Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blue II

Blue Belt
Originally uploaded by
UNLV Rebel Yell

11:02, doing better.

Tonight was my office going away party. There were many people from my agency, as well has many attorneys from court. I was truly touched by each person's participation in tonight's celebration, and was humbled by the wonderful words shared by each. In the middle of it all I was asked to share my thoughts with the group. I spoke of my appreciation for the work that everyone does in the field of child welfare. I shared how in some ways this was a difficult decision, as I am quite passionate about what I do, and feel that it has been a significant opportunity for me to contribute to my community. I was also humbled by all the words of appreciation from each person. They were all well aware of the difficult year that I have had, and seem to understand my need to seek something new and different.

There was definitely some sadness to say goodbye to these wonderful people, and I left feeling blessed, but also blue for the loss that goes hand in hand with my decision.

When I got in my car, and before I started on the road, I called home to see if my boys wanted me to pick up some food. My son Dante got on the phone, and shared with me some extremely exciting news. At his final Jiu Jitsu lesson tonight, he was promoted to a blue belt. It is the first level of ranking in the sport, and is often presented to the student during his/her first year of learning this discipline. It was totally unexpected, as he has only been studying Jiu Jitsu for five month. He was so elated, and as he shared with my his joy, I began to cry with such pride. To think that my son, who has suffered from so many problems with his mental health over the years, has finished his first semester at home, with perfect attendance and ranking, then to be further acknowledged by his Jiu Jitsu instructor, well, it was amazing. He has done so well, and I am beaming, and crying, with pride. It just goes to show that when you are feeling that all hope is gone, life will surprise you.

My son has taught me not to give up on life, and that all the hard work and sacrifices that life seems to require, will at time pay off in spades. This honor, and acknowledgement of achievement, will propel him further than I, or he, can imagine.

Today was a blessing. After getting off the phone with my son, I paused and said a word of thanks. There is much to be grateful for.


  1. Congratulations to Dante - that's quite an achievement! I hope he'll continue to pursue his studies in Jiu Jitsu once you're in SD. It's so important to have a passion for something in our lives and learning something new is always worthy of our time.

  2. Congrats Dante!!! And to you, too, Dad. What an exceptional job you are doing raising your children. Those three are blessed to have you as a father.
    Your Alaska Friend

  3. Beautiful post Dan, and a great reminder to always look for our blessings, even when it's easier to wallow in our sadness and feel overwhelmed by all that we're dealing with. Congratulations to Dante!