When I think about everything that has happened over the last 18 years, I am amused, honored and amazed. I know it is cliche but it really does go fast. If I only had one piece of advice for you it would be this: Live in the moment! Don’t forget that this is the only life that you have and probably the most important thing is to suck the joy, pain, fun, sadness out of every moment. All of those things are what makes us who we are and they all have a purpose. One of the few regrets in life is that I worried about important moments and never really sat back and felt them. Living the moment is important.
I also want to say that you have come a long way, from a student who experienced some early difficulties to an honor student and a member of the National Honor Society – I never would have guessed it. That is the thing that I am most proud of today. Your athletic ability was a gift to me that made my life more enjoyable over the past several years but truly your hard work academically impresses me so much more. No one gets to have everything but you went out and worked to get what you needed; what you wanted. Being gritty is important.
One thing that I want you to know about today: This is your graduation from high school. It is a great thing to celebrate but remember it is only an interval of where you are going. For some kids today may be the apex of their lives. For you, my hope is that you will understand that this is but one major event in your life and the greatness will continue. Mackenzie’s Nono, Mr. B, once told our class that if he saw us in ten years walking down the sidewalk with our varsity jackets on he would know that he had failed. He wanted high school to be our springboard into great futures. All the high school accomplishments are considerable but they don’t amount to anything in the real world if you don’t continue to grow. Growing is important!
I love you and like any parent I want you to have it all. Over the next few years you will grow more and more independent. You will continue to live every moment, you will continue to be gritty and you will continue to grow. Through all of that remember that I am always here for you but not as a crutch. Your life from now on will be what you choose to make of it. Make good choices, make good friends, and make good connections. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, don’t be afraid to take chances, don’t be afraid to live out loud but always remember that your dad is only a phone call away and he will always be your biggest fan.