A couple years ago Conan O’Brien was fired by NBC after 7 months of hosting the Tonight Show. The way they treated him was unfortunate and arguably unfair. Conan, of course, was hurt, devastated, mad, upset, the list can go on. In an age where Kanye West can cast insults upon insults after being insulted, where Miley Cyrus acts anyway she wants and struts around stating that she could care less what people think, Conan O’Brien modeled remarkable wisdom, if not counter-intuitive integrity.
When it came time to say his farewell, he stepped to the microphone and gave one of the most remarkable speeches in pop-culture history.
Little buddy I want you to watch this video of his speech. The video uses some typography that came from a project out of Oklahoma State University. Please listen carefully, take notes, and remember that your actions will define how others see you. Everyday I pray that God will guide you in your thoughts and actions, that He will bring people into your life that will set the example for you to follow so that you will grow into the man I know you will be. A man of integrity, compassion, love, devotion, faith, a man of action and not a spectator on the sidelines of life.
Many will tell you that one man cannot change the world. I tell you one man can. If each one of us wakes every morning and looks into the mirror and tells that person looking back that you can be the difference, that it all starts with you, that you can be the example, that you are the driving force that will make this world a better place. The world will change, and it starts with you.
“Integrity is not what you do when someone is watching, it’s what you do when no one is watching. And God is always watching!”
I love you little man, to the moon and back, Puppa.
I know it has been sometime since I wrote to you on this blog, about 2 months, but believe me I have wrote a lot in my many notebooks, iPhone Apps, iPad, and the many pieces of scrap paper and napkins I grab in a hurry. It’s just been difficult to sit at the computer and type it out as we have been very busy the last few months. I have some time today so I thought I would write a few letters to you and this first one is about Great Grandma Boo.
You have been a big part of helping Great Grandma Boo in her fight with cancer. Now you may not believe that but your visits with her brightened her days and brought so much joy to her. You have shown an uncanny knack of knowing when someone is hurting and you respond with such compassion for someone so young. You melted her heart each time you would place your tiny little hands on her face and shower her with gently kisses. Unfortunately Great Grandma Boo passed away on July 31, she is now no longer in pain and is with God and Great Grandpa Buck.
Little man, Boo was Nana’s momma, and my mother in-law. The dictionary defines the term mother-in-law as – the mother of your spouse – a relative by marriage. I have never been able to use that term with Boo, she has and always will be my mom. I could write pages upon pages about Boo. How she raised 4 girls into incredible women of God, her love for her husband of 58 years, how she turned a wayward boy into a man, how she instilled love, worship, family, integrity….did I mention love?, into every child, grandchild and great grandchild in her family. I could write about how she cared for the love of her life until last June when he lost his battle with cancer. How she found out only weeks later that she too had cancer and was told she had 3 months. I could write about how she fought, prayed, loved, and held tight to her faith that in the end God has a plan. I could write about the joy, the laughter, the guidance and the love she shared with all that were blessed enough to know her. I could, I could write and write and write, but I won’t, not now. Lincoln I want to share with you what your Uncle Jesse wrote and asked me to read at Great Grandma Boo’s funeral.
Keep love in your heart….. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.-Oscar Wilde
Daughter, Sister, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Great Grandmother…… This is the natural progression of a Woman. It is an inevitable progression of life. But what do those titles mean? What makes you a Mother or a Grandmother? What defines you after your days have passed? What defines your legacy? Your legacy is no more than a tiny footprint in the fabric of time. Legacy is a term most often associated with men of great achievements; men of war, power, or great intellect. They leave something lasting for the people of the world. But what of the smaller footprints in the sand? Are they less important, less meaningful? What happens when the small foot prints branch off into tiny ones, and then divide again? These are the footprints of every woman that has strode side by side with her husband, best friend and partner. Their lives so intertwined that often the tracks are indistinguishable from one another.
There is a common quote we hear….. “Behind every great man there is a great women”; unfortunately this is terribly inaccurate. As any couple can profess there are many times there is a single set of tracks to follow. Those are the instances that a woman must step forward and carry her partner through a moment of weakness. The only time she may falter or fall behind are deviations she must take in order to look after her own daughters, or grandchildren. She is the mother, she must not let harm befall her flock. She is the torchbearer, a rallying point, a light in the darkness for her offspring. This is no easy task as any matriarch can attest to, all throughout the cycle of life it is the matriarch that is the binding glue that holds the family group together. While the men fight their fights, harvest their crops, and dream of glory the mother is left holding the end of each delicate string, weaving them into a family tapestry.
Mom was the matriarch of her pride, a proud family. Every person sitting here today has been shadowed by her tracks in the sand. She was the driving force behind a much loved patriarch. Often times she was the quiet force without the mane; but when needed a fierce protector of her family or the gentle guiding hand for a daughter or grandchild. We know that there was nothing in her life more important than her pride,….. her family. No one knows a mother’s love like her own offspring, and each one of those cubs have grown and guide a pride of their own. Sometimes the love is shadowed in a harsh hard or a hard lesson. But inside you know that the matriarch is doing her best to guide you to the path in the sand so you may leave your own prints, branching off ever more; but forever alongside your husband, partner and best friend, as she did.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you. ~Philippians 1:2-3
Lincoln I pray that God blesses you each and every day, I love you little man, Puppa
I thought today I would share some more poetry with you. The poem I want to share with you is by Max Ehrmann. Max Ehrmann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 16, 1872 to German immigrant parents. In 1894 he graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle. Later Ehrmann studied law and philosophy at Harvard University. He returned to Terre Haute where he practiced law. When he began writing, he devoted every day to his work. Ehrmann wrote many poems, but his most famous poems are ‘Desiderata’ (1927) and ‘A Prayer (1906)’.
“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”
― Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life
Lincoln, today the world was beautiful because you and I spent the early morning at the beach. You are no doubt, your momma’s boy, fearlessly playing in the water, always looking for the next thrill that sends you laughing hysterically. Yes Lincoln, today the world was beautiful because we were together enjoying the moment, and setting worries aside.
I love you to the moon and back little man, Puppa
An acorn is a tiny little thing, its a nut to be more precise. Now the little acorn goes and gets planted under the ground. Its hard to believe that the little acorn will one day be an oak tree. That’s right Lincoln, inside that little acorn is a mighty oak tree just waiting to come out. Again it’s a hard thing to believe, but residing in that little nut is growth potential that’s phenomenal.
“A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Luke 8:8
My point today Lincoln is that as you grow up surround yourself with good people and follow the Lord, for inside you is growth potential that’s phenomenal.
I love you little man, Puppa
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.”
“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.
“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine loving a God who would allow all of these things.”
The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”
“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”
“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”
“Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me.”
“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens is, people don’t go to Him.”
Little man I pray that you go to God, for you will be safe in the Lord.
1 Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
You are my God and I trust you.” Psalm 91:1-2
I love you Lincoln, Puppa
A pencil maker told the pencil 5 important lessons just before putting it in the box:
1. EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK .
2. YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.
3. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.
4. IN LIFE, YOU WILL UNDERGO PAINFUL SHARPENING, WHICH WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.
5. TO BE THE BEST PENCIL, YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE HELD AND GUIDED BY THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU.
Lincoln, we all need to be constantly sharpened. This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities. Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and, like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what’s inside of you.