Friday, September 24, 2010

We're Always Glad You Came

It's late, so I'll make this short and sweet.

Tonight I took all three of my kids out to dinner. It's been so long since we have had a night like this, and it was like a nice boost of renewed energy. I wanted to take my daughter, Arianne, to a Mexican restaurant that the boys and I ate lunch at last month. We all love the food our first time there, so I have been wanting to make time for a return engagement. Right off the bat, the owner saw us walking to our table, and he stopped to say hello. After greeting me, he said he remembered my previous visit with just the boys. He was very excited that we chose to return.

It felt nice to know that this person saw me as a new part of his community. It also made the kids smile to realize that the owner remembered me. Funny how some outings can become so magical. Everyone was in a really good mood, and each of the kids had so much to share with each other about their week. Infused throughout the conversations, and laughter, were memories of Michael from each of the kids. We each gorged on so much food that we all had that look of being overly intoxicated by all the good food.

As I sat there, and carefully took in the mood of the table, I realized that this meal was feeding me in so many ways. I was laughing, and I was smiling with each story of Michael. I sat there with the kids, loving them all so much. I could even feel like Michael was there with us, just smiling and laughing at each of the kids' stories. Just thinking of this puts another smile on my face, and helps me find more peace.

These are the things that are important. That the week had many challenges is of no concern right now. Tonight each of the kids were a gift, and they are a gift that can keep on giving. This is the type of joy that I would like to embrace on a regular basis. When I have nice times, such as this, I often wonder if these lighter, and loving, feelings will begin infiltrate the rest of my life.

Maybe there were other opportunities like this that have definitely come my way. Perhaps I wasn't able to see, or appreciate them at the time.

I can feel that I am becoming more open to outward expressions of joy. I am allowing myself to lighten up, and just embrace these good times. Life can be brighter, and it has the power to heal me.

Good stuff.


  1. Such a nice post, Dan. Loved the photos of you and the kids. Also, that the restaurant owner remembered you from your previous visit. That's the kind of thing you do like to see in a community - that people actually take notice of people rather than customers.

    When I have nice times, such as this, I often wonder if these lighter, and loving, feelings will begin infiltrate the rest of my life.

    It seems certain that they will. You're well on your way there. When I look at all that you have accomplished in the past few months - packing up and moving to a new city, getting settled in at the new place - helping each of your kids begin to make connections in a new community - joining the yoga group - finding and starting at a new job - putting in a little garden around your place - and even welcoming a new canine into the family. So many changes, and all of them so positive in spite of many bumps in the road. Looking on from the outside, it's been interesting and kind of wonderful to see how you and the kids have carried on and adapted. It takes a lot of courage to leave that which is familiar behind. I think Michael would be very proud of where you're at, and in fact, he seems very much a part of this whole journey.

  2. Good stuff indeed. Austin used to say that, "good stuff". I'd forgotten until I read your post. Sigh, but a smile on my face as I recover a sweet memory.

    I love that you and your kids had a great dinner out. We had one this week too, for Dylan's birthday. Slowly, joy is returning, in little bits and pieces. Thanks for the smile on my face. Have a good weekend. Love ya!