I struggle with the phrase “I’m blessed.”  Maybe not generally, but to be blessed with a great house, or plenty of food or health seems to imply that God has withheld these things from others.  Why would he bestow all this on me, and not on my neighbor?  I most certainly didn’t do anything to deserve what I have.

What I do know is that my kids, actually our kids (Julie’s and mine), are a blessing to me.  Each has their own personality, their own quirks and take on life.  None are the same.  Yet I find all intriguing.

Michelle, the youngest, graduated from high school in May.  She’s headed to UNC-Chapel Hill on August 13.  She is a humorous, fun-loving, smart, salty, pretty young woman.  A times a bit reticent, but when she wants, she can light up a room.

I’ve spent so many years zeroed in on raising this kid – actually all three!  I remember times when I would stay up until 1 AM completing the online school health forms (those reminder emails to TURN IN THE PHYSICAL were like a scolding from Mrs. Buie, my fourth grade teacher).  I remember packing lunches at 10 PM so I could sleep a couple of minutes later the next morning.  I remember bra shopping and 12 girls at my house combing out their, at the time stylish, “side bangs” readying for the middle school dance.  I remember spending too much time crossing off my checklist and not enough time just being with them.  I remember snuggling and tickling and dancing in the kitchen. 

Now, they don’t need the same level of attention they have demanded over the past decade.  I suppose I don’t either.  They spent a lot of time making sure I was OK, worrying that I might be alone on a Saturday night or stressed that I didn’t have enough presents to open on Christmas morning.

We still need each other.  There are insurance premiums to pay and weekly updates required by dad.  But the intensity of the reliance is less – a sad relief.

As I look back on the past eleven years, I can see God’s plan unfold.  We grieved for a time.  I met someone special.  The girls grew up.  And then, seamlessly, at just the right moments, all of the houses sold, all of the jobs worked out, all the kids began to create their own futures. 

In the aftermath of horrible, there can be beautiful. That is a blessing indeed.

Leave a comment


  1. jo

     /  June 16, 2021

    Thanks. I needed to read this. You have blessed me and met my need.

  2. Beautiful post.

  3. Mable Taylor

     /  June 16, 2021

    Beautifully said from a very special dad.

  4. Rosemary York

     /  June 17, 2021

    Are you not allowed to mention Lisa’s name?  She is their mother, always will be.  She would want to be remembered even as you have found new happiness.congratulations to you and yours.Rosemary York

  5. Dotty

     /  June 17, 2021

    Beautifully written per usual Bruce. Although I have not experienced what you have I have experienced the “sad relief”, it’s tough some days but they seem to pass quite quickly. Hard to believe your youngest is heading to college in the fall.

  6. Matthew Flynn

     /  July 17, 2021

    Time flies… Kiera graduated from Enloe in May and is off to Appalachian State in a few weeks. Seems like the girls were in Y Guides yesterday. Glad all is well. Always enjoy your updates

  7. Matthew Flynn

     /  July 17, 2021

    Seems like the girls were in Y guides yesterday at Camp Seagull. Time flies! Kiera graduated from Enloe in May and is off to App State in a few weeks. Glad all is well, always enjoy your updates


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