Sunday Morning: Dear Son


20 October 1944
US Army Air Force Base
Italy

Dear Son:

I hoped I would never write this to you.  In a little less than an hour, I’ll be strapping myself into my old plane and pointing my nose westward.  I’ve seen the orders.  I think it will be for the last time.  And, so, suddenly I find my life stripped away, like the branches of an old, black tree.  All that matters is that I write this to you.

I know that you won’t remember me.  Not really. When I spent three days with you last year when you were 6 months old, and although you can’t yet understand it, I loved you more then than you might imagine loving anybody right now.

Now listen to me.  This Life, know that it is precious.  You’ve got to grasp it, every little whiff of it that passes by you. It won’t be easy. It won’t be certain. Not now. Not in your unimaginable future.  Don’t be surprised. No, embrace the stiff winds and the lonely heights. Remember your name.  Never turn away from the right course because it’s hard.  Above all, love.  Scrape out the bottom of your soul.  And love for all you’re worth. And when you find her, risk everything. Die a thousand deaths to get her.  Don’t look back.  When you grow older, older than I’ll ever be, blow on the embers of that first heroic choice. You’ll be warmed, sustained.

Some day, you’ll have a son, remember, he’s your greatest gift.  Tell him these things.  Make a man of him.  Love him.  Don’t live to get money.  Have a few things, but make them good things. Take care of them. Learn how they work.  There is beauty in the smell of good machines and old leather.

When you walk, alone, in the autumn, down roads at night, with trees tossing in the sunset, know that I would give everything to walk with you and tell you their names.  But I there, in the light, through the branches, and I’m loving you where I see you.

I must go now.  All my love. For ever and ever.

Dad


Comments

  1. There are no words.

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  2. So very poignant. And what an exquisite gift to leave his child…..

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  3. an everlasting and immensely powerful gift. he was a father of the finest sort.

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  4. “Scrape out the bottom of your soul. And love for all you’re worth.” Oh my. Thank you. Sharing..

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  5. Reblogged this on Makere's Blog and commented:
    “Scrape out the bottom of your soul. And love for all you’re worth.”

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  6. Beautiful advice.

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  7. Reblogged this on On the Homefront and commented:
    One word: Wow

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    • Yes, thanks for sharing LouAnn. Thought you would find it interesting to know that this video was sponsored by Stephenkenn.com. (http://www.stephenkenn.com/). The company designs and produces denim, bags and furniture.

      “Born and raised in Canada (Edmonton, Alberta), artist and designer Stephen Kenn moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to pursue his passion for design. After working in denim and bag design, he turned his eye to the world of furniture. Inspired by the simple design aesthetic of the mid-century era and the stories inherent in vintage WWII military fabrics, he created The Inheritance Collection. The collection is designed and produced entirely in Los Angeles and Stephen is present for every step of the production process, from first sketch to completed piece.’

      Like

  8. Such poignant and evocative words. Heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing Susan x

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  9. As my friend, Marshall, says—you’ve given me a heart-a-crack.

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  10. Reblogged this on Todd Lohenry and commented:
    Beyond the shadow of a doubt, this is the most powerful thing I have seen in ages…

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  11. Reblogged this on THE STRATEGIC LEARNER.

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  12. the letter written to be read as many times, the son will feel low..this letter will inspire him to go a long way in life.

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  13. Love and tears…

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  14. Stunning.

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  15. Wow!!!!

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  16. Reblogged this on Living and Lovin.

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  17. Such a heartrending video, David.

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  18. So appropriate on Armistice Day, Eunice, and very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. How utterly beautiful and stirring. Such love exists in our lives every day and it takes a day like today and words like these to make us aware of that. How blessed are we? Blessed indeed that we are here to be able, today, to read these words.

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  20. Heartbreaking

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  21. Reblogged this on Quote Bard.

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  22. Thank you

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  23. Absolutely awesome message, thank you for sharing this gem!!

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  24. ‘All that matters is that I write this to you.’ Very touching letter.

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  25. Love this — so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] cannot begin to fathom what it must have been like writing this Letter to my son. Nor can I appreciate the son’s […]

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  2. […] found this post on a blog by David Kanigan called Lead.Learn.Live.  It a wonderful blog full of posts that are at […]

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