I think about the saying “I”ll follow you to the ends of the earth” a lot. As I sit here at a cheerleading competition today all by myself. The oldest daughter has a ballet show coming up so the wife needed to be there, so I’m the cheer Dad today. Not my idea of a perfect Saturday, but I think about how I got here, all the work my youngest puts into this sport and something deep down tells me to smile and appreciate where you are.
I’ll follow you to the end of the earth comes directly from my Uncle Matt. When I was young he lived in the same town as me. Right on the water. Beautiful home, wife and daughter with him. Then his world got turned completely upside down. As a kid, you never really know all the details, but all I knew was his wife left and was with someone else and they were moving to another state. I think it was Georgia. To me, it might as well have been the moon. But, my uncle never even thought twice about it. He just moved there, just so his daughter could have her Dad. Again, I’m sure there are plenty of things I wasn’t told or wasn’t old enough to understand about the situation, but what I saw was a man who loved his daughter more than anything in the world and actually followed through with “I’ll follow you to the ends of earth”.
I’m sure divorce is very very difficult. I’m sure there were things I could never understand. But, all the way from my small little world in Massachusetts I could see what true love was. Pride wasn’t even a thought, love was the only thing I saw.
My uncle would eventually do holidays with his ex wife and her new family just so he could be near his daughter and never showed her anything but love. The guts it took to do that I’ll never understand, but I certainly can see what love can do, what love really is.
His daughter, my cousin, has grow up to be a beautiful soul. She shares god parent duties with me for my kick ass niece Maya Grace. It you follow any of my social media’s you see Maya all over them. His daughter is a GREAT god parent. Always sending gifts and sneaking up for weekends even though she still lives a few states away. Taking nothing away from her Mom, I know her love and commitment to her god daughter comes directly from her Dad.
Every year or so my Uncle comes to visit us and he stays at my parents house. He’s there for 5 minutes and it feels like he never left. He’s such an awesome human being. He cares with all his heart and he’s the person who I always think of when I shed a tear or two for something I am proud of my kids for. Even from far away he showed me what love and commitment was all about.
When I think about if I am doing a good job with my kids I always think of him. What he did, and continues to do amazes me. He taught me about love, he showed me exactly what love was. I measure myself against him. When I think of great Dads he certainly is in the Hall of Fame.
I’m very very lucky that people like my Uncle Matt are in my life. Lessons are not always simple like burning your hand on the stove and finding out what hot is, sometimes they are taught over many years and you don’t even know you are learning anything. Until one day you start to cry cause your kid got a good grade or made a team she tried out for and you remember it was your Uncle Matt that showed you that type of love. A Man not afraid to show his love, a man who says he loves you to infinity and isn’t afraid to travel that far to show you…