At Little Man's birthday party his mother had a jar for people to put comments in for him to read when he is twenty years old, in 2034. She kept the jar open for a few days for those who wished to write a more extensive note or letter. I took advantage of this opportunity to write the following:
January 5, 2016
Dear Great Grandson
When you read this on your twentieth birthday I will be gone and in your rear view mirror. The Good Lord willing, I will have my hand on your shoulder from afar.
What is your life like in 2034? I have witnessed changes in my personal life and the lives of those around me that have been some of the greatest achievements of the 20th and 21st centuries. Some of these may still exist in 2034, others will have been supplanted by fresh ideas and accomplishments.
When I began life in 1931, a man walking on the moon was fantasy. Yet it became a reality in my lifetime. Where does man walk today? Take notice of it and appreciate it because it is growth built on earlier accomplishments while you were a baby, a young boy, a teen-ager and are now on the cusp of being a man.
Since I do not have the pleasure of knowing life in 2034 I cannot exult in the roads open to you and your future. I can, however, share some verities that will stand you in good stead.
One, love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and soul. Two, love and respect your parents now and forever. They were so excited at your birth and being a part of your life. You may have brothers and sisters and they are family. One thing I stressed in my family’s life was to never raise your hand or take sides against a member of the family. As I reflect now in 2015, I am proud to say all my children love one another and help each other, and are a comfort to me and were to their late mother, Mary.
Most of all, be yourself young man. Dare to dream and achieve what your heart desires. You are from good stock and you can do whatever you set your mind to. And when you reach the final curtain may you be able to say, as I do, that life was worth living, I had a great time, I would do most things again and my regrets are few.
God Bless you my first Great Grand. Ask your folks about me, learn the good and the bad, and keep me in your prayers.
I loved you.
Francis X. Archibald
Great Grandpa (AKA: Pe-paw)
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