We have reached an incredible moment in our journey together! I can still remember as if it were yesterday the time before you were not even alive and were literally just an unlikely dream I should give up on and try again later when I am better prepared, or so I was told by many people. Jees I’m super glad I never listened to them and just gave it my all!
It is quite something to look at you now – approaching your 7th birthday (you have grown up fast!!) – standing on your own two feet – well several hundred feet and arms joined together from all over South Africa and right the way across the world. I stand in awe at what you have become!
You are the closest thing in my life right now to understanding what it is like to bring a child into this world. I think every father will relate to this moment and this letter I am writing.
I can feel how compelling it is to keep you close forever as the kind of love and protection I feel for you is like nothing I have ever felt before and all I want is for you to be great as you can be! And I got your back like no other!
But in order for you to be truly great. You have to be YOU. And I have to allow you to find your own way and give you the space to do this. Your life does not belong to me or anyone else. I am just grateful for this chance to shine my light through you. That’s your gift. That’s what you allow people to do. You help us prepare to be able to stand alone. That’s an amazing gift!
So now is the time that we say goodbye to the relationship that we have had and welcome in a new chapter of our lives.
This is what I sent to my father (The Stoff – you know him pretty well) at a similar moment in our lives:
“Dad, I am going to walk my own path from here on in. You have given me everything that I could possibly need to be able to walk tall and be capable of flourishing with integrity in any surrounding – from board room, to stage, to strip joint, to sports field. You name it. “Walk with kings – nor lose the common touch”. I got this brother. You have more than done your job.”
If I have given you a hundredth of what my father has given me I will be a happy and proud man. All I know for sure is, I have given all that I have got.
I’m so proud of you and will always be your dad. (And going forward a dedicated trustee, just in case you were wondering).
Oh and just one thing before I sign off, look after yourself – you are no good to anyone burnt out and tired!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”