Dearest Gehrig and Eliana,
Good afternoon, sweethearts. I am sitting here in my office at about 5:00 PM and finishing up a busy day which included going into Mineral Wells to get a haircut, drop off laundry (you get a discount for having your shirts pressed if you drop them off on Monday, don’t ask me why), wash my filthy Tahoe and mail you two some pictures I took from your first week on the planet. I sent them Express Mail so you should get them tomorrow. I hope you like them.
I miss you two so much. I can’t wait to get back up to see you on the 24th of February. Have you missed me holding, rocking, and singing to you? O.K., then how about just the holding and rocking? Hopefully your Grandma Vicki is getting all that done for the both of us (except for the singing). How is your Mama doing? You know she doesn’t get as much sleep as you do, so please keep being as happy and content as you were when I left and that will help her out for sure. She loves you very much, like Grandma and I do, and you couldn’t be any more perfect in her eyes or ours.
You may have noticed your Dad acting kind of weird from time-to-time, but don’t freak out. He is just thinking of the awesome responsibility he has to provide for you guys and make certain you have everything you need in life. In fact, both your parents are going to do everything in their power to give you all the love, protection, comfort and advantage they possibly can. That’s their job. For that, you should feel very fortunate. And your grandparents (Ron, Kathy, Vicki and me) are going to spoil you really good. That’s our job and we take it seriously. Trust me.
As a part of that process, I am going to, occasionally, write you little letters. In each letter I am going to try to impart some wisdom, a "Pearl", if you will, to contemplate from someone who has been on the planet now 3,189 weeks longer than you guys. Oh, I know you won’t have much interest until you grow a little older. And, of course, there is the possibility that some of what I share might never interest you. But I am going to try to make it relevant. Maybe we can even debate some of these “Pearls” in the future. (Sorry, that is what we do on your Mom’s side of the family).
So, let’s get to it.
Pearl: “I am third”
This phrase relates to how I would recommend you always try to live your lives. In our culture being third is not something most people strive for. Being first gets the prize. Being first, wins. The Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears last night in Super Bowl XLI, the championship of professional football. The Colts are No. 1. Being second is O.K. The Bears are the second best team in football this year. But no one remembers who was third. So why, “I am third”? Because in life GOD needs to be No. 1. Try to always put Him first in your thoughts, in your actions and in your service to Him. Try to put other people (your family, your friends, your country) second. By putting yourself third, all of the other things in life will work out well for you. Is it easy? No. Can anyone do it all the time? Probably not. I know I have not always been successful at keeping myself third. Just work at it and give it a good try. You won’t be sorry for it.
Love you bunches and bunches,