There is a man in your life – perhaps in the present, perhaps from the past – who helped you become the man you are today. There is appreciation; there is esteem; there is respect.
In this edition of the Legacy Magazine, having moved just beyond Thanksgiving and heading towards the close of another year, we take the time to honor our own … through the eyes of the men answering our question of the month in what we call a “shout out!”
Willy Holt. A man who has changed his life and turned it around to live honorably.
A shout out to dad, Norman Resnik, a man of integrity in all aspects of his life. He showed me how to be a committed, caring husband. This man, who worked long hours and was sole caretaker of his wife – before, during, and after work – took the time to plan a party in her honor, even though she would not remember it afterward due to dementia. When asked why, he explained, “Because for each minute during the party, she will have a wonderful time, and I want her to have that joy, in those minutes, so long as I can provide it.” I saw his commitment to her, in action, for 10 years before she died. When I proposed to the woman who is now my wife, it was with this sense of commitment in mind, knowing I am willing to live up to his example if called upon to do so. My wife deserves nothing less than for me to be my father’s son.
I honor Peter Laffin, my stepdad, for showing me how to be a man, be a carpenter, be a contractor, how to hunt in the woods, and really help me be more of a man who could hold that strong masculine space. He did it with humor, and fun and joy, and I will always remember him for that.
I would honor Michael Fowlkes for all the work he’s done, for what he’s done for me, bringing me into division and allowing me into my circle. It had a huge impact on my life, and I’m sure he’s impacted many other lives.
I want to honor my communication Vice President when I was president, James Anthony Ellis. I had an idea about a newsletter, and he took it to places that I never dreamed it would exist. He created lines of communication in MDI that we never had before. He’s a man of ethics, standards, integrity, and moral character, an example to us all.
I would say my father Robert Frank Weiler who is still a big influence in my life. I dream about him to this day. His dedication to the family, his dedication to the church, and making sure myself and my brothers and my sisters all grew up with positive feelings about themselves, the country and community. I thank God for him.
I’m going to honor Dave Wainwright. He always believed in me more than I believed in myself. He was a guy who could just wing it at the last second and have gold come out. He showed me how to enroll men. He just has so much love. He loves to see other men do great things and step up and be successful. He gives such hope. Thanks Dave.
Honoring Bill Oakes. I’ve been watching him over 10 years. I want to honor him for always stepping up. For Legacy Discovery five or six times. He always has a division level job. Always doing something for the division, but always quiet about it. He never tries to take credit for it, but he is always there. He definitely deserves credit. I honor him for everything he’s done. Thank you.
Chris Terrence is a man I honor for being the fatherly guide I needed during the years I lacked direction and focus. After my father died, I was angry and confused and expressed my grief through apathy and self-destruction. I was going to college but didn’t know why, living at home under the roof of my mom, and had no job. I was the quintessential slacker of Generation X.
Chris was about 20 years older than I, and I think he recognized a little of himself in me. He told me hilarious stories of his life that proved to be anecdotes, life-lessons, and pearls of wisdom for me. He really encouraged me to pursue my love of guitar and teaching. He accentuated the positive aspects of who I was and helped me learn to trust again. He allowed me to be me and celebrate that. We shared a love of Dylan and took a road trip to see him. Chris was someone I could go a year without seeing, and then we would meet it was like we were just together the day before.
Chris was the best man at my wedding. We have supported each other through tough times. He lives in another state now, but he never seems that far away. When we met I was in college; now I am married with two children of my own. He has woven his kindness, his perspective of life, his generosity, his humor, his honesty into the tapestry of my life. I get to share what I learned, and I am still learning from him with my own son and daughter.
It is nice to take this moment and reflect on a man who has made a difference in my life and share my gratitude for the extraordinary gifts he gave me. He was my mentor and still is. He is my friend. Chris is a great man who has made me a better man, a better husband, and a more capable and loving father. He has given me the confidence and belief that I am a worthy teacher who influences the lives of my students through creativity and love.
Thank you Chris for believing in me when I doubted myself. Today I can stand up on the rock of my life and say “Look at me now, look who I am!” I can just see Chris with a wink and a smile saying, “I’m proud of you Jay.” As I write those words knowing what they mean for me I can never say them too often to my own son. Thank you Chris, you are a great man.