It is great to be home from the hospital and back on my computer. God has really been working in the shadows as I have delved into some great subjects here in my blog space. I have just finished a series of writings about men who had great influence on my life. The title today is about the greatest influence in my life. Of course the greatest influence has been my lifelong relationship with Christ. I can look back on all that has happened in my lifetime and it is clear to me that God has been busy shaping and molding me. I do believe that He uses many things to accomplish His purpose in our lives. Primarily though, I believe He uses those people He surrounds us with to do His work. This brings me to this final post about the great influencers in my life. Today's subject is not a man but a mother, a son and a daughter. If you haven't guessed it by now, the greatest influence in my life has been my wife, my son and my daughter.
As I have mentioned from time to time, Sharon and I were married at the tender age of eighteen and nineteen, she being the older woman. We really grew up together and over forty years later we are happier today than ever. We were blessed by the birth of our son Jason in 1973 and our daughter Holly in 1977. These kids were truly a gift that God gave us. We really never felt that they were a burden and we did not want to see them grown and gone as I have heard many people say about their kids. Seldom does a day go by that they don't call home. This was the case long before I was diagnosed with cancer. Both Jason and Holly are married and have children of their own. They are both dedicated to their mate's and their children. I can truly say that Sharon and I are so proud of them both and we feel they are exactly where God desires them to be even though they are not here in Atlanta with us.
Sharon has been a true champion for me as I go through this journey with cancer. We have sat in the doctor's office and heard some pretty tough news concerning my health. We have held one another and shed tears together and prayed through these difficult times. We have learned to cherish each day we have and we have now been on this journey with cancer for over one year now. She has been by my side the entire time and has been the one who has had to deal with a wide range of my emotions from joy to depression. I pray and I know that she will have all the strength she needs as we continue down this path.
Our kids truly have been and are a great influence on my life. Jason has always been a caring man. He cares so much for his family and I know that he cares for Sharon and I as he has always been there for us both before cancer and even more since our diagnosis. He flew here last week with daughters Avery and Reagan for a visit. Unfortunately, I was in the hospital the entire time, but I know that he and the girls made the week they were here, a special time for Sharon during my absence. He brought the girls by to see me in the hospital and while it was a short visit, it made my week so much better. Jason's boyhood almost seems like a blur to me as I spent a lot of time on the road. I am thankful that I was there with Jason when he shot his first deer, caught his first fish, made a hole-in-one during our club championship and many other highlights. Jason never gave us a minute's trouble while growing up. He worked during the entire time he attended college and graduated with a degree in finance. He is in a management program with Home Depot and is on track to be a store manager in the near future. As stated earlier though, I am most proud of him as a dad. His girls are wonderful little girls and he puts them and their mom Jama first in all things. He truly has been an inspiration to me his entire life and continues to influence me even today.
Our daughter Holly came along when I was twenty-six years old and a bit more mature as a father. She was a little fireball in all that she did. She love sports and it was something we shared together and still do today. Her husband Mike has told me on more than one occassion that he is amazed at her knowledge of sports and that he can sit and visit with his wife about most any sporting event. Holly accomplished much during her time as an athlete. She ended up holding the Arkansas state half mile record for several years and ran track and cross country for the University of Arkansas and Southwestern Baptist University.
While I am very proud of what she did athletically, I am more proud of her character. While attending the U of A, she was around her team and when traveling the girls like to go out after a meet and do what most college kids do. These girls liked to party and I can say without a doubt that Holly never participated in the parties. She received some ridicule for her stance as some of the kids thought she was saying be her actions that she was too good for them. Her real reason was that she was a committed christian and felt uncomfortable in those situations. Before she left the U of A, many of these girls were attending a Bible Study and Holly had truly earned their respect for her unwavering position. Her mom and I were truly proud of the testimony of her life. Today she is a mom of three little girls and she is a great wife as well.
Sharon and I have been truly blessed by our kids and their lives. God gave me a great life and the greatest gift of this life has been my wife. Sharon has truly made my disease bearable and she means more to me at this moment than ever before. She was a beautiful blonde girl when we met and today after forty some years together she is still a beautiful blonde girl (with maybe a small tinge of gray). I thank my God each day for her. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. We do know that God is with us and He is our hope and our strength comes from Him. We pray that God will deliver us from this cancer but at the same time we pray that His will be done.
I close by again saying thank You Lord for my wife, my son and my daughter. They have been and are the greatest influence in my life.
- ▼ June (3)