To my parents – Thank you. You always gave everything you could to me. You sacrificed for me all the times when you could have given to yourselves. You made sure I was at the top of your list, making sure I was taken care of (fed, clothed, educated etc).
To my friends – Thank you, for the time you’ve spent on this path with me. You’ve laughed with me, spent your precious time with me, and allowed me to spend mine with you. You’re kind to me. You help me learn about the world around me when there is so little I understand. You challenge me to become who I set out to be.
To my wife – Thank you. Don’t let it fool you; you’re always at the top of my lists. You heal my wounds and forgive the parts of me that continue to cut. You laugh with me even when you’re hurt, because you want me to feel good. It’s important to you. You continue to love me through all of our days apart and the distance that pulls on us. You are a strength within me that I’ll never be able to explain. You’re the power that fuels me from behind the curtain..
…and you do it constantly. You have always done it constantly. Today is my birthday and I’m again humbled at how truly wealthy I am. I’m surrounded by your love and your smiles, your kindness and your laughter, your persistence and your hospitality, your ‘you’ that you give to me at our every encounter. You give me the full package of who you are; I never feel I must remove one veil more to see you in the flesh. You give of yourselves all the days of the year. Something about a ‘Thank you’ doesn’t feel that it really gets the job done.
I have it all – a loving family, constant friends with endless laughter and full, lively personalities, and a wife who is glory manifested. I have my health, all my limbs, more clothes than I’ll ever need, an education, and my own decisions. I have more books than most in many countries around the world, a vehicle of my own and a place to rest my head each night.
I’m grateful beyond words to have been given such an ineffable gift – to have been given this life. Every day is a vacation. Thank you, all of you, for your love, kindness, and your time with me. Thank you for giving me another day of yourselves.