Five Bullet Friday — Five People I’m Thankful For

Yesterday in the United States, we celebrated Thanksgiving. I ate too much, had a good tryptophan nap, and enjoyed being with family reflecting on the goodness with which God has graced me with this past year. Today, I wanted to pause and remember five people who I’ll be eternally grateful for in my life. Limiting this list to five is dangerous because I’ll exclude someone whose feelings may be tender because they aren’t named. But in no way does this represent the “best of” or anything more than the five people that came to my mind this morning.

My wife, Lisa

Lisa and me the day of my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary [12 April 2014]

It goes without saying that the love of my life and my bride of 18 years is #1 on this list. She will always be in this position! The past few months have been full of major changes, life-altering discoveries and lots of activities. I’ve been busier than ever. But as always, she rolls with it, supports me fully, and is always there when I need her. I hope to be the same for her.

My father-in-law, Warren

Warren, DeAnn, Lisa and me celebrating Lisa’s birthday [18 September 2013]

Although I can’t be close to my own father since he now lives in Arizona, it’s nice to have a loving father-in-law close by. He’s another one who has always been in my corner, rooting me on, and is always willing to give me sage counsel and advice. The Lord could have taken him from this earth years ago when he had his first heart attack at age 38. I’m glad he didn’t. Because at now 77 years wise, I have been the recipient of his concern and support for the past 21 years.

My former boss, Najoh

Najoh’s professional headshot [2009]

I’ve had several managers/bosses throughout my 15 year professional career. Several that I’ve enjoyed and a few that I haven’t. But none have had as great an impact on me as Najoh. As a fledgling assistant brand manager at P&G, Najoh took me under her wing as I joined her Luvs team. She showed me more care and confidence than any other manager I’d had up to that point. And she also showed me how to have fun and do things different/better/special. Our time was short and we’ve gone very different directions in our careers, but I’m glad I had time to work under her tutelage.

My best friend, Andy

Andy and me at the Chicago LDS Temple [13 June 1992]

We all have those people that come in to your life and despite everything will never leave. That’s my boy, ‘Dre! We grew up together. We got in trouble together. We did a lot of stuff I’ll never tell my kids about 😀. Back in the 80’s we were Kid T (me) and Dre (him) trying to dance and represent the rap duo Kid ‘n Play. He befriended me and with his family introduced me to the gospel and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And to this day, we are still tight! I’ll always be grateful to have a friend til the end! #rideordie :-)

My missionary companion, Gardiner

“Elder” Gardiner Packer and me with young man we taught the gospel in Toyama, Japan [February 1996]

Agape’ is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of type of love mentioned in the Bible. Until I met served with Gardiner, I never knew this type of love. He was the epitome of agape for me in the three months we lived together in Toyama, Japan. From the day we were paired together, he showed nothing but unconditional love for me as a person and the people we served. I never felt so loved and thank the Lord that I could see agape personified in Gardiner.

There are many more people who have had an lasting impact on my life that I didn’t list. And each person I’ve had the privilege to interact with during my journey on this earth, has impacted me for good in some way, shape, or form. It would take a lifetime to capture them all. For now, this is will do.

P.S. Jesus Christ would be the top of my list if I was writing about people not on this earth :-). He and my Heavenly Father are always #1 in my book.