Monday, May 19, 2014

The Day Wil Wheaton High-Fived My Son.

My son, Bryn, is 7 years old. He suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. He takes medication, see's a therapist and is even in a special program to provide him with help learning to adjust and manage everything daily life throws his way. Bryn's hero is a well known geek and all-around respected figure; Wil Wheaton.

Yeah. He's more than kind of a big deal to Bryn. For my son he is more than just some celebrity 'cool guy', to him he is someone he can aspire to be like. My wife and I have kicked around the idea of reaching out to Mr. Wheaton ( I know, it sounds odd to refer to him in such a manner ) but often just wasn't really sure if we should or even if we could. For whatever reason this morning it just seemed right, like it was more than just a novel idea mentioned from time to time.

So this morning I fired off the following email with the subject 'High Praise From A Miniature Mouth':

Dear Mr. Wheaton,
I am writing to you not on my own behalf, but on the behalf of my seven year old son. His name is Bryn and, well, to be blunt he looks up to you so very much. He suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which at times can prompt him to have panic attacks as well as bouts of depression. You should see his face light up anytime he sees you talking about some game, on a T.V. Show or just basically being you. Don't even get me started on what happens when we mention the infamous "Booty Mine" song. When his doctor mentioned medication he remarked about how he didn't mind it or having to go for therapy if it helped him because that is what Wil Wheaton does. When his therapist made mention of how therapy dogs can be of help he again rationalized that Wil Wheaton has dogs too and that they seem to help him. Now he has a 4 month old German shepherd/lab mix puppy that a Army Veteran with ptsd had to give up due to moving.
My point is, that you my dear sir are an inspiration and role model to my son and to me as a father. I've been a geek and a gamer all my life and had my own struggles as well. Anytime Bryn is down, or anxious about something all I know I have to do is mention the "Booty Mine" or your name and he smiles. Of all the awards, accolades and trophies that anyone could offer you the only one that I can give you is my gratitude and the knowledge that you have made a huge impact on someone so small. Someone who like you struggles everyday. Someone, who because of you knows that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank You.
Matthew C. Gill

We never expected in a million years to get any reply. To us we just hoped that the message might inform Mr. Wheaton of the powerful impact he has on others, even little ones. We were both shocked and somewhat overjoyed to recieve the following response a couple of hours later.

Hi Matthew,

Please excuse any misspellings in this email, I have something in both
of my eyes.

If you would, please give Bryn a high five for me, and tell him I said
that I want him to be kind, be honest, be honorable, work hard, and
always be awesome.

Thank you for sharing this with me. I struggle to various degrees every
day, and you've restored all of my HP and mana today.

All the best,


Needless to say, this afternoon I will have a young man who just might explode. I cannot wait to tell him and provide the High-Five via proxy that might never be forgotten.

Great men do exist and they deserve being made aware of it from time to time. Thank you Mr. Wheaton.