In the past few weeks, I have noticed on social media numerous individuals stating their thankfulness for their blessings as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. I looked back on my roller coaster life and noticed where God brought significant people into my life to mold, mentor, and hold me accountable. I can clearly say without the selfless sacrifices these amazing men and women made, I would not be what God intended me to be. I shudder at the alternative of the type of person I could have been. I am thankful to you, my mentors.
I am thankful for Dr. Terry Samplaski and his lovely wife, Sharon, for adopting me during my wayward college days. I remember learning how to serve as a Christian by just watching Terry. This amazing man simply went to his knees and covered me in prayer. I remember light moments like playing Madden Football on his monochrome IBM personal computer as the highlight of my week. I would wander off and Terry continued to greet me with open arms upon my return. This man mentored and guided me by discipling and simply loving me.
Thank you, Terry and Sharon.
Then there was Bobby and Ginger Bell. This amazing duo took a young married couple under their wings and taught us how to survive the early tumultuous years of marriage. If it hadn’t been for these amazing friends who took us in and just fellowshipped with us, I know our marriage would be very different. I will never forget when I was fired from my first job as a Sales Rep at Aggie 96 Radio; Bobby hired me as an On-Air-Radio Personality at the same station within five minutes to the detriment of his career. He took a chance on me. For that I am eternally grateful. And so is my beautiful bride.
Bobby-You took my wife and me on a fishing trip on a cold autumn day. Of course, you and I caught nothing. Nor caught and brought home one catfish. You and I, then, went to Albertson’s to buy catfish for the much anticipated fish fry.
Ginger convinced me to sing Tenor as part of a living Christmas tree at their church. I have to admit I will never do that again.
Thank you, Bobby and Ginger.
My best friend, Darrin. Wherever you are. I wish we could mend the fence we broke. I have so much to tell you. I am a cop now. Can you believe it? Yeah, me neither. The boys ask for you. The Cowboys still stink. Your XBOX controller is still on my television. I miss picking you up at the airport when you would visit. Your friendship still means everything to me. You taught me how to be a friend, laugh, and just live. As an only child, you were and still are the closest thing I have to a brother.
I miss you, man. I hope you are happy. I hope you are married to a hot smoking woman and dizzy in love with her. I just hope…
Thank you, Darrin.
Finally, my 300. Mark, Allen, and Ken. Wow! It’s been a long time. I can’t thank you enough for the amazing Wednesday after 7AM conversations. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the Lord bringing you into my life. You three didn’t pull any punches. I have never been so challenged by you three Godly men. We just might get our families through this thing called life. I lost a great friend and then God gave me three brothers to fill the gap. We are not old but we are getting older. I can’t think of a better crowd of men I would want to spend my free time.
I am thankful for each of you.
Thank you Jesus for these amazing individuals who decided to invest in me. And because of every one of you, Mentors, I am paying it forward.