Martin, Music & Change

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Dear Lewis,

As you grow up, one of your heroes should absolutely be Martin Luther King Jr. You’re going to hear a lot of white people like me say that, especially this time of year, but I promise you I mean it. When you’re old enough, we’ll read and discuss his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” (you can thank your Uncle Josh for making me read the letter for the first time). We’ll listen to his sermon  “But If Not“, and then talk about the difference between what he calls If Faith and Though Faith.

But first, we’ll probably talk about the importance music played in the March on Washington, where Dr. King gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.

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God Is Not Fair

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Dear Lewis,

I love you more than you will ever know. I can’t imagine life without you. You and I have been apart for one day, and already I ache for you. It’s not fair.

Please don’t misunderstand me: what’s not fair is that in a few weeks I will return to you, hold you, kiss you and continue to share my life with you.

Not every parent gets to say that. And it’s not fair.

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You Got Hurt, And You Will Get Hurt Again

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Dear Lewis,

I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t think it’d be so soon. Given how adventurous you are I don’t know why I’m so surprised. Last night you split open your noggin and had to go to the emergency room.

We had an awesome day, just you and me. We played in the yard, at the park, and even went book shopping. You fell on the sidewalk once, and another time in the Barnes & Nobel parking lot. Each time you looked up at me, grinned, and then stood to your feet before returning to business as usual.

But, when you took off running through the living room on your way to bed you tripped over a pillow, fell into a table leg, and then split your head open in two places.

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The Hero Must Struggle

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Dear Lewis,

In every story worth telling the hero undergoes a transformation. To experience this transformation he must face adversity, he must struggle through pain, and he must persevere through suffering. It’s during what’s called the Second Act, the longest part of the story, that he struggles most. Your grandpa, PaPa, is in a Second Act season of life.

In the Second Act the hero is refined through the fires of struggle and suffering. As the hero is being refined, his goal is reshaped – not abandoned – because his struggles have helped put things in perspective. It’s the shift in perspective that causes the hero to be transformed into who he must become in order to get to the end of the story.

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It’s All My Fault

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Dear Lewis,

Today we took you to the hospital. You haven’t been feeding well, and it’s causing your mom a lot of pain. It frustrates her, even angers her because it hurts so badly.

The doctor diagnosed you as being tongue-tied. This means your frenulum (the little piece of skin connecting the bottom of your mouth to the underside of your tongue) extends too far forward. This prevents you from moving your tongue through its full range of motion. Right now it makes breastfeeding difficult, but later in life it could affect your speech and cause you other problems. So we decided to let the doctor cut that little piece of skin.

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