Dear Stuart,

The Eagles just won the Superbowl. I watched. Justin Timberlake did the halftime show and even my grandpa agreed; it was super groovy. 

The day today was good. I had four things on my to-do list that were starred-- must-dos-- and I did 0 of them.

I woke up before everyone else and had breakfast. Oatmeal again. Before I knew it my dad, then my mom, then Luke got up. We somehow got to going through old pictures, and I got sucked into a morning of looking at myself and my family grow up all over again. It's always strange to look back, but it's good to remember. 

Nonno got out today. It took me, my mom, my dad, and the Aid (as well as almost 2 hours), but it happened. We went to mass. Today was the feast day of Saint Blaise and after mass we had our throats blessed. I didn't know much about Saint Blaise, but he died for his faith and miraculously cured a boy from choking while imprisoned. Apparently he's a big deal in Croatia.

"Those individuals who do not look upon themselves as a line connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world." That's a quote in Mr. Sciacca's book.

There's so many ways in which we should serve in this world. So many things we should do, want to do, need to do, are called to do, are pressured to do, we do just because. So many ideas of how best to live, how to be happy, how to be fulfilled, how to be "free". My grandpa has a prayer called "Just For Today" hanging on his windowsill, that outlines all the things we should strive to do... just for today. But if we truly strive to do all of these things, today and every day, it leaves very little time left for ourselves. Not only ourselves in the 'selfish' sense, but in the sense of building a close-knit community with those and that immediately around us. Take for example the humanitarian who is too philanthropic to care for his own family. I suppose it--just like all of life--is a delicate balance. I constantly find it hard to balance the weight and needs of the world with that of my own and the people around me. When do I let go, and when do I give up? I cannot do it all, of course, but how much can I do? 

I tell my grandpa, "I'm a jack of some trades, master of none." He disagrees. "What am I a master at?" I question.

"At being a student of life," he says.

Hmm, to be a Master Student of Life. I think of the passion, stress, pressure, drive, intrigue, curiosity, research, time, perseverance and pushing of myself that it took to be a Bachelor Student of Film. A Master Student of Life? Sounds exhausting. Why couldn't I just have been a natural-born pianist?

My grandpa thanks me tonight for all I do for him. He looks me in the eyes; his eyes are sad and tired, and he says "Thank you." 

I respond by saying I wish I could do more, I'm never sure how best to be with him. "You're being here is the gift," he says. "You help just by being."

Which brings me to the quintessential question of my life, the question that sums up every other question I have so far.

How do I be?

I guess I don't. I just be.




...................... hmph. 

I love you so much Stuart, please know this.