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A letter from beyond the grave



It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble;
It's what you know for sure that ain't so.
- Mark Twain

A letter from beyond the grave

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My father passed away 15 months ago. Saturday was his birthday, and my mom had a particularly rough day. When I saw her that night, she had a letter for me that she had found among my dad's personal effects. It was a note to me, that he had written and never delivered. He's gone now; yet, here he is reaching me with earnest, loving encouragement. It's just what I need right now.

Patrick... BTW, you always seem to mention how you aren't as social as frat boys, etc. I beg to differ. I've been a frat boy, so I should know, and there are ALL types in a fraternity. The ones you stereotypically think of are in the upper half of the fraternity-social curve. You're probably close to the ½-point. You give much more credit to the average frat boy than they deserve. Believe me. Every fraternity freshman goes through the dorky-pledge phase, which he shares with his other 20 or so pledge-mates, and really only then gets accepted into the "bond" of the fraternity brotherhood. If you had WANTED to pledge, you would have fit in just fine, with the right fraternity.

I've known plenty of unsociable geeks in my time, they were all around me in classes, and you are not one of them. Nerds don't guard hole. Nerds don't have six varsity letters. Nerds don't pitch and play first base, or make incredible catches in the outfield. Nerds don't ride 500cc dirt bikes across 100 miles of tough desert for fun. Nerds don't rappel down mineshafts. Nerds don't rock climb. Nerds don't mountain bike or snowboard. Nerds don't do martial arts. Nerds don't go overseas for six months and travel across Europe on their own. Nerds don't give memorable graduation speeches that touch people's hearts so much that they can recite lines from them 5 years later.

Just because you aren't in the 90+ percentile in something, don't think that you are "no good" at it. Believe me, you are very good socially when you want to be. As good as a fraternity president? No. But good enough for any normal personal/business situation? Absolutely. The average frat boy never organizes a SINGLE party function. How many have you organized, with invitations, themes, invite list, etc? I never have.

Everyone has self-doubts. The important thing is to recognize them for what they are, don't over-blow the situation, and work through it.

Just a sort of random thought that I've been meaning to talk to you about. Love, Dad.

My favorite part is when he mentions my "incredible catch in the outfield". I was 12, on my game, and playing center field. I jumped at the crack of the bat and caught a long fly at a dead run, over my shoulder. One of the greatest days of my dad's life. The rest of his life, he lit up whenever he recalled my "Willie Mays" catch.

Willie Mays' catch, 1954 World Series

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