Defending Dads

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The Restorative Powers of Hospitality — Epilogue

The three examples of which I’ve written were not the only instances of family and friends opening their homes and hearts to me over the past three years, but they were the most pivotal. I am fortunate.

But they say fortune is the residue of design. Over the last 10-12 years, I have done my best to do right by as many people as have given me the opportunity. Funny…before the kids, I did my best to avoid people altogether! What a difference a kid or two makes. I am grateful.

I find myself occasionally thinking of the less happy times that characterized these last 4 years. Increasingly, though, thoughts of good times with family and friends overwhelm that negativity. I am transitioning.

Nearly every day, I am improving my habits, honing my discipline, pounding the keys, hitting the gym, eating good food, getting good sleep, tying up loose ends, pushing myself to do more and fighting the fear of failure. I am determined.

Each new challenge I face drives me to research how best to handle it. Whether through conversation, email, text, Google, YouTube or just good old trial and error, I’m gathering information to apply to my new life. I am learning.

As I continue to fill in the portrait of my new world, I consider the connections and reconnections I have made while peeling my face off of concrete again. Every step forward I take is punctuated by a memory of someone who has been there for me. I am reflective.

Family and friends, grief destroyed the wall I erected to avoid dealing with the world. That’s a good thing. It was a poor strategy to begin with. The most remarkable thing is, as hard as I once tried to avoid bonding with anyone, you never gave up on me. When I needed you most, you were there. You have, in any number of ways, literally and figuratively, set me free. Through your support, encouragement, constructive criticism and, of course, hospitality, I am restored.

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