Well as some of you may know, my wife and I embarked on the treacherous path of purchasing our first home. Not for the light hearted buying a home can be packed with frustrations and doubt. My lender was very good about prepping me for the rocky road ahead and the realtor I worked with Don Newton was incredible at allaying my many fears. On December 22nd we closed on the house and received the keys to our very first home. As we walked in to our home and saw all the work to be done for the first time since it started I got overwhelmed. I think even more then that I was filled with fear. Fear brought on by the fact I have the random factor of MS to deal with at every turn. I have been trying for years to catch up to the myth that is my father. A man that came from a rough childhood, worked two jobs, worked 6 days a week for decades, 10-12 hour days and an hour drive one way back and forth to work. The older I got the more legendary and untouchable my father's accomplishments became.
I think it is the nature of every man to measure himself against the generation before him. It is even more common in this day and age for my generation and those after me to make excuses for why they don't measure up. I think I was 28 years old when it finally dawned on me that it was time to stop making excuses. It has not been an easy road. I really messed up my credit in my early 20's, so I had to fix that. Having MS and diabetes has certainly tossed a monkey wrench into things. But as I stood in the threshold of my home and looked at the new primer on the walls and realized it was the first brick if you will in the foundation of my family's home. I knew that I had finally made it to the same point my father had 31 years before me, standing on the rugged dirt of Brown county,Indiana and watching the first piece of lumber hit the dirt for our home. I stood there with my cane crutch on my left arm looking at the living room of my home and tears started streaming down my face.
I know I am rambling on and on here so I will try to get to the point. You see I didn't face a tough childhood like my dad did. My childhood was great, I had caring parents who helped shape me into the man I am. I didn't work two jobs and go to school just to get a better job. Instead I went in the military and faced my own adversities there. When a tornado wiped me out I didn't go home like most kids my age would have done, instead I used the experience to reforge the blade so to speak and rebuild me from a whiny 27 year old man who had a chip on his shoulder to a 28 year old man with a purpose. No I cant do most of the things I want to do on the home. The stupid cane crutch I just got forced to wear gets in the way all the time. It doesnt matter though I still try to do what I can. See the most important lesson my father taught me he never actually spoke. He never physically pointed it out, never wrote it down. But he most certainly showed it to me. NO MATTER WHAT HAND YOU ARE DEALT MAKE THE BEST OF IT AND PLAY IT OUT. He could have been abusive, bitter, he could have become a drunkard or he could have just given in and allowed himself to become a victim of his environment. But my father didnt. Every day he forged ahead and kept going. And once he met my mother they formed an ironclad bond that only strengthened his resolve, much the same way my wife Wendy has often strengthened mine. I finally look down at my own feet and after years of trying to figure out how I would fill my father's shoes, I had finally slipped them on. And dad let me tell you, they feel pretty good.