I have known you every day of your life. I have watched you blossom from a wish and a prayer before you were even born from within the womb of your Mother. I witnessed you spring forth into this amazing world full of promise (with the biggest head we had all ever seen!) and I cherished the moments as you learned to navigate that same world full of wonder, intrigue and the smallest bit of spunk. It was obvious you had gotten those traits from me – your favorite Aunt – but I digress.
Academically you have certainly found your way, rising to the occasion to meet each and every challenge placed before you. You never left a stone unturned in your quest for knowledge, and your excellent performance throughout these last four years has solidified your place in an exceptional program in Clemson University, and I certainly could not be more proud. You will go forth, you will be a mover and a shaker for the next generation, and I have less fear knowing that a young man of your caliber will lead those that come behind him to a vision seen early on and never once given up on.
Athletically, you left every single thing you had on the field, each and every time. Whether it was baseball, soccer or football – you gave it everything you had and then 20% more for the team. Your unfailing giftedness is a tremendous God-given talent, and I know you have appreciated this high school experience with these very friends – this ‘family’ to share this last year of lasts with – the ultimate prize being the Football Championship. I will truly miss routing on “My #55” from afar each Friday night, but I will ready myself to route you on in different ways, in different endeavors, but still filled with the same love that has always been there.
Dalton, as I observe you as a person, a young man – I can only say how pleased I am at the choices you’ve had in your life, how grateful I am for the parenting nuggets you chose to retain and take to heart, at the courage of your convictions that drives your decision making process, and how you remain unphased by the world and its attempts to derail you and your goals. Always stay true to yourself, and God will honor your decisions.
You have accomplished something incredible here, and in such a way that merits recognition. You are a leader among your peers, a stand-up guy, and someone any of the lower classmen would be crazy not to emulate. Accept this responsibility and use it to its fullest potential, in college, in life, in the working world – wherever!
In closing, you are an admirable man. You are an honorable man. You are the kind of man I want my son to aspire to be, and that I want my daughters to be drawn to. You are loving and giving. You are well-prepared for your future, and because of this you will go far. God will continue to bless your obedience to Him as you continue to seek His face. Your foundation is strong and your pathway is clearly marked. I cannot wait for the next seasons to be revealed.
I love you, Dalton. I love who you have grown to become. I wish nothing but the best for you at Clemson, and if you find things get a bit too rough, I always have your back.