Friday, September 2, 2011

Ripple Two

In my second ripple are the rest of my family. Mom, Dad, my brother and sister, and Matt.

All of them have been huge influences on who I am.

Mom and Dad gave me life, and so I am naturally thankful for that. More than that though, I am thankful that they were parents. They taught me through their actions and words. Showed me how to be a parent to my kids long before I had an inkling of even wanting kids. I am thankful that they are miraculously still alive and able to enjoy their kids and grand kids. And I am thankful that I am their son. I am forever indebted to them for their support of me in everything I've ever done.

My older sister, Steph, has lived a dozen lives. Travelling Chinese Acrobat, Cubicle Worker in the Rat Race, Choreographer, Mother, Day Care Boss. She can do it all, and almost has. I am thankful for our early years, where she taught us to dance and perform... sometimes against our will. But I am a more graceful person today because of it.  The Wife says I have an unusual sense of physical balance and can just go do stuff because of it. Ski, Rollerblade, fly, whatever. I think it's because I danced while I grew up. And I have my sister to thank for that. I am also thankful for her example of putting family first, as she has shown again and again through her actions that her family means more to her than money or even at times her own comforts. I am thankful for her husband and son, and her devotion to them as wife and mother. I am thankful for her continued love and support and friendship.

My younger brother, Jason, is also a Jack of All Trades. I am most thankful that he and I remain close even though miles and time separate us from time to time. We've shared some excellent adventures through the years. At the Island or in Italy and all over Europe. Miles and miles of touring as The Shaffer Brothers. And now he's joining me in doing triathlons, too.  I am thankful for his wife and kiddos, and especially his devotion to them as father and husband. I am thankful for all of the times we've had as brothers, and even though I'm the older one, he is in many ways the more mature and accomplished of the two of us. I am thankful for his love and support and friendship, too.

My brother from another mother Matt has been my friend since eighth grade. Through the years we've had thousands of adventures, and we grew from boys into men together. I'm not sure who the leader of our duo has been. But we have both led each other into some pretty wild things. We were going to join the Marines together, he was only refused for a stupid medical reason. The Marines lost out on that one. We've done shows together and made movies when we were young. Matt is the one that got me interested in doing a triathlon, which has no doubt improved my quality of life - and I'm really thankful for that! He has been as close as family for almost thirty years, and life just wouldn't have been the same without him.

These are the people in my second ring, and I am forever thankful for them and their contributions to my life.

More Later

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