Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

John Lennon

During my voluntary leave of absence from Facebook, (for self-preservation) I’ve had more time to visit with my own self.

Which is kind of fun because I can easily go to a movie by myself and be my own biggest fan.

Thanks for stopping by,

59 year-old-Mark


August 28th, 2021

Dear Mark;

I hope you’re doing well. I’m sure mom is cooking, Tony is playing the piano and Vickie has the phone cord stretched into the hall closet and having conversations with your future brother-in-law.  You’re probably dressed in Peanut pajamas and watching TV in the living room with the brown wood paneling and the 110 air conditioning that’s comfortably humming and blowing some seriously cool air.

I wanted to drop you a line and let you know about some things that lie ahead. Keep this letter because it won’t make any sense right now to you.

It’s not supposed to make sense right now. Just put this letter in the jar that you keep money hid in that’s buried next to the middle Mimosa tree on the lot.  Read it on your birthday each year. 

  •  Tell Charlie that he runs well for a dog with 3 legs.
  • When you’re around 12, it’s probably best that you, Neal, Keith, and Jeff didn’t glue the tools to the wall at the factory across the street.
  • Ask that girl out in high school that you were too scared to at the time. All she can do is say no.
  • Don’t scream like a little girl when the head falls out of the boat at The Princess Theater during Jaws. You’ll lose all credibility with the cute girls from City School sitting right in front of you.
  • Table dance more at the Waterhole when you’re 20. Just that one time table dancing was not enough.
  • Tell your friends that you love them when you become and adult. Because way too soon, a few of them won’t be there. And you did love them. And you’ll miss them. But they will visit in your dreams at night and you’ll wake up feeling good inside because you got to see them again.

         And they were smiling.

  • Stop trying to make everyone happy as you grow up. If people don’t like you the way you are then you don’t need them around. Just let em go.
  • Forgive that guy.
  • When your hair leaves, it’ll be ok. You never really will like that black fuzzy bucket on your head anyway. And you’re gonna actually look pretty good with no hair on your head and a white beard one day. 
  • Don’t ever forget the endless summer days of riding your 10 speed alone when you were a young teen. Those were the best days. You’ll worry about stuff then as you ride by the Chain factory over and over. But I promise you that in the end, it’ll all work out ok.
  • Tell mom that her banana cakes are the best ever.
  • The best way around something is to go through it. 
  • Wear sunscreen when you start loving the feel of the sun on your skin. Skin cancers when you’re in your 50s are no fun. And besides, Copppertone smells amazing.
  • You’ll come out of the fat time you’re a bout to enter. Later. I promise. You gotta forget that people called you fat. Get over it. Your healthiest life is just around the corner.  When you’re in high school you’ll lean out. Then start running, swimming and lifting weights. Soon after you’ll be in the best shape of your life. Have patience. Take care of the only body that you’ll ever have. 
  • One day you’ll marry. Always remember the first time you saw her. That snapshot will be important later. Replay it often in you head so you don’t forget it. 
  • Learn all the words to ‘My Girl’’ll sing that most every day when your daughter comes along and you’ll dance with her to it at her wedding. And you’ll also sing it while you’re rocking your perfect granddaughter to sleep. Practice it.
  • When you’re grown and working, forgive that woman that embarrassed you in front of your entire department.
  • Take more Motrin when you go to Disney World. Your son will wear your neck out because he wants you to lug him around. But I promise you’ll love every sweet minute of it.
  • Karma, learn what it is and take comfort in it because it’s very real.
  • Know that you’ll have so many wonderful firsts in your life. Your first plane ride. Your first kiss. Your first horse race. Your first time to recognize what rain smells like. Your first time to drive 110 mph. Embrace them.  
  • Also, remember that you’ll have a lot of lasts. Last time to talk to someone you’ll love, last time to see someone, to rock your child to sleep. Try your best to enjoy each thing, even if it’s a challenge. Those challenges are what grow you into a man.
  • Look at your hands and fingers every now and then. Remember how they look as you go. Because very soon you’ll look down and your hands look like your father’s hands.
  • In a few years, you’ll have another amazing set of little feet pattering around the house. Know that you and your 2 brothers and sister are the most prized possesions of your mom and dad. 

What lies ahead of you won’t always be perfect. It’ll be amazing. But not perfect. You won’t be perfect. But this is YOUR story. Don’t look at anyone else’s footprints. Make your own.

Know that you get just one story in your quick life. 

And just always remember to have fun in your story. 

You know now that you’ll make it to at least 59 years old. 

And it was a good 59 years. 

This is a lot right now, just put it away and promise to read it later when it’ll all make more sense. 


Now go play with the red fire truck with the remote electric ladder and plastic yellow fireman and have fun!

Just don’t get him too close to the heater stack.

He melts. 


Love others, but also love yourself,

59 year-old-you


P.S. And one last thing; when you’re 16 and marching off the field at halftime, stop looking at the flag girls’ butts in red shorts in front of you and pay attention to what you’re doing. You’ll lose count and turn too late, the whole line gets off because of your error and you get yelled at when you get back at the band room.