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Parenting: A Letter To My Son Tyler

Updated on December 24, 2012

A MOMENT OF REFLECTION

As I sit here I have just received word that my son won’t be able to come down for Christmas from his home up north. I am saddened, but I understand. He has a job sixty miles from here, and without a means of transportation, and because of his work hours, it is just not possible for us to spend the holidays together this year.

Memory is not one of my strong suits, so it is with hesitation that I state that I only remember one Christmas without my son with me. He is twenty-eight now, and as I dust off my gray matter I can think of only one year, when he was six, that he was not with me. That year his mother, who had just divorced me, had moved him down to Utah to be with her family. It was a very sad time for me as I recall.

Tyler was born on October 23, 1984, and my ex-wife and I adopted him when he was three days old. He has been my constant joy since that day, and a living, breathing reminder of all that is good in this world.

Shortly after that move to Utah, he and his mother returned to the Puget Sound Region, and shortly after that Tyler came to live with me. I raised him as a single parent for thirteen years, and he has remained nearby even after he left the nest and headed out on his own, as all children eventually do.

Being a single parent is not an easy gig! There are no instruction manuals that come with the job, and there are no fall-back contingencies when something goes wrong. There is no spouse to turn to for advice, and there are no do-overs when you make a mistake. You just plow ahead, stumbling and bumbling as you go, and you pray a lot that you don’t make a mistake that could scar your child for life. It is a time of great anxiety and yes, fear, and it is a time of unbridled joy and satisfaction when you somehow get things right.

It is, as Dan Fogelberg once stated, the chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance.

My son at Yellowstone
My son at Yellowstone | Source

TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS OF THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND

Man, I had no clue! I was raised by a pretty good pair of parents, but when the time came for me to display that which I had learned, I had no clue.

I’m crying now so bear with me. I made so many mistakes. I look back now and it’s amazing that my kid has grown into the man he has…..it’s as though God decided that no matter what I did, He was going to make sure that my son turned out okay.

The only thing I did absolutely correct was to love Tyler each and every day. From that first day, when he was three days old, to today, my son has known that he was completely and unconditionally loved.

Never underestimate the power of love! Never! In my case, love overcame bushels of insecurity. In my case, love overcame my alcoholism and my ego, my selfishness and my fear. Each and every time I doubted myself, love vanquished the doubt. Each and every time I took an unscheduled detour, love pointed me in the right direction. Each and every time it appeared I would not be able to get out of my own way, love pushed me aside and restored normalcy.

Never, as a parent, should you underestimate the power of love!

Since I won’t be able to spend this Christmas with my son, I wanted to write him a letter and tell him how much I love him.

If you would like, you can read it too.

Your grandfather, Tyler!
Your grandfather, Tyler! | Source
Me, looking for parenting answers
Me, looking for parenting answers | Source

Loving Yourself

A LETTER TO MY SON TYLER

Dear Tyler:

I couldn’t take my eyes off of you, son, that first day we brought you home from the hospital. I was, quite literally, overcome with emotions that day. I kept looking down at your little face and I could feel the fear building in me. What if I screwed up? What if I wasn’t parent material? I mean, there are people like that, who simply should not be parents. What if I was one of them? We never really know, right, until that first moment of parenting occurs. What the hell was I doing? I could barely function as a human being, and suddenly I was in control of your life as well.

Despite the fear, and it was great indeed, there was also this feeling of wonder and awe. I was holding a human being who would depend upon me, and I was holding a human being who needed every ounce of love that I could muster. I was raised by a good man, your grandfather who you never knew, and now it was my turn….my privilege, to raise you to become a responsible and loving man.

And so our journey began. We floundered at times, and we learned the hard way many times, but we somehow made it through. There were times when my alcoholism required you to be the parent instead of the child, and that was incredibly unfair to you, and yet you never weakened in your love for me, and you were always my biggest and staunchest supporter.

You told me once that you would not be half the man you are today if it were not for me and my influence.

I cry as I write those words. Thank you!

We vacationed together, and we made traditions together. Our Thanksgivings up at Mt. Rainier, our road trips, our stupid jokes and our shared love of the Beatles, it all adds up to twenty-eight years of joy for me. We laughed together….we cried together….we sat with each other when we were ill, and we shared in our individual accomplishments and celebrated the victories.

Still today, after twenty-eight years, I am the first person you call when matters of life weigh you down, and that makes my heart soar with pride.

Yes, Tyler, I am proud of you! I know full well that there are times you are down on yourself. You do not feel you have accomplished anything with your life, that you have let me and others down, but my message to you is that I am proud of you.

How could you let me down when you have never intentionally hurt another human being? How could you let me down when your finest qualities are your love and compassion for others? How could you let me down when you walk your talk with dignity and character?

Tyler, it has been a privilege and an honor to be your parent. A man could not ask for a better son, and what I did to deserve you I do not know, but I am incredibly grateful. I smiled on that day in October of 1984, and I am still smiling today. I held you that first day and I feared and yet welcomed the future.

I have been a successful teacher, a writer, an avid outdoorsman, mountain climber, and baseball player. I have overcome odds that should have beaten me, and I have crawled out of a personal hell that should have killed me.

But you, Tyler, are my greatest accomplishment.

I love you son! Always have….always will! Thank you for being the son I dreamed about, and thank you for not letting me screw things up too badly. Merry Christmas to you, buddy! You are the best gift I have ever received.

Love,

Dad

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      A lovely tribute..and being a parent is no easy job. As I have written of estrangement of my son..I will pat myself on the back for being a good parent and am enormously proud of him today. It has been over three years..but someday hope we will be a family again. Your emotions speak for themselves...You did your best job and all of us come to this lifetime with many flaws and issues to deal with ..as life goes on. You are a proud father of a boy who as a good work ethic and is trying to do best for his life..so he got that somewhere. I know the emotion you feel as you write...And I can feel it also. Have a wonderful holiday and of course a wonderful and exciting new year. Your hubber pal,

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carol! Merry Christmas, from one parent to another. Have a wonderful day and thank you for your friendship.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      What a wonderful and touching article,Billy! :-) May god bless you and your son-Tyler.

      And, Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pooja! May the spirit of Christmas be with you today, and always!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Bill, how very beautiful! I can certainly attest to the fact that raising a child, especially on your own can be daunting and at the same time? The most rewarding experience of your life! How blessed you and Tyler were to have had each other! Thank you for sharing this amazing tribute! Merry Christmas!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Tyler sounds like he is an amazing human being, and that reflects on you in ways you've probably never even considered. I'm sorry he can't be there with you today, but you two have a bond that will never be broken. Much love to you and yours from the wilds of New York. Merry Christmas, my friend!

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Merry Christmas to a beautiful man, and to his adopted dad who is a beautiful man, also.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A heartwarming hub! You are indeed a wonderful and caring father and your Tyler already knew that. Love knows no boundaries and love triumphs over all and your heartfelt hub proved it. Well-done!

      Have a wonderful & blessed Christmas day!

      Thanks for SHARING. Beautiful & Awesome. Voted up

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I was crying as I read this and pictured my own kids grown someday. thank you fro sharing this beautiful, heartfelt letter to your son with all of us. Merry Christmas Bill and hope you get to see Tyler very soon, but can tell you just from reading this (let alone having the privilege to know you now) that you are a wonderful, loving father. Merry Christmas!!!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Well said of you and Tyler Bill. Real men don't come cheap.

      Graham.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Dear Kindre, I knew when I read this I would cry. I did. This letter will be a treasure to Tyler one day. Few parents get this real with their children for fear of showing emotion. But there is no greater gift than to open your heart and hand it to another human being. I can only imagine that Tyler is missing you equally as much today and feeling the same gratitude that you have expressed so beautifully. If he is indeed the chip off the old block as you have described, he is feeling it too. It is very special that you have shared this with Tyler and, the rest of the world. It is the mot pure and loving declaration of a parent's love. Sending you hugs this day!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Beautiful and touching letter indeed! A child is a parents' pride and I can sense the immense love and affection you have for your son. No doubt he has turned out to be a fine human being but all that credit goes to you my friend for having raised him admirably.

      Wish you, Bev and Tyler a very Merry Christmas.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, Randi, I have no doubt that you understand this letter. :) Thank you dear lady, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the kind words, Georgie, and Merry Christmas to you as well. Thank you for your friendship this past year.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tom, thank you so much for those words. I hope you are spending this day with loved ones. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

    • peeples profile image

      Peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Billy this is beautiful! You gave me a good cry. I'm glad your son got a parent that loves him so much! Merry Christmas!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      This is a wonderful letter to your son, Bill. I'm sorry you can't be together this Christmas. Children truly are a blessing, aren't they? It's really tough being a single parent - I know first hand. But love always, always leads the way!

      Thank you for sharing this very personal hub with us.

      Merry Christmas to you, Bev, Tyler and Bev's children (and cats and dogs!)

      Love,

      Sha and Christopher (Axel, Sheba and Shiloh, too!)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, thank you for those beautiful words. It is a joyous day filled with love, and I wish for you a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for your friendship!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! You have just begun your parenting experience. It is a joyous ride through the years, watching your children grow up and be fine human beings. I wish for you all the joy that I have experienced over the years, and Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Graham, and Merry Christmas to you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you my friend; kind words indeed, and I hope I am worthy of them. Merry Christmas, Rajan, and a joyous New Year ahead.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peeples, thank you dear lady. I greatly appreciate your friendship. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Merry Christmas, Sha, and thank you for your friendship my dear. It has been a wonderful year of friendship with you, and I am lifting a toast to both of us for the year to come.

      love always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, a day of tears and happiness....sweet melancholy! I am filled with love and gratitude for you, and I greatly appreciate your friendship. Bless you LInda; may you have a wonderful day.

      love always,

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      May good things be in store for all of us, Bill!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      He sounds like a really amazing son. What parent wouldn't be proud of him? I'm so sorry you can't be together at this time but at least you have happy memories of past Christmases and the anticipation of future ones. I'm sure there are many parents and children who would like that.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I do believe they will happen. :)

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      Kathleen Kerswig 4 years ago

      This is simply beautiful. I related to so much of what you wrote. Thank you for sharing this with us. Many blessings to you and Tyler for a beautiful year to come.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I am a very lucky man; it's amazing considering I really had no idea what I was doing. LOL Thank you my loyal friend and Merry Christmas to you in the UK!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kathleen and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, this is beautiful and so very touching, I'm sure Tyler knows how much he is loved, but this is an enduring memory for posterity.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Tears....good tears on Christmas day, Bill! This is so beautiful and touching. As a parent, I couldn't help but cry while reading it.

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us. May the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts.

      Peace and love,

      P.S. I guess, Tyler is a hunk like the father, eh? (:

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The love between a parent and child is like no other. Though many marriages dissolve, loving a child is unconditional and forever. A parent will not like every choice a child makes, and the same goes the other way, but that love supercedes every obstacle. Even in cases of abuse, though and abused child fears the abuse, they continue to love the parent. In fact, many of the long lasting detrimental psychological effects of abuse revolve around the child never feeling loved, despite the fact they loved the abusive parent. There is nothing more powerful than parental/child love. It never ends. Thank you, Bill, for sharing your Christmas story. I'm sure you take comfort that the reason you can't share this Christmas with your son is due to his strong sense of responsibility. There will be other Christmases, and your son and you, his father, will always share your special love. Merry Christmas, Bill.

    • moonfairy profile image

      moonfairy 4 years ago

      On my Billy...this is overwhelmingly beautiful, and I bet your son is as proud of you as you are of him. I too was a single parent during those "teenage years" and it's a tough road. Parents are human. They make mistakes but as you said, if love is there every single instant then that's half the battle. Parenting is terrifying and you can never really guess the outcome. You just have to give it your all and hope for the best. This is an amazing testimonial to the man that you are, and the man that your son is. You are both truly blessed. Thank you so very much for sharing your heart with us. Merry Christmas.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh Billy what a beautiful and ever so honest tribute to your son...parenting is never easy no matter how you do it, but I really admire single parents for your courage and vulnerability and the the fact that you give it all you've got and then some...sending warm cheers from down under my friend for this Christmas season...

      Ps I have a Tyler too...

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I was so touched that you shared your beautiful and heartfelt story with us on this Christmas Day. You have given me a gift--you give so freely of yourself, and I'm sure your son can attest to that as well.

      Even though miles separate you, the power of your love for one another will always keep you together. I'd say YOU DID GOOD!

      Voted Up, Awesome and Beautiful my friend.

      Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, that's why I wrote it, so he would always have it. Thank you for your kindness and friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, you are a doll! I can definitely say that Tyler is more of a hunk than his dad. LOL Merry Christmas my friend, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Merry Christmas, Amy, and thank you for sharing this story with me. I wanted him to always have this with him, and I love your comment about it....from the heart, with heart....that's Amy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carter, thank you, and you are right, it is never easy, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Hug that Tyler of yours, and Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, if I can't share my story with my dear HP friends, who can I share it with? You people are so wonderful, and you all have been so accepting of me, warts and all. Thank you sincerely, and Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Moon, what a beautiful comment. You have touched me with your sincerity. Thank you so much, and Merry Christmas so you as well.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Wow, Bill! Tyler is one of the luckiest people around. To have a parent write their child a letter like this....it's probably one of the biggest gifts you could give him. That, and unconditional love. We can't change things from the past, but I think how we move forward and learn from things that make us who we are today, and are important. As you are proud of Tyler and honour him in this post, I think he too should be proud to have you as a parent. Not many express love and thoughts into something meaningful as you do every single day to try to make a difference in the world. Well done Bill! :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you so much for this. Strange, you make this remarkable post today. My son visited me today. My daughter will not be visiting me. The difference between the new me is that painful.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 4 years ago

      This really was heart touching Billy; thank you for sharing this.

    • moonfairy profile image

      moonfairy 4 years ago

      P.S. My son could not visit us for Christmas this year either...he is deployed. My greatest gift was the sound of his voice on Christmas morning when he called to say he loved us.........so I truly do know how you feel Billy.........

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing Billybuc. I have an enormous pride in my son, who he is and what he stands for. You have expressed your thoughts and feelings in a wonderful way enabling Tyler to keep close when he is away.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mel! This letter has been a long time in the works, but I finally figured Christmas was the perfect day, since we couldn't be together.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      A beautiful, touching and right-on article. In no way do I mean the following statement to be a "downer" or invoke sadness but as a "head's up" for all parents. My son and only child left this earth nearly two years ago now. One of my greatest comforts since he left me is that I always loved him and told him repeatedly along the way of our lives and he returned that blessing. Loving one's child and making sure they know it every day is every parent's choice. Yes, we show them but the words "I love you" are priceless -- sort of like it should be show and tell everyday as life is tenuous. Excellent Hub and may your words go straight to the heart of every parent -- as I'm sure they will. Best/Sis

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, thank you! I'm sorry your daughter couldn't make the visit; maybe the reasons why she couldn't will fall by the wayside soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Qudsia, thank you so much for visiting me on Christmas Day!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Moonfairy, what a great gift that phone call was; thank you for sharing that.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      CyberShelley, it is wonderful when we can step back and observe what our children have become, and realize what fantastic human beings they are.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Angela, I am truly sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing that. Your words will reach many, and your message, hopefully, will be heard and lived.

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      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      A lovely letter, Bill, I wish we could relate to it. My children come and go into my life and out of my life as they please, the result of a bitter divorce when they were elementary school age. During the marriage to their father, we lived a rather nomadic life, most of it living away from their grandparents, so they were never very grounded. Nuff said. My hat's off to you and your wonderful son, dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I suspect your story is not that abnormal. We live in a society today where your story is quite common. I feel very lucky that my story is different. I am the first to tell anyone how fortunate I am, and was.

      Thank you for the personal reflection and Happy New Year to you!

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Hope you had a lovely day yesterday. What a moving letter to your son Tyler, it was such a wonderful thing to read and a letter he will no doubt cherish for life - I would. You have obviously had a fantastic relationship that many families do not share. Congrats on this letter Bill, votes and more . . . . .

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      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Bill, This is an awesome tribute to your son. Tyler sounds like an amazing guy! Well done!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Linda! I think he's pretty special. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irish, I am a pretty lucky guy for sure. :) Thank you my friend!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Yet again you have proved "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"...yes you made mistakes like all of us do, but, the most important thing is love...love and the desire to do right by our children...God bless you and Tyler as you carry on the Holland legacy that was passed on to you.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      How sweet! I too, have a 28 year old son. He turned out great. We are blessed aren't we?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rebecca, we are indeed blessed! Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Mary! Love....you can never go wrong with love! I hope you had a great Christmas my friend.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      This is a beautiful expression of love for your son. I'm sure that your letter made him smile and touched his heart at the same time. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas my friend:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, thank you, and I did have a great Christmas; I hope you did as well. I see a new profile picture; very lovely my friend.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Billy- Thanks. I had a wonderful Christmas. I celebrated Christmas Eve at my brother's house with my parents, sister in law, my nephew and her family. Then, I went to the midnight mass. I'm always changing my picture. This picture was taken on December 24th at my brother's house. This is my two year old nephew. Isn't he adorable? Christmas Day was nice. My brother, his wife and my nephew came over and we all took pictures next to the Christmas tree and exchanged gifts. Thanks my friend. I'm charging the battery as we speak.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Well i've been gone for the holidays and have missed a lot of hubs. I am so happy to read this one. Bless you Bill. He loves you, and will remember your teachings throughout his life...Cheers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! This letter was long overdue. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I'm glad you had such a wonderful holiday. Ours was pretty special too, minus not having my son nearby. Lots of friends and Bev''s relatives, singing carols and laughing a lot. :)

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible every parent should feel this way abou their child, an extraordinary write up thanks for sharing this wonderful story

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you DDE! I'm glad you enjoyed this!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This was so beautiful and I am crying right now. My daughter just turned 10 and I know I have made mistakes as well, but she is, and always will be, the greatest gift I have ever gotten or will get. I'm glad I had time to read this today.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I think this letter speaks for most parents....at least I hope it does. Sorry about the tears :) but I bet they are tears of happiness, so I'm not that sorry. LOL Thank you dear friend.

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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is beautiful and touching, Bill. What a wonderful relationship you have with Tyler. He sounds like a fine young man.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, he is indeed a fine man and I am proud of him. Thank you!

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill Holland.....damn you! I am sobbing.....heaving, choking. Bawling my heart out. This is a killer, Dad. I literally FELT every single word, emotion and pause......Midway, I knew it was coming....the goosebumps, lump in my throat, eyes beginning to sting......did I stop reading? No, of course not......I'm a stupid glutton for this kind of stuff......Soooo beautiful...touching and so very close to my heart.

      Would you please redeem yourself and write a funny hub? I would greatly appreciate it!.....Excuse me while I blow my nose...UP++++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, dammit girl, now you have me tearing up. LOL Sorry about that! You know, I've gotten away from the funny hugs. Tunnel vision at its finest...or worst! I get all broiled up over social issues and then I can't turn it off. I'll see what I can do...the next funny one will be dedicated to you my friend!

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      Sharilee Swaity 4 years ago from Canada

      Bill, this is so beautiful and touching. You are one lucky Dad, and he is one lucky son. You deserve each other; what a blessing. I loved your honesty and realness in this piece. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharilee, so nice to see you. Thank you and I hope you are well and resting up for the second half of the school year. Happy New Year to you my friend.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds to me like you did a fine job with your son. You had a good head on your shoulders when it came to raising him, and you are obviously proud of him. Great work, and I'm sorry that he couldn't be with you for the holidays, but you sure had some great memories to get you through.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thank you! I had good training for sure, but it's amazing I was able to figure it out....blind, beginner's luck if you ask me. :)

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      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Your son is a handsome man, and this is a beautiful and moving letter to him. Anyone would be privileged to have such a supportive and loving father, including all the imperfections that any honest parent must admit to. I'm so happy for your both!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vespa, thank you so much for visiting again and reading this letter. My son is a great young man and I so proud of him. Happy New Year to you my friend.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Your son is very blessed to have you in his life. What wise words of wisdom to share and ones that will put him ahead of the rest in living well and happy. I am sure he follows your modeling of life and will reap what was sown. Blessings and prayers for you and Bev in 2013.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I'm the one who is blessed. He is a great kid, and I am a very blessed father. Thank you, and blessings and prayers to you and yours in 2013.

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy

      I always face adversity and tears with a joke but the tears that are flowing now deserve nothing but complete respect and pure love as those are the qualities screaming out in this letter that caused them in the first place.

      There are so many parts of this letter that made me cry tears of joy but one, in particular stood out as a testament to the special and close relationship you and your best friend have forged together.

      "You told me once that you would not be half the man you are today if it were not for me and my influence."

      No more to be said. Such a great man raised such a great man.

      Love and so much joy in my heart for you both.

      Beckie XO

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well damn, Beckie, now you have me crying.

      Tyler is a fine man, and I'm as proud as a father can be of him. I know this letter meant a great deal to him; it was a long time coming.

      Thank you for seeing the importance of this letter, Beckie. That means a great deal to me.

      love,

      billy

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is powerful and moving. I wish more dads would open up this way with their sons rather than presenting a macho front. Ok, now I must find some tissues!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Tammy! I had to learn on my own because it is for certain that my dad didn't open up like this. :) No way!

      I hope you are well Tammy! have a great weekend!

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Billy, your son looks like a descent young man. You raised him well. nice-looking too. Just revisiting again.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Doc! I wish you and he were the same age...I'd send him to you all wrapped up with a bow! :)

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Lol... Thanks..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, it would be a great thing for him; not sure about you, though! He still has some maturing to do. LOL

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      You're so funny Billy. If I'm ever in the Washington area, I can meet all of you. Lol. How old is your son? He looks around my brother's age.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, he's twenty-eight and really is a great guy....just has a little more growing up to do. :) If you are ever out west Bev and I would love to meet you.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      That would be great. You and Bev seem like very nice people. Yeah, your son is too young for me, but adorable. I'm in my 30s. If you saw me in person, you would probably say that I don't look a day older than 24.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I have no doubt that is true! I'll tell my son he missed out due to age...that will save his psyche from rejection. :)

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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      What a beautiful story and awesome letter. I don't have my own children and therefore can only understand the parent/child relationship as I relate to my nieces and nephews. But I do know what it is like to feel extremely blessed for them in my life. You've been blessed Billy as well as Tyler. I enjoyed learning more.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharyn, you are absolutely correct...I have been blessed! If it all ended tomorrow I could go out with a smile on my face and heart. :) Thank you for your kind words my friend.

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      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill - I missed this earlier, but that's OK. I needed a good heartfelt cathartic cry. What a great son, great father, and what a wonderful relationship the two of you have. Your love for him shines though in every sentence. The two of you are greatly blessed to have each other. :) ~~Theresa

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, I couldn't agree more, and thank you! I am truly blessed to have Tyler as my son.

      I hope you are well my friend!

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      Sharal-Barboza 4 years ago

      Aww man, you made me cry! Every word of this letter is so beautiful! Tyler is very lucky guy to have you as his Dad. I'm gonna make my dad read your letter. :P

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharal, I hope it was a good cry. :) Thank you and I'm so glad that you enjoyed this.

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      Carla J Behr 4 years ago from NW PA

      Voted up - what a beautiful gift!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      carla, thank you so much. I think he's quite a gift, too. :)

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Hi Billy, Happy Father's Day! This is a lovely & touching letter to your son. Your son Tyler is blessed to have a dad who loves and accepts him for who he is. Bill, I wanted to say that you're one of my favorite writers here on hubpages. I need to make time to go back and re-read your old hubs. And yes, you did inspire me to go to my spinning class on Friday afternoon especially after reading your comment that you and Bev had started running. Enjoy the rest of your day:) I'm off to the pool now. lol.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, you are very sweet. Thank you! I had a very nice Father's Day indeed, and now I am trying to catch up on my emails. We did not go running today....and I ate far too much. LOL Back to work tomorrow my friend.

      Thank you, Marlene!

      bill

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