It’s been a few months since my last letter to you two.  I apologize for that.  I really haven’t had any new or different news to share, and I’m not one to simply manufacture a reason to write here.  That would go against the whole true purpose of this series of letters.

To get it out of the way — Mom and I have moved into a phase where we can safely communicate live with each other, and not just in IM or Email form.  We haven’t fought since before she left for the Philippines, but there were a few times when it was apparent that mom was struggling with… something.  Not sure what those somethings were, but I’ve transitioned to a place in my head where I’m okay not knowing.  She did share recently that last week was a tough week for her – she was feeling constantly depressed and ended up staying home 3 days out of the 5.  I finally broached the topic on Saturday morning during a quiet morning moment.  She said that she was feeling sad and depressed, feeling as if she needed to leave the house and leave the state and leave the church.   These and other statements prompted me to assure her that there is no expectation on my part that she move out of the house.  I also prompted her to get FMLA approval so that she isn’t stressed out about the possibility of losing her job because of her absences.  And finally, I recommended that she speak with a professional on a regular basis so that she has a non-biased ear who can give her healthy advice.  Ever since that conversation, she seems to be happier and seems to have more energy.  She’s definitely eating better.

I am become very comfortable in my Space – my Room.  It is now a very soothing sanctuary, especially at night.  I sleep better, I wake more rested, and my mind (while I’m there) is not roiling and tossing the problems of life.

I haven’t done much possession reduction in the last couple months, but I definitely need to get back on that.  My den downstairs in a mess because it is currently playing host to all of the miscellaneous stuff of the house (garage stuff not included).  I need to get that space organized so that I can move to the garage and make it a functional space again.

Josh — I have been so concerned for you, son.  You’ve struggled with life and marriage there in California that last few months, and I feel so helpless because I can’t think of anything I can do to help.  You don’t reach out to me when you need to talk, and I don’t know of anyone else out there (a friend) that you can vent to when things because too much.  We all need a vent, and as far as I know, right now you have none.  I SO wish I could help you, buddy.  I love you dearly.

Donday — The wedding plans continue.  I can see and hear that you are getting more and more eager to move to that phase of your life; a life as a wife, experiencing new challenges with Kyle at your side, seeing the world together, and eventually starting a family together.  I’m so excited for you.  I was so sad when Josh left (don’t know if you knew that buddy), but I knew that moving on was important for him…so even though I was sad, I was also happy.  Make sense?  And I’m re-experiencing that dichotomy now; torn between happy and sad.  Such is the life of a dad.  🙂

One vital life lesson I’ve learned recently is the importance of harnessing and controlling my passions.  When I say “passions”, I’m referring to those things that make my voice get automatically louder, my gestures automatically broader, and my eyes automatically wider.  When you have a Director and a VP at work use the same basic phrase, “I can see that you’re very passionate about that…”, that serves as a clear indicator that I need to get a better handle on my outward expressions of my inward feelings.

Passion – in and of itself – is not bad.  It often serves as the primary driving force toward success.  But I’m learning (even at my advanced age) that outwardly expressing that passion can often be off-putting or concerning to others.  They don’t read your passion as a good thing ( at times), they often read it as a lack of control… or even as anger.  I don’t want to feel as if I need to explain my passions, so the best course for me is to be constantly aware of those things in life that spark outward displays of passion, and then acknowledge it, and then finally control / harness it.

I can still be passionate about things — I just need to learn to control the associated expressions of that passion.

Working on it.

I love you both SO much.  I pray for you both every night, and I hope that you always know how very proud I am of you both.