As I complete my fifth decade circling around the sun, I reflect on how I got to this point. It is funny how we recall the good and the bad sort of falls off our memory. What a blessing.

Here are a few things I strive to live by; listen more, talk less. When walking away from a conversation I learn more when I had listened. We all have stories to tell of our experiences, I do better writing about mine than verbally presenting them. Treat everyone like they are the most important person. We are all different, we are as unique as our finger prints. Be happy with everything we have, it can be gone in a moment. I learned that the hard way last year.

Show respect to everyone. I try to take time to talk with the janitorial help and let them know what a good job they are doing, hold the door for them and let them know they are important. Many years ago, a guy named Chris from Guatemala, who was a janitor, asked me why I take time to talk with him when most everyone else looks away. I told him he was probably the most important person working here. When someone from management is out for several days, few people notice. If a janitor is out and the bathrooms are not cleaned or trashed not picked up, everyone notices. Recently I was leaving the building where I now work, one of the janitorial staff stopped what they were doing to hold the door for me. It made my day that she showed me respect that I strive to show them. We may not speak the same language, but the smile is universal.

Many years ago, I was starting out in my career working in a TV Production Truck. There was a bratty, and somewhat annoying 14-year-old kid who wanted to help. I took time to talk with him, give him tasks to do. He ended up being a smart guy who became beneficial to helping in the truck. Fast forward about thirty years, I find out that I have a cancer mass on my left kidney. I contacted my friend who was that kid, he is now an Anesthesiologist at MD Anderson. When my surgery was scheduled, I asked my friend if he would be my Anesthesiologist, and he agreed. When I was being prepped for surgery, having that friendly familiar face there with me made a huge difference. It would have been so easy to tell that kid to get lost, but I would have missed out on the blessing of a lifelong friendship.

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 several 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 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 job. I am grateful for every new day I wake up with the breath of life. I am grateful for my dog. 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 its leadership. I am grateful for the many friends, old and new, who stepped up to help in so many ways when we were recovering from the flood. I am grateful.

Now on to the 60th lap around the sun!