Many years ago as I tried to envision my future, I had a vision of a successful career, a beautiful wife, and healthy kids. I envisioned I would come home from a hard day at work to spend delightful evenings with my family and weekends filled with little league baseball games and piano and dance recitals. It may sound a little like an episode of Mayberry RFD but it is how I grew up and what I expected.
Although it all started in that direction when I met the love of my life, it all changed when we got the news that both our children had a rare kidney disease and an eye disorder that would not only require a lifetime of medical care but also put their lives in jeopardy. As we moved on we learned they have many extra educational needs as well.
I knew then that my future dream life would not be as planned… or would it? What I have come to learn over all these challenging years of doctor appointments, hospitalizations, surgeries, lab tests, therapy appointments, teacher meetings, tutoring sessions, and counseling, is that I must work even harder to ensure that I have that dream life. My kids deserve it, my wife deserves it and I deserve it. There are many times that life gets in the way, that we get bad news from test results, bad reports from school administrators and counselors, but as a father and husband I must take time to leave the work issues, the medical/mental issues, the educational issues and find time to connect with my family, time to play and time to laugh. It is important that my kids and our family have the same opportunities, experiences and adventures as every other family.
This is a skill that does not come naturally for me and I’ve had to work hard to make the dream of a good family life a reality.
Is it easy to live the dream life? No. Does it always happen every day? No, but it is a goal. It is what I shoot for and work to achieve. I know I am successful when I look back over the past several months to see what first comes to mind. If I first remember doctor appointments, clinic visits and tears, then I know I have not been successful and need to try harder at the internal picture in my thoughts. However, if I l look back several months and my first memories are playing, laughing and adventures with my family, then I realize I have been successful at living the dream life.
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