Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Power of Music to Take Us Back in Time!

Earlier this week I heard a song that I listened to quite a lot during my childhood and immediately I was transported back in time to those good old days. So I figured I'd write a post on the power of music and how that relates to us as we raise our families.
As you may know, I was born in Jamaica and lived there for the first 12 years of my life before we migrated to the United States. Now you might figure that my favorite singer growing up was Bob Marley or Jimmy Cliff or perhaps Harry Belafonte. 

Nope, for me it was Neil Diamond. You see, when I was 1 year old, my dad visited the United States and bought the 8 track tape of Neil Diamond's greatest hits (if you don't know what an 8 track is, you're probably under 40 years old).

As far back as I can remember, that 8 track was a part of our lives. So when I hear songs like Sweet Caroline, I am I Said or Cracklin' Rosie, immediately I'm transported to our humble beginnings in the countryside of Jamaica. I think of the Sunday afternoons that we'd go for a family drive. I think of the times we went to the big city, Kingston, to visit the zoo. That 8 track was a constant.
When we came to the United States, we got the LP of that recording. Then the cassette tape, then the CD. And now as I type this, I'm listening to it on my Blackberry. No matter the format, the recording is legendary and holds a special place in my heart.
There's something special about music. It's somewhat hypnotic as it impacts us in a subtle way. If you doubt what I'm saying, let me prove something to you with 2 quick points.
First, have you heard a song from your past and immediately you remember the part of your life that it relates to? For example, if you're around my age - early 40s - when you hear any song from Michael Jackson's Thriller, you think of your time in middle school or perhaps high school. You think of the fashion of the day, the friends who were close to you at the time and so on.
Second, when you listen to a song today that you listened to on a recording when you were younger, at the end of the song, do you automatically begin singing the next song that comes on the recording? Do you know what I'm saying?
For example, if ever I hear Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, as the song ends, I automatically begin thinking of Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show. That's the next song on the album so although I never consciously memorized the order, listening to it for over 30 years, my mind has been conditioned to expect that song next.
What's the point of all this? Well, what it says to me is that music is powerful. In our families, we're all about creating an environment that's conducive for our children's growth and development. Music is as much a part of our lives as anything. When we expose our kids to positive music that uplifts the spirit, we're doing more for them than we might imagine.
The quality time that we spend with our kids during the week or on the weekend goes a long way. Years from now when they are adults they will think of songs that they heard during their childhood and they'll think of today as the good old days. Music helps to shape their lives and minds. It's that powerful.
Maybe for you it's not Neil Diamond that takes you back in time. Maybe it's Elvis Presley, or The Temptations. Patsy Cline perhaps? The Jackson 5. Whoever it is, there's some musician that does it for us.
Years from now, our kids will remember when Justin Bieber was topping the charts. And Beyonce and Lady Gaga were doing their thing. And Taylor Swift was establishing herself as a country/pop crossover sensation. Our little ones will remember us and the special times that we shared with them. And music is a necessary part of these memories.
Years ago I heard the expression, "Music tames the savage beast." That, it certainly does; it subtly transports us to places that few other things can.
Do enjoy listening to your favorite songs with your family and creating a lifetime of memories.

The Upbeat Dad

Friday, March 18, 2011

Upbeat Dad of the Week: Chris Lewis

One of the thrills of my life recently has been getting to know other dads and moms in the world of blogging. It’s really a privilege to know those whom I call the ground soldiers in the campaign to develop strong families and to help our kids to become productive members of our society.
Today’s Upbeat Dad of the Week is a man whom I’ve had the privilege of getting to know – though from a distance. But through our interaction in cyberspace as well as on a few phone conversations, I know that he’s a man who all young men should emulate and who we should all look up to. He’s making a real difference in the lives of many. I’m pleased to say that our Upbeat Dad of the Week is Chris Lewis.
As I mentioned, I met Chris in the world of blogging. His blog is Dad of Divas. Kinda original, don’t you think? As we have interacted over the past several months, I have been drawn to his message and his vision. You see, like me, he understands the very important role that fathers play in the lives of children.
His mission is two-fold: to share his perspectives of fatherhood and also to highlight other fathers who are making a difference in the lives of their kids and others. You’ll read later on just how he highlights these fathers. I share this now to say that we share a similar vision. The Upbeat Dad of the Week feature is consistent with his mission to highlight dads making a difference.
Chris is a native of Michigan. He and his family live just outside of Lansing. In the world of blogging, he’s simply Chris of Dad of Divas. In his other life, he’s Dr. Chris Lewis, a Student Affairs professional who has been working in the field of College Administration for 14 years. He has extensive experience in precollege planning, admission, advising, and other areas. He mentors and guides students as they prepare to enter the world to make their mark.
In his personal life, he’s a loving husband. He and his wife have 2 daughters – divas, if you will. They are now 6 and 3 years old. Chris grew up in a loving two-parent household as an only child. He knows the importance of the loving guidance of parents in the lives of children. He had a good example from his father about how to be a loving dad so the transition to fatherhood for him was somewhat smooth.
When his older daughter was just over 3 years old, he wanted to share his perspectives on fatherhood with others so he started a blog about this role of a lifetime. Before long, his other daughter was born and now his writing is about what it’s like as the father of two girls, hence the name Dad of Divas. On his blog, he not only writes about fatherhood, he also does book reviews on pro-family books.
Having been an only child, he now sees a different dynamic in his kids that he didn’t see growing up. Having to share with a sibling is something he never had to do. Neither did he ever find himself competing with another sibling for his parent’s attention or affection since he was the only child. Through his experience, he has grown in wisdom, as he understands how to effectively raise his girls, while making each feel special.

He says, “Being a dad is hard but rewarding work and having two kids is an eye opener. As a father you need to be engaged. You need to be at your kids’ level so that you understand them but you also need to get them to the point where they understand you so that you can guide them to where they need to be.” Quite profound and so true.
Chris isn’t  a stereotypical father who stands back and lets his wife do all things related to the kids. He works hard in his daily vocation but when he is home, he is home. By that I mean, he is an active participant in the kids’ life and their activities.

For instance, his daughters are members of the Girl Scouts. Instead of simply dropping them off and picking them up when each session is over, he is actively involved in the organization as a co-leader. As you might imagine, there’s no other father performing this role at these sessions with him. Still, to him, it’s the thrill of a lifetime, as he teaches his girls and others about the life principles that are embraced by the Girl Scouts.
Chris with fellow blogger Chris Singer of Book Dads
One message that I constantly try to convey is that you show your kids you love them with one word: T-I-M-E. Chris embodies this philosophy. He’s an enthusiastic participant in anything and everything having to do with his kids – whether it’s at school programs or gymnastics events. At home, the family has movie nights or sometimes they just play Wii video games. The time both he and his wife invest in their girls’ lives today will yield a lifetime of dividends.
About one year ago, Chris decided that he wanted to feature other dads who are making a difference in the lives of their kids. He says, “You hear so much of the negative side of fatherhood in the media. I wanted to show the good examples of fatherhood that you don’t always read about.” So on his blog he started the Dads in the Limelight Series. Each week, he shares the stories of dads who are making a difference. Thus far, he has featured just over 100 dads.
In the US army, one of their slogans is, “Looking for a few good men.” Well, the Dads in the Limelight Series shows that there are more than a few good men who are making a positive impact in the lives of their kids and others. As I mentioned earlier in this post, this philosophy is very consistent with my idea to begin the Upbeat Dad of the Week feature. There are men who are making a difference and unfortunately what often makes the headlines is the negative side of the subject of fatherhood.

I’m pleased to know that both Chris and I share this philosophy. And I believe that through each of our efforts, as well as the efforts of others, the important role of fatherhood would be recognized and embraced by more people.

Chris with baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr.
Please join me in honoring Chris Lewis as our Upbeat Dad of the Week. He’s making a difference with his life - whether it is as a Student Affairs professional, helping to guide the future leaders of our world, or as a loving husband and father in the home. He lives by the words that I wrote in my poem A Lasting Legacy:
May I seek to serve my fellow man
And give of myself and do all that I can
May I love and give a helping hand
That’s the foundation on which I stand.

His is truly a life of service. It’s such an honor for me know someone like him. He’s not simply standing back and observing the world as it is; he’s an active participant in making it a better place.
If you’d like to nominate someone – anyone, including yourself – as our Upbeat Dad of the Week, please do so by emailing us at:
I hope that you’ve been inspired by this week’s feature. And I hope that it would help you to make your life a channel through which others’ lives are touched.
Enjoy your day.

The Upbeat Dad

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dealing with the Passing of a Parent

When I started the Upbeat Dad blog, I knew I wanted to write on a variety of topics. After all, the issue of fatherhood is all-encompassing and far-reaching. Still, there's a topic that I knew I needed to write about at some point but to be honest, it's one I've intentionally stayed away from. But I knew it was inevitable that I write on it. Based on a conversation I had earlier today - one you'll learn about as you read this post - I've decided to go ahead and write about the issue: the death of a parent.

I'm now in my early 40s. It seems that each of us around my age are now at the stage where our parents are beginning to have health challenges. It's all very normal - as we get older, our bodies begin to experience ailments that seemingly didn't exist when we are younger. And as life takes its natural course, our loving parents eventually pass on from this life. It's not a given that we will outlive them - it's not that unusual for parents to bury their kids. But in the natural progression of life, our parents pass on before us.

In my household, 2010 was a bittersweet year for us. The “sweet” was that in August, our son was born. The “bitter” is that in March, my wife’s mom passed on. Talk about the highs and lows of life, right?

When she passed away, that’s as close as I’ve been to losing parent. She didn’t raise me but still she was my mother. And she wasn’t the stereotypical mother in law – oh no. She and I had a very warm and loving relationship. As my wife’s mother, to me she was my mom too. And for my wife, my parents are her parents as well.

We mourned her passing by thinking of her life in its entirety. Of course in the immediate aftermath there were tears – lots of tears, in fact. But as we planned the service and interacted with friends and loved ones, we were reminded of how truly special a woman she was. A one-time occurrence could not erase a lifetime of precious memories. She lived and loved life and passed on peacefully with loved ones at her side.

This week marks 1 year since her passing. And it’s a time of solemn reflection for us. We think of the good times - the laughter, the fun. We also think of the simple things like picking up the phone and speaking with her about the latest movie that she just watched. Or about what’s going on in our lives. I’m so pleased to know that although she didn’t get to meet our son, she at least knew that he was in the womb and on the way into the world before she made her exit.

Thoughts of her today bring nothing but a smile to my face. She’s a precious soul and is missed. Still we opt to reflect on the greatness of her humble and simple life and that’s why today we’re at peace with the entire transition that took place a year ago.

Over the past few years, I've had quite a few friends who've lost a parent or both parents. And it seems that there is one consistent theme as they speak of their parents' passing - nothing can quite prepare you for it.  My wife and I can certainly attest to that. Just last year a friend of mine lost both parents at the same time - in a traffic accident. How can you prepare for something like that?

There's such a void that's created when you have to bid farewell to any loved one, but particularly so when that loved one is a dad or mom. My mom reminds me every so often that when I was much younger - probably somewhere between 10 and 12 years old - I said to her, "Mommy, what's the use in living when we're all going to die anyway?" Now almost 30 years later, I look back and I think I have a few answers to that question. Yet still, it seems so cruel that no matter what occurs in life, it all concludes with death.

I was led to write this post today because earlier this afternoon I had a conversation with a very good friend who just returned from her father's funeral out of town. We had an extended conversation about life and death. And as I often do when I speak with people who have lost loved ones, I tried to put the passing in perspective.

I'm so glad I had that conversation with her today because it helped me to get a further glimpse into the life of one who's lost a parent. She said, "I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. After a while I just had to walk out of the service. It was just too painful."

Then she shared the toll his passing has taken on her in her daily life. Normal tasks such as eating and sleeping are now tedious chores. Every waking moment is painful. And nothing she says or does will bring him back - that's the difficult part.
I said to her that at times we think that the worst part is dealing with the immediate aftermath of the passing - planning and attending the funeral and burial. That's tough, no doubt. But based on my experience, I think the real difficulty is trying to resume life as usual without that special loved one. Simple things such as picking up the phone to call them are no longer an option. Getting together for the holiday season isn't quite the same. There's a perpetual void that really only time can heal.
I said to her that in time, she will think of him and smile, thinking of the good memories. Sure there's pain now - that's natural and very normal. So thinking of him brings tears. But in time - in good time - the wound will heal.
If you're reading this and you've had to deal with the passing of a parent - whether recently or a long time ago - I hope that you've been encouraged. You're not alone - you'll never be alone. I hope that as you think on the memories that you and your parent(s) shared, you'll do so with a smile and be at peace.
If your parents are still alive, do shower them with your love. You still have time to create more memories with them. You never want them to pass on and you're left with regret about not saying or doing something that you really should have.
I hope that everyone who reads this post is touched in a special way. Let's treasure the gift of life. And when our parents or other loved ones pass on, let's recognize that that's a path that everyone must walk at some point. The precious memories we create and the lives that we touch along the way are what really matter.
May peace and prosperity be yours now and always,

The Upbeat Dad

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Parents and Teachers Beware: Cheating's Gone Hi-Tech!

This evening, I saw a television feature on the local ABC affiliate here in the Miami area. The subject matter got me thinking so I figured I'd write a post about it. It's a topic that I think parents and teachers should be aware of: hi-tech cheating.
The feature was about how teens and other students have incorporated technology into getting an unfair advantage in their studies. Many parents provide their kids with cell phones and smart phones for their convenience. But what some students do is use these wonders of technology as hi-tech cheating machines.
In exams, many students send each other text messages regarding the questions and answers. Whatever happened to the good old days when we'd sneak and pass hand written notes?
Another thing that students have been doing is using search engines such as Google and Yahoo to search for answers during exams. So unless they're adequately monitored, they can go to school totally unprepared for tests and still make 100%, thanks to the marvels of technology.
My view on these matters is that the mindset of cheating in school is timeless. Today, it's the use of smart phones. Back in my school days, it was the use of cheat sheets or writing answers on our palms. Cheating is cheating and it's wrong, however you look at it.
One thing that students don't realize is that when they cheat on exams, they're actually cheating themselves of the opportunity to learn. Sooner or later, cheating in school will prove to be fruitless; cheating in real life, even worse.
Imagine if I cheated in English class; I may not have developed the writing proficiency that allows me to write this blog that's read around the world. Who would have been cheated? I would've been my worst victim.
Our daughter is a 7th grader. She has a smart phone and takes it to school with her. She's had the phone for a while but only as she has demonstrated responsibility with it  have we allowed her to bring it to school. It's quite convenient for us - she calls and sends us text messages regarding normal school issues - i.e. staying after school for a meeting, missed the bus, forgot lunch money, etc.
She knows, however, that as she gets to school, when that morning bell rings, the phone is to be off and it can only be turned on after school. Can we monitor that effectively while she's away from us? Not exactly. That's where the trust factor comes in.
I expect that she knows better than to misuse the phone given to her for her and our convenience. I would also hope that she wouldn't allow anyone to influence her to violate the rules of the school - rules that say that cell phones must me off during school hours.
There have been times that I've taken away her phone privileges for a period in order to teach a lesson that I believe would be to her benefit. And I hope I won't have the need to do it again for any reason.
The title of this post addresses parents and teachers. But as I see it, it's more a lesson for parents. The lessons learned at home are more long-lasting and have greater impact.
Perhaps a necessary follow up after you read this post is to have a heart to heart talk with your kids. It's a conversation that I think can help them to understand the importance of honesty. It starts in the home, then goes to school, and then guides them through life.
If they have cell phones and smart phones, they should understand that having these gadgets is not a right; it's a privilege for their convenience. And if the privilege is abused, as parents, we should always reserve the right to take these devices away until they demonstrate the maturity that it takes to use them responsibly. They might see such acts as cruel punishment but deep within you know it's tough love in action.
Feel free to share this post with your kids. It might be a good introduction to the conversation you have with them. Do ponder these thoughts and take the necessary actions for your kids' benefit.
Enjoy your day.

The Upbeat Dad

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Father’s Regret and A Lesson for Divorcing Dads

Late last week I attended a training seminar. Afterwards, I spoke with quite a few other persons who attended the event. There was one gentleman who stood out to me and after meeting with him I made a note because I think that a blog post was a necessary follow up to that conversation. So here’s that post. I hope that it speaks to the heart of people, in general, but particularly men who are no longer in relationships with the mother of their children.
I told him about The Upbeat Dad and what we’re doing as an organization. Like most people do whenever I have such a conversation, he thought what we’re doing is good for the community. Then he opened up and shared with me a burden he’s carried for many years. He’s likely in his late 40s or early 50s. He told me that about 20 years ago, he went through a divorce. It was a cold, mean and bitter process. He and his former wife had their own civil war and when the dust settled, as is often the case, she got custody of their 2 young kids – who were both under age 5 at the time.

Now here’s the kicker. He said he thought that because of the animosity throughout the legal process, it was best if he and his former wife went their separate ways and never interacted again. That meant that, in doing so, he opted to stay out of the kids’ lives as well because by being involved in their lives, he would have had to deal with his former wife. He said he didn’t want to have perpetual conflict so he thought keeping his distance was the best option. I’m not sure whether or not he paid child support – I assume he did. But other than that possible contact, there was no additional interaction between them.
Well, here we are today – 20 years later. His young kids are now adults and they are back in touch with him. As you might imagine, the years of his absence took its toll on them. He appeared to be in great pain as he shared with me just what occurred during those years. He said, “Rodrick, I thought staying out of the way was the best thing. But, believe me, that was the biggest mistake I ever made. My kids thought that I hated them so that’s why I stayed out of their lives.” Can you imagine that? They grew up with a complex, thinking that he hated them – meanwhile, he thought he was doing the best thing for them.
I write this today to share this message with our readers: marriages and other relationships end each and every day. Sometimes these endings are mean, bitter and cold. And people wish they never have to deal with their former spouse again. The problem is that when kids are involved, it’s not quite as easy. You can go your separate ways but the kids are a factor and will always be a factor. It’s not like when you’re younger and you break up with someone and it doesn’t matter whether or not you see them again. Kids change things forever.
I’ve shared many times on this blog that I went through a divorce several years ago. It was the worst experience of my life – and I really hope I never have a worse one. At the time, if my 3 year old daughter were not in the picture, I really wouldn’t have minded if I never saw my former wife again. The process – attorney fees, division of assets, etc – really took its toll on me – and her as well, I’m sure. Today, we have a much better relationship but at the time, resentment was the name of the game.
It’s not that I wanted to deal with her or that she wanted to deal with me. But we have a daughter so the choice was clear – deal with each other for the sake of our daughter or avoid each other while our daughter is isolated from one of us. I’m glad that for each of us, staying out of touch was never an option – the life of a child hung in the balance. So if it meant dealing with someone who you didn’t love anymore then that’s what it would take.
The gentleman told me that it really pained him to think that he left 2 young kids for such a long time - almost 2 decades. He missed out on the most critical stages of their development. And they grew up with the thought that he hated them. Now that they’re in touch again, it’s taking time to heal their hurting hearts. Their pain is very real and it may take professional help to get them to fully embrace their father again.
The purpose of this post should speak for itself. Many marriages and other relationships are broken right now. And men and women are faced with the choice of dealing with each other for the sake of the kids or just going their separate ways. I hope that from this gentleman’s personal story, people will see that it’s best to remain involved in the lives of the children, even if it causes them to interact with someone they’re no longer fond of.
Certainly, when hearts are hurting it’s not easy to interact with persons who’ve caused us pain – or who we’ve caused pain. Certainly, the emotions of breakups can cause us to want to disappear and never see the other person again. But when there are kids involved, I implore each person – fathers and mothers – to work together for the kids’ sake.
If you’re at a crossroads today, I hope that this post was just the right antidote to cause you to do the right thing and be there for your kids. The purpose in sharing this story is to help you to think about the choices you make. The gentleman is now trying to undo the damage that was created over a 2 decade period. You can make a decision today that you will never regret. It may be tough but as long as you’re there for the kids, ultimately, it’ll be worth the sacrifice.
I wish nothing but the best for each of you today and always. And may you always make the best choices for your kids.
Enjoy your day.

The Upbeat Dad

Monday, March 14, 2011

Major Speaking Engagement and Another Radio Interview!

The past week was more hectic than I could possibly tell you. It seems like every step I take there's much more work to be done. Whether it's in my accounting and tax life or my Upbeat Dad life, it seems that there aren't enough hours in the day to do all I need to do.

The windows of opportunity to share the message of the Upbeat Dad are swinging wide open. Last week was really special. With today's post, I'd like to focus on two things that I consider to be the highlights of the week.

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of speaking at a meeting here in South Florida. It was no ordinary meeting - it was with the Broward Healthy Start Coalition. The organization funds certain agencies that provide resources and services for mothers and babies. I spoke before some executives with that organization as well as executives of the agencies that they fund.

At the meeting, I shared my vision for The Upbeat Dad and the response was overwhelming, to say the least. It just proves to me that the message about having actively involved fathers in the lives of kids is resonating with the public. You know that in that meeting, of the approximately 25 persons present, I was 1 of only 2 males. There I was talking about fatherhood issues with a group of mostly women and they thoroughly embraced the vision. I anticipate that we will be doing some good work with these agencies in the months and years to come.

This vision is one that I couldn't contain even if I tried - it's just too powerful; it's life-changing and I want to ensure that it gets shared with the world. Speaking of "the world", at the meeting a request was made for us to begin doing forums and other events for the Spanish speaking population here in Florida. I absolutely love the idea! I've always said that our message is universal so doing events in other languages is a natural progression as we carry out our vision.

I speak a bit of Spanish - quite a bit, in fact. But I think we'll utilize the services of translators as we move towards this area. My wife's first language is French so I think I've got a built-in translator for when we get to doing events for French speaking audiences.

What I'm saying through all this is that the vision is unfolding and lives are being impacted in a meaningful way. I couldn't be more pleased. It's a lifelong mission and vision so these critical first several steps are a key to it all.

The next thing from last week that I'd like to highlight is a radio interview that I had. I was invited to do an hour long interview in the studio of a local radio station here in the Miami area on Thursday night. That was truly special!

I've been on the radio a few times this year. I did an announcement for our Upbeat Dad Community Forum.Then I had a live interview on BBC radio last month.That's one of the special moments of my life - being interviewed by such a respected news organization.

Rodrick with Donneth Wedderburn, Host
 Thursday night's interview was pretty special in its own right. It was an hour so I had much more time to share what's going on with our organization and the leaps and bounds that we're making.

The interview was with the director and public relations officer for Family and Friends Connections, a local non-profit organization. They're both female so I shared quite a bit of information from my unique perspective as a man and as a dad. I thought it was great.

I posted a couple announcements on Facebook and sent some tweets announcing the interview. It was broadcast locally and live on the internet. It wasn't archived on the site so if you missed it, you'll probably just have to take my word that it was a great interview. Don't worry though - there's much more to come. We're moving forward and doing great things so you'll have many more opportunities to hear our message other than by reading it.

Debbie Brown, Co-Host
There was much more that happened last week but let me leave it at that for now. Great things are going on as our vision unfolds. Stay engaged with us because lives are being touched through our message.

I hope that you can feel the energy in the air because something great is happening. Hearts are being healed and families are becoming more fortified as a result of our work together. I often say that you're a huge part of this vision because without you reading and sharing our message with others, all this wouldn't be possible. So I thank you with every fiber of my being.

Another great week lies ahead, I believe. I hope that for you and your family, you'll have a special time in all that you do. Life is all about giving, living and loving. That's what make our journey so special!

All the best to you and yours. Let's make it a great week.

The Upbeat Dad

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some Thoughts on Taking the Road Less Traveled!

Starting this week, on Sundays, I'll share a short, light-hearted post, generally concluding with a poem that I've written. Sundays are light days and most of us are winding down from a fun weekend and gearing up for the week ahead. I like to give a quick jolt to the arm to encourage us as we leave our loved one to head back to our daily vocations that help us to provide for our families.

Today's poem, There's Too Much at Stake, is about us taking the road less traveled. We should choose this less traveled road because there's so much at stake - our lives and the lives of our families hang in the balance.

By making this choice, it leads us to live more fulfilling, rewarding lives. It may not be easy because not everyone chooses that road. Birds of a feather flock together. But a majestic bird such as the eagle flies alone. It makes a greater impact flying solo and not confirming to traveling the route that birds that travel in flocks do.

Enjoy reading There's Too Much at Stake.

“Life is a challenge,” that’s what many say—
a mountain to climb each night and each day.
Sometimes I don’t know just how to behave;
there seems no peace, from cradle to grave

The road less traveled is one full of pain,
of war, and of strife, but what’s there to gain?
The road others travel is easy, I see,
but somehow that life has evaded me.

Now here I stand, with foe and with friend,
to walk this road—around each scary bend.
The odds are against me; but this path still I choose.
I’ll march on ahead—there’s nothing to lose.

I’ve found that it’s true, in this life I live,
the struggles I’ve had have taught me to give;
to reach out to others—the ones who’re in need;
to make others smile like captives just freed.

So that is my plight; I accept it with glee—
to live so that blind eyes around me might see.
The road less traveled is the one I must take;
I’ll never give up—there’s too much at stake.

Enjoy your week.

The Upbeat Dad