Monday, October 16, 2006

Here's to the Men in My Life!

I have been blessed with many wonderful “girl friends”. We share life’s ups and downs, joys, heartache, life and death. Each one of them has impacted my life in extraordinary ways. For that I am grateful; however…


The first man in my life is, of course, my father. I would still call him daddy today if it wouldn’t make me sound neurotic. This is the man who hurts when I hurt, weeps when I weep and laughs when I laugh. He’s the one responsible for my appreciation of sports. If I wanted to spend time with my dad—it most likely would be while sharing a football, baseball or basketball game. I know what a “safety” is; the difference between “zone and man-to-man defense”; and what a “K” means when keeping a scorecard in baseball – knowledge attributed to hanging out with dad. So, whether it is watching the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball or the Nebraska Cornhuskers play football; whether it is giving encouragement to someone who has gone through a rough time or seeking what God has for me; I get it, because of dad.

The leading man in my life was my late husband. He is responsible for giving me the measure of what constitutes a “real man”. His quiet spirit, unshakable morals and unwavering love forever is ingrained in the legacy he has left. He is liable for much of what I have become, but specifically he is responsible for my love of diversified music. Whether I hear bluegrass, jazz or Dave Matthews Band I can tap my toes, clap my hands and enjoy the gifted musicianship of whoever happens to be creating the music. Don used to say that in order to be a REAL music lover—you must appreciate it all. I would have to agree.

Then there are “the brothers”—all three of them (two by blood, one by association). I am mystified how those moronic boys I grew up with have become such amazing men. When did that happen? From them, I have learned to remain true to who I am. We have always appreciated, even celebrated the uniqueness of each other. Whether we are discussing philosophy, theology, politics or last night’s episode of Boston Legal, these guys are responsible for perpetuating the “everyone is entitled to my opinion” theory. Of course, none of this is accomplished without a skilled amount of wit and humor. It’s extraordinary when the goofballs you grew up with turn into your best friends.

The most important men in my life are my sons. Each of them is satiated with promise beyond what I thought possible. My oldest son is growing into a man faster than he probably should, but with such dignity it amazes me (and most everyone who knows him). My youngest son is the “glass half full” kid who keeps this entire family filled with hope. These two are responsible for keeping me on my toes as a parent and who, when I get in bed at the end of the day, cause me to pause and thank God for their influence in my life.

Finally, there are those men who show courage, kindness, acceptance and generosity in my life. These are the men who allow me to go to dinner (or to the movies) with their families, call and check to see if I need anything done around the house (knowing full well I am electronically and maintenance challenged), minister to me and give me advice from the “male” perspective. From them I have learned that generosity and kindness should never be taken for granted.

So here’s to the men in my life. I don’t know what I would do without you.

This I know for sure.


Evan and Julia said...

Thank you for allowing me to be a man in your life. By the way, I'm still pissed that you threatened to call the police on me when I was only four!

mfisteach said...

Whew--and I was afraid that moronic and goofball might offend you!!! and hey, you shouldn't have been such a brat that a "calling the police" threat would be necessary

Love you bro!