A Letter to My Children

I miss you both terribly today.

I am sitting in my apartment. Enjoying fine coffee from Africa, a newspaper from New York, a cigar from the Dominican Republic and a heart forged in the mountains of East Tennessee.

I admonish you, and myself, not to settle.

Don’t settle for the mundane.

Don’t settle for the ordinary.

Don’t settle in love.

Don’t settle in any part of your life.

I require you to strive for greatness, to make a difference, to question authority and to face each day with your eyes hard upon the horizon.

You will make mistakes, as have I.

You will be hurt, as have I.

But if you hold yourself to this high standard you will survive and prosper.

Take the hurts and disappointments and press them out of your system. Do not carry them with you.

You are not a victim.

You alone control your ultimate destiny even when you can’t control every event.

This is a hard task I lay before you but you are equal to it.

Live your life without regret and guilt.

This I require of you.

This I expect of you.

No one has the right to diminish you, including me. Do not allow it.

Stand strong beneath the sun and moon and against the fatal wind of mediocrity.

Know that you have my love at your back – a firm hand pushing you forward but not away.

My love is not a crutch but rather a rising tide.

Go. Be. Thrive.

This I require of you.

Your loving Father,

William Burke Fletcher, Jr.

March 24, 2007