Sometimes my own stupidity amazes me. Lately I have been bogged down with “why aren’t things going better for me right now?” type of questions. Without a doubt I have been given a second chance on my life and here I am wasting my time and emotional energy on negative, self-pitying thoughts.
I know it is normal human nature to have these kinds of thoughts, but come on! I should know better than that. Could some things be going better? Of course! But I need to remember what I have been through and how few people have actually made it through the same battles and are here to talk about it.
I am humbled by this realization and am so very grateful for everything I have. And it really is an incredibly long list of things I am so lucky to have, starting with my amazing wife Nancy. I don’t know how I have been able to fool her these past thirty-five years into loving and caring for me as much as she does, but I will gratefully take it.
Then there are my three great kids and their wonderful spouses, who I love as if they were my own kids. Then of course there are Anne and Porter, my grandchildren, and Three, who is due in early December. I had always been told how great it is to be a grandparent, but the truth is it is ten times better than anything I was ever told. As far as I’m concerned these kids can be pooping out gold bricks!
And I am so fortunate that both of my parents are still with us and doing as well as they are. And of course all of my great brothers and sisters, their spouses, their kids, my aunts and uncles and their kids and their kids’ kids, my in-laws and their families, the list goes on and on.
I have read in several places that when men are on their deathbeds, they usually express the same regrets: they wish they hadn’t spent so much time at work and that they had kept in better contact with their friends.
I realize how lucky I am to still have three very dear friends from my days at Servite, the all-boys Catholic high school forty-five years ago. Jeff Stehly, Mark McCallick, Tim Boulger and I were all on the football teams together, which explains part of our close bond but they are also just great guys. While we now live on opposite coasts, I still stay in touch with them and I count my blessings for their friendship.
I can only hope that everyone else is as lucky as I truly am.