You are the eldest of my children, and the only one I have allowed to visit me in the past. You are, and always be, my favorite son. You grew to be such a handsome and understanding man that I was often reminded of your grandfather in the sage wisdom you always shared with me. You have already forgave me of all the wrongs I did to you, and for that I shall love you the most. You did your best to help the younger children understand, being a father figure to them as they grew. Did you succeed in helping them understand finally?
Perhaps, but only time will tell. You stand to gain the most when I finally pass on. Eventually, if you so desire, you will inherit the company. If not, then you will have the larger of the monetary inheritances to do with as you see fit. But that is not what life is about.
I was born to money, but it never saved me from myself. Of course, you are wiser than I ever was, so you refrain from the things I did. Instead, you have chosen to do what I never did, go on to college. Of course, this is the year you graduate and I hope to be there to cheer you on as you accept your diploma. You are the first Usher to graduate from college. But you aren’t just an Usher. You are a Grimes. Grimes always succeed.
But you are also an Usher. You will always be an Usher. You children are the last of the house of Usher even though you do not bear the name. Through you, the bloodline will continue. But not the evil. You are far too good for that. Far too wise. Far too smart. My part in it all is about to end. I have only a short time left. We all know that. You, most of all. You will have to carry on without me soon. Please take care of Connie and treat him as humanely as you always have. Make sure that he remains a part of your lives always. He will always be the closest thing you have to a father.
Always remember that I have always believed in you. All of you. I have always loved all of you. Some, maybe more than others, but I still loved you all. And I have always tried to do right by all of you. I have always provided all I could for you as well.
I am not bragging, merely telling. My dear son, after all this time, I did learn something from you…how to be humble. I realize that we come into this world with nothing and leave it with nothing. In our place, we leave our memories and our legacies so that others can benefit from them. I humbly accept this as the ultimate truth: in the end, we are not remembered as for who we are, but rather for what we do. Those who do good without desire for self, are remembered while those who do evil are forgotten for all eternity.
My first-born daughter. Connie chose you to be ring-bearer. What an honor! I know you have felt left out in the past, but those days are gone. After tomorrow, you will be back with your mommy. You, your brothers, and your sisters. I admit that I was wrong to send you away. I want you to know that I will never do it again.
This does not mean that I will not leave you again, it just means that I will not send you away. You know that I am ill, and that I will never get any better. But do yo9u understand, yet, that I am dying? I don’t know.
But enough of all that. This is supposed to be a time of joy. We are all supposed to be happy, are we not? And so I guess that happiness is this: to do the best you can for as long as you can; hoping to have changed at least one life by having lived your own. It is also having changed the world by merely existing. Amazing, isn’t it?
I sure hope that I have changed the world by merely existing, myself. But have I succeeded? I don’t know. Only time will tell. I do know that I have touched quite a few lives, changing them as I did so. Some I have changed for the better, some for the worse. I hope that I have touched your life in a positive way, for if I have done so in a negative way I would not be able to bear the thought.
Dannelle. How do I tell you I’m sorry? I turned my back on you before you ever got to know me. Now, your a young lady and probably not willing to see me as your mother. And I deserve that from you…and much more. I wouldn’t blame you if you never want to see me after today.
But I hope, for all our sakes, that you can put the past behind us. I have. Please forgive me for my faults. I never claimed to be perfect. I spent a lot of my life being selfish and have come to realize it much too late in my life. When you needed me the most, I sent you away to spare you from seeing me die. But, you will see that anyway.
I finally realize what is most important in life. Family. All you have in this life is your family. Nothing can take that away from you. Money is so temporary. So is fame and success. None of it stays for long. Even life its self is fleeting. All you have, for sure, is this very moment. Don’t waste it.
So now, all we have is right now. Let us make the best of it. We must be a family. It is important to us. Connie, you, your brothers and sisters, and me. It is what we all want the most. It is what I need the most.
So, my little girl, my little lady, you are to be the ring bearer. Are you excited? I hope so. I am. Tomorrow is the start of a new life. For you, for me, and for all who are to be there. It will be the beginning of a new chapter in all our lives. Let us write it in such a way that we will all be happy ever after.
Felicity, my baby. Youngest of all my children. You do not fully know me, but I hope to correct that oversight. How selfish I have been! I did not want to share my life, or at least the painful portion of it, with you or your brothers and sisters. Now, I regret it. I regret not sharing the past few years with you.
I was blind to what was truly important. I thought I was doing the best thing for you all. But there is no justification for any of my actions. Can you ever accept my apology? I hope so. I need to have you near me. Even more so now, that there is to be a father figure present for you all.
No words can express my sorrow at how I treated you in the past. No words can express how I wish I could take back all that I did. I wronged you. All of you. For that, I am deeply sorry.
My dear, now is a time of renewal. We renew our family bonds. We renew our relationship. We become a family again, complete with a father. That is something you have never had before. Your father never wanted you. But I did. And I still do.
Tomorrow, you will be our little flower girl. Joy will abound as you walk down the aisle before me, sprinkling the flower petals over my path. Are you excited? I am.
I can’t wait to see you all again. We’ll finally be together again. This is the best day of my life! My family will be back together once more. This time, I promise, it will be for the rest of the time I have on this earth. We will have a while to spend together before I leave this life. I hope that I get to see you grow into a woman. But only time will tell if I will.
But, enough of the future and the past. Let us focus on the here and now. We are family once more! Welcome home, my little princess.