My memoirs, as everyone by now knows, was written to my grandkids. Here is the sum of the matter in a letter to them introducing this record of my childhood. It has been a journey—to put it mildly!
My Dearest Grandchildren,
I dedicate to you all my cherished memories—all the things I wish I had opportunity to share in person with you but couldn’t that give you a glimpse at life’s lessons that I have been learning.
I fear humankind is moving away from what should be valued most. The world does not share some of my convictions.
And the record of my childhood might shock you; so; be prepared. It might read in part like a poorly written novel instead of what it is: the dysfunctional observances of an old man. No two persons see the same account the same way; so, my recollections may not be the same as those who also were with me at the time. But these are mine and I share lessons learned based on that history—though imperfectly remembered. And I apologize if I got a name or age or year or some other detail wrong. But here is what I have found.
Live by principle and not just feeling. Find what works by which to govern your life and let your conscience guide you. Don’t allow intimidation to deter you from what you know is right. With God’s help, discover who you are and be yourself. Follow your dreams and follow your happiness. But happiness might be a treasure hidden in that field of dreams; so, put a high value on discovering and learning.
I am not talking college but life. Life is learning or it isn’t really lived. Learn to be patient and to wait. Learn to be a self-observer and always be honest with yourself over what you see. There is a greater source of wisdom within you than perhaps you realize. And in learning life, discover how real God can be. [Matthew 11:29]
Learn how to communicate your love, your thoughts, your values, you convictions. Be clear and honest and of single purpose—and be committed.
Learn to ride the waves of life’s disappointments and never give up on yourself. Learn to accept failure as a step to success, nothing more. Learn to accept what you must to reach your goals. Learn to forgive—yourself… and others.
Learn to discern, to recognize love and when you are loved.
And know above all, you are loved and that my hope for your future is limitless. [Philippians 1:6]