Born in Iowa two weeks late – according to my mother -in August 1969. I should have known that there were issues in my life, because the day I was born Charles Manson’s followers were killing people in their homes.
Childhood (before the age of 10) was spent in Owosso, MI. I don’t remember a lot of events that took place in Owosso but here are a few that I do.
I remember running and falling and the rock that I fell on went into my side.
I remember my dog – Bruiser – a German Sheppard and my mother’s dog – can’t remember name – but she was a French poodle.
I remember coming home one day and asking mom where dad was and getting the talk about mommy and daddy not living together any more.
I remember my Aunts – Suzy and Jo Jo – living with us.
I remember a dream I had when I was a little kid about my mom trying to kiss my father and her turning into mustard – I found out later that it means I wanted them to get back together.
I remember the drive to Maryland and mom picking up hitchhikers between Michigan and Maryland.
I remember moving into grandma’s house and the bunk beds my Uncle Bud made for Johnny and me.
Preteen and Teenage years we lived in Charles County the whole time. I went to two different Middle Schools – Ben Stoddert and General Smallwood – and one high school – Lackey High – they changed the name so it is now Henry E. Lackey.
I remember living in two different homes in Indian Head and one in Waldorf.
I remember walking to school with my friend Tommy Tucker.
I remember fishing in the pond in St. Charles – I am glad we did not eat those fish.
I remember the open field between the town homes and the A & P in Indian Head where we played baseball.
I remember playing football at the Indian Head Elementary school in the snow and mud.
I remember playing soccer with the Dulin’s and Coombs’ family.
I remember playing basketball with Chris Hoover and the Poole’s.
I remember setting up Renee Dickerson with my best friend Mike Morton in the 7th grade.
I remember playing badminton at my grandparent’s house until 10 o’clock at night with Jimmy Talbott.
I remember my first real job – People’s Drug in Indian Head.
I remember have a bike thrown at me by my best friend because he thought I was trying to steal his girlfriend Marcy.
I remember being a freshman in high school and tryouts for the soccer team.
I remember failing classes in high school and having to repeat some of those courses.
I remember my first acting gig – South Pacific – I was an officer and an enlisted man.
I remember sing in the chorus with Grumbine, Milstead & Saunders.
I remember working at Burger King in Bryans Road – closing shift and some of the things we did.
I remember my first car accident – flip the car on 210 in Indian Head.
I remember hearing about classmates that parish before they graduated.
After High School
I remember the flight from BWI to Illinois – starting boot camp.
I remember the bus ride to Tennessee for Navy Training – and screwing it up.
I remember my first heartbreak – Kelly Calaway breaking up with me.
I remember my first naval assignment – and screwing it up.
I remember the other relationships I was in – and screwing them up.
I remember being fired from jobs.
I remember being served with paternity papers – Scary day finding out you have a five year old.
I remember my wedding day.
I remember cutting the umbilical cord when our son was born. (Pat)
I remember my first family vacation to Florida – this was also the first time I met Jamie(first biological son)
I remember my wife yelling at me when our second son was born. (Ry)
I remember Pat having his tonsils removed.
I remember Ry being diagnosed with autism.
I remember Pat making the Honor Roll – which I never did; really proud of him.
As I write this I have reflected on a lot of negative – and some positive – things that have happened in my life. When I started those events that I “screwed up” I wanted to follow a different path in life but all of those “screw ups” are part of my make-up; they are why I am what I am today. Had I been “successful” in any of those other paths I would not have been married to the same wonderful woman for over 14 years. We would not have two terrific boys who show me a different reason everyday why they are amazing. I would not have the career or the emotional and material items that I have today. I would like to thank all of the people that have been kind to me over the years, we may have disagreed on some issues but when it was all over you were still kind. I would like to thank everyone who was not kind also – because of you I understand that not everyone has a kind heart, that life is fair (that’s right, we all get screwed) , I have a thicker skin because of you…I still don’t like you but I forgive and thank you for teaching me something and I am better because of you.
I write these things hoping that you’ll reflect on your own life. Realize that everything that has happened in your past is why you are what you are today but it doesn’t define your future.
If you ever felt that I was unkind to you I hope that you forgive me – even if you don’t like me.
As we continue this path of life:
Take responsibility for your actions – and your actions only.
Take credit for your actions – and your actions only.
Don’t dwell on the past but learn from it, because you can’t change it.
Don’t gamble on the future but look forward to it, because circumstances change.
Walk with confidence, head up, chest out!