Dear 21-year-old Chase,

I do know you hear your cellphone ringing.

And I additionally know, as hungover as you might be after a Saturday night time of barhopping in Chapel Hill, these bloodshot eyes of yours can nonetheless make out the caller’s identify lit up in blue letters on the entrance of your flip cellphone.

Momma.

In order a lot as chances are you’ll wish to let it go to voicemail and make some lunch — and bum round that rickety home you guys someway crammed eight soccer gamers into — I need you to do not forget that your mother is particular, and also you’ve solely received one, and….

Reply that decision.

Earlier than you choose up, although, do me one fast favor. Brace your self, dude. Take a second or two. Get just a few deep breaths in.

Then flip open that cellphone, and simply … I don’t even know what to let you know. I assume simply do the most effective you possibly can with what comes subsequent. Nothing I say right here goes to assist.

Mother, at first she’s simply gonna say your identify. Nothing else. And it’ll be actual low and shaky. Like….

Chhaaase.”

You’ll instantly cringe. By this level — senior yr at UNC, 2008 — you’ve been on the receiving finish of numerous lectures out of your mother and father for doing all types of dumb s***. Whether or not it was for mixing up bizarre “potions” with buddies in elementary college and by accident blowing stuff up, or going wild chasing women in highschool, you already know all about getting busted by your people. So in your head it’s gonna be like….

S***, what did I do that time?

Nevertheless it’s not that. Nope, it’s approach worse.

“Chase….”

“Come house. Dad died.”

Courtesy of Chase Rice

You’ll barely have the ability to breathe.

Your mentor, your idol, your hero … gone?

You’re gonna mutter “What the f***?” about 20 instances earlier than you cling up. You’ll have a look at your roommate Briggs — who will simply occur to be standing proper there on the time — and say one thing you had no thought would come out of your mouth this morning once you awakened.

“My f***ing dad simply died.”

You’re not even going to ask Mother what occurred. And he or she received’t point out it. She’s simply gonna be crying into the cellphone, after which let you know just a few extra instances to get in your truck and are available house to Fairview.

So do what she says, man.

However as you’re grabbing your keys and heading out the door, I need you to recollect just a few issues which might be going to be essential to your life from right here on out. You’re gonna take care of a ton of powerful s*** over the following 12 years. There’s gonna be some actually unimaginable highs, certain, and just about everybody on the planet will see these. However there’s additionally going to be some lows. And once I say low, I imply actually low.

Nearly nobody will see these. You’ll be by yourself. Alone.

Keep sturdy. And know that deep down you’re individual. Don’t be too exhausting on your self, man. Preserve shifting ahead as greatest you possibly can.

The opposite factor that I would like you to recollect, although, is, nicely … principally, simply all the teachings that Dad taught you.

And, yeah, I’m talkin’ all of them.

However most of all, keep in mind the one factor he would let you know each likelihood he received. Chase, it doesn’t matter what — irrespective of how excessive or how low you get — keep in mind Dad’s mantra and … Preserve God first in your life. When issues get actually tough, keep in mind Dad trying you useless within the eye, and getting actual critical, and telling you that every part was going to work out O.Ok. simply so long as you….

Preserve. God. First.


On the three-and-a-half hour drive house to Fairview, you’re gonna flash again a few hundred instances to your childhood on that farm exterior of Ormond Seaside, Florida.

The reminiscences from again then, they’re so vivid. Particularly on today.

4-wheelers and Jet Ski heaven. Skinny little six-year-old Chase and his dad lining up for a sport of front-yard soccer in opposition to your older brothers, Chad and Casey — the solar shining down on the 4 of you, your way-too-big Dan Marino jersey bringing you good luck. In your thoughts’s eye, all Dad’s passes can be good spirals, and also you’ll catch each ball.

That farm, it was like paradise for you and your brothers. Dad all the time welcomed all your folks, so there have been all the time youngsters round. He handled everybody who got here to the home like household, and all the time made certain they received their activates the four-wheelers.

You’ll take into consideration Dad making his approach as much as heaven and do not forget that he was all the time unbelievably near God. He wasn’t the sort to lecture anybody about doing proper by God, although. That wasn’t his factor. Dad was a blue-collar man — a racecar driver turned mechanic turned contractor. Salt of the earth. Tough and tumble. Bigger than life. He went out and acquired his nine-year-old son a Beretta 20-gauge shotgun, in any case. Had you within the area looking birds earlier than most children even knew learn how to trip a motorcycle.

Dad wasn’t fancy, and he knew he wasn’t good. So he was all about serving God and representing his religion one of the simplest ways he may. By treating folks nicely.

He all the time made you’re feeling particular.

Hell, he made all people really feel particular.

Courtesy of Chase Rice

By the point you began to get good at soccer, you guys could have moved as much as Carolina for Dad’s work. However not a ton modified. He stored on exhibiting you by instance learn how to be man.

For no matter purpose, reminiscences from that undefeated eighth-grade crew are going to return flooding again once you consider you and Dad. They usually received’t even actually be about soccer.

Your crew didn’t get scored on your entire common season. You have been the center linebacker, the linchpin of that protection. Then, when it was time to go on offense, they’d hand you the ball and simply allow you to barrel over folks. It was like one thing out of a film.

Dad, although, he all the time had a approach of holding issues in perspective.

Driving down the interstate, someplace between Greensboro and Winston Salem, your thoughts’s going to take you again to the primary sport of that season, in 1999, in opposition to Enka. The ultimate was like 60–0. You have been a tackling machine, man, and once you received the ball as a runner, it was like, I don’t know, three touchdowns? Possibly 4. It was the primary time in your life once you have been among the finest gamers on the crew.

So that you’re on the crew bus, and because it’s pulling out of the parking zone you notice Dad over by the truck. You’ll be able to see all of it so clearly in your thoughts. Dad, he’s operating towards the bus.

You slide down that window and, man….

That look on his face!

It’s pure pleasure. And delight. He’s simply overflowing with delight.

“Nice sport, son!!!!! Unbelievable!”

So that you simply … go together with it.

“Dad … all these touchdowns!!! Are you able to imagine it? I used to be unstoppable. I did it, Dad!”

Then, immediately, Dad’s facial features completely modifications.

The big grin is gone. He will get actual, actual critical. Then he factors his finger proper up at you.

“Hey!!!” he yells, all agency. “Chase….”

“You flip your self proper round and go thank these offensive linemen. Thank your teammates.”

Grant Halverson/AP Photograph

Dad was so excited junior yr once you adopted within the footsteps of Chad and Casey and received a state title at A.C. Reynolds Excessive. However in your head you’ll preserve coming again to how that point interval was slightly tough on him.

Like everybody who loses a dad or mum, after you get the information you’re gonna spend a few of that first day regretting just a few of the boneheaded belongings you put him by way of over time.

By the point you received that state championship, you have been one of the vital dominant gamers within the state. D-I presents have been rolling in. However whereas it was all occurring, there was one thing within you that wouldn’t help you simply flow. You have been a frontrunner of the native Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, clean-cut, all practiced up in your “sure, ma’ams” and “no, sirs” once you have been speaking to adults. The star athlete. However on the identical time, deep down….

You wished to be mischievous as hell.

Like most children that age, you drank slightly on the weekends, and generally received caught doing dumb, immature s***.

Dad and Mother, they skilled all that in actual time — the picture of their good son shattering earlier than their eyes. And every time they sat you down for an enormous speak, you may see the damage on their faces, the frustration. However, for no matter purpose, you kinda simply stored doing dumb s***.

You noticed you have been capable of wiggle your approach out of stuff, and canopy issues up, and preserve your fame intact. In order that’s what you probably did. However that want to be the wild baby … it simply wouldn’t go away.

At UNC, it will be the identical deal. Solely multiplied.

For soccer’s sake, you held off on ingesting freshman yr for so long as you may. However then, on the final day of lessons, you ended up going to a celebration and ingesting for the primary time that yr.

From there, you didn’t look again.

It was like….

Hell yeahhhhhh! School! Celebration time!

Jeffrey A. Camarati/College of North Carolina

It couldn’t have been simple on Mother and Dad. However, trying again on it, I assume the upside of that life-style, long-term, was that each one the partying meant music grew to become a central a part of your life.

It was Toby Keith at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre down in Raleigh. Kenny Chesney exhibits. And approach too many loud dive bars to rely. You grew to become the largest nation music fan on the crew.

While you heard your teammate Ben Lemming enjoying guitar that summer time within the Granville Towers residence corridor, you didn’t actually suppose an excessive amount of of it at first.

Then, for some purpose, you began actually … listening.

You headed over to Ben’s room. He had a Taylor 814ce acoustic-electric. And dude beloved him some Dave Matthews Band.

Fairly quickly, you’d be singing whereas he performed. Then he’s attempting to show you the G chord. Then a D chord.

Ben Lemming, man. God bless that dude.

Due to him, you went out and received that s****y Seagull guitar — do not forget that one?  Actual s****y … 300 bucks. And then you definitely studied. You watched 1,000,000 YouTube movies to be taught nation songs. However on the time it was only for enjoyable. By your junior yr, you had turn out to be a frontrunner of that Tar Heel protection, a tackling machine. The NFL was the purpose.

Then, first sport of that junior season, 2007 … your rattling ankle snaps.

Completed for the yr. That NFL dream….

Just about over, regardless that you didn’t realize it on the time.

And now, lower than a yr later, you’ve got Mother calling you to let you know your dad is gone.

With none actual plan B, and with out Dad to offer you his recommendation on what to do subsequent along with your life, at this level you’re principally simply left with….

What the f*** now?


That black F-150 of yours is gonna haul ass.

Mother instructed you to not velocity. And to drive protected.

However that’s simpler stated than carried out once you’ve discovered that the person you appeared as much as greater than any individual on the planet simply died out of nowhere.

Keep in mind what number of instances you requested, “What the f***?” a couple of minutes in the past on the cellphone with Mother? Nicely that’s gonna be nothing in comparison with the variety of instances you say it — each in your head and out loud — in the course of the drive house.

You’re gonna name Chad, your oldest brother, quickly after you get out of city and on the freeway. In between sobs, it will likely be….

“Did he fall off a ladder or one thing? What the f*** occurred?”

“Nah … coronary heart assault, man.”

While you speak to Casey quickly after, he’ll be asking the identical query you might be.

“Chase, is that this actually occurring?”

Courtesy of Chase Rice

However test this out, man. There’s gonna be some extent in the course of the drive when one thing occurs that, to today … I actually don’t even know if it was actual or not.

It’ll be raining and cloudy the entire approach. And you understand how many of the drive from Chapel Hill over to Asheville on I-40 is fairly flat proper up till you get to Hickory and hit the mountains? Nicely, proper once you begin seeing these mountains on the horizon, you’re gonna see this big-ass circle close to the highest, the place it appears just like the solar is shining down.

For a second, you’ll form of chuckle and suppose: “Possibly that’s an indication from God. Possibly that’s Dad.”

However you received’t suppose something extra of it.

You’ll return to interested by him educating you learn how to trip a mud bike, or these Christmas mornings with the household that Dad beloved a lot.

Then, 20 or 30 minutes later, you’ll have made it up that mountain. You’ll be on the very high, proper the place you noticed that shiny gentle. And as quickly as you rise up there….

Increase.

The brilliant gentle will begin shining as soon as once more.

You’ll chuckle.

“What’s up, Dad?”

And proper then … that’s when it’s gonna get actually unusual.

You’ll look within the rearview mirror and….

Look man, I do know this sounds loopy. I actually, actually do. However you’ll look in that rearview, and the one factor you’ll have the ability to see is that this big rainbow streaming down into the mattress of the truck. It’ll be crimson, blue, shiny yellow, all the colours.

For actual, dude. A full-on rainbow. As shiny as might be.

Not the hardest factor you may think about, however Dad all the time had a approach of bringing you all the way down to Earth.

You’ll chuckle.

And also you’ll look again a second time after shaking your head pondering, What the hell was that rattling factor in my truck mattress?

Then, after that re-assessment….

It should disappear in a flash.

Gone.


The funeral … it’ll all be a blur.

Earlier than you already know it, Dad’s gonna be within the floor. And also you’ll be again at college just a few days later.

Again to regular, proper?

Preserve it movin’. Life goes on. Proper? Proper?

No, Chase. Simply … no.

Wanting again on it with some perspective now, I can let you know that you simply’re going to be in a nasty place actual quickly. As a lot as you received’t wish to admit it, you’re gonna be massively depressed all of senior yr.

Unhappy. Offended. Nonetheless injured. Using the pine. Pissed at everybody and every part round you.

You’re gonna speak all this junk about dedicating the season to Dad, however — and it actually does damage me to let you know this — you received’t play price a s*** the entire yr. Dad wouldn’t have appreciated what he noticed, on the sector or off.

You’re gonna be a bitter, bitter man, dude.

It’ll be like: F*** my ankle for costing me my beginning job. And f*** the coaches who simply screwed my profession up. And f*** my dad for dying. F*** all people. F*** the world.

And there’s not likely going to be anybody that will help you work by way of all that. The crew will ship you to a therapist for one or two visits, however that’ll be a waste of time. Mother? She received’t have the ability to assist. Chad? Casey? F*** no. You’re all gonna be equally depressing.

The one saving grace in any respect goes to be your guitar.

That and the primary music you write … in fact, about Dad.

Kaiser Cunningham

It’s gonna get ugly proper round that time, Chase. Actual ugly.

You’re going to principally sit in your room along with your guitar. Alone. Remoted. Depressed. In your personal head. Not wanting to speak with anyone on Earth.

It’s gonna be unhealthy.

You’ll drink greater than you ever have earlier than. And that’ll look like a good suggestion on the time, but it surely’s simply going to make the melancholy hit even worse.

Your pals are going to fret about you. They’ll be scared.

However I’m gonna be straight up with you: The scariest factor about that point in your life is that you simply’re going to utterly flip your again in your religion. You’re going to cease speaking to God altogether.

You’re gonna be completely misplaced, Chase.

Even at your most remoted and pissed, although, you’re nonetheless going to have folks reaching out to indicate you’re keen on. And when an outdated coach from UNC calls you up after senior yr and asks should you’d wish to work as a NASCAR pit-crew member, it’ll be like….

Positive. Why the hell not?

It’s not like you’ve got something higher to do.

Courtesy of Chase Rice

And we’re speaking Hendrick Motorsports, the most effective race crew on the planet. The true deal. Thrilling stuff. Proper from the beginning.…

You’ll hate it.

You’ll be pissed the entire time. And never nice on the job. You’ll half-ass every part. And punch a man in your crew one night time at Martinsville Speedway after a race. It’ll be an entire factor.

However I’m not going to pile on right here. You’re gonna be doing all your greatest given every part you’re coping with.

And let’s give attention to the positives right here for a sec. As a lot as you hate the job, every single day after work you’re gonna go house, sit in your lodge room, and write songs. You’re gonna pour every part you’ve got into that. You’ll love the craft of it, but additionally, trying again on it now, it’ll clearly be you throwing your self into one thing that helps take your thoughts off the ache.

The opposite optimistic is that you simply’re going to make use of the two-week preventing suspension from Hendrick to get in contact with an outdated little-league soccer buddy named Brian Kelley.

Keep in mind that dude?

You don’t understand this now, Chase, and it’s gonna blow you away once you hear this … however earlier than lengthy that man’s gonna be a f****n’ star.

And, should you play your playing cards proper from right here on out, who is aware of…?

As a lot as you hate the job, every single day after work you’re gonna go house, sit in your lodge room, and write songs.

Brian ended up in Nashville, residing over at Belmont and enjoying guitar. You’re gonna go go to him in 2009.

You’ll play some songs, and do some writing with him and his boy Tyler, and get piss drunk at Tin Roof each night time.

Good instances.

However earlier than you already know it you’re gonna have to depart Nashville and return to being depressing in Charlotte with these pit-crew dudes who by no means appreciated you to start with. So that you’ll have to catch a break. And quick.

This time it received’t be a cellphone name that comes out of nowhere and modifications your life. It’ll be a textual content.

And this time round, it received’t be dangerous information.

It’ll be from a buddy who performed volleyball for the Tar Heels once you have been at UNC.

“Hey! Would you wish to be on Survivor, the TV present?”

You’ve by no means even seen the present. You realize what, although?

Positive. Why the hell not?

You’ll half-ass the tryout identical to every part else in your life that isn’t associated to creating music, after which … you’ll nonetheless make the present.

Now, right here’s what you gotta do at that time, Chase. Hear up. Make this your plan. You prepared? Right here it’s. Step-by-step:

1) Win Survivor someway.

2) Use the prize cash to maneuver to Nashville.

3) Make it huge in nation music.

Simple, proper? No biggie. You bought this, dude!

Wanting again on it now, you’ll be one of many worst Survivor gamers in historical past.

As quickly as you get to Nicaragua for the present, actually as quickly because the present begins filming….

You’ll hate it. (Beginning to see the pattern right here, dude?)

You’ll love the journey of it. However every part else? The manipulation and the sneakiness and all of the behind-people’s-backs stuff? Nah.

You didn’t develop up that approach.

And, trying again on it now, you’ll be one of many worst Survivor gamers in historical past. (Or no less than you suppose so.) However you’ll get actual fortunate and someway get second. Or, extra to the purpose, you’ll get….

$100,000.

So, subsequent….

Hiya, Nashville!


“Cruise” is gonna come collectively quick.

You’ll be residing with Brian and Tyler. They’re gonna be often called Florida Georgia Line at that time. They usually’re going to take you underneath their wing. You’ll write a ton. And also you and Brian are actually gonna click on.

One afternoon, that is gonna be like early 2011, you guys can be writing a gradual music referred to as “When God Runs Out of Rain,” and out of nowhere Brian is gonna randomly hit the primary chord of a unique music and begin buzzing a brand new melody.

Steve Lowry

It’ll be pure magic, man.

In 45 minutes you guys could have one thing that you simply’ll name … “Cruise.”

As a lot as the 2 of you’ll attempt to keep enthusiastic about that gradual music, you’ll each instantly be freaking out concerning the new one. Brian will begin speaking about making it Florida Georgia Line’s first single on their debut EP.

And after the music comes out….

It’s straight up gonna be maintain on tight.

Earlier than “Cruise,” publishing firms are going to be like: “Oh, you have been on Survivor? Cool. Come again after you’ve got six extra songs written.”

After “Cruise”?

“Holy s***? That was you? Let’s work collectively!”

Earlier than you already know it, you’re going to be signed with Sony/ATV and doing exhibits with FGL. You’ll get an introduction to a actual get together scene. Like VIP-type s***. Costly booze. Supermodels. The entire 9.

However between you and me, that’ll be the worst doable factor for you proper then.

You continue to received’t have come to grips with Dad being gone. You’re nonetheless as unhappy as ever. And now you’ve got quick access to each vice possible.

Hassle, man.

Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

Inside a yr’s time, you’ll have the No. 1 nation album within the nation. And it’ll debut at No. 1. Like No. 1 straight out the gate. You’ll be blowing up.

And … sinking down.

It’s not gonna be good, man. All that success? Every thing you’ve ever wished? It’s someway simply going to make you much more depressing.

The ingesting could have gotten even worse. You’ll be partying a lot, and speaking so loudly in so many bars, that you simply’re going to start out experiencing actually dangerous voice issues. You’ll be able to’t exit each night time and count on your voice to be cool with that, Chase. You realize that, dude. Come on.

You’ll get to the purpose the place your vocal chords will truly be bleeding. There’ll be polyps. You received’t have the ability to sing. It’ll be a large number. A giant, painful, miserable, indignant mess. And each night time earlier than mattress you’ll be asking your self the identical questions.

Why aren’t I comfortable?

Why isn’t this as superb as I assumed it’d be?

Why does my life suck so dangerous?

One Christmas you’ll head house to North Carolina and also you’ll even find yourself being a dick to your loved ones … to Mother of all folks. You’ll be in your cellphone the entire time, texting with about six completely different ladies again in Nashville. Not paying anybody or something at house any thoughts. Not connecting. Not giving a f***. Simply caught up in your personal little world.

Mother will discover.

How may she not?

She’s gonna write you a letter and put it in your journal. While you get again to Nashville and skim it, your coronary heart will sink.

I’m gonna spare you all the main points. You’ve received sufficient to be unhappy about proper now. Nevertheless it’s gonna be dangerous, man. Brutal. She’s gonna let you know that it looks like you’re not even a part of the household anymore. She’ll examine you to some big-time sleazeballs.

Past brutal.

It’ll carry tears to your eyes.

Heck, at one level you’re even gonna find yourself having a falling out along with your boys Florida Georgia Line. And over some music-industry bulls****. Y’all are greatest associates. What the hell is mistaken with y’all? I imply….

Man.

You simply received’t be your self. And it’s going to appear like a snowball that may’t be stopped.

This one night time you’re gonna wobble house from the bars, drunk off your ass, seize your journal, and write one thing that, to today, is simply actually, actually scary.

“I not wish to be alive.”


It could possibly go one among two methods at that time, Chase.

And the dangerous one of many two … it’s bleaker than bleak.

So I’m gonna inform it to you straight. Direct.

Get some assist.

Now.

You’ve by no means totally handled the demise of your father. By no means totally grieved. By no means made peace with it. None of that.

All of the success with music? The hit data? The cash? The ladies? None of that helped. It wasn’t going to make issues higher. It was by no means gonna carry Dad again.

All of the success with music? The hit data? The cash? The ladies? None of that helped.

So you already know these voice issues I used to be simply telling you about … allow them to open a door so that you can start digging into the larger points right here. When Jenny on the Vanderbilt Voice Middle notices your demeanor — your entire “I’ve given up on life” vibe — she’s gonna hand you a Put up-it word with the identify Al Andrews on it.

“Chase, I need you to go see this man,” she’ll say. Nothing extra.

She received’t even let you know who he’s or what he does. However her coronary heart can be in the fitting place.

Don’t query it. Simply go see Al.

Begin placing in some work. Begin attempting to get higher.

It’ll be make-or-break for you, man. And I would like you to purchase in 100%.

While you do, this man Al — a counselor over in Franklin, Tennessee … who form of appears likes Tom Hanks — he’s gonna hearken to you speak for about 10 minutes about every part that’s occurred, and what’s been occurring. He’s not gonna say a phrase, simply hear. Then, once you cease speaking, he’s going to return proper out and let you know one thing that you simply already know, however that you simply’ve been attempting to disregard or fake wasn’t true. Al’s gonna look you within the eye, give a half-smile, and say….

“You’re depressed.”

He’ll say it as calm as might be, too.

In your head it will likely be like: What the f*** are you speaking about? I’m not depressed, I’m good. I’m advantageous. F*** you.

However … you already know he’s proper.

Tom Hanks has you discovered.

You’ll begin interested by the way you’re residing. And the way you’re feeling. How 4 or 5 days out of the week you don’t even wish to get away from bed. And about how somebody may presumably have two top-five songs on the radio and nonetheless really feel utterly sh***y.

There’s lastly gonna be slightly bit of sunshine on the finish of the tunnel.

Cody Cannon

Go all-in at that time.

Do the two-week, 24/7 intensive retreat out in Arizona.

Fly on the market and, man … prepare.

You’ll suppose you’re there to speak about your ingesting, and chasing women, and partying. However guess what, Chase.

It’s gonna find yourself being all about Dad.

On the market in Arizona, 1,600 miles away … you’re lastly going to let all of it out. And it’s gonna pour out of you. For 2 weeks straight. You’ll go all the way in which again to your childhood, and be bawling your eyes out day after day.

Boy, is it ever going to be wanted.

After that, you’ll lastly have the ability to envision getting again to having fun with life once more.

However this work, it’s gonna be ongoing. So purchase in. Don’t combat it. You’ll be able to’t cease simply since you cried your eyes out in Arizona. There can be extra therapists, extra rehabs, extra retreats. And you already know what? That’s advantageous. Notice that you simply’re human. You’re not above reaching out for assist.

Being on the radio, making music movies, having folks acknowledge you on the mall … none of that modifications the actual fact that you’re a human being.

Simply do your greatest.

You’re by no means gonna be utterly fastened, Chase.

So put together to place in work for the remainder of our life.


Earlier than I get out of right here, and allow you to go choose up Mother’s name and start this loopy decade I’ve been telling you about, let me finish this with some actually excellent news.

In spite of everything of that … stuff, when the spring of 2020 rolls round, you’re gonna be feeling good — comfortable, content material. And I’m not a psychologist, however you’re not gonna be feeling such as you’re depressed anymore.

You’ve proven Mother that you simply’re a modified man, you and the FGL boys could have mended fences, and also you’re gonna be releasing new music that you simply couldn’t be extra happy with. You’ll additionally proceed to fill your life with good individuals who may help you’re employed by way of all of your s***.

And, Chase … you’ll even begin having conversations with God once more. You’ll understand how essential he’s to your life. To your happiness. You’ll lastly understand that once you’re not staying near God, your life goes to s*** fairly quick.

You’ll start to actually perceive what Dad was speaking about when he stated to place God first, and also you’ll open up your coronary heart.

You’re gonna be in place, Chase.

Really, wait … let’s say, “a fairly good place.”

Since you’re positively nonetheless a piece in progress. You’ve nonetheless received tons to do.

On the music facet, as a lot because it’s been a dream to do exhibits with Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks and among the greatest to ever do it, it’s time to step it up and headline arenas by yourself. You’re prepared now. The music is lastly ok. And the band is positively ok.

It’s time. Interval.

Then, in relation to your private life, you’re not married. You don’t have any youngsters but. No household of your personal.

In order that’s one thing that’s gotta come, too.

However as I sit right here writing you this letter … I do know I nonetheless have a number of work to do as a way to turn out to be the kind of husband and father I have to be. I’m not dashing it.

The cool factor, although, is that I really feel like possibly I’m gettin’ there. And actually plenty of that has to do with feeling like, with every passing day, I’m turning into extra like Dad — even all the way down to utilizing a few of his outdated catchphrases. Rattling, he all the time warned me I’d! And now I’ve folks telling me I’m trying increasingly like him.

I really feel like as time continues to go, much more similarities will crop up. And possibly a few of these issues will assist me know once I’m able to quiet down and begin a household.

Courtesy of Chase Rice

However, on the identical time, Chase, I gotta inform ya … you’re not gonna miss that man any much less 12 years after you set him within the floor.

That damage … it’s going to stay.

And the steerage, his knowledge, the accountability he dropped at the desk, you’ll miss all that once you run up in opposition to powerful instances in life. Even at 34, you may nonetheless use the occasional kick within the ass, or a lecture on what it means to be man.

You’ll miss all that stuff like loopy.

And also you’ll by no means cease questioning what it will’ve been wish to seize a beer with that man and simply speak — man to man — about household, and what it was like for him rising up, and concerning the individuals who made him the person he was, and what they handed on to him within the type of recommendation. Or simply to see him smile, and knock one again, and listen to him let you know one final time that he loves you with all his coronary heart.

As unhappy as it’s that that’ll by no means occur, I can let you know for sure that Dad is watching over you always, Chase.

Each morning once I exit on the entrance porch and spend a while speaking to God, I do know Dad has a smile on his face.

And each time I step on stage, irrespective of how good or dangerous I’m feeling, it doesn’t matter what s*** went down that day, I do it sporting the identical necklace with the identical three phrases that Dad tried to show me.

The three phrases that I really feel like I totally perceive now.

Preserve God First.



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