This Too Shall Pass

I’m not great at talking about my personal life. I mostly like to talk about work life, business, and software development here. But I’m going to try to do it today. Here goes nothing.

This past weekend, on April 14, 2018, I married the love of my life, Teresa. Over a year of planning went into it, a few small arguments, and plenty of fun times picking colors and decorations, tasting cake, and finding an officiant okay with marrying us to Ben and Leslie’s vows. We could not have had a better wedding: both of our families and best friends all showed up to a warehouse in South Austin and had what I think is the best party ever thrown. I might be biased.

All the planners, venue managers, DJs, caterers, florists, and everyone else involved in making this the most beautiful place and fantastic time we’ve ever had. We haven’t seen all the pictures yet, but the photographer is turning out to be pretty great too. I couldn’t ask for better staffing, and I couldn’t ask for better family and friends. I truly want to thank every one of you for coming.

On April 15, 2018, I received terrible news. One of the people we missed terribly from our wedding, my Grandfather (Thwjr, I guess? Not quite as pronounceable, but as good a moniker as any), took a turn for the worst. It hit me a little hard that day. I may have freaked out a little. I may have drank a bit too much. The switch from incredible highlight to devastating lowlight can really take the wind out of you. We took the time, with the family and friends still in town, to try to celebrate a life as best as we know how. There was more drinking. We walked home.

Today, April 18, 2018, I learned my grandfather passed away at the age of 92. I’m a bit more level headed, able to type, but still melancholy in the end of the life of one of the greatest men I could ever know. The last time I saw him face to face, we had a Christmas party, and we had conversations all night. I remember we were talking about what BitCoin was; he was very interested in how it worked. I heard he said later that that night was one of the best times he’d had in a long time. This was a man that had his share of great times, so that meant a lot. I’m glad I could be part of it! I had a great time too.

My grandfather was also a WWII vet; a prisoner of war. That must have been a hell of a lowlight, but he never let that get to him, as far as I could tell. Any time I knew him he was a kind, gentle man; quick witted and funny. Even when his health was failing him, he always tried to be happy and helpful. My mom has a story where, after a store clerk was rude and my grandmother complained, he replied “She could have just had a fight with her husband right before work. You never know”. I don’t know how to live up to that level of kindness and sincerity, but I’ll sure as hell try.

In his final days, it seems like he’s taught me one last lesson. In the face of high emotion, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You can’t let your feelings take over — they can change rather quickly, and knock you on your ass if you’re not careful. It’s not a bad thing to be happy, or sad, or angry, but letting those emotions drive you is a recipe for an unstable, and ultimately unsatisfying, life. Instead, we should know that we are happy, know that we are sad, and remember that tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, the feelings will change and subside, and we have to be content with who we are in the end. And at the very end, if we continue along our path, we will be happy and content with the life we’ve lived, and the legacy we leave behind.

He’s got one hell of a legacy.  I’m glad I can be a part of it. I love you, Pop.

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