To My Granddaughter

Dear Emma,

Happy Birthday! Look at you, girl–eighteen, smart and beautiful–how good does it get?! Now you’re heading off to college and they’re telling you it’s all up to you. Well, on the evidence, you’re gonna light ’em up. You’ve got a lot of people rooting for you. Count me as one of of the rooters who wishes you the best.

What I wish most for you is a meaningful life. If it hasn’t already happened, I hope you get struck by an incredible flash of inspiration, some vision or person whose remarkable work  resonates with you and draws you passionately into your life’s work. I don’t think anything gives life more meaning than doing work that you love.

I hope you find someone to love and eventually marry. This is how we’re meant to be. No rush, though. Most guys your age have to grow up some before they’re worth having around. Eventually, you’ll find yourself watching late night movies with someone and you’ll both know it’s right. A good marriage will sustain you.

Don’t miss out on  having a family. It’s hard, hard work, but very rewarding  (especially when you get to be a grandparent!)

I don’t want to wish for tough times for you, but everybody has them and I imagine you’ll have your share. The thing is, it is our difficulties that force us to mature. It is maturity that makes us valuable to others. And knowing we are valued makes us grateful for our lives.

These things being said, I wouldn’t recommend that you have a hard and fast plan for your life. Most of the really great things in store for us come when we least expect them. We just have to stay in the moment and recognize them when they come.

God bless you, and good luck at Chapel Hill this fall.

All my love,

Granddad

 

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