An even more important factor for which we are known is our relationships with others—who we are to our family, friends, and loved ones. And many of these relationships are built upon who we are as individuals and how we chose to live our lives.
Whenever I have to self identify character traits of myself, I invariably gravitate to words such as: dedicated, honest, loyal, trustworthy, dependable, loving, considerate, funny, happy, and spiritual. While none of these words I say can evoke these descriptors from others, hopefully my actions can adequately convey them to the people I know.
Of these relationships, the most important is with my wife of almost 35 years. She is absolutely my life partner, my best friend, and the person I want to spend my entire life with. In fact she is the one person I spend most of my waking and sleeping hours with each day.
Since we were married relatively young (at least by today’s standards), I have had a long time to build this relationship since I have been married for over half my life. While I was certainly an inexperienced husband when we first got married, I have had almost 35 years to develop this relationship into the most enjoyable one I have ever had, an absolute treasure.
Of no less importance, just shorter in duration is the relationship I have with my three children. These relationships have certainly evolved over time as each of my children has aged. From the early years of caring for and providing for…
…through the sometimes challenging years as teenagers…
…to the adults they are today. Throughout their lives, I always enjoyed the age they were at the time and the ways in which we interacted.
And today, I enjoy a very special, but different relationship with each one of them.
But the relationships I have had the longest are actually those I share with my three siblings. These are the individuals I grew up with. And while we would occasionally fight in those early years, we share a lifetime of memories together. And since our parents are no longer living, they are the “go to” individuals for remembering long ago facts or events. Although many miles separate the four of us today, we still get together once a year for a special weekend together—our “Sib Sab.”
Of close friends, I have one dear friend, R. who has known me for almost as long as my siblings, dating back to the time when I was about five or six years old. When my brother and I were young and before we went off to kindergarten or first grade, she would spend weekdays with us playing together. In fact, my brother and I used to fight over who would get to marry her one-day.
Having moved a number of times growing up, I was always losing friends and making new ones. Some of those I have reconnected with thanks to Facebook. But to this day, R. is the one life-long friend I have. And though we live many miles apart and had a number of years without contact, we still correspond regularly via e-mail and share family photos and family activities with each other.
But beyond these relationships, what has unleashed a burning desire in me to retire sooner rather later is a new relationship I want to develop—a new descriptor I want to become known for—granddaddy. And all it took was a week with this little fellow to realize that this was the next important thing I needed to do in my life.
“So Micah (and future grandkids), here comes Granddaddy. Let’s play and have some great fun!”