His passion and genuine love for people wherever he goes is inspiring. And humbling. His generosity and willingness to always include others, no matter what the circumstances are, baffles me. To know him or to have met him is to have been excitedly told, “We gotta have you over for dinner.” And he truly means it. We have a constantly growing list of future dinner guests.
His energy and enthusiasm for life rivals that of the three young boys who call him, “Daddy!” as they greet him at the door or happily pile on top of him. His sense of humor and eagerness to laugh makes life more bearable a lot of days. His creativity is limitless, whether he’s in the kitchen, in the studio, or in the backyard. If you’ve ever heard him sing, you’ve experienced the pure beauty and power in his voice. He makes you feel like you should sing too.
He never does anything without investing his whole heart into it. Like how hard he tries to beat me in basketball. It hasn’t happened yet. Although his mad skills on the tennis court repeatedly frustrate me. And silence me.
He has a knack for noticing people who are hurting. He recognizes their eyes or other subtleties. He helps people feel valued in unique small hidden ways and life-altering ways. Whether you’re a complete stranger or a close friend, he will go to great lengths to show you that you matter. That you really matter.
And because of his passion for others, he readily loves in a way that can sometimes lead people to use him, hurt him, and not appreciate him. But that doesn’t stop him. And it never will. He forgives others in a way that sometimes, quite frankly, pisses me off because I’m a little protective of him. Except when he’s forgiving me, which he does often, thankfully.
To know him and love him is to hold and joyfully unwrap an intangible gift of the greatest kind. It is to somehow grasp and hold a glimpse of God’s all-encompassing, inclusive, forgiving love, beauty and sacrifice. All in a gentle, humble hat-wearing, constantly moving, singing, beer drinking, genuinely caring human form. To walk away from him is to feel a rare sense. To be pulled away like a magnet. It’s the sense of feeling and knowing that you’ve just been with one of the best people this world has to offer. And you want to be near him again.
Today, October 11, it’s his birthday. He was so excited to get here thirty-eight years ago that he scared the heck out of his parents and arrived several months early. Only a few pounds big. He loves telling a good story. So, I assume that’s why he just couldn’t wait until his due date, you know to be a full term big baby. If you know him, you should take a minute and tell him something meaningful today. Or some day soon. Maybe why you’re happy he was born today or how he has impacted your life for the better. It’s the best gift you could give him. That is, unless you have a four pack of Tank 7 with his name on it. Or you could always bring it when we have you over for dinner. Which will be very soon.