My wife and I often joke that until we had a child with special needs, we never realized how unimportant things like the pottery barn catalog were – not that they don’t have great stuff she will tell you.
My eldest at 27 is facing the challenges of life with a work ethic that is hard to come by these days. I love that when he has screwed up he owns it and he keeps moving forward. I am humbled by the man he is becoming and the path he has chosen.
My youngest is homeschooled and as a boy with autism keeps us on our toes and although it is hard we would not have it any other way. Oh don’t get me wrong there are many things I would change about autism. However, we could not love our little man anymore. I have never seen anyone work harder. Enduring hours of school, speech, OT, and doctor appointments and yet he rarely complains.
I have been married 30 years to a woman that knows all my faults and loves me anyway. Giving up most everything for her children and never looked back. The joy on her face when she tells me about an accomplishment of our boys tells me that providing for my family is the most important thing I can do.
With 25 plus years in the banking industry I have endured many challenging times in business – often not knowing what direction the next challenge would come (economy, government regulation, world events, etc.). Then, came autism. Business challenges happen on occasion. But, unforeseen challenges from autism are a constant (and at times overwhelming) and although vary in significance all challenges leave a lasting impression.
For me…… there is nothing better than spending time with my family and watching as much hockey as possible. I hope to continue to witness my children hit new milestones in their lives. I also hope someday to see the San Jose Sharks win a Stanley Cup.
With all that I always try and remember what my late “Papa Bear” taught me. Work hard and above all put my faith in God because life is a gift and I am blessed to live it.