Now that I’m dead, I want to tell you a few things.

Your grandfather spent his whole life collecting – rare books, valuable stamps, hard-to-find records, historical artifacts… and he lost it all in a house fire because he loved his “stuff” so much that he couldn’t even bring himself to sell off even a bit of it to build himself a better house or even install a new chimney.

I learned a lesson from this that I don’t think he ever did – in the end, it’s all just stuff.

You can work as hard as you want, hopefully at something you really like doing, but don’t do it just so you can have more “stuff”. There’s more important things to worry about, like family, friends, love, and enjoying life for what it is, not for what you have. You may be surprised how free knowing that can make you.

I wish I had learned that lesson when I was younger, I think some of my life choices would have been less conservative. I certainly would have had more fun, and I’m sure I’d still have been able to provide for you & Mama anyhow. I’m not saying you should live life without thinking about the future, but don’t live life for its trappings. A well-lived life is the greatest treasure of all.

Maybe you’re smarter than I was and already figured this out for yourself – I have the greatest faith in you; it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.