Your birthday was the day before yesterday. Friday. You turned nineteen. Nineteen? Oh, yeah. Nineteen.
We’re filling out college application forms and seeking scholarships, looking at high school graduation schedules and making plans for family visits that first weekend in June. We’re working on senior projects and taking a ton of pictures. You’re in your last year of high school, Whit. And your mom and I are so proud of you.
I’m so proud of the way you have just absolutely blossomed here in our new home in Amarillo. I honestly can’t hardly believe the friends you have made and the clubs you belong to and the activities with which you’re involved. Key Club. FCA. Student Council. I can’t believe how well you’ve adapted to this move. Cheerfully. Enthusiastically. Driving off with your friends to eat lunch or go to the mall or see all those movies. Driving to the Sandies basketball games and hanging out with those girls. You’ve come a long, long way from “Dad, you have ruined my life!” eight months ago.
Our God has placed kind and loving people in your path here in Amarillo, Whit. All those friends you have, all those teachers who love you so much are a gift from our Father, an obvious answer to our prayers. Coach K is a blessing from God. So is Mrs. Gramowski. Adam and Missy and Tanner and Jason and Kasey and Steve and Tammy all love you very much because, honestly, you are so very lovable.
God has created inside you, girl, a very sweet spirit. You and I have talked before about how God is using your medical issues and your struggles to make you more like Jesus. God has helped you conquer so many things in your life; we give him all the praise for all those victories. And you are better because of it. You are sensitive to the needs of others; just like Jesus. You are helpful and considerate, over-the-top loving and concerned about everything that’s going on around you; just like Jesus.
Your enthusiasm for your sports teams is infectious. Your deep need for conversation — constant conversation — is endearing. Your desire to please those you love is admirable. The way you trash talk me when we’re shooting hoops or playing backgammon is hilarious. You are precious, Whitney. Precious.
But the best part of you is the inside part, the part where our Lord dwells. I see our Savior in you, Whitney. I do. He shines out of almost every facet of your complex personality and quirky little mannerisms. You reflect Jesus. And it’s beautiful. And I’m very proud of you. I’m very proud to be Whitney’s dad.
I love you,