Why is it that everyone tries to make you feel like it’s the end of the world when you have a birthday approaching, or when it arrives? I’m really curious about this. Why? To be honest, I think it’s an amazing accomplishment when you reach another year in life. Not only did I survive another year and live to tell about it, but I think about all of the other reasons it’s great to be here. Living life, enjoying everything that I’ve worked for, and relishing in all the lives that I’ve been fortunate enough to touch and make better.
It sounds self-indulgent, doesn’t it? Well it is. It’s my life so it damn well should be. But let me be clear. What you give in this life, not what you get, is truly the meaning and secret of what it’s all about. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful upbringing, a truly wonderful childhood, great parents, an amazing wife, two wonderful children, great friends, and I just happen to love what I do for a living. Hard work is only half of the equation though. Without others giving me the opportunity, or their wisdom, it wouldn’t have been possible. Let me repeat that. Without others giving me the opportunity, or their wisdom, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.
I am forever thankful to:
- My Mother and Father. Without you, and your love, I wouldn’t be here. You gave me the basics, guided me, not made me, into the person that I am today. You directed me, not told me, who I should be, and I am eternally grateful. You are both the example of the parent that I strive to be.
- Nancy, my bride. Not only have you always believed in me, and pushed me to be the person that I am today, you’ve always respected me for me. The person that I am, and the beliefs that I hold today are because of you. Thanks for taking me from a boy to a man.
- J.P. Muscat. The brother I didn’t have and my best friend. We met through common interest. But it is true friendship and respect that keeps our friendship alive and strong today, despite the distance. You may not know it, but I always aspired to be you. You are my role model and the best friend that a guy could have. Don’t ever doubt that.
- Erich Quade. A true friend. When I was a pimply-faced, next-door, neighbor punk-ass kid, you saw friendship and potential in me. You believed in me and gave me an opportunity that would forever change my life. You not only got me my first, real programming job. You taught me belief in others, and how to empower people through trust, belief, and respect. I will forever pass that on to the people who look to me for mentorship.
If you’re name is not on this list, please don’t hate me. These are life-changing individuals. Honestly, if you are in my life, you qualify without question. Every single one of you have not only touched my life, but made it better and have shown me how to appreciate it. And for that, I will be always grateful.