Dear Articulate:At some point, we all grow up. My father died more than two years ago. In his later years, an unspoken realization was that I had surpassed his accomplishments (though surely not his late-blooming wisdom). He was very proud of my degrees, and anticipated with relish the completion of my PhD. It was, for me, a proud moment when, faced with a desire to return to writing, he trusted me with critiquing his poetry, in preparation for a fellowship application. Even the many times I disregarded it, I miss the opportunities to hear his advice.
Sounds like you're doing lots of great things. I had a long conversation with the folks at [Alternate University] less than a week ago, so I hope something comes of it.
I'm very sorry it's all been so frustrating; obviously, that wasn't what you wanted. Your plan to start a consulting company sounds quite rich, and I hope you'll send me material so that I can pass it along to others.
As usual, congrats on your successful paper presentations and your other work.
Warm regards to the family.
Professor and Chair, [Field 1]
[Big East Private]
When he died, my mother said I was "head of the clan": I'm the stable one, the married one, the well-degreed. The implication was that I am a finished product, ready to be packaged, shipped, and utilized. When I was younger, I often called my mother with one principal intent: merely to hear her say "it will be alright". I'm sure she'd tell me the same today. But I need to hear it in my own voice. I shudder. This, now... is all on me.