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Dear Mom, You are probably thinking, What's this? I've been in college for four decades, and I've never written you a letter. I have sent you a couple of emails which you never checked. Largely I call, say hello, and hang up. That way you have to phone me back, and my telephone bill remains small. I'm writing because I have something I want to let you know, but I feel silly saying it. Additionally, I could be organized this way. You understand how we engineers enjoy everything in its own place. Anyhow, I want to tell you this because of something tacked on my wall. It is something that I believe in, but I've never done anything about it. It is a quote. It goes something like this. Don't waste one moment you will spend with someone you adore. Do not neglect to inform them how important they are and how much you really want them, want them, adore them... Source unknown Blah. Blah. Blah. Now I will say what I need to say. Here goes nothing. Do you recall when I advised you that Elizabeth gave me the biggest compliment of my life? She told her class that I am her character model. Wow. I'm bringing this up because if I think of who my role model is, 1 person always pops into my mind: you. Why, you might ask? I never actually thought about it, either. Of course, I could think of lots of reasons you wouldn't be my role model. Sorry, but I do not really want to be exactly like you, and - ignoring the obvious physical similarities - that I don't think I am like you. See, lots of what I've done in life much as I would like to deny the reality - was done because of my grades. I don't need to remind you I was the valedictorian. So was Dad. So was his dad. You weren't. In fact, I've seen a few of your report cards. Do not feel bad. Not everybody tests nicely. Academ...