My Law of Life: A Love Letter from a Troubled Teen

A month ago, I came back in town from Mayme’s funeral to find out that our basement had flooded.  It was already an emotional week (remember this post?), but fortunately my husband was home to handle the stress.

We didn’t have too much damage (very grateful for that!), but a few boxes that were filled with old journals and notes were ruined. I was able to salvage one folder full of “love” letters from high school.

Several were from a boy I had known since 1st grade. We went to a private catholic school together for 8 years. He was my first kiss (on a dare) in 5th grade, although he made sure to tell me that he really liked me.

From that moment on, he was the first boy who I felt truly loved me unconditionally from grade school through high school and possibly beyond.

I loved him as a friend and tried so hard to love him the way he loved me. The letters that I found were from over a year period when we were in high school, I think a small part of which we attempted dating. Many of them were written during his two different stints in juvenile detention. I don’t remember what he was in for, but I know it wasn’t anything major.  I think both times were basically being with the wrong people.

You could feel his pain through his writing. He was searching for something inside and instead turned to drugs, gangs, and sex looking for the answer. He talked about all the regret he has. How he “feels he let his mom down big time and sometimes wish she didn’t really adopt me, therefore there wouldn’t be any pain for her.”

He had the biggest heart. He had so much love to give, which was evidenced in his letters. They were full of compliments, positivity, and truly inspirational words for a teenager.

Several times he wrote about just wanting a hug from me when he gets out. And as I read each letter all I wanted to do was go back to those teenage years and give him a huge hug.

He wrote this letter to me two days before he turned 17.

3/16/94   8:22

Molly,

How are you? I’m not real good at this point, so I pray you are better than me! :) For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about a poem or two. This poem may not be all that, but it is dedicated to you and I’d like for you to read it.

“My Law of Life”

Whatever you give away today
Or think or say or do
Will multiply about tenfold
And then return to you

It may not come immediately
Nor from the obvious source
But the law applies unfailingly
Through some invisible force

Whatever you feel about another
Be it love, hate, or passion
Will surely bounce right back to you
In some clear or secret fashion

If you speak about some person
A word or praise or two
Soon tens of other people
Will speak kind words of you

Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul
Not secrets of the brain
Kind ones bring us happiness
Petty ones bring us pain

Giving works assuredly
As reflections in a mirror
The hate you send yourself will get back,
But loving bring loves nearer

Remember as you start each day
And duty crowds your mind
Kindness so quickly comes back
To those who first are kind

Let this thought and this one only
Direct you through the day
The only things we ever keep
Are those we throw away

                                                                                                                                                            Love,
Andy

The only thing I really want Mol is to be home from my b-day, plus an additional hug from the one I’ve cared and loved for years, (yes, you!) :)

Take care

I love u Mol,
Andy

A week later he wrote “I want to ask you something. Will you please pray that no matter what happens, everything will be ok and that I will make it?’

We lost touch after our high school years, only catching up a few times in college, so I’m not exactly sure of the path life took him. But, I know it wasn’t what he envisioned as he was full of hope for the future as a teenager.

Ten years later,  he took his own life, when he was 27 years old, with his fiance and sister standing outside his bedroom door.

Even as we lost touch I have thought of him often. Now,  I will continue to be inspired by his “law of life” and hope others will, too.

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