Dearest Young’en (it’s a new one, aren’t you excited?):
But I digress, how odd…
Dear Thomas George Raphael Turjančík (see, I remember your real name!): this day, at 13:29 Central European Standard Time, in the year 1991 (I did not have to look at the tattoo on my left forearm to remember), I met you.
You were as calm about it as you often are today, outwardly anyway, though we both know it’s different on the inside, I and your father on the other hand, wore our stuff, loudly on our sleeves.
We were happy, so very very happy, and excited beyond measure, and not a bit frightened, a great many bits frightened, each for our own reasons. The inner demons we had yet to quell, respectively and as a couple, had not yet been fully outed, never mind sorted.
But this event, your homecoming, changed us, at least for a short while, for the better, so much better. For you took us out of ourselves and into a frontier that your father had traveled to previously with your brothers, but one that I, had not yet ventured into; a world in which someone else is 100% reliant upon my reliability; a universe in which by default, I became the center of your universe. I was not ready for that, and I had so much to learn.
We know that there was a time I failed you, failed us, and we have jumped and tripped over many hurdles, vaulted over seemingly unreachable bars, and spent time in a deep, dark, abyss, individually and together; but we have both made it here. And you, the perfectly-imperfect child you have been, continue to be for me, have found to yourself, in a way that inspires awe in everyone you meet, and me, every.single.day.
And while I like to believe that my particular brand of parenting, what I stand for, has had a positive influence on who you are, how beautifully you function in the astonishingly complex world we occupy, that is; with a critically thinking intelligence, with grace, insight, with compassion, and kindness, all of this and more, is yours, yours alone, to own and take credit for.
It is the fruit of your labour, Thomas, of the hard, often painful personal work I have watched you wrestle with these past few years, supported when asked, but viewed from a distance that was often excruciating for me to keep. Know, as I believe you do, that I was (am) always ready and waiting with a life-ring when needed.
I cannot ask for a better gift on this day, the day I met you 29 years ago, than knowing, trusting, that when life offers up her lifey-life bitch-slaps, or we walk willingly, stupidly into them with eyes wide shut, for to believe that we do not, is to lie to self first and foremost, you will eventually find your way back out, and with a newly forged, temporarily, until next time, sense of self.
It is a gift for me to believe that you understand the importance of introspection, and personal revision, the critical role of, and need for personal evaluation and re-evaluation, the imperative of personal evolution as a constant, not as an event, and I thank my F.U.Gs that I can believe you are aware of this, central tidbit: every response or reaction you choose, to anything or anyone else, that while fueled by those outward influences, is a thing generated internally, by self, and self-alone, it is a choice.
This is important, for to believe otherwise cloaks us in a coat of personal powerlessness, a coat I could not bear to watch you wear, the coat of blame and perpetual victim-hood. I have worn it; it is an outdated, heavy, ugly garment, best recycled into something more useful, like a pair of really great shoes, or better yet, an I-love-me/you-jacket.
And so we have found to next: you have found Love this year, with a capital L, and already, the two of you are weathering pitiless life storms. She has not been kind to you both and your still fledgling union, but I see you walking through it, limping at times, and I fear less for you both, because you have each other, and folks like me and her tribe to help hold you up over the roughest spots.
And I am so grateful that you have her, Alison, this gift to both of us. It is a monumental time in our world, and if I don’t make it through the other side of the current, real and present danger, knowing she is here with you, will have made everything, every.single.thing I didn’t finish, still have a burning desire to accomplish, irrelevant. Because you, the only thing of value to me, will not be alone to wade through the wreckages of the havocs we have wreaked upon ourselves as a species.
And so this, my child, the child I would have chosen had I been given a choice of who I want you to be, is my Advanced Directive: do not wait for lifey-life to get back to ‘normal,’ ever. Live it as best you can, in the moment, right-the-fuck-now, under the current circumstance, and/or restriction. Live it with purpose, and accomplish, take a single step toward something you yearn, burn to do, every.single.day.
Take my advice, for I was not using it. I have wasted too many of my days on irrelevant (to me) endeavors, in the name of others, their beliefs, their needs, their power, their ill or well intentions toward me… bla bla fucking bla…. Do NOT, I beseech you, under any circumstances, follow my ill-fated lead in this regard.
I love you more than any word will ever do justice to, and I thank my F.U.Gs for you, every.single.day, for 10,593 days, and counting, and I thank them for you too, our Alison.
All my love,
(I got a new one too!)