One of the greatest keys to survival is honoring those who stood by you. For all the damage I did and all the ways I strained friendships and family ties, most of my inner circle stuck with me.
I really was something else many moons ago. Fixing that problem was what led to all of this. But I could never have done it alone.
My family and close friends helped save my life
I did the work of discovering HOW to fix my life, as I was truly an odd case. But they gave me the foundation of support that I needed so as to have a base of operations. I had to have a home port for the many storms that still came my way.
I don’t even have a whole lot to say here. Those who helped me most – my parents, my brother, my ex-wife and current wife, my kids, my Marines, and a few close friends – deserve nothing from me short of my best, and an ever deepening definition of “best” from me, until the day I die.
I owe these people my life. They want nothing other than for me to be OK and do well. But I owe them my best efforts until the very end. In many ways, it’s the only way I can repay them.
I must always remember to honor their help and sacrifices as if they were looking over my shoulder at all times
No need to get misty anymore. That time came and went years ago. But in establishing this ever vigilant approach to making sure I honor their work by doing my best work, I became the person I’d always hoped to be.
The keeping of this promise I made to them, sometimes public and sometimes just to myself, changed my character. Changed what it really was that I wanted out of life, too.
It became its own form of accountability, measured by the results I get in all I do
I am not even joking when I share this next bit. I still have an edge. I can lose my cool or get impatient. It will cause me to take shortcuts or start considering the taking of paths best left untrodden.
I know it as it happens and I ask myself:
Would this make Ma proud?
Then I laugh and change course. It’s a little joke that runs in my head and yet, it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no angel. My purity can easily be questioned here and there and I’m not concerned with that.
But I really want to leave a “clean” legacy for my son
I want him to be able to one day stand on his soapbox and righteously boast that his dad did this or his dad made that, and have no fear of rebuttal. This built in accountability keeps me squarely aimed at achieving those goals.
The photographer of this post’s featured photo: Roberto Nickson