Dear Oldest Niece;
I’m watching you grow up. It’s amazing. It’s fantastic. You are turning into a beautiful and kind young woman. Makes me feel a bit old, actually.
With that said, if this blog were a time capsule, there are a few things I want you to know. Things you might not. Things that probably won’t even make sense right now in your young life on this planet, but I need to say these things anyway.
First of all, when your grandmother died, before the day I even knew what a blog was, I wrote out her history for you in a small journal. It’s locked away and you can have it when you get older. There were things I wanted you to know, small items of who she was and little details.
Her favorite song was “All in the Game” by Tommy James. Your grandfather is quite partial to “American Pie” by Don Mclean. Music is important.
Read at least one play by William Shakespeare and try to get it. For me, it was “Julius Caesar.” Then go read something totally fluffy. It all balances out. I tend to lose myself in goofy television shows like Lost or Doctor Who. It keeps the buzz of the real world out for awhile and it helps. But read. It’s important. And, always look at learning something new, even if you don’t want to. You never know when it will come handy to have.
Have a favorite poem. When your mother and I were kids, your grandmother would read the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to us aloud. Read out loud. It’s cleansing. Also read “To Kill A Mockingbird” at least twice. Scout is in all of us. Living in a small-town, books will open up a sometimes very condensed, noisy world where there isn’t very much to do.
I want you to know if I could teach you any lesson, it would be to be kind and to be an Ambassador in good faith to those things that you believe in and to people in general. Pick your battles carefully. Sometimes you won’t win them, but don’t let that set you back. It might for a time, but just embrace the pain as well as the victories. This is how you move forward.
It all passes within in time, suffering and joy. But it all comes back around.
When you get angry, walk away. If you are furious with someone, try to at least understand where they are coming from. You might not understand the static coming from walking in their shoes, but you might at least find compassion. Compassion for others is important.
Don’t do what others do because you think you should. Do what you know is right for you. Don’t just join the pack. In a pack mentality, people tend to eat their own at times. Find your own path.
If you upset someone else, make sure that your inner self didn’t take action for harm. If it did, apologize to them. Then make amends with yourself.
It doesn’t matter what society tells you to look or act like. Be yourself. People say cruel things. Don’t be one of those people. You have control over that.
Life is always not fair. Your great-grandfather told your mom and I many times that Mr. Right died along time ago. He was right. But, this isn’t a bummer. It just is what it is and in the long run, you will appreciate the good that comes your way.
NO ONE, and I mean no one is going to take care of you in a pinch. They will love you, they will protect you, but if you are ever alone in an uncomfortable situation where your parents or I am not around, all you have is yourself. The things you know are right or wrong, your intelligence and your heart will protect you. (And, if not, I will take a bat to someone. Yeah, I’m non-violent and all but a bat and a mighty swing from Mama Bears and Aunt Ticks can teach a good lesson.)
Hide nothing, yet tell little when it comes to people you don’t know that well. Transparency is important, but don’t talk just to hear yourself prattle. Learn from your Aunt Tick (Newscoma) With that said, remember, if it appears to be taboo, it probably is. Listen to your gut. Keep your cards close at hand, because when you ch0ose to give one of those cards away, it’s a gift. Yours to give, the person you choose to receive.
If you do something incredibly stupid, forgive yourself. Just try not to do it again. (Once again, learn from the master of this, yours truly.)
Do something everyday that scares the hell out of you. You will be afraid, but do it anyway.
Like yourself. This is important.
Be playful. Have fun. Embrace the good. Try to look the bad in the eye and move forward. There are times in anyone’s life where they are victimized. Deal with it, learn from it and then move to the next step. Don’t let others define who you are.
If someone is a smart ass and says deliberate things to you to get a rise out of you, remember, if you let them, they win. Ignore it.
Being a rebel with a cause is worthy. Being a rebel without a cause is chaos.
There is more. Much of it is written in a small gift to you, and one to your sister, when you get older.
One more thing, know that I love you if you were my own child.
Love you kid,