I’ve watched as you grow with each passing day and I know that we get closer and closer to the day when you are all grown—the day I have to sit back and let you go out into this world and find your place.
But when you go my son, I hope you’ll remember a few things while you are out there on your own.
I hope you’ll remember the love in your hugs and the power behind your “I love you” can make an impact on so many hearts and lives.
I hope you’ll remember to always tell people you love them before you leave; you never want to walk away having them question that because it’s that important.
I hope you’ll remember when you are out there for looking for a future wife that she isn’t the one with layers of makeup; true beauty shows up with no makeup on and says, “I want to help someone else.” That’s the girl to search for. That’s the girl to find.
I hope you’ll remember you can be strong and tough and kind and sensitive all at the same time.
I hope you’ll remember when you do find the one that you’ll know when she needs you to lead, but you’ll also know when to stand by her side and hold her hand through whatever she’s facing and remind her she’s strong enough to face it—not because you are there, but because of her own courage.
I hope you’ll remember being a good man is important but being a good husband who truly values a woman, like your father does me, is invaluable.
I hope you’ll always remember to take the time to slow down. Remember the best things in life can be seen right off your back porch as the sun sets. I hope you’ll never forget even the biggest troubles in life can be solved sitting right there on that same back porch with your dad or me right by your side.
I hope you’ll remember that if one day you ever find yourself too busy to help a friend in need, then you are too busy with the wrong things.
I hope you’ll always remember to see Jesus in the big things and the smallest of things in this life because it’s all a miracle, my sweet boy, I know that to be true because I see it when I look at you and your brothers.
I hope you’ll always know mom and dad are with you wherever you are, no matter how far apart we might be.
I hope you’ll never forget that no matter how bad things seem, you can always come home. Here you’ll always be enough and loved and welcome. The weight of the world can be left right at that front door and then when you’re ready, we can all pick it up together.
But the most important thing I need you to remember is getting to be your mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
This article originally appeared on Grief To Hope with Nikki Pennington
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