#2

Hey Dad!

Guess what?

Supposedly, in about an hour, you will have been dead for two years.  Cool, huh?

I still don’t believe in an afterlife but I probably will believe in it more and more the closer I get to it, as I think maybe you did.  If there is one, I hope it’s treating you alright and you are still proud of me.

I bet you’re probably proud of me, regardless, as I can do very little wrong in your eyes, but I want to be even better.

Tonight I worked at an event called NFL 360, which former NFL player Hannibal Navies has started as his charitable foundation.  It’s a weekend-long camp that not only provides potential college football recruits with technical/physical training and tips, but off-the-field academic planning and guidance, as well.

At the end of the night, about 10 men, half of whom are ex-NFL players, held a round table discussion about going pro and playing in college.  Interestingly enough, it essentially evolved into each and every one of those players, regardless of whether or not they have a Bachelor’s degree, telling the kids over and over again that they need to pay attention in school — that when they go to college, they should focus on academics and football will just fall into line — that if they go to college for football, they’ll lose both the football and the academics.

I found their discussion really interesting and inspiring, despite the fact that I was not their intended audience.  It was refreshing and reminded me that everyone does have talents and is better than everyone else in the world at at least one thing, with which I totally agree.  One man also pointed out that we should all be so fortunate to strive for and know our talents early in life, or even in life at all, and that a great many people die without ever discovering what their true talents are.

When I was younger, I eventually quit sports, Mock Trial/litigation, jazz, fiction, and Amnesty International because I realized that, although I was pretty good at all of these things, none of them were quite my passion, and I had an even greater competitive advantage when it came to other skills.  While I maintain an abiding interest in all of the above, at the end of the day, clarinet, writing non-fiction, reading, leading real people, and engaging texts like a judge interested me so much more, and thus I was even better at them.

This is a rambling letter today.  I’m exhausted, as I woke up much too early (for me) this morning to drop Nick off at the airport.  Tomorrow Emily, Lucy, and I are taking our respective dogs to the beach!

Speaking of which: people always say that a pet knows when its owner dies, but I don’t know if that’s true.  I know Magic would be thrilled if he saw you again, but I might argue that, for him, it’s more of an “out of sight, out of mind” thing.  I sorely doubt he spent all of my college days pining for me, and I distinctly remember that he seemed pretty normal when you were in the hospital, Mom was in Taiwan, and I driving back and forth between midterms.  Damn, I love that dog.

I also wanted to go to Neiman’s today to pick up my pants, but it doesn’t open ’til 10 AM, so I sat in a coffee shop and read a book about Russia’s post-communist politics and how it’s not really becoming an open democracy.  I’ve been interested in Eastern European politics for a while, and now really wish I had consulted Bill about my Successor States foreign policy paper in 2006.  Of course, he got sick soon after, and he passed last October.  I wish I’d gotten to know him better before, both personally and professionally.  Not only was he a great brother-in-law, but he would have been an incredible intellectual and political resource, as well.

Anyway, Dad, I just wanted to write to you to let you know I’m thinking of you and miss you terribly.  This particular letter (fine, live readers, blog post) is quite the hodgepodge of random thoughts, but it’s almost midnight and I’m almost ashamed for being silly enough to get extra-sad on your deathday.  I love you very much, and hope that wherever you are, you are well; and, if you’re nowhere, that your ashes, or whatever UCSF did to you, are proving to be great fertilizer that will incubate a new, awesome species.

Love,

sweet potato pie

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