Updated 10-dec-13 6:28 PM

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The Joy Of Life

By: Gregory Lewin 12/5/2013

On September 30, 1998 God blessed me with the joy of life then again on October 30, 2013 fifteen years later I got the greatest gift I could ever dream of.  How grateful for such a blessing.  I thank you God for all your blessings.

Blessing comes in many different ways. For example, each day I wake up it’s a blessing, each day that I still have the strength and the ability to perform my duties in my everyday life and at work, it’s a blessing. Each day that I can talk and wish someone a great day is a blessing for me. Just the thought of being able to dream is a great blessing for me. Just having my two arms to hug my son and to kiss him each and every morning and tell him “I love you son, never forget that” is such a blessing.

But the main blessing I am writing about is the one of friendship; a friendship that was developed on the premise of unconditional love, a friendship between two people, one much older than the other. I am talking about a friendship where one has gone through the ups and downs of life already and the other just starting out on that journey. I am talking about a friendship for which you would give your life for the other with no questions asked.

It is so satisfying when you can openly ask, how was your day today? What did you do? What did you learn today? Just being able to ask that someone these few simple questions, brings happiness and excitement to see the big genuine smile and the elation on their face when they are about to share their accomplishment for the day.  

Such friendship I share with my 15 year old son Devon. Since the day he was born we have been inseparable, each and every day we share a hug and a kiss and tell each other how much we love the other. As the commercial say “PRICELESS.” We’ve been traveling together since he was six months old. He applied for his first own frequent flyer miles account with AA and every other airline that we flew. I can vividly remember how he laid on my chest and listen to my heartbeat, this seems to calm him down whenever he was fussy and off to sleep he goes. “PRICELESS.”

I ENJOY BEING A FATHER TO MY SON.

Devon and I are like brothers, friends and one of my toughest critics. I give him his space as he is older now, but I can vividly remember how I used to pick him up and dance to the music I was playing and see the laughter and joy on his face as we danced around to the song. He used to look forward to me picking him up in my arms to dance a mix of reggae and soca. I can vibrantly see the smile each time we go around in a circle.  I’ll NEVER forget those wonderful days.

I am a father to my son first and foremost. I take pride in knowing that no one or nothing that anyone can say or do can come between us. The bond and love we have for each other way outlast anything any one can try to do to tear us apart. And with this I can say to all fathers out there, love your children unconditionally. You will never know when that love is needed to guide you on through life and you will never regret it. Start forging that loving relationship early on in life. I know most of us do but for those who don’t trust me, you need to start and I promise you, you will have peace knowing that your child loves you no matter what. Instill in them the principles of life. In my world that is being humble, generous, giving a helping hand, not being selfish, not living for tomorrow but instead giving today what you can, respect and love for God and caring.

Parenting does start when the need arises to some, but in reality it should be there from the start, it should be natural. You should feel no pressure being a parent. I love the thought of being a father and a friend to my son. It's fun when we go on bike rides and he can make it up the hill and I have to walk my bike up the hill and he laughs at me. When he can explain to me certain things I’ve read about and just don’t get it ….smart. When he makes fun of my pronunciation of the word "Genre" "PRICELESS". When he eats everything I cook him and then turns to me and ask "dad, why don't you open a restaurant? "AMAZING" or when we travel together and I can get us through the TSA Pre-Check line where we don't have to remove our shoes, belts and jackets or laptops from our bags and to see him smile and say "cool dad, sweet" or when I surprised him by taking him to Seattle to see the Redskins and the Seahawks game or when we both challenge each other at the amusement park on the roller coaster or to see him in amazement when I took him to the job that I held for the past 16 years and he sees how important my role was as he learnt that I was one who knew way in advance when the President of the United States was preparing for a trip and I played a vital role in ensuring all the satellite phones are in working conditions before Airforce 1 takes off, or me writing the lyrics to "Bluefields The Land We Love" or "Christmas Letter" for Pat Ross and other hit songs, or just simple sitting together at the airport watching a football game waiting on a connection is all the joy in my life. These are just a tiny fraction of what I consider quality time with my son, my friend.

Life is full of challenges, some nice, some not so nice and therefore, we must maintain an open dialogue with our children in order to make them feel comfortable talking to us about whatever may be bothering them. Our children should not fear us and should not be intimated by us, but should have a trust that they can talk to us and seek our advice as they move on in life. Our children should not be afraid of bringing home a grade not acceptable to us but instead they should have the courage based on the relationship that was forged earlier on to say “Hey, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’ll try harder next time”.

I thank God that my son sees me as the greatest Dad in the world. I am happy that because of our bond he sees me as a Dad that he can talk to, a Dad that he is not afraid of or intimidated by, a Dad who understands and listen to what he has to say then who offers his fatherly opinion. I love asking him why he loves his Daddy so much and to hear him say Dad, because you have done so much for others and have accomplished so much and then he names my accomplishments one by one. I never thought that he was paying such detailed attention to things I was doing. “PRICELESS”

We talk about everything, the value of money, respect for others no matter the age, the importance of helping others when you can, to do your very best at school and be happy with the result if at the end you did try your very best, the importance of knowing how to give constructive criticism and know when to say No. The importance of simple saying “thank you”, Thank you God for the greatest gift of life.

Many years ago I wrote this poem for my son to read when he woke up as I was getting ready to travel. I’d like to share it with all of you.

Devon

Tears once flows down my face
And so I asked God to grant me happiness
My sadness was very easy to trace
I was living with such emptiness

I asked God daily to send me an angel
An angel who will play sweet songs for me
An angel who will ring sweet bells
An angel who will make me happy

I cried until I had no more tears to cry
I felt like my world was coming down
How I wished I had wings to fly
I kept asking why?

Then came you into my life
The joy I had so longed for
You brought me joy and happiness
Now you are all I live for

You are the reason I wake up every day
You are the reason I am so happy in every way
You are my sunshine, my rain and my stars
I love you whether you are near or far

Devon, you are my happiness
My God given gift
You are a package of sweetness
You are my son
And for you my life will always go on my son

I love you with all my heart, don’t ever forget that.

From Daddy to Devon my loving son.

 


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