I am not a prophet but what I imagined in this span of 24 months doesn’t seem to have been unrealistic or impractical. I thought by now that I’d be writing and teaching delicious college courses and celebrating the publication of Esther’s Book, and I am! It’s a gorgeous book, a living tribute to a gracious soul. I love this role as author after dreaming a very long time about becoming one (Advice to aspiring writers: start earlier and stay later). My hope now is that I am less full of myself so that I might focus more completely on my readers. I cannot change anything in the past though I can shape the future by ‘being the change I want to see’ as Gandhi said (Of course, I teach college philosophy and think I understand the free will versus determinism debate pretty well. At 20, I only believed in free will. Now, I mostly think we have little to no choice. But that’s a topic for a future blog).
Lori didn’t end up working as a K-12 educational administrator as I had expected but instead chose wisely to focus her vocational energies on the development of our foundation (TSWGO.org) which has now resulted in the distribution of over $130,000 to many needy families! I am convinced that she’d a made a great principal, but that wasn’t her true passion. By choosing to develop our non-profit, she’s unstoppable and, on the day she oversees total gifts given of one million dollars, she’ll have only just begun.
I had hoped to be a better dad. In many ways, I think I am! But I’m not nearly as accessible as I could be. My girls have moved out –Abby to
California and Evangeline to college in and I don’t
expect they’ll be coming home again, as long term residents, anyway. I should have
tried harder to be more of a dad and friend to these adult daughters and to my
young sons. It’s not easy for me to make friends, even in my own family, maybe
especially there. I admire my children immensely and feel that they will do
much good as they navigate their mutual, maturing lives. If we are true to family
tradition, we’ll remain a close unit, though likely geographically apart, which
has its advantages -and disadvantages, some of which have tormented me a bit.
Going forward into time and space, I cannot imagine a life separate from them
and away from any grandchildren that we may be graced with. I do have a Plan of
Engagement and am hopeful that Future Wayne will be brave enough to follow
I still believe today what I wrote 731 days ago as I closed the aforementioned letter to my future self. Two years on, the mystery deepens, love endures, faith and hope abide.
When this letter arrives,
if I am not there to receive it (being gone, really gone. Dead!),
note: I am not really gone
if I can get through to you, my Love
If not, read my writings (which are muddled paintings of where I am now)
My last words were (probably) “I’m ready”
My first words in heaven were:
Therefore we have hope. Plunging head first into 2014 I remain wide awake to the reality that it matters little what I think or do, but also fiercely convinced that my actions and thoughts just might make a difference for someone, somewhere. I can do that much.
|Family Earl at Vidcon. August 2013.|