24 November 2008

A Rover looks at 50

Posted by BaBa under: Observations; Retrospect; Special Days; Travel .

Instead of the Jimmy Buffet song – A Pirate Looks at 40, my title is a Rover Looks at 50 even though like Jack Benny, I stopped counting birthdays at 39. Today is the 11th anniversary of my 39th birthday. A rover is an apt description as the Irish part of me has the wandering gene. We see the world and rove and wonder at God’s creation including the wonderful friends we make in the travels.

As such an astute occasion causes me to take time to reflect and reminisce. I could have titled this It’s A Wonderful Life because it truly is and I believe that the best is yet to come. I truly appreciate that a man is rich who has friends. Both of us have made many friendships during the journey to Sheridan and our life now as family of three. There are so many things to come in the next few years. Sheridan will learn more and more and become more independent as he grows. He has made impressive gains in the 15 months that he has been home. He is nothing like the shy slightly scared timid little guy that was with us in China.

So many milestones in one’s life and I remember them all. From the day I got my high school diploma to the day I asked MaMa to marry me and our wedding day. I remember the day I got my college degree when most in the family thought that I would not achieve this goal. I remember with sadness each of the days when I was there to bury my beloved grandparents. I remember the hopelessness of having to start over again. Those times filled with doubts and uncertainty of starting over in a new city. There were many twists and turns until I found my path in life and the work that I was called to do in life and stability.

Once the path was found, I was in for an interesting journey. This journey has led me to teach in two states, several schools and has allowed me to make presentations across the country and even around the world. It has been an amazing path that has brought me two children and two grandchildren creating a family where there was none. I can now see where the two paths that I walk will diverge and one of the careers ends while the other goes forward. I look forward to retiring from high school and moving onto to teaching at the college level full time. I also look forward to more time with family and time for travel to show Sheridan the wide world that we live in on this planet.

Some of my fondest memories are both when a judge made additions to our family. The first time was when we adopted the oldest son and instantly had two grandchildren. The second was when we signed papers in China to be parents of Sheridan and then months later the same judge ratified the adoption. The day I walked our lovely daughter down the aisle and gave her hand in marriage is etched in my mind. This goes with the day that I handed my son his diploma from college where I also taught and he gave one of the graduation speeches.

The day that I gave my first presentation and my Dad saw it. He was proud though “John Wayne” would never say so. The evening where I was able to invite many friends, students and colleagues to an evening that honored teachers from all over the state. What a night that was and how amazing to be included with that company of professionals.

Other fond memories are with MaMa and I as we sailed our first cruise to Alaska, followed in the path of St. Paul, saw his chains in Rome, stood in the Coliseum, walked on top of the Acropolis and visited the church of Saint Teresa of Avilla. Standing inside the great pyramid in Giza and later gazing on the temple of Abu Simbel. A magical night spent in Luxor visiting the museums and walking through the Temples at Karnack. A whirlwind tour of Paris one day along with many London adventures are intertwined with a visit to Blarney Castle and walking in the footsteps of the Irish Saints in Glendalough, Crough Patrick and atop Skellig Michael. The twisty turns of the Irish roads to the highlands of Scotland and the renewal of our vows at the old church turned bed and breakfast near Elgin.

These are just some of the memories of the times of my life. It is a good time to think back and remember and while doing so ponder the what wonderful things that the future holds.

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About Our Family

We have been married for 26 years, and have been blessed with our youngest son from China. Our oldest son is from Nicaragua. He and his wife have given us two outstanding grandchildren. Our daughter is Thai and is married to a wonderful son-in-law.

This is the chronicle of our adventures as a family with Sheridan.

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