For a few years I have been writing a letter weekly to my teenage granddaughter. I think that probably most teenagers need all of the emotional and spiritual help that they can get. I write. She does not reply, but I know that she reads the letters. Here is an excerpt from this week’s letter.
We really need to keep track of our past so that it informs our decisions today using are goals and plans for tomorrow so that we process our way through our lives. I think that works for grandfathers as well as teenage granddaughters. So, what do I do with thoughts about how my life would have been different had I joined the military instead of pushing on toward my college degree, or if I had married the first woman that I loved? I try to remember that life would have been different. I try to remember why I made the decisions that I did and in making those decisions what I learned about living my life today. At the same time I look forward to the future and put into practice some actions that will help me whatever the future brings. I live today so that if it is to be my last day, that I was doing the things today that I think are important to be doing today while fully expecting to be living with the consequences of today’s actions in the future.
The pathway through life is seldom clear, but we do the best that we can as we try to find the pathway. I’ve been carrying a backpack in my life that at times seemed like a struggle but I’ve grown used to carrying it and it does not seem like a struggle now. The pathway forward in my life is still unclear, but I can see the path along which I have come and that gives me courage that I can continue through the murkiness of the future.