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“He teaches kindness by being thoughtful and gracious even at home. He teaches patience by being gentle and understanding over and over. He teaches honesty by keeping his promises to his family even when it costs. He teaches courage by living unafraid with faith, in all circumstances. He teaches justice by being fair and dealing equally with everyone. He teaches obedience to God’s Word by precept and example as he reads and prays daily with his family. He teaches love for God and His Church as he takes his family regularly to all the services. His steps are important because others follow.” — Author Unknown
I hope I can in some way live up to that. My son Seth is just over a week old. It has been a fantastic and sleep deprived week for myself and my lovely wife.
More for her than me.
So, what has this week been like?
This biggest revelation came unexpectedly though. Yesterday afternoon, one of my neighbors stopped me to talk. He lost his grown son the night before. His boy passed away in his sleep, and his roommates called their home that morning. My friend was shaken to his core.
Without getting into details or giving any inappropriate info away, their son had chosen a very hard life. I am suspecting this was the result of a lifestyle. My friend's pain was, and is still palpable and raw. He and his wife never, ever gave up on their boy. Theirs is a hard and sad road now. I will be walking through it with them when I can.
That night, this dose of reality really hit me about our boy. There are no guarantees in this life. Well, just one, it will end someday. I will try to do my best. I will try to raise him the best way I know. I will fail, stumble, disappoint, and falter. I know this, because that is reality. My son will someday make his own choices, and there will inevitably be some that I don't like.
I won't be able to change that. All I can do is make my stand, and be my best. Flaws, bumps, bruises, scars and all. It's a scary realization. But, I'd much rather begin to face it now, that to be blindsided by it when it happens.
So, my fatherhood lesson? Love, and enjoy this moment and time. Armor up, and prepare myself for the battles ahead.
Fight the good fight, no matter what.
Be a friend to those in need.