I am honored to have my son, Justin McFarland, share this letter he wrote to his infant son, Lincoln James McFarland. Lincoln passed away on November 27, 2015 having been born premature. I appreciate the tenderness and love that flow from his words and am amazed at the wisdom he displays. Our hearts go out to Justin and Lori and any parent who has had the heartbreak of losing a child.
Hey Bud! It’s me, Dad. I just wanted to see how things were going and check in on my little man. I’m sorry I can’t be there to say this in person, but, I just wanted to tell you some things I wasn’t able to say while you were here.
My parents always told me how proud they were of me, even when they probably should not have been. So, I want to tell you that I am proud of you. I’m proud of the man I know you would have grown up to be. I know I would have been proud and honored to call you my son. I would have bragged on you until you were embarrassed, and then bragged some more. I know you would have been a good looking kid. With your mother’s eyes and my chiseled features (insert sarcasm here) you would have had the ladies swooning. On the flip side of that, I think you got your grandpa’s wide feet and I am sincerely sorry for that. But, we love those feet as they are all your mom can talk about.
When you raise a son, there are certain things that you imagine as your child grows up and I really wish I could have been there to experience them. Teaching your son to throw a baseball is something that I have envisioned doing with my son. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do that. But, there is a man up there that would be happy to teach you. His name is Roberto Clemente and I was told from an early age that he was the greatest baseball player to ever live. So, I know you are in good hands.
I also wish I could have been able to teach you the finer points of playing football just like my dad did for me. I’ll have to miss that too. But, I have great news, Lincoln. There is a guy up there named Walter Payton and he was one of the greatest to play the game. Walter will teach you everything you need to know until I get there.
There are times that I think about you and wonder how you may have turned out. I think about the good times and the bad times that, I am sure, we would have had together. I hope, like my father, I would have been exactly what you needed during those bad times and the first person you told when the good times rolled.
I’m not sure if I would have been the best dad, but, I had a great dad that taught me what it means to be a good one. So, hopefully, I picked up on a few things. I am thankful, however, that you got to see your heavenly Father and I know He wrapped you up in a warm embrace when you got there. If I could choose someone to fill in for me – it would be Him.
Well, Bud, I’ve got to go. I just want you to know your mother and I love you very much. Get your mitt ready because we are definitely having a catch when I see you again.
Love, Your dad.