Check out the prologue to "Alone In The Light" by clicking here

An excerpt from: Alone In The Light

Monday, June 4, 2018

40 years of respect and admiration...

I woke up this morning feeling remarkably refreshed - especially given the amount of... shall we say "birthday indulgence(?)" I had this weekend

I know what some of you are thinking - especially those of you older than I am - "You're only 40. Get over it. It's not that big of a deal." And you're right.  But - and here's the kicker - I honestly didn't think I'd ever see 40.

Yep. True story. 

I spent a good chunk of the last 2 decades thinking that 37 was probably going to be my limit. Get me drunk enough and I might even talk to you about it...

I know a lot of people have spent a large chuck of their lives doing things far worse than I have. Far scarier, far more exciting... etc and so on. But I've put my body and myself through some pretty hard times. And, in doing so, I felt that I'd missed death one too many times to get this far in life... I'm very happy to see this point in my life and see that I was wrong.

But I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I would not have made it here alone. I've been extremely fortunate in my life. I've seen people show up out of nowhere, at JUST the right time, to offer me a hand up, a shoulder to lean on, a new camera, a letter in the mail with a "get out of jail free" card in it... They've offered me new perspectives on the world. They've given me help that I was unable or unwilling to ask for... and it is because of all of these people that I am able to be where I am right now... Happily married. A Father. Employed and happy... and, most of all, loved.

My family has been there my whole life. They've been encouraging and enraging at times - but they've never turned away from me regardless of the decisions I've made. When I was in Iraq, they were at home awaiting my my return and filling my mail-calls with reassuring letters and care packages.

My wife... she started out as my friend - and is still the closest of them. She is my best friend. She is the one who spent so much time and effort reeling me back in from the darkness and putting me back together. It's taken time, but, thanks to her, I feel I've returned (more or less) to the happy, sane, person I was pre-2003... And I don't have the words or ability to express my love and admiration for her... I love you.

The friends I've had come and go in my life have been essential to my basic survival... coming together to see that I could afford a camera for my first class in France. Writing letters to housing agencies and potential employers to get me in the door. Showing up when I'm down... giving me the keys to their Miata and telling me to "go for a nice ride with the top down" when I was at my wits end. Meeting me at my apartment at 4am when I needed to talk... coaxing me out of the darkness when the nightmares came... These people are also my family. They're not blood, but that's not what makes a family anyway.

On top of that - after all this time - they still call on my birthday, send me gifts in the mail and keep watching over me from afar. They offer their help and support and I feel I'll never be able to say thank you in a way that will compare to the sheer amount of love and respect I have for each and every one of them...

So... yeah. I could sit here and list every person I'm truly grateful for knowing - but that would be like re-writing the phone book.

Just know that I love you all. And having you in my life has made all of the difference.  Thank you. All of you.

“When the body sinks into death, the essence of man is revealed. Man is a knot, a web, a mesh into which relationships are tied. Only those relationships matter. The body is an old crock that nobody will miss. I have never known a man to think of himself when dying. Never.”

— Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

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