Summer Break 2020, Day 1 started off with some really good cardio, abs, and arms. As I sit on my deck drinking my morning coffee and enjoying the chirps of the birds and the light breeze rustling the leaves, my mind wanders.
In 33 days, my only child will report to the Air Force Academy. Many of you have shared in this excitement with me, and I greatly appreciate that.
Also, there have been a growing number of you who have inquired about MY future welfare—especially those of you who now have empty nests and have expressed how difficult that turned out to be. On top of that, you also point out that it might be harder for a single parent to manage these emotions.
I have given your comments a great deal of consideration. So, I have been speaking with a counselor. Combining my conversations with all of you and my counseling sessions, the #1 therapeutic suggestion has been to find things to do that create my own niche and help define my own personal purpose independent of being a father.
Being a teacher and all my responsibilities in sports (particularly volleyball) have already done that for me. The second family I have because of all of you means the world to me, and I’ll probably lean on you more once it is just my two dogs and myself come July.
Many people ask me if I’ll be lonely. There have been a number of lows in my life, and you were there for me then. So, it’s actually quite the opposite. I definitely won’t be lonely. My network of assistance goes all around the world!
My biggest concern is that I have this one spot in the middle of my back that I cannot reach no matter how hard I try. Yeah, I can scrape my back up against a rough surface or on an external corner of two walls and itch it, but it’s not the same as having someone to consistently count on to help me with that. So, I might be racing by you from one volleyball court to another once we’re allowed back in convention centers when I ask you for a back scratch assist—so don’t think I’m weirder than usual if I make that request. If that’s the worst thing I have going for me, I think I’ve got a pretty good life.
No matter Murphy’s age, I’ll never stop being a dad, so that will never leave my DNA. I believe I’ve carved out a pretty good identity for myself personally as well. I’m physically and mentally healthy and at peace with the person I am. It took a long time after my divorce to get here, but the future is looking really good to me right now!
I have all of you to thank for getting me to this point. In 33 days, Murphy is going to cast his wings and see what he’s made of. The day after that, so will I.