Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. ~ Louis D. Brandeis
This week has given me much to reflect upon. There is so much that has cluttered my mind this past week that I'm surprised it hasn't inflated like a balloon and made me float away. The things that I have thought about and remembered have all been wonderful memories and thoughts that have poured into my head and flooded my mind. Its been so wonderful to have such blessings in my life, both past and present... and certainly the future holds plenty as well.
I felt like I had a stockade of memories, thoughts and feelings resurface and there are a few I would love to share.
I don't think I can truly express how proud I am of this country, especially during this time of year and what we proudly celebrate. I am grateful to those who selflessly set aside their lives for a time (and some do forever) to serve this wonderful land of opportunity. So many have given so much of themselves to help us truly enjoy the freedoms we have been able to enjoy throughout our lives. First on that list are immediate family members who, bless them all, have managed to come back unscathed from things the rest of us would rather not see... physically at least. I hope they know how proud I am of them and their valiant efforts to continue to preserve our freedoms. Thank you Sam, Greg and David. If the day comes that I too must do as you have done I hope that I can fill your shoes and lead and protect those I have charge over. Secondly I thank all those I have come to know and love and have served with since my inception in August of 2008. There are far too many of you to name but know that each and every one of you are thought of and loved. Three come to mind that have helped bolster me and keep me strong in both faith and deed. Thanks Pray, Lorin and Clint.
My family means the world to me. I know I am far from perfect and struggle daily to be a better person but I am grateful to have enjoyed the family I was raised in. They inspire me and they help me grow through my constant struggles as I grasp the obstacles that I must overcome daily. My mother has been staying with my sweet family for the past week and she has been such a wonderful blessing. It has been great to have her in my home not only helping around the house but enjoying all the precious time she has with her two grandchildren. Caleb and Avery have certainly enjoyed having Granny in the home and will miss her as she leaves in just a few short hours to go back home. Thanks for all that you've done Mom and know that you leave with our love and appreciation.
The last, certainly not least thing, that has been tugging at me this past week is my darling family. I love them dearly and even though I tell them daily I feel it still just isn't said enough. I couldn't possibly imagine my life without the three sweetest people in my life being at my side on a daily basis. Katie, Caleb and Avery... thank you for all that you do for me and the constant blessing each of you are in my life. All three of you are my shining stars. I couldn't be a luckier husband and father and hope that I can teach you as much as you teach me.
Caleb was the one at the forefront of my mind this entire week. Something he said to me a few short years ago brought about a lot of emotion for me. Tomorrow will be 23 months since I left to go to basic training and a journey I would take that would keep me from my family for 11 months. Today is exactly 23 months ago that my sweet child, then only 2 years old, said something awfully profound to me in a very simple and child-like manner. When Katie, Caleb and I were lying in bed, just hours before I had to leave the following day, we knew my departure was imminent. Except for Caleb. He didn't understand what was going on but as he looked from Katie to myself that late night he repeated two little words that rang with so much love in his sweet soul for the both of us. Katie and I were both crying because we were both blessed with leaky faucets. Caleb was lying between the both of us and looked to his mom, then to his dad, then repeated the process a time or two more. To my recollection he then said in his 2 year old voice, "You okay?" To me it rang with the greatest love that a little boy could muster. It made me feel and still makes me feel to this day how we felt when we left our pre-Earth life and what things must have been said before our parting.
I couldn't be happier with the two little angels I have been given to raise as my own and to love without end. I'm grateful for a wife and best friend who finds ways to remind me how much she loves me and lifts me on her angel's wings and helps me lead and guide my wonderful family.
4 years ago