Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, SAM!

Every October 17th I think about the day Sam entered the world and how much joy he has brought to us in the years since then.  Today, like most of Sam's birthdays as an adult, we are separated by many miles, and I pull out actual or mental snapshots to reminisce and celebrate.  
How to tell you, Sam, how proud we have been of you all these years - the boy you were and the man you have become without inducing the gag reflex in readers?  Except for the xeriscaping, I honestly feel you demonstrate the above because you have purposed to honor God by trying to model his character.  The lines above definitely describe you, yet there is so much more....  
How thrilled we are for the start of your life with Amber.  All those years of disciplined waiting and, what a treasure for reward!
Your commitment to seek, appreciate, and build strong men and friends has been a delight to watch for many years.
You've invested your time in family  (cousis Alisa and Tyler here)  camraderie and encouragaement.
There were days I wasn't sure you'd make it to adulthood with your body whole and your love for your older brother intact.  But you did it!  
I am so thankful for your adult relationship with Kyle - and all the love, respect, serious conversation and raucous laughter and teasing it contains.
I thought that your many friends should know that the Sam who loves to make comic faces started a long time ago.  Here, when asked to model your new Easter outfit for the camera...
and of course, when you are doing George nauseum.....
This one is from the "Harry Carey season" of your life...I'm guessing Cobe had had enough!
The budding triathlete, warming up for the swim....
and the bike - look at the intensity on that face!
Swim time with no time goals :-)
I wonder just how many people consider you their friend, even after many years?  You have collected friends over the years, like a caretaker of prized plants, nurturing, appreciating the variety and beauty and fragrance.  You are rich, indeed.
One of the things that David and I have talked often about over the years is your tender, compassionate heart.  It seems your experiences of exclusion and ridicule have given you an eye to spot the one who feels excluded or put down and the heart to include and defend them.

We like the way your engage life with GUSTO - trying new experiences and adventures, no matter how much fear.  Oh, how I wish I had a picture of you hanging from that tree above the ravine at Croom, pushing quiet "help!"s out your throat...
That love of life is wonderful to behold :-)

So enjoy your birthday weekend with your beautiful bride and your good friends....


and know that we love you and are happy to be your family and friend.