A little personal, but the best things always are.
Maybe this may help you understand what the important things in life really are. This started as I attempted to sleep and wondered who I would like to have been other than myself. The list was endless, a movie star, a great director, an opera great, a rock star, a rich man, a famous man, a martyr, a great author, and on and on and on. I finally decided that I really would only want to be me--warts and all. I did begin to wonder what my sons might be and do with their lives. I wondered what I could give them if I had the power and then realized I had already done it. I had already given them the best of me I could. Of course, I would always hope that they would find what I did, without making as many mistakes as I did in getting there. So, I put this down in the way I know best, a long, meandering poem that most will have to struggle with, but as Hemingway once said, "It may be a poor effort, but it is my own."
May my sons know love, the deep, abiding, trust of love that comes from those who know you well yet love you well beyond what you deserve.
May they know the hurt of loving without letting that close off any part of their hearts for to love is to risk hurt.
May they grow from all the pain they suffer and never let it douse their spirits or turn them from endeavors that are right and good.
May they have joy and joy surpassing that which only comes from the senses.
May they live till they understand who they are and why they are, and may that inform and inspire them.
May they always have compassion for those who suffer and never cause suffering for their own advancement.
May they never turn from a struggle but know when to run from a lion.
May they cry when they should and may that crying enrich their humanity.
May they always laugh at what is laughable but only know "schadenfreude" as a word in German and not as a feeling they ever have.
May they know the love of children, the smile that only asks for a friend, the warmth of a small hand in their greater one.
May they have the admiration and respect of their peers--I know they deserve it--but it sometimes shows up as anger and resentment from those who wish they were like my own three.
May they always deserve the rewards they receive, and may they always give rewards to those who have earned them, even if only a quick word of praise.
May they struggle for a better world than the one in which they find themselves.
May they embrace all the qualities and goodness of their parents, grandparents, family, and loved ones without pretending not to see the warts and hurtful things--because not to learn those is to repeat them.
May they always love and respect each other and always be there for the others so that each knows that help is only a brother away.
If these things be, then I will have received a Nobel prize but spelled as "noble" for that is all for which I could ever wish. I'm not sorry I am not leaving behind any riches for you to share other than those above. It has been my experience that more money has never solved a single one of any of my problems. I lived for the money I would get when my father died, and when he died I got no money but realized he had already given me all the truly good things for which I could ever ask. I pray that is the same for you. If you live as decent, honest, and gentle men, you have exceeded all my hopes for each of you. Do that for me, please. Live always so that others will know that there are decent, honest, and gentle men in their world. I love you more than you can ever know. If you can live so that the things above are true, I will never die but always live in you.
I pray that those who read this may find some encouragement or comfort in it. It is for my readers to use as it was a life lesson for me. God bless.