Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Glass half full (A Dan post from Saturday night)

When I met my wife twelve years ago and began to understand who she was I told her even before we got married she would end up being the backbone of "us". Even at thirty-two years old I felt insecure like I was not the man for the job. I knew she was strong enough. The funny thing is if you know our family you would easily assume that I am the one who is the epitome of strength. In the weight room I out perform guys half my age, and I rarely get sick. I have an ability to keep going physically and mentally when many others would have to stop for rest. Despite her many physical and emotional challenges, Monica is simply the rock that this family stands on day in and day out. If any men are reading this blog I hope you are not afraid to admit you are not as strong as you think you are.

Tonight as my beautiful wife and I sat out on our little front porch sharing a bottle of cheap champagne we talked about life and what we want our kids to know about us should the good Lord call us up. Why is this important to me? I have always wanted to know exactly what my mom would have said to me, if she could talk, when we were alone in the hospital room the day of her death. To me, this unknown is why today I still see life as a half empty glass. I want to know what mom thought of her life those last days and hours. I never knew if she was happy before the cancer and what her hopes and dreams were for me. I never knew if she felt ready to go and if she was looking forward to Heaven.

In comparison, I know my dad has lived a full life at seventy-six. He has told me that every new day is the best day in his long, very rewarding life. He is my hero. There is also my older brother that has always listened to his inner voice and still plays the drums professionally along with his "day job" and taking care of his family. In my opinion, this is who my brother is and always has been, and he is my idol in life. He is someone who has a passion and has never sacrificed that God given talent, and he does not have to prove anything else to me for me to always look up to him.

Tonight I broke one of our four Waterford crystal champagne flutes. It fell onto a cement mold of a puppy that we placed in our mulch bed around our front porch. My wife and I were devastated as we have treasured this wedding gift for years, but I quickly came up with a reasoning for the loss. Before ships are launched to sea, they are christened with a new bottle of champagne. We are moving from this house and planning on adding a new puppy to our household soon so the broken champagne glass was to honor our old house for providing shelter and welcome the new addition to our family. But as I blog tonight I also think the broken crystal may have a greater meaning in my life. Maybe it's telling me that once the glass is broken it cannot be put back together much like my life cannot be lived over again. Tonight I had a wonderful evening with my gorgeous wife knowing my beautiful daughters were safely at Pops and Meems. I realized that my glass is not half empty no matter how many challenges we face. I can't go back and write what my mom will say to me on her last day. I am the person that God knew I always was and always will be, and He has blessed me with so much more than I deserve. Life is fragile much like the Waterford crystal. Our relationships are fragile. We should not take either one for granted nor can we have a "do-over" should either one break.

Reflecting on my life, a tattoo inscription I have dreamed of was "Endure" on the inside of my bicep. It would signify that I have made it this far regardless of my "half empty glass" outlook on life and all the adversity my family and I have faced. Tonight it dawned on me this seems to be a pessimistic way of viewing life. Instead I'm thinking a line from a Sanctus Real song may be my answer for my tattoo and my new outlook on life. I mentioned the song Lead Me in a previous blog post, and the verse from that song that sticks with me the most is "...Father give me the strength to be all that I am called to be." I feel this simple plea defines my life. I strive to become physically stronger in the weight room. I strive to be more of a rock for my wife and my girls. I pray to have faith in the Lord that He will continue to give me the strength I need to confront any obstacles that my fragile but full life has in store. I am truly blessed.

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