There have been more than a few memes making its rounds that asks the reader if they could send a letter to their past selves, what would they say? There’s even a book of letters from published authors, actors, and musicians to their teenage selves. This idea is meant to inspire those who are struggling now and can see that, they too, can achieve greatness.
While looking back at the past and acknowledging how far you’ve come is a good thing, I’ve often thought about the future and what will come of my decisions. How many lives will I touch? How many will touch mine? Below, I’ve written a letter to my 70 year old self. Hopefully, we will still blog in 2045. I’m interested in what I have to say in the year 2045.
Well, it’s been thirty one years, old man. If you’ll remember, this letter was written in 2014, just eight months before our thirty ninth birthday. That’s gotta feel like a lifetime ago. I can’t even imagine what your world is like.
First of all, if you’re, or we’re, still alive and reading this letter, how’s our health? Did we ever run that marathon? How about hiking the Appalachian Trail? I really hope we get to do that one day. Are we still active at our age in 2045? And Melissa, how is she doing? Before David passed away, we always joked that she had to die first, because we were writing the script, but I hope she’s still around correcting our spelling and telling us how to drive. Of course, you know, that we’ve stopped joking like that.
At this moment, in 2014, it’s been about four months since we self-published our collection of flash fiction. We have a couple writing projects lined up and we’re mentally piecing together two novels. Did we finish and publish them? Have we continued writing throughout the years? And did ever we find a way to write professionally?
Flying cars? Please tell me we’re finally flying in cars in 2045. Will the Texans ever play in the Superbowl? Bigfoot. Have they found undeniable evidence that Bigfoot exists.
Are we still living in the U.S.A.? Did we ever move to that cabin in the mountains with the internet connection?
Are the kids happy? Have they learned to take the good with the bad and have their hardships forged them into better people? How have we guided them, not only into adulthood, but throughout their lives? Have we continued to be the example for them? At seventy, we should have some great-grandchildren by now. What are their names and what do they like to do?
Finally, looking back from 2045, how has David’s life and death changed us? Do we still think about him all the time? How different did our life turn out than we had planned? Have we become closer in our relationship with God or have we pushed him away in our anger? Did we use our gifts to honor David’s memory, to glorify God? Have we been an instrument of God’s peace and spread love among hatred? Did we forgive as we asked to be forgiven? Did we offer faith where there was doubt and hope where we found despair? Did we show a light through the darkness and give joy to the sadness? Did we seek to console, to understand, and to love? Can we look back at our seventy years and feel good about our contribution?
It’s time that I close the letter for now. It looks like we have a lot of work to do. Well, me, since you will have already been through it. Sorry about all the questions; you know how we can be.
Norman (Version 2014)