Letters to Lee

Charles Dickens once wrote: “When death strikes down the innocent and young, for every fragile form from which he lets the panting spirit free, a hundred virtues rise, in shapes of mercy, charity and love to walk the world and bless it.”

As I mentioned in previous posts, when my son Lee was diagnosed with Brain cancer I started to write him a series of bi-weekly letters. My desire was to accelerate the teachings that a father might impart to a son were they to have a normal 20 to 30-year adult relationship. Lee loved the letters and we would often discuss them. One of his favorites was letter number four.

Dear Lee,

Today I write to you about Divinity. I have mentioned in my previous letters that you, we, are all divine. Not too many of us think about that because we are caught up in the illusion of the day to day, but when we are faced with great crisis and must choose great courage, the Divinity within is the only reality.

The guilt in us says we can’t be Divine. We’re not good enough, pure enough, religious enough. I often wonder why we choose to energize a thought that permeates the illusion of what we think we are not. We are not the ego’s illusion. We are not separate from the Creator, except by believing we are. The All That Is has never broken the covenant of connection and we are eternally welcome to come home. The choice is ours. The Reality is, at every moment, we are safe. The perception of being sinful prevents us from knowing not only that we can go home, but that we are already there.

A synonym for Unconditional Love is forgiveness. We are forgiven and forgiving the instant we think we need to be. To know that, listen to your heart essence and feel your smile for the heart will never mislead you. The ego will deceive, the mind will delude and debate, but the Heart is tuned to the Divine and cannot be false.

You have accepted life to express Beingness through experience, not to impress others through the false effulgence of diamonds or status. I have always honored that in you, although sometimes I had difficulty understanding it. By your lack of attachment, you have reminded your Mother and me that over valuing the crowns of career, in whatever form it manifests, fosters the fantasy that things material, the impermanent objects of coveting dreams, is a false goal rather than just a tool on this life path of enlightening experience.

Owning stuff is the great paradox. Things and objects, whatever value we give them, tend to be the possessors, rather than the possession. Addiction is present when we can’t let go of what we think is us. Material objects and accumulated currency are not meant to define the Self. We are only what we think, not what we have. Attachment owns the owner. God Bless you for your exemplary understanding of this.

While I am on the subject of your attributes, let me list some of them, lest they go unsaid. I love your inclusive sense of humor, your comforting ability to draw others around you to laugh and your encouragement, by example, to be positive, when another choice could be easier. I love the way you sing a song and phrase the lyrics that give a meaning greater than the writer intended. I love your appreciation of nature and your attunement to her. I love the way you ski, with grace, flowing form and perfect balance. You are one with the mountain and its majesty moves through you.

I love your free spirit and the dignity you find in honest work. I love your strength to let go of status, despite occasional parental disapproval. Sometimes parents forget that we must love our children for themselves, not love ourselves, through our children.

I love your desire and courage to fight your cancer and your wish to move quickly through anger and denial into acceptance, for we can only battle what we know, not what we fear. Most of all, I love your spirit, that essence of you that has been living for eternity. If I could I would remember all the incarnations we have shared together for I feel the ancient and renewing accumulation of the love we have for one another and that is what makes me proud to be your Father. If, in the next life, I am the child and you are the parent, please remember the tricycle, the bike, the car and the unconditional love I have for you.

Enough for now. Know that I love you very much and send you healing light, use as you will.”

Dad

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