This I Believe

Barb - Loveland, Colorado
Entered on March 9, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: children
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe the life I lead is the best indicator of my beliefs. I also believe that there are times when one’s thoughts and feelings are best expressed in a letter. . . .

Dear Nate,

I was going to write this sort of letter to you when you graduated but remembered that today is all we have and not miss this opportunity.

You are considered an adult by society and somehow, I can’t let go of that little boy I once held so tightly; when a kiss and a hug could heal so many hurts. I guess I won’t believe my job as a parent is done until I draw my last breath. I will always love you and I will always care what happens to you and to those you love. I’m sorry if that seems unnecessary and over-bearing to you. Some day you will know what it’s like to be given the most wonderful gift in the world, a child. And from that day forward you will also know what an awesome responsibility goes with it. The time will come when I will stand before God and answer for my life – and for my role as a parent. I have no doubt that my role has been riddled by mistakes and missed opportunities. Everything I did was out of love for you and wanting you to become a healthy, well-adjusted, responsible adult. The rest, I figured, was your decision.

I’m a very black and white person; which makes raising teenagers tough at times. I know you feel that I’m old-fashioned and I can’t apologize for that because I believe that those values are timeless. And in them, lies the secret to contentment. You will not always be happy, frankly, I’m not sure any of us could stand perpetual happiness but contentment is something else. It’s that wonderful feeling that there’s no one else in the world you’d rather be with, nowhere else you’d rather be, and nothing else you’d rather be doing! It’s patience that allows all three to come together. It’s also takes a conscious effort to strive for contentment in your life.

There’s a lot that I don’t know, but of these, I’m certain: your faith will get you through all things and it has to be nurtured; prayer does provide solace; the ten commandments are a great guide to live by; investing time and energy in faith, family, friends, and education is never wasted effort because once those are held in your heart and your mind, no one can take them away. I know that the ability to maintain long-term relationships makes for happier and healthier people; children teach us more about ourselves than anyone or anything else does; characteristics like honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, truthfulness, and humility are more valuable than gold; find your true vocational calling and you’ll never “work” a day in your life; everything you do has to be for the love of doing it and not for any other reason – the reward in daily living is in the joy you create and in the satisfaction of easing another’s burden every chance you get.

I know that enthusiasm is contagious, as is smiling and laughing. One of the mistakes we all make is taking ourselves too serious. I know that we only go around once in life and it’s too short to live with regrets. I also know, that there are no guarantees of a long life, that today is all we have and now, is the moment.

I also know that clean sheets make for a better night’s rest; that watching the sun rise can never be done to often and that peace is something to hold onto all day long; that when you look to the west and the mountains are purple – you are reminded that America is beautiful!

At night, before you sleep, it is my fervent prayer that you will have made the most of this day, that you remember to thank God for all your blessings and that you put your cares in His hands, trusting that He will never leave you or forsake you.

I can’t begin to tell you how much richer my life has been because of having You in it. I pray for you daily, Nate and I hope that all your dreams come true.