On a family trip to New York in March 2001, my kids Stephanie, then 13, and Nicholas, then 9, noticed a difference in me. I wasn't the happy-go-lucky father they were used to. A couple of days after we returned, I found "I love you" notes from my son all over my home and a four-page letter from my daughter under my pillow.
Here are the highlights of Stephanie's letter:
I am writing you a letter to tell you things I don't get a chance to say very often.
...You're the best father/restaurant owner/spiritual leader I know...You mean so much to me–without you I don't think life would be the same...Everything will work out...don't give up on your dreams!!! ...You will be an inspirational/motivating speaker; you already are to the most of us. You've changed so many lives and helped so many people :)
...You've taught me lessons that my peers or friends won't even hear about. You’re a role model and you’re everything to me...Dad without you I'd be lost. I turn to you for everything you like a mentor/best friend/dad all in one. To me & (nick)you’re perfect in every way. I strive to be more like you every day.
You always tell me I picked you as a father – well if it is true I won the fricking lottery up there...We are very lucky and grateful... We will be just fine don't worry. I love you. I am sorry I don't phone you so often. I will definitely try harder…Just always remember when you’re down you have two people (me & Nick) that care about you (&mom) more than life itself!!! ;) I love you sooooooo much.
As you can imagine, I cried and cried that night. Within two weeks, I put the restaurant up for sale and the closing date was two months later. My passion for it was gone. There are times in our life where our spirit/soul moves on, knowing we need to learn to be challenged so that we can continue to grow and evolve.
Stephanie and Nicholas inspired me to follow my destiny. And that's how Corporate Philosopher was born.
If you'd like to read Stephanie's letter in its entirety, I'd be happy to share it with you. Please contact me.