It's been a crazy few weeks and I have been so tired and frustrated as much as Tebo's has been. I thought I would take a moment to tell you some things that, if you were here, I would be telling you. I imagine that at this point in time of your marriage and being a civilian you would be at the point where you would be considering having a baby, if not already having one. I would tell you to enjoy every moment as one day you will want this back. Just like the song says when kids are screaming in the background and crying and you can't get anything done around the house or yard, you might want to rush through that time period, but I caution you to just soak it up and enjoy it, because one day you will want that time back. They will be in their teenager years and trying your patience and rules and you will be venting and upset, but I would tell you to just breathe and know that one day you will want this time back. When he or she enlists in the military or go into a job that takes your child away to a different location, you will be sad or frustrated that he/she didn't go the direction they wanted to go, but don't fret, one day you will want this day back regardless how painful it feels at that moment.
One day you will watch your son or daughter walk down the aisle to marry the love of their life and you will wish you could freeze time. Well, you can't freeze time as badly as you will want to, but the great thing about this is you will be expanding your life with a new son or daughter that you can love even though you didn't think you had capacity for. You will. Why? Because you will love your son or daughter so much that if they love someone and they love your child, you will love them. That's just how parents are.
When you get that job you've always wanted, show up early. Stay late if you have to. Learn all you can to be the best at your job you can be. Live your day every day so when you lay your head down at night you know you were the best person you could be that day. I know I told you this all the time, but it is still true today.
Everyone would like to be remembered as a good person who did the right thing and were loyal to those they loved. I believe you are remembered that way (and not just because I'm your momma).
Love you wife just like you want a man to love your daughter. Be the kind of father you want your son to be. You do these things and you will have no regrets.
Laugh a lot, live life at it's fullest, but make room for God and make sure that you live to honor him all the days of your life.
Always remember to spend as much time as you can with not only your family (wife and kids), but the rest of your family. Life flies by (especially once you have babies) and before you know you will be wishing you had spent more time with them and sadly sometimes that time is too late.
Don't forget about your friends. They love you and real friends are hard to come by. When you find them invest in them and in your relationship with them. Don't let anyone ever come between you and spending some time with friends. Obviously being married you will have to balance that, but as long as you are spending time with your wife and kids when you can, then finding time for our friends will be the easy part.
Try to be careful on the alcohol. It's ok to have a few, but don't get in the habit of drinking so much that it interferes with your life and family time. Then you need to re-set your priorities. Speaking of priorities, when you are married there is some flattery when you are a little jealous, but never be so jealous that it becomes the perception that it is controlling. That is never attractive to any woman.
You know what it attractive to women? In my opinion, remembering to tell her she is pretty even if she isn't wearing make up (which i know you actually prefer), that she looks nice in her outfit even if it isn't your taste. If she likes it, then just like it with her. It must make her feel good if she likes how she looks in it. This one you kind of messed up on already, but it always bears repeating. If your wife makes dinner for you and you happen to not care for it all that much, just eat it anyway and tell her how good it is. One day you will have a chance to tell her that it isn't your favorite (in a nice way) and then you won't have to worry about it. I know I'm to blame for a lot of your eating habits, but she isn't use to them and she just wants to please you. Sometimes she will get it right and sometimes, not so much. The not so much times are sometimes the best memories.
Speaking of memories, make them out of every opportunity you are given. It might be playing in the rain or making up words that don't belong in a song. Laugh, laugh at yourself and the situation, but always remember that there are times when laughing isn't going to work and you need to be sensitive.
it is not (regardless what society might say) to be sensitive in your marriage. That is as important than laughter. I will also warn you that if you have a female friend that is having trouble, you can be sympathetic, but I would kindly say, you know, my wife might know more about this than I do and let your wife take it from there. A married man should never been a confidant to a female especially when there is marital problems. It doesn't look good to start, but it can also lend itself to a situation you may regret one day. No one ever wants that.
I will close this letter with what I tell you all the time. Family is forever so make sure anyone you love, loves your family as well. That is important. Also, once you are married, she comes first, but is not only. You still need to call your mom and your family and friends. It can't just be the two of you. That's not good for either one of you. Family and friends should enhance your marriage and relationship and I believe for you that won't be a problem.
Live each day like I'm watching, but more than that, so that you can lay your head down each night and know that you were the best person you could be that day and above all, have no regrets. Do what you believe in and believe in what you do.
I love you son and missing you is just what it is, missing you until I see you again (and I WILL see you again). Your friends and brothers in arms miss you and love you so much. We have lots of little Chads, Staffords, and Wades running around or soon will be and it thrills me to know you are still very much a part of our lives even if you are not on this earthy.