A couple of weeks ago, I closed the final page on the sixth book of my life. I know people call each significant segment of our lives a chapter but I believe a “year in the life” equates to a chapter in our personal history. Three hundred sixty-five days covers a lot of love, drama, highs, lows, laughs and memorable moments to fill out one whole chapter. Significant periods of time lumped together is the equivalent of a good book.
My latest book encompassed a period of fourteen years; almost to the day! The impact of the past fourteen years won’t truly be known for years to come but I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to reflect upon the time I spent in Bean Town. I don’t believe in goodbyes because we will see each other again, but I do want to take a moment to pay tribute to the people I met and the accomplishments I have attained over the past fourteen years.
I married my wife in Chapter One and to be completely honest, Stephanie is more amazing today than she was fourteen years ago. And every day I know her, I love her more than the day before. I am blessed to call her my wife. And although I don’t know how many more books our life will encompass, I eagerly look forward to many more amazing stories, laughs and blessings over the next fifty (or more) years.
Both of my children were born during the past fourteen years. They spent their whole lives in one place and as we venture off into uncharted waters, I am mesmerized by the impeccable people they are becoming. They are smart, compassionate, kind, loving and extremely hysterical. I would like to claim full responsibility for their upbringing but I have so many wonderful friends and teachers to thank for helping them to become the wonderful young people they are.
To my wonderful friends; thank you! I have met so many wonderful people over the past fourteen years; my cup truly runneth over. I am honored to have met each of you and I am truly blessed by the impact you have all had on my life. You have become brothers and sisters to Stephanie and I, as well as Aunts and Uncles to our children. Thank you for everything. We love you all and know that there will be so many more great adventures to come.
Finally, I had the good fortune to only have two jobs over the past fourteen years. At both agencies, I worked with some of the most dedicated individuals I have ever known. Together, we touched the lives of thousands of families across the Commonwealth and we made a world of difference to each child who benefited from the programs we created. You all deserve more thanks than I or anyone could ever convey. The work we all accomplished together (and for many of you who still continue the work) will change the face of the world around us. We have and are creating the leaders of tomorrow and I, for one, am awestruck by the years of dedication and loyalty you showed. I am humbled and honored to have worked with every single one of you. Thank you.
So as I head out on a new adventure in my life, I hold my head high. I am proud of all that has been accomplished. The past fourteen years turned out to be a great book. I personally achieved many milestones, both professionally and personally. I also had some very heart wrenching and difficult times. And as I crossed each valley and climbed each peak, I was surrounded by people who helped me to create an amazing life and some beautiful memories. So, before I start the first chapter of the seventh book, I want to thank all of you for being a part of my life. You have meant so much to me and to my family.
So before I finish, I would like to leave you with An Old Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Until we see each other again; Slainte!