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Jan 2021
Before you go, there are some things I wanted you to know.

First, we all love you and will miss you, but not as much as one.
That one is the one who has, since you were born, called you son.
He will mourn your leaving in a way you won't understand.
That is until the day you have to say goodbye and shake your own son's hand.
I know you'll be worrying about him and missing him too.
But trust me it will be a fraction of how much he'll be worrying about and missing you.
But, I promise to look after him and take care of him in every way I possibly can.
So, you don't have to worry so much; just go off and become your own man.
I know how much you love your dad, trust me so does he.
But I need you to know that he's going to be alright, just please trust in me.

Second, he's not the only one who will miss you when you go.
I will miss your face around here and worry about you more than you know.
I would do anything in my power to make sure that you are happy.
And I promise to be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen whether things are good or ******.
Charlie will also miss you dearly because you have been a great big brother to him.
And for that, you've earned a special place in his heart that won't go away on a whim.
I know Anthony isn't very emotional and doesn't show it but he will miss you too.
He's had a rough life, I know you wouldn't know it to look at him now, but it's true.
It's hard to break his outer shell and get close to him, that's how I know there's something special about you.
Because even though he's hard to get close to, he considers you a brother too.

Third, I hope you know that you will always have a safe place to land.
When life gets tough or you lose your way and just need someone to hold your hand.
We are all so proud of the man that you are becoming and the future that lays ahead for you.
We stand behind each choice you make, no matter what it is in life you decide to do.
We will be there for every big moment that comes in your life.
Whether it's having your first child or taking a wife.
Because when I married your dad we made each other certain promises that we intend to keep.
If something happens to one of us; the other will look after all you boys, the whole heap.
I think you're an amazing young man and in the time we've had together I feel we've formed a bond and I am proud to call you one of my boys.
So, you're stuck with me for the long haul; that includes Charlie and Anthony too, and even my mother with all her noise.

Last, but most important of all, you can do this and we believe in you.
When you start to doubt yourself, just remember that there is no limit to what you can do.
You will get homesick, but remember that we are at home sick missing you.
So, just put your head down, don't give up on yourself and push your way through.
Always do your best and there is nothing you can do that could ever change the way we feel about you.
We couldn't be prouder of the way you've taken control of your life and the bravery and heart you've shown in all you do.
The career you desire and deserve is there for the taking.
Your life is all laid out ahead of you; yours for the making.
See, I've told you before that you are one of mine now and that means a lot.
It means that no matter where you go, I am always here for you to love you, whether I'm your real mom or not.

I'm sorry I had to get all sappy, but these are just some things I wanted you to know.
Before you go.
For my son, Devin Guelfo. He is leaving us to start his military career in the U.S. Army tomorrow and, while we will miss him terribly, we are extremely proud of the young man he has become and we love him.
Leisa Battaglia
Written by
Leisa Battaglia  44/F/Louisiana
   Bogdan Dragos
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