I wanted to post something quite profound and dignified in honor of all the wisdom and experience my 65 years of life have brought me. Of course, I wanted to share such a great philosophical view with all of you. But quite frankly, the thought of doing this simply does not seem to fit my personality nor the views I wish to convey. So, I’m going to ramble through some key and monumental moments that have left an impression on me, or at least remain somewhat fresh in my mind.
Age 65 is a monumental figure as it is the age when you are expected to be retired or considering retirement and the Medicare insurance companies come out of the woodwork to BOMBARD you with their rhetoric as to how their companies can help you better than all the others – my goodness how tiring fending off these calls and mailings has been!
But for me, 65 is truly a number, even though it represents an age that I never gave one thought to when I was 21. Of course, I am older, wiser, FAR more mature, and I make FAR less mistakes. Like everyone I know, my body cannot do the same things it used to, or at least not do them nearly as well. The sounds of my joints popping on occasion and the groans and oohs and aahs I mutter, remind me of the Garth Brooks song; “I’m much too young to feel this damn old.” I’ve always related to this song as quite accurate for myself, however, I have felt this way since the songs release in 1989, when I was about half my current age. So exactly what age was Mr. Brooks referencing because I have felt this way for 32 years now?
At the risk of turning this into an auto-biography, I do want to point out a few things that make me truly blessed – after all it is my birthday. 😊
I have been blessed to get to know this wonderful state of Indiana quite well. As an only child of life-long dedicated educators, I have lived in nine different Hoosier communities, all of which were unique and had a great deal of character, and none of which were truly “Home.” Yet, even though I have resided in Greenwood for these past 39 years, if I were to call any one town home it would be Edinburg. (This is how they spelled it when my family first moved there in 1971. (they re-added an “H” to the end of the town name in 1977)
I graduated high school from Edinburg; top ten in my class academically, a four-sport athlete, and a trumpet player on the best jazz/dance band in the state. I would also be fortunate enough to be nominated to serve in each of the four military academies. Although all of these things were truly blessings, the true blessing was that I would eventually not pursue any of these things to become a career husband and father, and yes businessman.
I married the most beautiful person I know in my best friend Sarah, and together we raised three wonderful kids, and we raised them with love and the best we knew how. I jumped from job to job, those first several years, but landed in manufacturing where my career took off. Since being in leadership roles in the manufacturing sector, I have been blessed to visit nearly every state and major Aerospace/Aviation company, I have spent significant time in eight different countries and made temporary traveling homes in four of those countries.
Our kids are/were outstanding in their own right and each accomplished many things, leading to many successes. They were each super academic and extracurricular achievers and we couldn’t have had better kids to carry on our family name and persona to the next generations.
We certainly had, and still have, our struggles, but we stuck together as a family and we always put the family above any other FAR less trivial needs. Three pivotal times in our lives we were faced with the choices of either accepting job related relocations, moving us many states away from home, or lose jobs…in each instance, we chose to keep the family close and roll the dice that good honest hard-working people always land on their feet. Our faith, and more likely God, saw to it that land on our feet we did, as each closed door clearly opened another door to even better opportunities.
Today, I still have that wonderful wife whom I still call my best friend, because she truly is. We are closer today than ever and our love continues to grow. My three wonderful kids each have their careers, but most importantly, have kids of their own, my grandkids, and even the oldest grandchild and her husband, just blessed us with a great grandkid. Eight grandkids in total and now one great grandchild and likely/hopefully more to come.
So, you see, I could have pursued athletics, music, or service in our beloved military. Any of these three talents, that I was blessed with, could have resulted in hugely incredible opportunities and successful careers. But some guiding light, I honestly believe God, steered me to a better option, and the best possible life. A life with my wonderful Sarah, my super kids and their kids, and their kids’ kids, and the very best career I could think of. A career where family always wins and earning money is only important as a means to provide for this family.
Thank you, God…THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU!!! I certainly never knew it nor noticed it at the times these things were occurring, but you always had my back and always helped steer me in the right direction, down a path that led me to this magnificent family and back to you!!! God Bless You!!!