My thoughts have been jumbled. My emotions have been raw. It’s been hard to concentrate. It’s been hard to think. I have been thinking and thinking and thinking some more. I have been feeling and feeling and feeling some more. 

I started and restarted this post and don’t want to make it sound ridiculous. I have been trying to put the words down, but my mind can’t get them the way I want them. I’m trying to not be mushy and embarrass you. 

I have been thinking about writing this post all week. I have struggled putting into words how much you mean to me and how proud I am of you. Parenting is tough. Being a kid is tough. Lots of times those two roles don’t mesh. We got lucky. We meshed. 

It has been an amazing journey watching you grow up. It has been heartbreaking watching you struggle at times. I wanted to take away your hurt. You always knew it was your path though. You always knew God was right there with you. Guiding you. Directing you. Your attitude and faith amaze me. I love that about you. You totally believe and you know. 

I love that you are independent and smart aleck-y. You are strong. You know your worth and you don’t back down for things you believe in. My traits.

You are compassionate and caring. You are beautiful. You are kind to everyone. You know the difference between right and wrong. You always do the right thing, even if it’s hard. John’s traits. 

You got the best of both of us. We knew you would. 

You are so funny and quick-witted. You have an amazing sense of humor. – Grandpa Gary’s traits. He would have loved you. I wish you could have known him. 

You wrote thank you cards without us having to tell you. Ever since you could write well enough, probably third or fourth grade, you started writing letters to your teachers at the end of every school year. You started writing letters to people who were important to you. You started writing letters to your friends. One of the recipients of a letter from you told me, “You done good.” He said we did a great job raising you. Ultimately, that is what a parent wants to hear. I think we did a good job too.

The time is here. Graduation. You are graduating from high school. I still remember the day you were born. The time went fast. I knew it would. You were a beautiful baby with big blue eyes. You were such a good baby. Our hearts were full.

The years have flown by, just like they say. So fast. It seems like yesterday we were taking your picture for Kindergarten. You were so excited and we were so heavy hearted.

Sunday is the day. I am filled with emotions. Bittersweet. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to do. I know you will be okay on your own, but at the same time I worry about you. 

I hope we did enough to prepare you. You are strong. You trust your instincts. You are  compassionate. You know your worth. You speak the truth. You have amazing character and morals. We got lucky with you. 

I have been trying to come up with advice or words of wisdom to share with you. But then I realized we have been advising you for 18 years. What else can we do. 

I will miss your crazy annoying laugh. Your drive-us-nuts dancing around the living room while we try to watch tv. Your using the dining room table as your depository for all coats, jackets, shoes and school paraphernalia. We will miss that. 

As I hear you downstairs cleaning out your backpack, I realize, it’s time for you to experience life. It’s time to go. It’s time to fly. It’s time to go places. It’s time to shine. We love you!

So Tayler – 


Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or

Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!”

—The Places You Will go — Dr. Seuss