Letter From My Father

The following letter from my father…

April 7, 2004

Dear Breanna and Blake,

This letter and this package is for both of you. I hope you have fun with it..and…that it gives you a different way of looking at your life.

In this package are two “LifeStrings”, one for each of you.

First, take them out and unroll them so you can see how long they are.

See how I have marked them every inch? There are 87 inches on each string.

Now, let’s pretend that each inch stands for one year of your life. I don’t know how long any of us will live, but since my father lived 86 years, and Nana’s mother lived 87 years, I just made these strings 87 inches, or years, long.

Notice that I have marked every 10 years. So, when you stretch out this LifeString, it marks when you hit 10, or 20, or 30, etc. as you travel life’s highway and get older.

Ok, but what are the purposes of this life string? The answer to that is “lots of things, depending on your imagination”.

My favorite purpose of the life string though happens when something “upsetting” happens to you in your life. Then, if you look at how old you are when this “happening’ takes place you can see that….hey! You have a long life left in front of you and whatever it is, it’s not the end of the world.

Let’s pretend you had these LifeStrings when you moved to Montana two years ago. Bree, you were about 10 1/2; Blake you were about 9. Do you remember what a shock it was to move then? But look at the stretched out life strings……look at how many years you have to live and do so many, many things.

When you look at it that way, it helps you realize that something “upsetting” is really only for a short while in our lives and all sorts of good things are ready to happen in our futures. Exciting things as you both grow up and become grown-up adults.

Try this with your LifeStrings for fun: with your mom and dad’s help, figure out how many years you lived in Seattle before moving to California. Now take one of your magic markers and color that number of years starting at the beginning of the string.

Then figure out how many years you lived in California. was it 8? Now pick a different color and color those years in.

And Montana! 2 years so far? Ok, pick a different color and add that in too.

So now your LifeString has 3 colors on it. but, look at how much of your life is left uncolored on your life string! Wow! who knows what our futures will hold or where you will live as you grow up and go to school or get married or travel in the world or? or? or?

Use your imagination and play a life string game. Breanna you could imagine where you will be as an actress when you are 21 or 26 or 30. Los Angeles? Hollywood? New York? London? And Blake with your imagination what life will you have? Where will you be when you’re 21 or 30 or 40?

Of course, there’s no real “correct” answer because we can’t read our futures. But you can have fun with these life strings and let them help you think about the future.

And, let them show you how “biggies” that happen to you today are not really so big after all when you realize you have so many years ahead of you to do so many fun and interesting things.

I hope you enjoy these life strings and make fun games out of them. When we next visit maybe you’ll tell nana and me about your favorite imaginary game plan for your life string years ahead of you.

I love you both and remember how proud we are of both of you.