The first person on my list is my wife. I don't quite know how to express the feeling I have for her, love doesn't quite do it. Admiration is a part of it. Awestruck is another of the emotions. She has helped me to grow into the husband and father I am today. She has supported me in every situation and has been there when I needed her. I come home from business trips and she is there; my comfort and my strength. To quote a Josh Groban song:
I am not a hero. I am not an angel. I am just a man. A man who's trying to love her, unlike any other. In here arms I am.Josh Groban - In Her Eyes
The second person on my list is my mother. When I was very little she had the courage to seek after the truth and when she found it she hung on strong regardless of what others said. That strength has lasted throughout the years and has always been an example to me. When I think of where I would be today without that strength I shudder. I can only hope to be a similar strength to my children.
The third person on my list is my father. I don't ever remember him sitting me down to teach me about life. He did it through his example. He is a hard worker, who loves his wife and family fiercely. I learned how to be a man through that example. I learned what it meant to love a woman with all your soul. I learned how to treat others with respect but not to be pushed over. It's funny how you don't see that you're learning these things until you have a chance to look back.
The fourth person on my list is my maternal grandfather. Here is an example of a successful man who stuck to his principles. I had the chance in my teen years to be a golfing buddy to him. There were a lot of things that he taught me on the golf course about life while he was helping me with golf. He has a favorite saying on the course. It's an ancient Chinese proverb that I will share with my children:
He who play peeky peeky, play lousy golf!
There are other people I could list. For instance all those who told me I couldn't do something and it was I that proved them wrong. The girlfriend I had that showed me what a life with another could be like. The leaders in school and church who spent hours helping me and trying to teach a stubborn kid like me.
I love the people above on my list. On this Thanksgiving day I give them the thanks of a man who would not be nearly what he is had it not been for their influences in my life. I challenge everyone who reads this entry to do the same and make a list of the personal influences in your life and give them thanks.