Mom and Dad, I took some time to reflect on your last 50 years and how grateful I am for you always helping us to be able to enjoy life. First, Leslie, Laura, our spouses, your grandchildren and I owe you a big thank you. Thank you for all you have helped us become in our lives. I look back throughout my life with a deep sense of appreciation and awe at all that you have been to us. It was when I had children of my own that I realized what truly phenomenal parents you really are. I realize now what a huge undertaking this entire business of parenting is. As I attempt to raise my children to be no limit people, and to help them realize their wondrous potential, I am grateful for having such perfect role models. Dad, thank you for getting up so early and going to work so you could get home in time to be the coach. Even when I got into high school and college I can still remember you always being the loudest in the crowd and my biggest fan. You made us always feel like SUPERSTARS! Mom, thank you for always being there and encouraging us to be the best we can be. Whether it was reading to us, driving us to sporting events, dance recitals, or my reading tutor, you were always there to push us, to comfort us, to love and to encourage us to be the best we could be. Mom and Dad, because of everything you have done we now have the will, and aim to have the energy, the drive, the excitement, and the determination to do it as magnificently as you have. You have always been so loving and positive, even in the face of difficult times, and you have helped us to always look at the positive side. I could go on and on, but I think you know precisely how we feel. You have been the shining light which has given us the opportunity to grow all by ourselves. You knew what you really wanted for your children, and you lived it for us to see each and every day. Now that I have children of my own, I understand; we owe you so much, yet you feel we owe you nothing. You did it not to be repaid: you did it because you knew what you really wanted for your children. Thank you Mom and Dad and Happy Anniversary.
This is a toast I gave to my Mom and Dad at their 50 year wedding anniversary party 5 years ago. So, why did I share it with you today? Well, first of all because two weeks ago they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. I also share it because I have been blessed with unbelievable parents who have been and continue to be role models on how to live our lives, raise our families, love and respect our spouses, and make a difference in the world. My wife, Lynn, and I try to live our lives every day so that at our 50 year wedding anniversary party, our boys will be able to say similar things about us. So, my question to you is: are you living your life so that your children and those who look up to you will say these kinds of things about you? I know what some of you are saying, “I don’t have kids” or “my kids are all grown and gone.”
First, for those who have children that are grown and gone, don’t think they aren’t still watching you because trust me they are. Also, remember your grandchildren and how the way you live your life will impact them. Again, trust me it will.
Second, for those of you who don’t have children, you may some day, so start living your life the right way today because we all know how hard it is to change once we have created a habit. And don’t forget there are still those people around you, like your friends and family, who you do have an impact on. What do you want them to say about you?
Remember, what you do has an impact on everyone, good or bad…it is your choice.