To the original golden lion

(It is always heartwarming to read a note from our children. So here is my son's). 

By Aurelio A. Agcaoili II

To the original golden lion, Aurelio Solver Agcaoili
You specifically requested for a longer letter, so here goes.
Being separated from you and Leah Antonio Agcaoili has made me realize how lucky and sheltered I have been, how hard you pushed certain walls to keep certain paths from closing, for us. Your lives have been greatly defined by others — specifically us, your children — not because you were forced to, but because you painfully chose to do so, you are choosing to do so. 
Selflessness is a difficult stunt to pull off, and I have seen you struggle to perfect it, again and again, seen you walk back to the edge of the cliff, holding your breath for the next fall. In my own fumbling, I began to realize how much courage and stamina that jump requires.
Also, in living alone, I began to better understand what it means, how valuable it really is, to live with your family. Togetherness comes in a lot of forms, and though ours is not physical, it is nevertheless immediate, unconditional. This is the beautiful and scary part of loving. I know you remain within arms' reach, so to speak, if and whenever I find it difficult to be my own man. I know you will be there; one of the few certainties I carry with me, like a badge. 
I know we approach things differently, but the name we share binds us in so many fantastic ways. I am proud to carry the suffix. Thanks for making me regal. 
I love you beyond reason, dad. I love you beyond beauty, and pain.
Happy, Happy Birthday!

--11 April 2015

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