• Josh :) grateful

I hope you lead

Happy Friday to a buddy! :)

Last week's original fathers day blog post had to be tabled.

It was one that I had been planning to write about for a good solid couple months now... shit has been festering! Somewhere in the back of my mind, heart, I had a gut feeling I was going to have to make the difficult decision of putting my shop buddy to sleep; RIP Bison. Having the awareness of that fateful outcome I didn't have the gas to put the thoughts of today down on paper last week...


The role of a Father is a position in life I don't take for granted. Honestly I never gave fatherhood a thought as a child. Thank the heavens Avin fought through birth control and showed up! or we likely wouldn't have had children as I would have been too selfish in later years to slow down enough to do so.

I am 1,000% a better human being simply for being a father... I blame Avin.

Had I had it all to do over again, I would have pushed for 4 children. As a kid I had been taunted by my mom that I would end up with all girls, and instead, we've been blessed with just two boys. I would have loved a daughter just the same, however, to lead boys, my boys to manhood, especially as a vulnerably soft spoken, emotionally-fit, confident man, feels like I've been knighted by the universe to do so; this is a privilege I embrace wholeheartedly considering how the modern macho man is marketed to.

Dealing with life and death has been at the center of our life for our family for a while now. In handling the stresses of those life altering events, a surrogate mother of mine, Momma Lee, sent me something to ease my heart. It was so profound in it's meaning that I couldn't stop listening to it.


At its core, the message was something that had been articulated in a way I did not have the wisdom to craft. They were words of action. Words that I had been quietly trying to navigate inside my heart and mind for almost a year and now. Until then, I did not have words to convey how I was feeling through my surviving actions.

I would later find myself listening to this endlessly. It would bring me to tears. Sometimes at handyman jobs clients would ask a question and I'd suddenly brush off the tears - allergies I'd say...


Sadly, I would still have to bear the loss of my bonus dad, RIP John, months after Momma Lee shared this with me. In an effort to comfort myself, I would listen to this endlessly.


I digress...

So there we are this past Sunday afternoon, all of us on the ground with him. Bison lay leaned into my side.. I gently pat this large lap dog as he takes his final breaths. The Vet sits in front of us watching this unfold. Alligator tears quietly pour down my cheeks as I try to be socially engaged with our Vet-guest. I shift from petting Bison to patting Tristan as he lay softly on Bison's side crying. Chas to the left of Tristan, tears roll down her face as she equally caters to Tristan. Avin, the sweet teenage giant lays down on the ground looking at the ceiling. He's there and present, but also lost in his young adult mind processing the life and death factor on his own.

It's quiet and sad - as it should. There we are dealing with the factor of life. Leave it to chance however, the decision to lay Bison to rest, on Fathers day no less, was my decision. It was my phone call that morning that led to the outcome that afternoon. Now, here I balance the similar life and death outcome we've all danced with many times this past year. I can feel all the little eyes present from the one's I'm responsible to take care of. There's sadness in my bride's heart as she equally tries to manage. All the while these fumbling thoughts cloud my head... Words I have heard hundreds of times...


Someday my children, my boys.. my life's legacy, may be faced with similarly daunting life and death circumstances.. It's entirely possible that they will likely be responsible for smaller eyes looking at them. As a loving father, I hope that it's many, many years before they're faced with the reality's of life..

Father time has an odd way of putting things on our plates. I can only hope that when the time comes for my boys to tolerate the calling of life's uncontrollable despair that they can lean on these kind words of wisdom to manage the stressful situation.


Below, I'm paraphrasing and delivering the following words as if I'm intimately in conversation to my boys during a time of despair. It's through the articulated wisdom of Jocko Willink's script of "Tragedy" that I'm talking to them.

I want to imagine that it's long into the future before my boys are old enough to understand what the kind of love a Father/Husband/Leader of a household selflessly gives of themselves for the betterment of their family and others.

[Jocko has gotten me through hard times and I consider him as a distant life's mentor]

Thank you....

" "

Sometimes....

bad things, horrible things, happen to... to good people.


and...


I don't know why??...


but...

life isn't fair.


That's the reality,

and...


A good person...

in the wrong place...


in the wrong time...


can end up...


just a victim of reality...

and it can be....

horrible, and heart wrenching...


But...


When those... those bad things happen...

happen to people around you...


What are you going to do?.....


......

I hope you lead...

Are you going to get angry?


Are you going to get frustrated?

Are you going to lash out at people?...

who would you lash out to anyways?..


Are you going to start going down the spiral of negativity?


Are you going to let this horrible situation dictate the way you feel and the way and the way you handle it?...

Are you going to fall over and fall down?...


and fall apart? ......

I hope you lead...

....

I hope you face this issue with...


courage.....

and with resolution?...

....

I hope you lead...


I hope you step up to the challenge....

I hope you are the one that other people look to...


I hope you can absorb that impact, absorb that negativity...


one who can draw fire...


I hope you can say,


"Bring that pain to me" "I can handle it"....

when maybe others cannot.

If bad things are happening, I hope you can be the ONE good thing...

the thing standing tall, that can be relied upon...

Because...

I know that attitude ~ will spread...


It will bolster those around you!

And with that!

I know you can fight! .....


and in fighting, I know you will win! ...


and if not the battle, and if not the war...

I know you will win, because of your spirit!!...


I know it will never surrender!!


And that!!

That!! ...


That is the ultimate infinite victory!

To hold your head high!


And even...


even, in the face of inescapable defeat... ......

I hope you will have the courage to stand...

....

and to fight! ....

That...

is to lead...

" "


I may not always be here boys... but I hope that when the tide of life draws at your feet, that this wisdom I've bestowed to you, will be able to carry you through the tough times - even if you're the last man standing.

I love you.


Dad



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