Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Building A Life (For My Son)

"Life is the sum of all your choices."  ~Albert Camus

Gifts come into our lives from the time we are born.  We cry for our first breath, and our first one is granted.  From that moment on we receive them perpetually.  A bounty presents themselves, not just booties, tricycles, and car keys, but traits as well.  A father’s smile, mothers eyes, and an uncle’s humor are all part of the package of trophies you are awarded along the way.
For an inheritance is not a set of papers nor an estate with a large bank account that can be squandered or lost.  It is an accumulation of gifts, some tarnished with the hard lessons of foolish ways.  While others are brilliant with the wisdom of time.  These offerings cannot be bought, nor wrapped.   They are the attributes that make us who we are.  The principles and the struggles we face are all part of a legacy of choices of all our ancestors before us.  The traits trickle down like raindrops on a window pane, collecting at the sill for us to soak up with a cloth.  They are the offerings and tools we can utilize to build our lives, or to consume them.   All the talents, mistakes, lessons, triumphs, and experiences mold the clay of the ceramics of another generation.  We are truly products of the past, be it strong, or be it weak.  God gives us life, an opportunity to be, and through His grace, He gives us the power to choose how we will use that gift.
This year my birthday gift to you is a simple crafted wooden box.  It was built by a young man that grew up to be your grandfather  Parkes Van Horn.  He was born February 15, 1922, and grew up enduring the struggles of the great depression.  He was a man whose hardships throughout his childhood out-weighed the carefree times children usually experience.  When all was said and done, the difficult times he faced molded him into a stronger man, and made him a wonderful example of the power of overcoming the adversity we may face in our lives.  As a young man, he built this box with the same integrity that built his life.  All the admirable qualities, and every lesson learned both through wisdom, and foolish mistakes, are instruments that shaped the legacy that he has left behind.  This simple wooden box is just one part of many gifts that he has given me, and also passed down to you.  These are truly a genuine and valuable inheritance that is yours to embrace.
Yes, inheritance is more than a set of papers and big estates that can be squandered or lost.   It is the values and purpose that build our lives.  These ideals are the true gifts that our heart learns to carry along the way, and no storm, nor thief can take these prized possessions away.  We can either choose to accept them whole heartedly embracing the lessons that come from them, or let them lie stagnant in waste never progressing or moving forward.   For all these choices are the legacy that we not only leave behind for the ones we love, but we also take with us when we pass away.  My hope for you my son is that you choose the ones that not only build a better life for you, but also for your children and your grandchildren to come.

What we are is God's gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.  ~Eleanor Powell

Linking with lovely Emily at Imperfect Prose