thanks, dad… and

I did some looking the other night at who the influences in my life have been.  I didn’t dwell on the negative influences, only the positive and how they have made me who I am.  I have been blessed beyond measure.  There have been a handful of people from whom I have absorbed so much love.  And that love has shaped me.  My dad is one of those people.  In August of last year he got sick.  Three weeks later, he passed away.  Less than 48 hours after that I boarded a plane for Quebec City, Canada to shoot a wedding.  There are a lot of reasons I left the warmth of my family to go to a city I had never been to in order to shoot a wedding of a couple I had never met.  My dad was about commitment.  About honor.  About finishing things he started.  And he did it with strength and love.  I didn’t realize at the time how much of him I carry with me every day.  I don’t know if I have the conviction he had, sometimes I grumble at the effort, but in the end I smile because he gave me this gift.

In Quebec City, I joined another man who has shown me strength and honor and love.  He held my hand just at the right times.  He knew when to talk and when not to.  He let my tears fall without calling attention to them and scolded me when I was less than focused.  Didn’t work, by the way, but I appreciated his diligence.  He brought me back.  Over and over.  And I am so grateful.

At the end of the day, I call upon who I am, and I pray, and these people are part of me.  Today, I draw upon all of it.

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