Dear Son,

Your mother and I hope this letter finds you well. I was surprised at the election results, and I also noticed that extremism was mostly discarded. Of course, it will not go quietly and protecting democracy is an urgent battle right now. No matter which party we belong to or none, the country belongs to us all.  Mighty empires have fallen, and I recently read up on the death of Alexander the Great who died without a will. His empire stretched far but eventually fell apart due to infighting. It’s a story we’ve seen play itself out repeatedly.  And that is why all of us must participate in the democratic processes. Your brother is getting wiser with age; when he goes out at night, he now comes home before the sun comes up. Even your sister spends more days at home now. Father time comes for us all son. Now that we’re on the topic of AIDS, check out American Horror Story NYC when you can, it’s brilliant and will hit home as a New Yorker. Like any great show, there are multiple story lines rolled into one. Shilts was a talented journalist and his own death due to the virus is heartbreaking. I think of names such as Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, Sylvester and so many others who are no longer with us. Always take care of yourself kid. And you never know, your old man just might start texting you soon! Your mother sends me endless cat videos she finds online, I wonder how people have the time to record these things. How’s work these days?

Death is never easy to confront, but I can say that as I get older, I do not fear it as much. I agree that making the best of our lives while we can is the way to go. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve already lost friends at such an early age, but it is a part of life. You know my mother passed away when I was nineteen and there were so many things that we didn’t get to do or discuss. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss her. But she taught us a lot in the time we had her and I haven’t forgotten her wisdom. One of the best ways we pay homage to people is by never forgetting them. Hmm….Google knows everything, I won’t argue that one. And don’t get me started on spam emails. Between a friend being held hostage abroad, Bitcoin sales and male enhancement offers, the insanity never ends. But there is one thing that does scare me about social media and it’s the recklessness people show when posting statements, images, videos, etc. Some things should never go online as they can come back to haunt you later in life. Think before you post.

Brazil could be a warning of what is to come across the continent. Latin America has historically struggled with dictatorships and left-wing regimes. The future remains to be seen but let’s hope for the best. If I could go back in history and meet anyone, it would be Daniel Patrick Moynihan. This is before your time, but we once wrote about the condition of black families in America. His work was controversial, but he was right about some things. What people forget is that Moynihan grew up without his own father and understood the importance of a strong family structure. And there is coincidence that the role of the father is still crucial to child development. I did read the Moynihan report and there is a wealth of information in it. The report is dated but not obsolete.

Give my regards to your friends. Dinner huh? Do they know how much you can eat? We’re all set for Thanksgiving. You know a holiday here is not complete without your mother’s potato salad. Sam’s friends have driven from the Bronx just have it. I’ll make the other dishes and your brother and sister will help. Alvera has taken over the dessert department. I’ve seen previews for Christmas shows, we’re approaching the home stretch and the rush will soon be on. Slowing down at times is good. Life goes fast Son, one day you blink, and two years have gone by. Peace and quiet are to be treasured and when you have both, enjoy it as much as possible. Now you understand why I get up so early every day. The quietness in the morning is a blessing.  Congratulations on getting out of bed in one motion but don’t forget when you reach this age, you need a good reason to get out of bed! Have fun in L.A. and can’t wait to read all about it! Stay safe kid, we all miss you, especially Jax.

Love, Pop.

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