In a few days, I will have completed my 65th lap around the sun.  My birthday has always been days after Thanksgiving but never on the holiday.  I think the closest it gets is one day after Thanksgiving which it will do next year. This year it is exactly one week after.  I share my birthday with my dad who will be 92 this year. I believe that the most important people in life are your family.  It can also be the most frustrating as well. You must work at keeping a good relationship with those you love most.  In my family and extended family, that has been easy since we all get along well with each other. 

Last night we spent time with my Neice’s family around a firepit.  It was good to catch up with those we don’t see much of throughout the year. When I walked up to where everyone was sitting, my great niece, 5-year-old Hannah ran up to me with arms wide open saying “Hi Billy!” My heart melted.  Later she asked me if she could come over to our house to ‘draw on the car’.  I had told her a few weeks ago about how my VW Bug is painted so that kids can draw on the car with chalk.  How could I say no.  Later today I will have the old Bug out on the driveway where she along with my great nephews, who are twins, will have fun drawing with chalk on the hood, fenders, and doors.  I think it is times like these that create the fondest memories, both for the young ones as well as us old folks. 

Some other highlights through my life are; when Jennifer said, “I do”. When I first held my son Will, I felt I was holding the future.  Moments after Allison was born, her eyes were open so wide, and I said, “Hello Allison” she turned to looked at me. The nurse cleaning her said that she never gets tired of seeing that. Newborns recognize the voices they heard from the womb. The many vacations we took as a family. My endless car projects. The many pets I have had over the years. Someone asked which pet was my favorite, I responded, “…the one I am with”.  I finished reading a book last night about a Navy Pilot’s memoirs of his time in Vietnam.  He ended the book with how he copes with the nightmares of the war with his service dogs.  He has written another book called ‘Medicating with Dogs: Surviving with PTSD’ which I intend to read soon.   He ended the book I recently read by talking about his dogs.  He stated that “When God gave us dogs, He got one thing wrong – their life expectancy.  It is far too short.”  I agree with him. 

I can sum up my life with one word, “Grateful”. I am grateful for the Love of God though Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the love of my family. I am grateful for my dogs and cats. I am grateful for every new day I wake up with the breath of life. I am grateful for my health.  I am grateful for still being able to physically work on my car projects, even though it gets tougher over time. I am grateful for my country and for those who serve in defense.  I am grateful for my job; I would have never dreamed that I would be doing what I do at work now.

I am Grateful!

I don’t know what the next year holds for us but one thing I do know, God is watching over our every breath.

Now onto the 66th lap around the sun.