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Chicken Soup for the Geek Soul: The Graduation Surprise

By Brian Briggs filed Thursday, May 20 3:00 AM ET

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Dear Honey Bear,

Happy graduation day sweetheart. You're my pride and joy. The apple of my eye. I couldn't hold back the tears when I saw you up there on stage. I kept thinking of what mom would think if she were still with us. She'd be so proud too. I'm so happy to see you finish high school and begin a new chapter in your life.

I know life hasn't always been the easiest for you. We didn't always buy you the trendiest clothes, but you made the hand-me-downs from cousin Marvin look fantastic. You're such a beautiful girl. You look just like your mother.

I know you wanted to play the clarinet in middle school, but we just couldn't spare the money for the instrument. You would've been marvelous. You're so talented at everything you do.

I know you were expecting a car for your sweet 16 birthday, but it wasn't in the cards. I could see the disappointment in your face when the box didn't hold keys, but you did get a lot of use out of my old iPod Shuffle these past two years.

After mom died, the expenses just kept piling up. We had to make sacrifices. All of us. Well, almost all of us.

There's something I have to tell you now sweetheart. I know you were expecting to go to college this fall at State, but remember when I told you that I'd been putting money away for your tuition each month? Well, some things are more important than clothes, clarinets, cars and college. Things like framerates and kill ratios.

I always had to have the fastest computer. I needed to have that edge online against the younger guys with quicker reflexes, but smaller budgets for hardware. It's exhilarating to rack up the head shots on kids 20 years younger than me.

I know you'll understand when I tell you that your babysitting money didn't make it to your college account, but it did give you that T1 line into the house that I let you use when I wasn't online. You liked that didn't you? Now, maybe you can use that to take some of those free courses online. That's a fair compromise, I think.

You have to know, that I did what was best for you. Who knows what kind of animal I would've become without the latest gear. The frustration would've built up in me after losing deathmatch after deathmatch because of inferior gear. I just couldn't let that happen to you.

I'm pretty sure Mom would've understood too, though we might want to keep this between you and me in the afterlife.

Congratulations honey bear. I love you with all my heart!

Love Papa Bear


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