Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's about giving back

Dear JJ,

When your mom and I met we were both people who had lived rich and full lives. Many people talk about the things that they want to accomplish before they pass on-- a so called "bucket list."

We had lived for ourselves- doing things other people dream of- and while many might be envy such lives-- we were both exhausted.

We both had a strong desire to "give back." We had both done some work in this field- but discovered that we have the same philosophy, and it is something we really want to do.

We have some great examples in giving back- all with your grandparents! My dad, your grandfather- the first Alaska Native with a doctorate, went back to Alaska to help teach kids -- knowing that education was the magic bullet. He could not have done this without the help and support of your grandmother- my mom. Your other grandfather has spent most of his life in China- where your mom was born, and where we will find your sister - Lilly. His wife, your other grandmother- is also a staunch companion and supportive of this.

So when your mom and I get married- the theme of our wedding will be giving back. You will be there- but probably won't remember too much!

So you will probably see a lot of places, see a lot of people who have little-- and if your mom and I have our way- I'll be operating there while she films it.

Someday you will want to make your parents proud-- and I want to give you this little secret: It isn't what you accomplish that will make us proud-- it is what you give back. We love you no matter what- but always remember- the greatest thing you can ever do - is what you do for others.