Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Catching Up...

Has it been eight months since I've written?  Seriously??  So much has happened this year and reflecting back on it, 2015 is wrapping up to be a banner year for our family, for me, and for renewed relationships.

We moved...new home, new neighborhood, new friends, yet keeping all the best of the old.  Not even knowing we were going to do this, we purchased a new home, sold our old home, moved, settled in, and love our new lives without forgetting what got us here...each other and our commitment to each other first and foremost.  There were times during the process, I'm sure Kristine would have loved to strangle me, but she didn't and I'm thankful for that.  Now, we're settled in and learning to enjoy our new home and life.

Jade is driving!  Seriously folks, how did this happen??  Colleges are starting to recruit her!  How in the world can this be happening already?  Yet, it seems to be right.  She's making good decisions, thinking through her processes, and enjoying being a teenager.  We're laying the foundation and she's building a beautiful model of what her life is going to look like...compassion, consideration, responsibility, and enjoyment.  Balance and awareness, that's all we can show her, the rest is up to her and she appears to be watching, listening, and heeding.

Ryan and grandpa.  Here are two men in my personal life that mean more to me than anyone in my current life could know without knowing me back in my younger days.  Having both of them come back into my life this summer has fulfilled me in a way I didn't know I was empty.  Being able to share them with Kristine and Jade...priceless.

Kristine.  This woman never ceases to amaze me!  She loves unconditionally and completely.  I will work with everything in me everyday to ensure she has what makes her happy because that's what she does for me.  We just celebrated our five year anniversary, but we've experienced so many new "firsts" still this year, I can't wait to see what our list entails in the next year.

A wonderful year thus far.  So much going on, but the blessings are bountiful and plenty.  Taking care of family has been central this year and the results speak for themselves.  Sometimes the simple things are the big things.  Positive perspective produces positive people...the proof is in the pudding!

Friday, February 6, 2015

How Fragile is Life, Even When Lived Fully

Ok, so it's been a while since I've written...and I missed it.  But I wasn't ready to write and that makes a huge difference to me.  I simply cannot write just to be writing.  Why wasn't I ready?  Something in me changed, fundamentally changed.  We've all dealt with the loss of a loved one and we all, eventually, find a way to move forward again.  The same has happened with me.  However, this past loss seemed to be different and I wasn't sure how or why.  Heck, I wasn't even aware of how it affected me for some time.

Why was the loss of my father-in-law this past October so hard?  What made this more difficult for me?  Now that I think about it, the answer is simple...my life and my family and my age.  In order to help honor a fellow veteran and pay respects to a hard-working man, I helped to arrange his funeral, helped my wife through the myriad of paperwork and legal filings to finalize the estate, and simply held my wife when she cried.  These are the simple things that any decent and loving husband would do, and I did them without a thought.  Yet, it changed me.

Much of the process was made so much easier by a thoughtful man whom was no longer with us planning out every aspect of other's lives when he was no longer with us.  And that was a stark reminder to me that I should, must, and will do this for my own family.  Yet, what is right?  When is right?  When should I decide how my own funeral will be?  How do I determine my final resting place?  How do I ensure my family is financial secure while still alive and planning for my own retirement currently?  Stress entered the equation...I want to do it all right, but what is right?

Then I realized what I was doing to myself...and stopped.  Having open and honest conversations with your loved ones is a sufficient start.  We can then methodically move through the items that are most important.  Establishing a will, a living will, reviewing life insurance needs, knowing where all the papers, account numbers, and benefits are located.  It's a process, just like life, not a checklist to be completed instantaneously.

When 2015 ends, my family will be more prepared, all because of the example set by a loving husband, father, and human being.  However, 2015 will also find many celebrations, new memories, and successes.  Prepare, but don't be consumed!