Just think, My Dear Paris, this is the week of your SIXTEENTH birthday! You will see and hear and feel so much love from your family and friends, for you ARE so very loved. Unconditional love brought you into this world. Each day you spent with your Daddy strengthened you as a person, assuring you that you possessed gifts especially created in you by God. Remember the magic of living at Neverland Valley Ranch, the fun and giggles, the bedtime stories and Daddy’s singing. Remember all the birthday celebrations for you and your brothers. Remember the happy times. I’m not sure if you still call your father, Daddy. I know I held onto that name long after my Daddy died. I guess I am remembering the sign on your playhouse at the ranch that said, “DADDY LOVES YOU!”
You and I have never met, but, I must tell you that even though I never met your Daddy in person, I feel I know him like a best friend. I love him as I love my family. Isn’t that interesting…that someone can love another person without ever having met them. I met your Daddy through my heart. There are millions of people around the globe who feel that heart love. It’s enormity extends to YOU, and to your brothers. I hope you can feel it, especially this week as you turn SWEET SIXTEEN.
I have spent the last weeks trying to think of what I would give you for your birthday. My mind has been filled with ideas. Ultimately, I have settled on words. Words can move the spirit and touch the soul. Your Daddy was a master in language…written, spoken, danced and sung. His language speaks to the rainbow of colors in the world. It has no barriers, save the one that is held by those who are too blind to see. When giving his Oxford Address, your Daddy said: “Even one of my fellow Americans, the beloved Dr. Seuss…he graced these halls and then went on to leave his mark on the imaginations of young children throughout the world.” I know you experienced Dr. Suess when you were young, your Daddy profoundly believing in education through books. So, I decided to turn to OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Remember that? Since your birthday is a few days away, I am going to give you the gift of words in three pieces…think of it as having a piece of birthday cake on three separate days. YUM!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the (girl) who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With you head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along
You’ll start happening too.
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join in the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
How did that taste? Good, I hope. There is a lot of Paris in that first bite of cake, don’t you think? The GO-GETTER idea fits, a lesson your Daddy taught you and your brothers…a philosophy he practiced each day of his life.
“I’m not one to sit back and point the finger and say, ‘Oh, I feel bad for what happened to them’. I want to do something, to give, to help those who lost their parents, who lost their mothers and fathers. THOSE ARE OUR PEOPLE. THOSE ARE OUR CHILDREN. THOSE ARE OUR PARENTS.”
Your Daddy sang, “I BELIEVE IN ME, SO YOU BELIEVE IN YOU!” Believe, Dear Paris. Begin the celebration of YOU!! “REACH DOWN AND PULL YOU OUT…BE YOURSELF!”