James K. Flanagan
is the author of one
very moving letter
addressed to his grandchildren a few months before his death from a heart attack. The text was published with the permission of her daughter Rachel Creighton. A letter from a
which all children should read and which reminds us of the important role these figures play in the family.
"Dear Ryan, Conor, Brendan, Charlie and Mary Catherine, my Rachel pushed me to write a letter with some advice for you,
in which to tell you about the important things I have learned in my life.
I started writing it on April 8, 2022, on the eve of my 72nd birthday.
The rights of grandparents to have "meaningful relationships" with grandchildren
Each of you is a wonderful gift from God, a gift to your family and to the whole world. Always remember this, especially when the cold winds brought by doubts and sad moments come into your life.
Don't be afraid ... of nothing and nobody
Follow your dreams,
do not be discouraged by difficulties or what people may think. Too many people don't do what they want and then spend their lives judging what others are doing. Avoid those acid pessimists who live on "if" and "but".
Don't be conditioned.
The worst thing in life is to look back and say, "I should have ... I could have."
Take risks, make mistakes
All human beings are the same.
Some people may wear extravagant hats or have great titles or (temporarily) have great power and therefore believe they are superior. Don't believe it. They have the same doubts, the same fears and the same hopes, they eat, drink, sleep and fart like everyone else.
Make a list of everything you want to do in life
: travel to faraway places, learn a trade or a language, meet someone special. Do some of these things every year.
Never say "I'll do it tomorrow"
. There is no "right" day to start something, now is the right time.
go out into the world to help people, especially the weakest, the fearful and children. Everyone carries great pain within him and everyone needs compassion.
Do not join the army or any organization that tries to kill you
. War is bad. All wars started with old men forcing young people to hate and kill each other.
Grandparents: the difficult art of compromise
Read books, as many as you can
you. They are a wonderful source of joy, wisdom and inspiration.
Always travel but especially during your youth
. Don't wait until you have enough money or until everything is perfectly organized. This will never happen.
where the soul of our family was born.
Choose the profession you love
. A job must be a joy, don't work just for money, your soul will be paralyzed.
. It never helps, it hurts yourself and others. Every time I screamed I failed.
Always keep the promises you make to the children.
Don't say "we'll see" when you mean "no".
Children want the truth.
Tell them the truth with love and kindness. Don't tell anyone you love them if they don't.
Live in harmony with nature
: be outdoors, in the woods, in the mountains, by the sea, in the desert. It is important for the soul.
Hug the people you love
. Tell them how important they are to you now, don't wait until it's too late. Be grateful every day for what you have. "