A Public Thanksgiving Letter

When I got a new phone, something happened to my “folders” in my computer / COMAST.  HEAVY SIGH!  So, I lost my password to “my” website.  Hence, this being posted on December 19,2017.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING MY BLOG.  I have about nine of you and I am very sorry to you FAITHFUL NINE.

Well, it is time for a thanksgiving letter to y’all.

I am currently in my first year at my current job and my twenty-eighth year teaching high school music. My first day of teaching high school music was July 3, 1989; two years later, I would marry Diana (March 30, 1991); five years later we would welcome PJ (April 18, 1994); seven years later we would welcome Katy (May 24, 1996).  From 1989 – 1996, I would be at Tokay High School; York Episcopal School; and, Granite Bay (1997-2005)!!  MY GOODNESS… lots happened during those seven years!

When I look at the last twenty-eight years of being a high school music teacher, twenty-six years being a husband, and twenty-three years being a dad… I have so much to be thankful.  But, here is what I want to share with you… thankful for change.

I am thankful that I am not the man that I was July 3, 1989 or March 30, 1991 or April 18, 1994 or even May 24, 1996.  I am thankful for all the times FOLLOWING those dates!  Does that make sense?  Each day I mention was a great day.  NO DOUBT.  However, each day was the beginning of making a better man.

If it wasn’t for all the opportunities to make great music and make great memories, I cannot even imagine how my life would be.  Standing in front of teenagers (I call them YOUNG ADULTS) conducting them through the “life” of a composer is POWERFUL!  All of us working together to make “one sound.”  Doing what we can to blackout all the crap that we have to focus – give a 100% to make 100% music.  And then being able to give so many people the gift of music.  Be it Portland Rose Festival Parade – Best out of state band (1994); performing VIVALDI’S entire GLORIA (1997); win the first ever SWEEPSTAKES (November 4, 2000); straight ones at Folsom Jazz Festival (January 23, 2016); best band St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bray, Ireland (2016); first sweepstakes trophy in over twenty years (November 12, 2016); and now NEVER FINISHED IN LAST PLACE during the 2017 field show season with a band that came in last place EVERY show the year before!!  So, YES!  Following July 3, 1989, I became a better teacher.

Because I am a husband, I have had amazing dinners.  Super dates.  Seeing an ordinary house turn into a “Winter Wonderland Candy Cane Home.”  Shared moments that are private.  Been able to be with her through surgeries.  Seeing her deliver our son and daughter.  Family moments that include passing of relatives and friends.  Been able to receive UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  Be humbled by her patience / strength.  Having to say sorry and embrace the power the power of forgiveness.  Following March 30, 1991, I became a better husband.

As a daddy, I am grateful for baseball games / football games & track meets / dance recitals AND MUCH MORE.  There is nothing like seeing your child’s first steps and be there to a catch them when they fall.  Or how about the first time with NO DIAPERS!  How does one know what  victory that is without being a parent?!  Catching the first fish and seeing the reaction.  The first daddy-daughter date.  Reading stories at night on the “big” mommy-daddy bed!  Serious talks / holding hands through those difficult teen years.  The first break-up.  The first “F.”  All those firsts!  Knowing that unconditional love is what we all need.  Following April 18, 1994 and May 24, 1996, I became a better dad.  And will hopefully be a good / great FATHER-IN-LAW… Too soon to tell.  Since May 20, 2017, I have been a father-in-law.  It is December 19, 2017.

I am so thankful for all GOD has given me.  All the experiences that have led to wisdom.  I am learning to be thankful for all the PAIN / negative experiences.  I do not look for them.  I am learning when they do happen, they are opportunities to learn and improve and that is what I want to be – a life-long learner.

So, THANK YOU DIANA for giving me the honor of being your husband.  For all that you give and forgive.

THANK YOU PJ & KATY for giving me the honor of being your dad.  For all that you give and forgive.

THANK YOU ASHLEE for being a terrific wife to our son and giving me a chance to be a father-in-law… will need to find some books / videos / talk to feel men on how to be GREAT for you.

THANK YOU TO ALL MY STUDENTS AND PARENT VOLUNTEERS (parent volunteers; frankly, there were / are many parents who missed great opportunities…so I want to be CLEAR… PARENT VOLUNTEERS) for giving me the honor of being your teacher / child’s teacher.  For all that you give and forgive.

I know I have fewer opportunities on this earth to enjoy more opportunities to be better, but what I will do is make each opportunity greater than one day / one event.  I hope you will do the same.

2 thoughts on “A Public Thanksgiving Letter”

  1. Sometimes being a good Father-in-law is being a good listener. Mine is a retired teacher. It’s nice to have someone to talk to who truly understands and family gatherings.

    1. YAAAAAY… a comment!! Thank you Shari for the time in reading and sending me such a great comment. LOVE THE “FATHER-IN-LAW” advice. I to want to be A GREAT FATHER-IN-LAW. So, I need to learn how to be one before I can be A GREAT ONE. Your message means a lot to me. LOVE YA. Merry Christmas and Happy New Yeaer.

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