I sit here and it is the last day that I live as a fifty-six year old man. Tomorrow I begin my journey on my fifty-seventh year of life. What have I accomplished in 56 years? What have I learned in 56 years?
If you allow me, I would like to take a minute of your time to share some of my life’s lessons. I have learned that there is nothing more important than faith and love. Faith in my God and the love for the life he has given me. I have learned that the important thing is not the material things you accumulate (because they can be gone in an instant) in life, but what are important is the people you get to share your life with and that you meet along the way.
If I remember in my High School Year book, my goal in life was to be rich and I spent a good part of my early time of my life trying to be rich . My problem was I did not know what the meaning of rich was then.
Like so many, I thought “Rich” meant how much money you had and where you ranked in the “Fortune 500”. You know they call money a “Liquid Asset” for a good reason because like a liquid, it can flow in any direction very easily. There was a time when I did not have money and I thought I was “Poor”. I was so wrong. What I did not realize then was with each day I was getting richer and richer.
There was a point that I wooed my life’s mate and married my sweet wife, since then it has been as if my “Dow Jones” has been doubling each day. Some of the priceless “Dividends” has to be my son and now his son and soon to be new baby.
Over these years, I have been able to bank some very important relationships. I have friends of over 40 years and through these years have come across some amazing people who I have become friendly with. I have a cousin who is more like a sister to me and our relationship is very valuable to me. My dad’s sister and her family have been supportive of me through some very difficult times. I love my Aunt Eva and Uncle Steve and pray for their health each day.
Then there are my “In-Laws”, boy do in-laws get a bad rap as far as I am concerned. My wife’s family has adopted me and been by my side through thick and thin. My late father in law was one of my best friends and I miss him dearly. My mother in law is a Saint and I enjoy everyday talking with her and sharing life with her. She is and has been so good to me. My sister-in-laws are great. They have been like sisters to me and to my son! My brother in law was the first to offer me blood when I needed it and for this, I can never forget him. My wife’s Uncle’s and late Aunts ….beautiful people, no other way to describe them and her cousins unique are my cousins too, a true dedicated family, all there for each other. Therefore, what value do I put on that? You can not!
Then as a parent you worry and hope that, your child finds the right mate too. You hope that they are as happy in their relationship as you are in yours. My son brings home a truly wonderful wife, a marvelous mother and a great daughter (in law). Together I know that they will be as happy as my wife and I are …a forever kind of love.
Blessed family, good friends what else is there? Well there is more.
I have been a man who has lived in fear of his life for over 40 years. Since I was 16, I have felt that I was going to die (mostly because professionals have told me so). Long-life was not in my future. I spent many a day living (and eating) as if it was the last day on earth. Seriously, I use to go to bed with five or six ham and cheese sandwiches thinking if I was going to die, I ought to die with a full stomach (is that not the reasoning of someone with a disease?).
Thirty-five years ago tonight I swore I was going to go to bed and not wake up on my Twenty-First Birthday because I was sworn to that I would never live to my 21st Birthday if I didn’t lose weight.
I sit here now and I will begin my 56th year tomorrow. Am I sounding like “ha-ha” I beat all the odds? Oh no, forgive me if I sound that way. I am a grateful human being. I am thankful to many people; and on the top of that list are my wife and son, my special doctors and her colleagues, Richard, my friends and my family. Two other special thanks. One is to me because with all the help and all the support I have gotten, no one goes through the battle daily, minute by minute but me and little pat on my back is well deserved once in awhile. Then on top of the list is God, I am so thankful to God for giving me this time. Can I say to God, “God bless you” God because I am so grateful.
Therefore, I get this time to reflect on the important things in life. Yes, numbers were always a big thing in my life. How much money I had, how much did I weigh, how much did I lose or gain? Now numbers are not so important. Lifestyle is more important. I cannot take numbers with me to the next world.
My health is important, the quality of my life is important and the people in my life are important.
Thank you Mommy and Dad for the life you have given me and even though you may not be here with me on this earth, you live so strongly in my heart and mind.
What have I accomplished? I have been a loving husband and father and grandpa and one grateful human being! I have accomplished a lot! I have lived my High School Dream , I am a rich man, a very rich man!!
Therefore, my friends on my Birthday I give to you this gift of “reflections” and ask you too to reflect on exactly what is important to you. What are the things you can do today that will be with you tomorrow and not just for a passing moment?
Have a great day tomorrow and for many tomorrows to come…
Happy day to you