My Darling Boy,
Soon you will be nineteen. As your birthday approaches, there are things I wish I could say. Because of the challenges that afflict your body, bind your mind and wrack your soul you would not understand. Or understand all too well. My words would be slings and arrows when I would have them be a firm foundation for the kind of communication we can never have on earth.
Still, the words spill out of me with no place to go.
As other boys your age move on to college, jobs and missions, you sit at home wondering what your future has in store. You know that you will never serve a full time mission, attend college or be a husband and father. All your hopes and dreams are centered on a future that has no shape because the shape of today is intolerable.
Over and over you ask, Why am I here? It’s the answer to this question that I would give you as a birthday gift. Maybe one day, in this life or the next, you will be able to open this gift with joy and understanding.
You are here to be my teacher.
First, you taught me what it means to experience the kind of love that exists only between a mother and her child. Sometimes I thought I would expire from sheer elation. Sometimes I thought I would expire from sheer exhaustion. Both could claim Mother Love to be their sire.
You grew older and developed health problems; you taught me patience, tolerance and long-suffering. As time went by and all I could do was not enough, you taught me sacrifice, charity and what it truly means to forget one’s self and get to work.
More time went by. I yearned, with every fiber of my soul–would have given every fiber of my soul–to have you whole. But you never were. Meanwhile, you taught me what is truly important in this world and quite frankly, what is not.
Most of all, you have taught me what it means to align my will with that of God, to know that, in every case, His ways, His means, His timetable, His truth are all there is that is worth having. I know that if I am ever to have all that He has, I had to have you.
You, my son, are a teacher, and the gift of knowledge has no price.