January 23, 2013
Another favorite day on my calendar besides Thanksgiving is January 23. That is the birthday of my oldest son.
For thirty five years I have worked to get to know him, watch him become the man he is, love him, weep with him, and rejoice with him in his triumphs. I did not know the full meaning of love until I held him for the first time. For all of these years, he has been a gentle teacher as he taught me how to be a mom to him.
He has been the source of so much joy over the decades. He has offered wisdom way beyond his years and shown remarkable compassion to so many including me. He has made me smile and beam with pride with his performances since he was old enough to walk and talk. I have such wonderful memories of him putting together costumes for himself and his brother when he was 4 and his brother was two. For years, they would come to the living room and lip sync and mime playing instruments to some tape recording, and later play instruments and even do comedy routines. Twinkles came to my eyes during each performance. Yes, the twinkles often had some tears in them.
It was such an honor to watch him and his band in Austin. He asked for singing lessons for Christmas one year and quickly found people to be in his band. His voice was amazing without lessons, but he always likes to enhance his strengths. Of course his brother was the lead guitar player of the band. All of those performances for Grandadddy Plug brought tears of joy and pride as I watched my boys play and entertain audiences. All of those rehearsals in my single car garage on Blaylock are in my special bank of memories. I would be cooking dinner for the band or just hanging out smiling as I heard the band work out some rift or transition. Those years are behind us (for now) but they were a special time for the family.
He has so much strength in so many ways. Of course he is physically strong, having decided in high school to develop that aspect of himself. Now that passion for building his own body has continued on and is a way to help others as he coaches and trains people of all ages and physical conditions. While he trains he listens and talks to those people. He helps people self-actualize physically and emotionally. How do I know? Because I train with him every week. His wisdom and willingness to share what he discovers is another part of his strength. He studies philosophy and physical well-being. He researches anything he wants to know about. All of that he shares willingly. He quietly admits he does not have answers. People believing he does makes him uncomfortable. He is a seeker and seekers seek and share what they learn.
The strength of his character and his love for family (both human and animal) is another aspect of him that blows me away. Loss hits him hard, and is an awesome testimony to those he loves. It also helps people with more hardened hearts access their own grief. He is humble. Often he is quiet as he mulls over some thought or plan. Peacefulness is important to him but he also knows how to laugh and how to make others smile.
So here is to James Matthew, aka Jim. May he live and prosper for many, many decades. May his wisdom speak to the hearts and spirits of many.