take advantage of your college. Stay physically active. Get involved in clubs and continue with your music. Have the courage to try something different.
Practice your social skills every day. Remember that the number of different types of people in this world is endless, yet everyone has a fundamental right to respect from all of society.
Respect women, and give your time and attention to women who respect you. Remember there are folks less fortunate than yourselves, and make it a priority to be charitable.
Learn to look at things positively and to have unshakable faith in yourselves. Learn how to heal your hurts, to learn from your mistakes, and to intuitively trust that every one of life’s seeming problems has a solution.
Always remember that you have parents who love you deeply, no matter what. If you make a mistake, if a situation seems hopeless or an obstacle insurmountable, or if you just feel certain that we wouldn’t understand, know that we are ready to listen, to love, to help, and not to judge.
Chase, you are no longer that toddler I used to carry to bed at night. You are no longer that little athlete I got to watch on the field. You are no longer the boy I used to take skiing at Gunstock, go to the movies with, help with homework, or write to while you were away at summer camp. But you will always be my son, and I will always be proud of you.
My arms are not big enough to carry you anymore, but my heart will always have ample room to carry you to the ends of the earth.