#2--Letter to my grandson about growing a beard, sports and other stuff
My grandson and I spend some time on Wrightsville Beach, NC.
I've been wondering if you'll grow a beard when you get older. I have one. Your dad has one and so does your Uncle Justin. There are a whole lot of advantages to having a beard. You never have to shave.
My beard and Cuba
When this picture was taken beside the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year, my beard helped keep my face a little warmer during the winter winds that were blowing in late January.
Ask your dad what he likes about his beard and send your Uncle Justin an email and question him about what he likes about having hair on his face.
I grew mine when I went to Cuba a long time ago with a friend of mine for a vacation. It's a very poor country and their stores did not sell razor blades. It started there and I've had it ever since. Your mother has never seen me without it and your Grandma Thorp has seen me beardless only once or twice.
We celebrate having beards. I'm the one in the middle.
You need to know
What are some things you need to know about me before you and I set down for a cup of juice? It's important that you know about the people you came from, like your grandparents and your aunts and uncles.
What sports did I play as a kid? I didn't really play any. I tried and I wanted to but it never worked out.
I would play catch with one of the guys in the neighborhood. We would throw a baseball back and forth and occasionally a football. I tried hockey as a kid, but broke my leg on a neighborhood ice rink. It healed after several months and I did it again. I played a couple of games on my grade school basketball team. It wasn't my game.
My mother, your great grandmother
You need to know a little about my mother. She raised me as a single-mother. Her life was epic. She was a one of a kind person who never gave up even when life seemed impossible.
There are lots of lessons that you can take from her life. She had victories and she had defeat. It was her love and her commitment to me that made the difference in my life. She showed me that love is a verb where you do something. It was more than an emotion.
Your Great Grandmother Thorp was one of a kind who knew where her strength came from. She knew Jesus and that's where she got her hope.
What about my father? Now there's another story. I have only one memory of him and it wasn't pleasant. There are lots of lessons to take from his life and how he handled his responsibilities and how he loved other people, especially my mother.
Before I was two years told, he left our house and never came back. He never wrote and never called. I found him when I was in my twenties. He didn't want anything to do with me. I was devastated. It took me a long time to deal with that.
This is just a taste of who I am. Part of me is in you through your mom. You need to know about the people you came from.