Day 5: Things You Never Got to Say

“I’m sorry”

When I was a child I lost a grandfather to cancer. I was so mad that he left me that I stayed home from his funeral. Let me backtrack a little to provide context.

I was blessed to be surrounded by amazing role models. Both of my grandfathers showed me how to use my brain, to follow my heart, and the importance of family. Grandpa Neal (the grandfather in question) was a genius. I am not just saying that to say that, he legitimately was. My time with him was spent exploring museums where he knew the name of EVERYTHING. I even chatted with a friend of his halfway around the world via shortwave radio. We discussed stars, physics, science, logic and life. Undoubtedly he is the spark of influence for my love of dinosaurs, and the educational path that I walked down.

I would give anything to tell him that I am sorry. Sorry for being selfish in my pain. I know, I was a child, but he had taught me to be better.

“Thank You”

For my other grandfather, I feel I never said thank you enough. He and my father taught me my love of fishing, being out on the farm, desire to create, and the value of hard work. When he passed I rushed from Louisiana to Missouri. I cried, hard, while reading his military service. I shuddered, for the only time, while standing at attention in my dress blues as the shots from the 21 gun salute rang out.

The lessons that he taught me have brought me further that I thought I would. The iconic belief of family first was graven upon my soul with each and every minute. I long to hear his deep laugh, see his brilliant smile, and to tell him thank you one thousand more times.

My life has shown me time and time again not to hold words. The times that I have, have stuck with me for decades. Perhaps you can take that from me today. Tell that person you are sorry. Reach out to that other person and tell them that you forgive them. Hold your loved ones close and tell them you love them. Never hold your words of good. Ever.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Huge Thank You…

I was completely floored to have won a contest right around Father’s Day that was put on by Dads Who Change Diapers. The contest was to post a picture of me and the kiddos building a fort.  For our prize… these amazing Fort Boards!

As soon as I heard that I won, I decided that this prize would be perfect for David’s Birthday.  He may forget taking this picture in a few weeks…. but it is going to be a LONG four months for this dad to wait for the awesomeness that will ensue.  I may wind up buying another box (because the more you have the bigger stuff that you can build) and have that for his birthday… just so we can get started.

DSC00089

Again, thank you to the awesome folks at Fort Boards, and for picking the photo of me and my kiddos Dads Who Change Diapers!

 

Toastmasters

One of my very good friends asked me a few months ago if I would be interested in joining Toastmasters. For those of you that do not know, Toastmasters is a group that focuses on helping people become leaders and work on their public presentations and speaking. I strongly advise ANY who read this to look into it…. or if you are interested ask me about it! I decided to join and I thoroughly enjoy going to the meetings.  I knew that I had to give my first speech at some point, but I was struggling to find a topic that I wanted to speak about.  The first speech is an icebreaker and the main goal was leaving the speech with the people in the room knowing more about me then before.   Anyway, after much internal debate I settled on speaking about this blog, the reason behind it, and how it got started. That is right everyone, the readers became the muse, and it went splendidly. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to this community. Many of us often forget what an awesome thing that it is to be able to publicly speak our minds without restriction or censoring. Thank you to those that post, and to those that read. I cannot speak on behalf of everyone, but it is important to me to know that I have a place to get out the fears of my inadequacies pertaining to my pending fatherhood. Perhaps there are other dads out there that are finding some strength in the words here. Perhaps there are other guys out there willing to face the fear of putting it all out there that we, as men not as boys, ARE scared sometimes about being a dad… who knows? Giving this speech tonight reminded me of how good it feels to post my fears, my thoughts, and even my joys. In this week of playing catch up…. I think that giving this speech was just the spark I needed to help me get back on the rails of this crazy ride and keep going. That being said, I have to be at work way too early in the morning… I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I am still going to keep posting because the storm may get worse… but it is worth it.