Happy 2nd B-Day!

Lincoln James 2nd B-day 3
Dear Lincoln my little man,

I know, I know, it’s been 2 months since I last wrote to you on this blog. But you will find that doesn’t mean I haven’t wrote to you at all. As I have told you before, I have several notebooks that I write in all the time. I just haven’t gotten on the computer that much.

Life with you is much more than an adventure, it’s awesome! It’s also a learning experience. Everyday I learn more about myself and the way I look at life. At 2 years old you show more love, compassion, and joy than most adults. I have watched you put a smile on peoples faces that appear to have lost that simple joy of feeling happy.

For your 2nd birthday your momma thought it would be great to spend the day at Spicers Orchard, and boy was she right. You had a blast picking apples, pumpkin hunting, playing with other kids, and lets not forget the cider and pumpkin doughnuts.

Someday when you read these letters I can only hope and pray that you know how deeply you are loved little man.

From here to the moon I love you, Puppa

Lincoln James 2nd B-day
Lincoln James 2nd B-day 2

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Lincoln James 2nd B-day 6

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I’m like an onion, let’s peel back a few layers

Dear Lincoln,

Looking back at the letters I have written you I realized that I had promised to tell you about me and so far I haven’t. I intend to fix that now. Bear with me as some of the things that I will tell you now will need further expanlation but for right now let’s keep it to brief snippits.

I was born in Saginaw Michigan

I am the oldest of three boys, my middle brother is Jack and youngest is Jeff

My parents divorced when I was 17

I held several jobs during my senior year in high school to help support the family. I drove a delivery van at 4 in the morning before school for a bakery. After school I worked on a dairy farm for a few hours, then to a little corner pharmacy as a janitor and then ended my night as a dishwasher-bus boy at a family owned restaurant, home after midnight.

My family comes first!

In school I played football, basketball, baseball, track and golf.

I had severe asthma when I was young and spent way too many nights each fall-winter in the hospital in an oxygen tent. I eventually grew out of it.

I was turned down for military service due to my medical record of asthma.

I don’t like being told I can’t do something

I pray daily

I read the bible and find comfort in it’s pages

I believe that its more important to count the life in your years and not the years in your life. Like Fluffy Guy always says, “I don’t want to die tomorrow knowing I could of had cake tonight”

I love you more than anything!

Your Nana was my high school sweetheart and still is!

I had a photography studio for 20 years

I am the family photographer, the keeper of memories through a camera lens

Over the years your momma has claimed that I have become “sappy”

I don’t hide my emotions

I make sure that the people that matter know it.

It is not uncommon for me to read 6 books at one time, I enjoy reading

Every year, when asked what I want for my birthday or Christmas, everyone knows the answer… a hot cup of coffee, a good book and a warm bosom. You’ll understand later

Integrity means a lot to me, it’s not what you do when someone is watching, it’s what you do when no ones watching.

I learned the definition of being a man from my Papa and Great Great Grandpa Buck

I know that it’s harder to do whats right then what is easy. I’ll always chose whats right

I write poetry

I have been a retail manager for over 30 years

I listen to all types of music

My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption

I have read every Harry Potter book more than once and loved them

My favorite author is Mitch Albom

I support mom and pop establishments

I was baptized Presbyterian but changed religions when I was in 6 grade to Catholic because I wanted more out of my church. At the time my church did not allow me to attend mass because they said I was too young to understand, so I started attending St George Catholic Church in Saginaw with a friend.

I attended 3rd grade catechism while I was in 6th grade so that I could become Catholic

I can’t sing but love to, and you seem to enjoy it

I played the violin, drums and guitar when I was younger

I still play the guitar

Words are important to me, always watch how you say things, words can heal as well as hurt.

I have never smoked. My mom, your Great Grandma Luna, told me when I was entering junior high that peer pressure would force me to try smoking and she understood if I did. Like I said before I don’t like being told I can’t do something, I said I wouldn’t smoke and I never have.

I believe we all have the ability to chose, so chose wisely.

I miss Smokey the Bear commercials “Only you can prevent forest fires”

My first job was being a paperboy for the Saginaw News when I was 11 years old. 7 days a week, 300 papers a day.

During the summer I pushed an ice-cream cart around the neighborhood to earn extra money. I haven’t seen an ice-cream cart in years.

I think this is a good start. I don’t want to reveal too much at one time, mystery and suspense is sometimes a good thing and you always want to leave them wanting more.

I love you little man, Puppa

“Into the Mystic”

Dear Lincoln,

Let’s talk about music today. Just like your momma and everyone else in our family, you truly love all types of music. When your momma was growing up Nana and I exposed her to all types of music, pop, rock, country, jazz, blues, gospel, classical, pretty much everything. You love to listen to music and when a song comes on that resonates in you you direct all your attention to the direction of where the music is coming from. Depending on the song you will get quiet, mellow, or start to dance, but always a smile appears on your face.

Now I can say that you do enjoy all types of music like your momma. Your momma has made sure that you hear a variety of music, but today I wanna talk about one particular song, “Into the Mystic”. I played this song the first time I rocked you to sleep. You were a little fussy, but as soon as you heard this song you quieted right down, snuggled your head into my neck and soon were fast asleep. Ever since then when I lay you down for a nap I play this song and you become very peaceful with a small smile on your face. I guess you could say this is our song. I think your drawn to this song for the same reason I am, it has a soothing, calm, medium-paced tempo.

“Into the Mystic” was written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and featured on his 1970 album Moondance and is among the most popular songs doctors listen to while operating. The song was recorded during the Moondance sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City between September and November 1969.
The lyrics are about a spiritual quest, typical of Morrison’s work. Bass thrums like a boat in motion, and the song comes back to water as a means of magical transformation. Compared to “Yesterday” by The Beatles, It has been described as “another song where the music and the words seem to have been born together, at the same time, to make one perfectly formed, complete artistic element.“

In an interview Morrison said this about the song: “Originally I wrote it as ‘Into the Misty’. But later I thought that it had something of an ethereal feeling to it so I called it ‘Into the Mystic’. That song is kind of funny because when it came time to send the lyrics in WB Music, I couldn’t figure out what to send them. Because really the song has two sets of lyrics. For example, there’s ‘I was born before the wind’ and ‘I was borne before the wind’, and also ‘Also younger than the son, Ere the bonny boat was one’ and ‘All so younger than the son, Ere the bonny boat was won’ … I guess the song is just about being part of the universe.”

Here are the lyrics to the song that I have sung to you more times than I can count.

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl…

As always Lincoln, I love you all the way to the moon and back, Puppa

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Called Home to Heaven

Dear Lincoln,
Your momma recently reminded me that it’s been a while since I have written to you and that it was time that I get back to it.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, I’ve jotted down stuff in one of my many notebooks, I just haven’t been on the computer very much in the last few months.  As I explained to you before sometimes life gets hectic and you have to stop and re-examine your priorities in life.

At the beginning of May your Nana’s daddy, Great Grandpa Buck’s health started to decline.  Throughout the past few years he has endured more than one heart surgery, bone spur surgery on his spine, and most recently a battle with cancer.  So priorities change, it was more important to me, us, to spend as much time possible with great grandpa Buck than be on a computer.  We traveled up north to visit every chance we got, your Nana sometimes spent long periods of time at great grandpa’s to take care of him, she loves her daddy so much and she wanted to be there for him just like he has been there for her.

It still amazes us that as weak as he became, it didn’t stop him from playing with you.  You both made each other laugh and smile.  I want you to know how much he loved you.  He took great pride in knowing that you were his great grandson and that you were being raised by an amazing momma.  A lot of who your momma is comes directly from the time she spent with great grandpa.  He had a big influence on her life.

Every time great grandpa had to go to the hospital, you were there to visit.  Something he treasured very much.  When great grandpa returned home the decision was made that it was time for him to have Hospice care, not an easy decision to make.   Let me explain what Hospice care is all about.  Hospice is a philosophy of care. The hospice philosophy or viewpoint accepts death as the final stage of life. The goal of hospice is to help patients live their last days as alert and pain-free as possible. Hospice nurses try to manage symptoms so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. They treat the person rather than the disease; they focus on quality rather than length of life. Hospice care is family-centered — it includes the patient and the family in making decisions.  Great grandpa’s nurse Carrie was nothing short of incredible, to your great grandpa and the entire family she was simple a blessing from God.

We were warned that as great grandpa’s time of passing drew close he may experience a great day or two and that we should not take that as a sign of him getting better, but rather that his time with us was close to ending.  Those 2 days came on June 16th and 17th of 2012.  You, Nana, and your momma went to visit great grandpa Buck that weekend and it was a great time for all of you.  Great grandpa had been using a wheelchair for awhile, but on this weekend he slipped out of the wheelchair and got on the floor and played with you.  You so enjoyed playing with him your momma told me, and so did he.  We went back and visited the next weekend, the 23rd and 24th, and although he played with you in the kitchen, him in his wheelchair and you sitting on the little kitchen table, we could tell that he was struggling and we had to accept the fact that the end was nearing though no one wanted to say it.

Three days later at 2:30am of Wednesday June 27th, your Aunt Kathy called Nana and said that great grandpa was being taken to the hospital and we needed to come now.  Your Nana and I told your momma that we were heading up north and that we would call as soon as we knew something.  The drive is usually 2 1/2 hours but I needed to get your Nana there as quick as possible to be with her daddy so that she could say her goodbye.  I don’t approve of speeding, you should never do this, remember that, but this time I broke my rule.  It wasn’t long after we got to the hospital that great grandpa slipped into a coma.  That afternoon you and your momma arrived and you were able to come into the room.  I want you to know that he was not in pain, the staff did everything possible to make sure that he was comfortable.

The next day was June 28th, Nana and my 32nd wedding anniversary.  At noon while the rest of the family was down the hall, your Nana and one of the hospice nurse’s washed great grandpa up and freshened up his bed.  As they finished, with Nana at his side your great grandpa passed away.  We entered the room just after he had passed and only minutes later you and your momma walked in.  While everyone was crying and saying goodbye to great grandpa, when your momma came to the bedside with you, you looked down at great grandpa, smiled, and reached out to go to him.  In your own way you said goodbye to great grandpa.  For the next few days with family all around we celebrated great grandpa’s life.  We cried, we laughed, we told stories, we even sang.  Although we lost someone we dearly loved, it’s important that we rejoice in the time we had together.

Over the next month we were busy helping great grandma Boo get things in order and odd jobs around her house.  Then on August 7th I got a call from my dad, great grandpa Jim, letting me know that great great grandma Laurel had passed away, she was 105.  You, your momma and I had just been up north to visit just a few days earlier and her passing was unexpected.

So as I stated at the beginning of this letter, life has been a little hectic and I promise I will write more.  I hope as you grow you will learn that the time you spend with the ones you love far out weigh anything else you will do.  And that is why I have stayed away from the computer, I have been spending time with you.  You will always have my undivided attention and love.

We did receive some exciting news in the midst of all this, you have a new cousin on the way, Uncle Jesse and Aunt Carlee are expecting their first baby next March 1, 2013.  We found out on June 30th and if it’s a boy they already have a name picked out, Oscar James Pierce, named after great grandpa Buck.

I know I went on a little long this time so I’ll draw this one to a close with one request.  Although your new cousin will be living in Georgia and you in Michigan, stay close.  Family is very important and as close as your Aunt Carlee and your momma are I can foresee you and your cousin having a lot of great adventures together.

As always little man, I love you so much, Puppa

My Promise to You

Dear Lincoln,

Your Nana cried openly when she heard the news that you were coming into our lives, and I choked back tears. You are such an incredible blessing to us. Though you had not even entered this world, we already loved you so much.

Little man, I want to be the best granddad possible, but I know I will make some mistakes. But please hear some commitments I am making to you and God as your life unfolds.

I promise to pray for you. I will pray for your health. I will pray for clear direction from God for you. I will even begin praying for the right wife for you, even though that’s years down the road. Above all, I will pray for your happiness.

I commit to being supportive of your parents in all they do to raise you. You have been given an incredible mom and dad. They love you so much. I want to be the type of granddad that always supports your parents. I want to heed to their desires for your life and follow them accordingly.

I promise to always be there for you. When you get old enough to use the phone, your calls will be a priority. Nothing will be more important than talking to you. I want to be with you as much as we can be together. The years pass by rapidly, and I want to spend as much time as possible with you. I already have dreams of taking you fishing, to football games, baseball games, or wherever you would like to go. I just want to be with you.

I plan to be your biggest fan. Of course, I don’t know what paths you will pursue, but I will be there to encourage you, to cheer you on, to remind you that you can do anything in God’s strength. It will be so exciting to see how God will direct you and how He will use you.

You see, I know God has great plans for your life. I can’t even imagine the ways that He will use you. It will be a pure joy to watch His plan unfold in your life.

Little man, before I ever married your grandmother, I had dreams of having children. I prayed that God would give me the opportunity to mold the lives of those He entrusted to me. God answered my prayers beyond measure. Your Aunt Carlee, and your mom are two of the greatest joys of my life.

But, as my own two daughters grew, I began to dream and pray about the joy of having grandchildren. You are the first grandchild. You are the first answer to those prayers. You are the next generation of blessing to me.

I love you so very much, little man. You may not fully know the breadth and depth of my love until you have your own children and grandchildren. But please know that I love you.

My own mom died before your father and mother married. Your mom was named after her. Every time your mom experiences a significant milestone in her life, I feel a lump in my throat because she didn’t have her grandma to be there for it. God willing, I will be there for you. God willing, we will have many great years together.

But I realize that this life is brief. I will be gone for most of your years. I pray that I will leave to you a legacy of love, a legacy of joy, and a legacy that demonstrated a heart committed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, and only then, can I say that my years with you were not lived in vain.

I love you, my grandson. I love you so very much.

Puppa

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