That nickname has caught so strongly and stuck that I need to occasionally remind myself of your birth name.I have been thinking for some time about writing this letter to you. It seems to be easier for me to communicate through writing than it does face-to-face.
Twenty-six years ago you came into my life. I will never forget that day. As I held you in my arms I wondered what would be in store for you. I wondered, as I still do if I would be a good father to you.
As you know I keep a daily journal and on the day you were born I wrote how happy I was to have a son. An now, over 26 years later I find myself being able to write the same thing. You are definitely a young man with an amazing sense of humor and a work ethic to make anyone proud. One of the proudest days I had as your father was Matt Cercone’s wedding. As mom and I left Matt made sure we first met your boss. The comments he made about you and your work ethic brought tears to my eyes. My eyes still become moist when I think of those comments. I am excited to see what the rest of your life brings and what you will accomplish beyond your present accomplishments.
Raising you was easier than I had ever expected. You learned from your mistakes and from watching others make mistakes. There are times when we don’t agree and that is life. You taught me patience, tolerance and acceptance as well as a considerable amount of humility. I recall one Sunday after we arrived home from one of your little league games. We retreated to the empty lot behind our house and threw the football back and forth. I asked you if you felt embarrassed that the level of knowledge and like for football that had did not rival that of the other fathers. Your response reminded me that my ignorance, at least about football was not something over which I should have been concerned.
I want to let you know how proud of you I am. It has been an absolute pleasure watching you grow from a small child to the successful and independent man into which you have grown.
Now you begin a new chapter in your life that includes Caitlin.
Every parent’s greatest fear is that their child will make the wrong decision when it comes to marriage. But from the first time I met Caitlin, I knew she was someone special. As you began to see Caitlin I could see from your excitement that she had a powerful effect on you. I watched you become became happier and more self-confident. I watched the way she treated you and how she brought out the best in you. I secretly hoped, for your sake, that your relationship wouldn’t end. My prayers have been answered. I couldn’t have chosen a more suitable young lady to be my daughter-in-law. Caitlin, welcome to the family!
A wedding day letter wouldn’t be complete without some advice on marriage. You are a beginner and I’ve had 32 years of experience. So this is what I have learned:
Marriage is grand, divorce is about 10 grand.
The key to a long and happy marriage is to remember just two little words: Yes dear!
Now that you are married, Caitlin will always have the last word in an argument. Any word that you add after that is by default the start of a new argument!
On a more serious note, here are 15 tips that I have found to be very helpful in my marriage:
A Daily Phone Call or text message – to say, “I love you,” to touch base, to discuss your day, to show you care.
A Weekly Date – to go out to eat, see a movie, attend a concert, go to a park, or anything to just be together.
Pay attention to what Caitlin is dealing with and lend a hand.
Live On a Budget – communicate about money, stay out of debt, temper your wants, agree on your expenditures.
Listen – not only to what is said but also to what is meant.
Support Caitlin – in school, career and other goals.
Forgive Each Other – let it go, admit you’re wrong, don’t hold grudges and never use the “Silent Treatment.”
Patience – for tardiness, missed meals, thoughtless remarks, or imperfections.
Soft and Kind Words – gentleness, compassion, kindness, empathy for each other.
Care About Caitlin’s Family – enjoy their company, visit them, overlook their differences.
Occasional Gifts – small tokens of your love, notes, gifts of time are especially important.
Well, there you have it, my advice to having a long and happy marriage.
Kujo, I’m so pleased with who you are and your choice of Caitlin as your wife. You are a credit to our family and to the human race. May you and Caitlin have a wonderful, prosperous, exciting and happy life together.
With All My Love,