Thinking back over these last two years of traveling and being a full time dad has really made me reflect on the past decisions I made concerning my family. I was never home and the Marine Corps took priority over them because I knew they were safe and the bills were paid.
As a Marine, I put my all into training my Marines while making myself competitive for promotion. I was a black belt in he Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, (MCMAP for short). I earned a bachelor’s degree through the University of Maryland, I held amazing positions far beyond my pay grade and I was successful at being a Marine Staff Sergeant. It was not until I got medically seperated and found out all my hard work was for nothing as a new civilian.
After my separation, my wife was diagnosed with lupus and firomyalgia. She was bed ridden for three months and I had to take care of her, my four children and myself. I always said that I rather be ducking rounds down range than be at home all day. That was my first outlook at being home all day instead of being with my weapons company. But I was in for a surprise.
I quickly realized that I really didn’t know any of my children or my wife. I spent almost 11 years with different priorities, but my priority should have always been my family first. I realized this quick and was very disappointed in myself and the time lost. I was in a crash course on learning about my kids whether I was ready to or not.
Looking back, this was the best thing that could have happened to me. I can say now that I am a successful father, husband, and pastor because of it. Many people lose focus on what life should be about and may not have the same opportunity as me to have to take care of the family all alone. I know my situation was a God thing and we have never been as happy as a family. I fully know what makes each one of my kids tick, learn, laugh and love. I could have never done this without them allowing me back in and God.
So please don’t wait until you have to go through struggles to understand that your family must come first. After six surgeries and plenty of medals earned, in the end it was my family that took care of me and allowed me to relearn how to be me. Please have a blessed day yall!