Today's blog is about gratitude. As I was waking up this morning, I found myself thinking about the awesome people that have helped me on my journey. Some of you reading this have been around since I was born.
I want to recognize my aunt Marcie and uncle Mike in a special way today. They have given me permission to share their story and they are also the first to make public comments about this blog. There are many other friends and relatives that have helped me along the way and I want the world to know that I am here today because of their prayers and support.
My mother's youngest sister is Marcie. Before she was married, she spent time with my family on vacations and she was always fun to be around. I remember watching her when she was on national TV during the junior Miss America contest. The whole family rejoiced when she made the top ten. Her future husband also made the national spotlight when he was brought in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game with bases loaded and two outs (finals of the college world series). Tension in the packed room mounted as the count went to 3-2. I could barely keep my eyes open as my uncle swung at the final pitch. For the rest of the story, you will have to read their blog (are you ready to write yet, aunt Marcie?).
I still can't believe that my uncle Mike and my junior college tennis coach were room-mates. Some would call this a coincidence, but I prefer to call it a "God-incidence". God has a way of putting people around us to help us serve Him better.
My uncle went on to coach baseball and some of his players that he recruited have become superstars. They have four adult children spread out all over the country. The youngest, Ryan, showed up at my father's funeral wearing his "Dress Blues" to honor a fellow marine. He told me that he had only worn this uniform a couple of times because it was only to be worn for special occasions. I held back tears as he presented me with the American flag at the close of the ceremonies.
The amazing part of this funeral story is that my aunt is from the "other side" of a divorced family and there she was with her son honoring my father. Even more amazing is that my mother (the ex-wife) spoke at the funeral reception and had many kind words for my dad's family. The wounds of this divorce were very deep but my aunt demonstrated that wounds can heal. My mother taught me it is better to forgive than to carry around anger.
As I close this post today, I just want to say thanks to uncle Mike and aunt Marcie, and all the other special relatives that have contributed along the way. Your prayers and support have allowed me to be the person God created me to be.
Please show your gratitude today. Maybe it is your food server who is trying to keep food on the table for his or her family. Maybe it is your spouse who loves you or an aunt or uncle that watched your back. A few kind words can go a long way.