During the U.S. recession, my niece Lyn wrote me a letter. Lyn is into Real Estate, one of the hardest hit by the recession.

She said, if things don’t change for the better, she might lose her home.

Losing her home is just one of her problems. Lyn felt she is losing control. Her children, now on their teenage years, don’t listen to her anymore.

Overwhelmed by problems, she now thinks of herself as a failure, both as a businessman and as a parent.

I wrote her back and, thinking that my own children might be having the same problem when we are gone, I wrote them a letter too. Let me share them with you, the two letters.

My letter to Lyn:

Dear Lyn,

I am sad with what is happening to you. You may be in trouble but never rate yourself a failure; you are a success in your own right.

You worry about foreclosure, so be it. You and your family will still live.

The air in which we live is forever free and is not confined to your house. There will always be houses for sale. A time will come when you can buy another one.

You may be having problems with your children, but all of us went thru that, so bear the pain and the worries, it is part and parcel of parenthood.

You think you are a failure as a mother, I think otherwise. You provided for their food, clothing, shelter and, education, in short, their wellbeing. You can only provide these much if you love them, so what more can a mother give?

But maybe just maybe, that in your quest for financial stability you forgot the importance of togetherness, of sharing, of laughter

We often laugh with our kids when they were small: do you still laugh with your children now? Sometimes, when children starts to "grow up",the laughter starts to fade.

Share with your children your laughter and your tears.

When you come home from a client’s tripping, do you share with them the joy of closing a deal or the pain of losing the sale?

How about your exasperation with the idiosyncrasies of your clients?, the booboos that you committed?, and the funny things that happened during the sale? Even just for laughs, share it with them.

If you share your life with your kids, they will share their lives with you too.

And remember, life is a series of hurdles; you have to jump over them. But each jump you make will be your triumph.

But before you jump, kneel down and thank God for all the blessings that you have; they are aplenty.

Auntie Neng,

My letter to my children:

Dear Child,

I am sharing with you the letter I sent your cousin Lyn.

I hope my advice to her now would still apply if and when your kids are all grown up, and you will find yourself in the same predicament as Lyn is now. Dad and I might not be around by then.

Always remember, Life is a series of obstacles, everyone has to run and jump the hurdles. Along the way some would trip and fall. If you do, no matter how painful it is: you have to get up, run again, and do your share to the evolution of life.

Oh, and don’t forget, extend a helping hand to those who trip and fall. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get to the finish line first: there is no finish line. Life’s relay has no ending. What matters most is, you finish your run.