I think of myself as an even-tempered sort of guy, not getting too carried away by the strange goings on around us every day. Sure, some things bother me, like how people see things in social media and immediately think they are fact, while at the same time criticizing “the liberal media” for distributing nothing but fake news.
I wasn’t always as even-tempered as I think I am now. Surviving three aneurisms and blood clotting issues that almost killed me in 2014 and 2015 probably has a lot to do with the change in attitude.
Today I am much more appreciative of life, and much more aware of how tenuous it can be. And today I appreciate every extra day I wake up in the morning next to a wonderful wife. I appreciate two sons whom I love and they love me, along with the wonderful women they have selected to be their partners. I couldn’t ask for more, so I don’t.
I offer thanks every day that I have the greatest relationships with my wife, sons, daughter-in-law and future daughter-in-law. The only asking I ever do is that I might be allowed to spend more time with them, even though that was already given to me after I was so close to my last breath just three and a half years ago.
These things are all on my mind because I just spent time with older son Robert in Los Angeles. He had put together with the help of some friends a quick vacation trip much like one I took with my father about 40 years ago.
I’ve had the opportunity to have both Robert and Preston travel with me on guys’ golf trips to Mesquite, NV. Those trips were both very special for me to share with them. They did in the past, and continue now, to provide me memories that will last forever.
The recent trip to Los Angeles, though, became so much more because it brought back memories of my dad, who died in 1980 at the young age of 54.
An avid flier, dad took me and my brothers to a NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Green Bay Packers. It was a first for all of us boys and something that changed my life forever. I have been a fan of the Rams, through good times and bad, ever since.
The memories of that earlier trip came flooding back to me, even though the Rams lost this game. It was just a fluke, but the seats we sat in two weeks ago, were in almost the same location as those we had in the late 1960s. I could almost see the fearsome foursome taking out the Packers offense. I saw Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel, running back Dick Bass and wide receiver Jack Snow take apart the Packer defense in the final two minutes to come from behind for the win.
Of course the players this year were not the same. But the emotions were.
This year’s trip with Robert, along with Idaho State assistant coach Steve Fifita and his father-in-law Mike, who had the season tickets, also included the opportunity the day before the game for the four of us to visit the Rams locker room in the coliseum, and help prepare the equipment for all of the players.
It was a special few days, with Robert and some great new friends. And it never would have happened had I not been blessed with a few more years than it looked like I might ever have.
I’m going to remain an even-tempered guy. Life is too short, the years come and go too quickly, and I enjoy it too much to do anything but appreciate it to the fullest.
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