You have been 21 for a little over a week. And I want to reiterate how impressed I am by the man you have become. You are infinitely capable of running your own business. You've been running your own or helping others run theirs since you were eleven and raised those heritage turkeys for sale. You are trustworthy and always follow through on your commitments. This is all you need to attract business, as you've already shown to be true. You are kind and generous with your friends, family, and with Maddie. Now let her give to you, like she wants. She can help you so much while you're healing, with yoga.
I guess this set back you're about to face, the back surgery for the ruptured disk from the fall off that damn bull, so many years ago, will be a chance for you to really explore other areas of yourself that are not about building houses and lifting huge weights. You'll have to be still for a minute. You may learn all kinds of great things about yourself, if you surrender a bit. You may rediscover more fully the things I've seen in you all these years - the creativity I saw in you when you put together those amazing table decorations every holiday, and the bouquets for the market, not to mention the art you used to do. You may grow even more deeply into the patience you showed when you did those bird watching competitions for several years. I still see that patience now, in the way that you have withstood this back pain, still focused on everyone else's needs and so always able to laugh. I witness your creativity every day when I go into Ray's and my back yard and see the amazing cedar boxes that you designed and built.
You are getting some huge life lessons and have had a long stint of work experience that many people 15 years your senior haven't had. I know that you will use it all wisely.
Gillen T., you have such a giant heart, under those cowboy shirts and hats. Your passion, work ethic and love of people will serve the world well. It sure impresses me.
I love you madly,