In a world that is consistently going, going, gone it is difficult to remember the blessings we've been given, the chances we've been afforded, the gifts of life that couldn't possibly come wrapped in a bow. Now, more than ever, I am counting my blessings, thanking Him regularly for what I've been undeservedly bestowed, and smiling at the fortune I receive on a daily basis in the form of seven year old babies that just want to read to me, of family members that not only plant, but water my dreams and ambitions, and of friendships that haven't been going on since birth, but that I hope to last for eternity.
It is on clear days like today, when the wind blows and causes my hair to tickle my face, when the sun shines so bright and warm you're almost tricked into thinking winter isn't looming down the street and around the corner, when the sky is so blue you have to search for those clouds making the magic X that I am most grateful, most eternally thankful, and most proud to be in the family I am in. I've written a lot about my family and I don't see the end of that anywhere in sight - they're my roots, my history, my backbone, and my heart. So on days like today, when it's bright and blue and there's the perfect amount of chill I remember this man named Max Duff - how he slapped his knees when he thought something was really funny, how, when he was serious, he straightened his hand out and pointed it at you and said, "now, God damnit!," how blue and white railroad striped overalls were his signature look, along with high lighters and a pocket watch, and how his heart and its giving nature could never have possibly be measured by any weight, time, or space.
It is on clear days like today that I am sure that where I am going is only happening because of where I've been, that being a Duff will never be something I am ashamed, afraid, or scared to admit, that the 6th of October has to be the most beautiful, vibrant day of the year because it honors the life of the most beautiful, vibrant man of my existence.
It's been eight years, Grandpy . . . I sure do hope you're proud to call me yours.