Today is your 4th
Birthday. It is another February 10th of the year. You were born at
5:42pm Pacific Standard Time. Your birth is a blessing and that’s why you are
Benedikt. You have helped us to be better human beings by reflecting our lives
as parents. Both Marie and I are thankful to God every day to have such a
wonderful little guy.
For the past four years we haven’t
settled into one area for a long time. You know it was because of job change. I
am proud of you whenever we moved you adopted quickly and enjoyed the area.
There is a big possibility to have another move this summer. If I get accepted
into my PhD studies, obvious we will move to another state. You will enjoy more
to the new area, play with snow which you’ve not experienced in your four
years. We’ll have so much fun.
On your first birthday’s letter,
I promised one thing. I promised to take you to Tanzania when you are older
enough so that you can meet all my family members and know my roots. I remember
you had a dream and said we were together in Tanzania and you milked a cow….yes,
when we are there you will milk cow. I think this year we can work out and take
you to Tanzania. Unfortunately you will not meet Babu (your grandfather). He is
already in heaven with his three children; Scolastica, Stanslaus and Vincent. Though
you’ll not meet him, you will get opportunity to see his legacy which I am very
much proud of his accomplishments as a committed father, a non-corrupt
personnel, religious and above all the only person who valued education to his
children than any person I have ever seen in this world.
Recently we have not been able to
play soccer and run many times as we used to. We have to go back to our routine
of going to the park and have more fun. I know when you go to school you will
learn other kind of sports. I have no problem with any sport of you and enjoy
playing. What I promise is: I will support you in any sport, take you to
practice and attend your games. The most important thing is have fun and enjoy
the talents you have been given by God. But if you want to be professional in
any sport, remember hardworking and prayers will take you to another level. Talent
is nothing if you don’t work hard on it. Always remember to pray and ask for
God blessings no matter what, whether you are in success or hard time.
Nothing in this world comes easy.
You will face so many challenges. You will fail and loose so many things. The
best thing is to learn from your failures and challenges you face to make you a
better person and a winner. This is one of the reason when you and I compete on
running I don’t let you win every time. I give you opportunity to work harder.
This is what Carl Brashear said “It is not a sin to be knocked down; it’s a sin
to stay down”. Always get up and do it again. Don’t allow failure and
challenges steal your dreams and achievements.
For the past year, you started
saving some money (pennies and quarters) in your pig bank for ice-cream. You
didn’t touch a single coin, you were determined to have enough money for
ice-cream. You managed to have like $20 for such a period. I’m very much proud
of you son in that accomplishment. To me is not about how much money you have
collected and saved. It is about discipline, commitment and long term goals you
have. Many of us hard time to have such discipline.
You and I have our own tradition
for your birthday. We are going to the bus ride as we have been doing in all
other birthdays. And this letter is another gift for you. I have kept all
letters I have written to you. I’m going to publish it into a book titled “THE
BENEDIKT FACTOR”. You are the really factor of my life. You are the game
changer. You have given me opportunity to look life into a different angle as a
father and husband. You’ve helped me to know how important mothers are to
children. As most men we take things for granted. But being in the labor room
for your birth and see how mothers go through, I have different and most
positive perspective on women and mothers. I know without you, things would be