Sunday, November 11, 2012


Rees turned eighteen yesterday and although I'm rarely at a loss for words (appropriate or not, unfortunately) I've been staring at a blank page for half an hour during this, my all-alone-quiet-time.   Ken already wrote a perfect, poignant letter and tucked it inside a Man Book, but I've scanned some great old baby pictures that beg to be shared, so blather on I will . . .

This is the best picture so it's first.

He made me a mother. Although too much comparison time on this computer often renders me depressed by my maternal flaws, I love motherhood and I love him very much. I also like him very much. He's a pleasant, funny, honest, hardworking guy who lives his Holy Faith. He likes country music, pizza, backpacking, hunting, Tolkien, and the USMC. He does not like Josh Groban (I'm working on that.), sushi, hybrid cars, Barack Obama, clapping during Mass, and cystic fibrosis.  He can climb Pioneer Peak, field dress large animals, argue politics, play with his little brothers and sisters, and ju-jitsu bad guys to the ground; but he can't sing or cook (Sorry, Future Wife.).

Because of CF care, we let him do things that first-time parents rarely do: eat cake, watch TV, and nap in our big bed, but it didn't ruin him and mellowed us more quickly, which the other kids appreciate. Because he was our firstborn, we were certain he was the brilliantest boy ever and began schoolwork early. But because he grew up to be logical and figured that out, he slowed down his pace near the end (You never did give me that essay on The Abolition of Man, did you?).

So he's eighteen now ~ working, taking classes, driving around with friends, hiking alone, and taking care of himself. I still do his laundry and fix him food and stay up late watching movies with him, as we move into the next life. Along with sweet, teary nostalgia, I look forward to seeing where Our Lord leads him and ask the Blessed Mother to join me in prayer for him.

Two weeks old at a friend's wedding.

Driving to Alaska.

Not quite a year old (at Providence Hospital).

Two years old.

Here are the Man Quotes that Ken put in his letter:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life…”
-Rocky Balboa
Speaking to his son in Rocky Balboa (2006)

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
-President Theodore “Teddy/TR” Roosevelt

“Now what should happen when you make a mistake is this: you take your knocks, learn your lessons, and then move on. That’s the healthiest way to deal with a problem.”
-President Ronald Reagan (1987)

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?

There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”
-Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr.

“If running against men has wearied you, how will you race against horses?  And if in the land of peace you fall headlong, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?”
-Jeremiah 12:5

“Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, for while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.”   “…man of God… pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
-1 Timothy 4:7-9, 12; 6:11-12

Last night.