I edited out all the names, but it was sent to a whole bunch of people. My family didn’t really do the whole State of the Union thing at holidays, so letters like this always seem… weird to me.
Dear T, L, R, M, K, J, P, T, S, E(big), E(Little), M, A, S, A, O and E, and all the “Doyle Clan”
I have reflected on the last two years, the changes that have occurred and the time that each of you has taken to soften my initial disappointments at that time and the encouragement you provided in redefining my matrix. Your conversations, encouragement and prayers have allowed me to view my past affectionately, appreciate all I have been given (which is so much more than most), accept responsibility for my shortcomings (which are many) and create a rebirth that has been enlightening. It is through my relationship with all of you, that I have the confidence that when road bumps present themselves, my compass for navigation will be better than the one I navigated on in the past. It is my hope that God will provide me a long life, in which I can reciprocate to each of you, the love, compassion and patience that you have extended to me.
Stephen Avette of the Avette Brothers, in their song “Murder in the City”, writes, “Always remember there was nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name.” On this holiday, I am grateful that I call each of you family, that J and T decided to keep “trying to have children” after number seven, that they succeeded (by either design, chance or faith) in instilling pride and individuality in each of us, and fostered the unselfish philosophy of giving and dependence, without embarrassment for the latter. All of you have allowed me to cross over from disappointment to reaffirmation, from an initial response of victimization to cherishing the unique opportunities I have been given, and to embrace the my next 30 years with my children, family and friends.
On the spiritual front, certain of you have provided the map, encouragement and sponsorship for my reintroduction to God, the thanks that he deserves when things go right and the faith required in him when things are different from the script we wrote for ourselves. I thank those who have taught me, “that I am not good for others, until I am good for myself” and that the matrix upon which I valued certain things, required realignment. For all who kept me in their prayers and thoughts, I thank you, as so many have been answered.
To my children, I thank them for stepping up their game, providing their mother comfort in her difficult decision, providing their father reassurance in times of doubt, asking less for themselves, giving more to each other, and reaffirming the importance of family, even when the model of how we defined it, was reconfigured.
On this Independence Day, when as a Nation, we celebrate America’s independence; I thank each of you for my dependence on you, for the breadth of your shoulders, and the depth of your hearts. My prayer for this Independence weekend comes from Paul to the Colossians “Get rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. If anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in harmony.”
Love and thanks to you each for making this journey called life so pleasurable, reaffirming and rewarding. As Lou Gehrig said to the in his retirement at Yankee Stadium for Gehrig’s disease, “I am the luckiest man in the world”. J ☺