I have many titles and roles, and I've attempted to summarize them in the "About Me" bio over on the right side of this blog (if you're looking at it on the full website). But what do they really mean?
First and foremost, I am a Christ-follower. My pastor, Mark Norman, at Grace Community Church, preached on this very subject this evening, with words such as "follower", "disciple", and "Christian" each being similar but showing differing degrees of being one who follows Christ Jesus. I consider myself a Christ-follower, as one who believes that Jesus is my Savior, and because I've allowed Him into my heart, will provide eternal life. I believe this is the most important descriptive term of who I am.
Second, I am a father. My daughter, Melody, means the world to me. I helped give her life, and it is my responsibility to raise her to be a responsible, honorable, intelligent, well-rounded, loving, civilized, God-fearing young woman. My hope is that she will accept Jesus as her Savior, and all that this entails.
Third, I am a widower. What this means is that I was a husband, which was such an enjoyable role, before my wife passed away. Losing Teresa was such a devastating thing, and I am still recovering. The title of widower is a difficult one to accept, because it signifies loss. My marriage was one of my greatest successes, as it had Christ at its center, and my wife and I loved each other like no one else. It was such a wonderful relationship, one I would gladly enter in to again should the right woman enter into my life, due to the great experience I had.
I am a dog-owner fourth. I have a cute Maltese pup named Scout, named after the little girl in the book, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, my wife's favorite. Scout is now 12 years old and showing every bit of her age. She is a faithful little dog, one of my best friends, and I'm honored that she looks up to me as the "pack leader" of our happy household.
I am a cartographer by trade. I attended the University of Maryland and learned my map-making skills through a geography/cartography major, and was employed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a cartographer working on aeronautical charts, a position that carried over to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2000. I have since moved into a management position, which is a completely different set of skills.
As a public servant, I work for the Federal Government, and, as noted, I am now a manager. I am proud to serve in this role as a trusted official for the people of the United States, and it is a position that I do not take lightly or for granted.
One of my great loves and activities is to take road trips, and it is something that I do regularly, making me a road trip enthusiast. I am so happy that my daughter enjoys them, as well. Road trips are the greatest way to see this great country we live in, and I've been so fortunate to have driven through 41 states, each one with a specific look and identity, as well as the great sites found in each. I love to travel in this way.
Road trips have led me to some of the best destinations: amusement parks and theme parks. At these parks are some of the greatest roller coaster rides in the world, making me a roller coaster enthusiast. I love the thrill of riding a diving, looping, twisting, climbing, rolling, extremely fast coaster, and my daughter and I have found ourselves on some of the greatest this country has ever seen. There is nothing like the feeling of riding one of these hulking giant thrill machines, and we continue to seek them out.
Being a Terp is a label earned during my years as a student and graduate from the University of Maryland, whose mascot is the Terrapin. I love the sports teams that are fielded at Maryland, and am proud of my heritage at Maryland. Being a Terp is an honor.
Lastly, I am a member of Steeler Nation, as a fan of one of the most successful professional football teams in the NFL. There are numerous fans of the Steelers, and they are located throughout the United States, and the world, and this fandom is known collectively as Steeler Nation. My father grew up in the Pittsburgh area, and raised me to be a fan of the sports teams based in Pittsburgh, including the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins.
I have many other roles and titles, namely son, brother, and friend, which I don't include on my "about me" right up, but they are no less important. But that's who I am.
I hope you have a wonderful evening, everyone!