Monday, April 12, 2010

"I can no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks"

Thank You.

As adolescent as it may seem to begin a letter with those two words, anything else would be remiss. I recently finished reading your book, A Promise to Ourselves, and having grown up with parents that taught me the importance of gratitude, resulted in writing this letter. As I read each page of your book I learned far more than I anticipated. For the better part of an evening, I felt compassion, sympathy, anger and frustration, and even laughed at your picturesque description of lawyers. I am fortunate to say my parents are still married, so your story along with the other accounts of personal struggles, affected me immensely.

From an early age, my own family relations exposed me to the harsh realities of divorce. As I grew up my social realm proved much the same. I quickly became the "counselor" or the go to guy my friends sought in their anguish. My desire to help my friends and others initially stems from watching my Godmother lose her battle with breast cancer. At twelve years old, I watched my best friend that was more like my little brother, as his life was irrevocably altered with his mother gone. He and I shared conversations that helped us both cope and encouraged us to move on.

A few years later, my world dissolved yet again as breast cancer claimed the life of my grandmother. The progress that I made previously was plundered, and I was headed back to the starting block. Teenage years came and went as I directed my actions to the dreams of others, and pursued dreams I presumed pleasing to the people that mattered the most to me; my parents. In a single sitting I read your book, cover to cover, and strained as my eyes were from reading on a dimly lit iPhone screen, the path I should have been on for years was now in focus crystal clear.

Through the vortex of emotions accompanied with the immeasurable empathy conceived, I was able to understand the significance of following a once childhood dream. Doing something professionally that helps others work through their own issues and struggles with a resolve to overcome obstacles, gives me a noble purpose. Becoming a counselor enables me to use the talents I've been given to help others, with the possible ensuing results being the life of my desire.I believe that in some small way, my desire can possibly help those that are in need of some sort of solace.

So, again, Thank You. Thank you for sharing your own personal story. I admire your willingness to share this with the world, and commend the courage it took to relive events as you wrote this book. Ralph Waldo Emerson penned:

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

These words were read at the funeral of my Godmother, and haven't been forgotten by the 12-year-old ears that heard them for the first time. Now at 26, I feel I am able to breathe easier as I pursue my most sincere dreams, and help others. Thank you.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Nice letter Josh! I'm a fan of writing letters as I find it the best way for me to convey my true emotions. And I could feel your emotions while reading this. Your honesty, sincerity and grattitide came shining through! Hope Alec can read it one day!