Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Random Thoughts on Family, Friends and life

1.       My first vote was for Ronald Reagan, much to the dismay of my grandfather…an FDR democrat.
2.       I have voted for a Democrat ever since except for Dukakis
3.       He was a man of great spirituality…even though he thought all religions were BS. 
4.       He offered to pay for my mission if I finished college first…I turned him down…years later I realized he was the one person who cared most about my success in life.
5.       He was a hardnosed pain in the ass but it was he who taught me compassion and charity.  I watched him fix cars for widowed ladies then  tear up the bill.
6.       Because of him, I give money to street people… helping is what matters
7.       I rarely see or talk to my 4 brothers , but we are always there for each other
8.       A part of me will always remain in Alaska…It was the last place my family was whole.
9.       My children amaze me….I am proud of them.
10.   My Granddaughter makes me laugh uncontrollably
11.   My wife saved my soul…
12.    I hated High School, but, still love the great friends I made there…even though I haven’t seem most of them in 30+ years.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My little girl got married today...

As if I needed another thing to make me feel old....Kristen, my youngest daughter got married today. 

My emotions covered the spectrum:
  • Joy that she was was so happy.
  • Sadness to see my little girl had grown up.
  • Shock that she had grown into a beautiful woman overnight.
  • Gratitude that I was still around to walk her down the isle
  • Contentment that her dreams were coming to fruition after many years of struggle.
No matter what you think, you are never prepared to be a father.  You realize that when you first hold your child in your arms and see that radiant little face beaming back at you.  You realize at that moment nothing else in life really matters. 

As I watched Kristen and her new husband Chris pledge their love to each other, I also realized I had been replaced by another man.

While recovering from my first heart surgery 13 years ago one of my first activities was to go to the 4th of July celebration in North Ogden.  I struggled from the car to the pavilion area to listen to my two daughters sing.  Betsy (then 14) performed "I dreamed a dream" from Les Miserables and Kristen (then 11) sang "The Rainbow Connection".  Both received standing ovations.

Imagine my surprise and joy to hear the first notes of that song as Kristen approached me for the Father/Bride dance. Thirteen years later, tears streaming down my face I realized I hadn't really been replaced...I had just begun a new chapter in my life's journey.  What joy my future holds watching my children grow and continue their young journeys

I guess its what every father feels at this point in their lives.  I always thought I understood the meaning of  "life is not about the finish...its the journey".

I really didn't get it.....until today...