I came across a beautiful passage and decided that I had to share this with you.
A LETTER TO TWO SONS
Dear Dana and Matthew,
It’s Christmas Eve, and I have retreated to the room which your mother calls Dad’s Word Factory.
For the last few hours, in my own fumbling way, I have tried to help your mother wrap your Christmas toys, and they have now been placed under our tree to await your morning onslaught. Funny, but each year I tease mother about the care with which she wraps each package, for we know how little boys handle pretty ribbons and paper, but she still treats each gift as if it contained gold bars, and maybe they do hold something just as valuable, our love for both of you.
When I finished my duties downstairs, I came up to your room and stood between your beds, barely able to see your faces in the soft glow of the night-light. From below I could hear, just faintly, Christmas carols from the kitchen radio.
Suddenly, and without realizing it, I was on my own knees, driven there, I guess, by my doubts and fears that I’m not the father I should be. Now, I don’t expect either of you to understand this letter, and the odds are great that you will never see it, but I wonder if we have given you the gifts that really count.
Have we taught you to count your blessings, not only so that you will appreciate what you have but so that you will want to do something for those who have not?
Have we taught you to be color-blind, so that you can look at a black, yellow, red, or brown child and see only a friend?
Have we taught you to love your country and to remember the thousands of other boys who gave their lives so that you can sleep in warmth and freedom?
Have we taught you to respect the laws and to understand that if you do not agree with them, you work to change them but never disobey them?
Have we taught you to pray and to pray only for guidance, because God can help you solve any problem of you let Him?
Have we taught you never to quit in anything you do, for if you persist, you will eventually win?
Have we taught you to share, not only your possessions but also yourself, without any thought of acknowledgement or publicity?
Have we taught you that the world is really a beautiful place, filled with beautiful people, in spite of what you see on television?
Have we taught you that you can be anything you want to be if you are willing to pay the price to reach your goals?
And most important, have we taught you how to love? I know you both tell us that you love us, and we tell you that we love you, but it’s easy for us to love each other. What we hope is that you learn to love everyone and that is the hardest job you will ever have until you learn the secret, and the secret is so simple. All you must remember is that hate grows out of fear. If you afraid someone is going to beat you in a fight, you immediately begin to hate him. When you grow older, if you are afraid someone is going to steal your job, your girl, or your business, you immediately begin to hate. Without that fear there will never be hate, and without hate it is easy to love.
Our toughest task, then, your mother’s and mine, is to help both of you to grow up without fear, and this we promise to do with every bit of our ability. Every child is a miracle, so you are both miracles, and there is no room for fear or hate in a miracle.
I prayed before I left your darkened room and I was there so long that my eyes had become adjusted to the faint light and I could see both your faces. Because of this special night I could only look at you, my boys, and think of another tiny boy who slept on this night for the first time, nearly two thousand years ago. He was not as warm as you, His bed was not as comfortable as yours, and His poor mother and father were frightened and alone in a strange town.
Yet I wouldn’t be here in your room tonight, and thinking these thoughts, if it had not been for that small boy and I cannot help but to wonder what His dad was thinking as he looked down on His sleeping face. If it is not sacrilegious, I want you both to know that I envy that other father, for he gave his son the gifts I hope we can give to you.
One more thing. Children forget quickly, so you don’t even talk about Grandpa Teddy anymore. You say “He’s dead” when someone asks you or mentions his name. But the last time we saw Grandpa Teddy was as we were driving away from his house two years ago. Just as we were leaving, he leaned in our car window and said to me, “Drive carefully, you’ve got might precious cargo in the back.”
Only later, after he was gone from us, did I remember his remark and now I think of it again and remember all my boyhood Christmases when, no matter how tough the times, there was always a gift under the Christmas tree for his boys.
You are both, indeed, my precious cargo and I pray to God that He helps me to guide you to manhood and that He allows me the luxury of hanging around long enough to see you reach it.
Merry Christmas, my sons,
Extracted from the book Secrets for Success & Happiness by Og Mandino.
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” – Anonymous
Thank you so much for your support in 2014.
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is the author of the book Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.