AWD wants to wish all the Dudes and Dudettes a very Merry Christmas! I hope we all enjoy this special time of year with our family and friends to remember what’s important in our lives.

Life is hard and filled with pain and struggle. My own life has been filled with adversity and heartbreak. Not turned out like I dreamed it would when I was young. But who’s life has? But we have hope. And we have our family and friends. And family and friends are what’s really important in this life. Oh sure, it’s nice to drive a bad-ass F150, have supa-sexy good looks, great guns, knives, and flashlights. Oh, and have Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders trying to bust down the door to my bedroom/boudoir every night wanting to make wild monkey love to me but none of that really matters. It’s the people in our lives that really matter.

Christmas is bittersweet for AWD. Being a divorced dad, my children were usually under another man’s roof during Christmas when growing up. I was often left to myself. It was a terrible pain to feel that loneliness and regret. And it’s another terrible pain during the holiday to miss our loved ones who have passed.

I lost my wonderful Dad almost 10 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t remember something about him. What he would say. His funny dry sense of humor. How he loved his family but how he worshiped my Mother. I can remember him fishing at the beach, bringing in Christmas presents, playing cards with friends (and cheating), going to ball games. I remember him being drug to the dance floor by my Mother and watching him pretend to dance just to make her happy. I remember his special, beautiful hatred for the Carolina Tar Heels. A special hatred I too have instilled in my children. Train up a child!

As AWD moves further into his 50’s, I wish I could talk to him. Ask his opinions. Hear his voice. Look into his warm, brown eyes and listen to his wise perspective and counsel. He was a quiet, private man and was loved by all. I miss him so.

This has been a very difficult year for me. Some of my closer AWD friends know of what I speak. I’m glad to see the year come to an end. But I have faith that next year will be better. And as tough as this year was for me, many others have it far worse. I enjoy the undying love of my children and family. I have a good job and warm home. I have my health. And I have so many wonderful friends who are a constant source of strength and support. They touch me in ways that keep me astonished. My AWD friends are so incredible in their love and strength and I love you all.

I’m emotional writing these words. I usually try to ignore Christmas as long as possible because of the pains past and current. But once Christmas Eve comes around my heart is full of love, humility, and hope for a better day. For us all.

Merry Christmas, my beautiful friends! And thank you for being such an important part of my life! You are such an inspiration. I am humbled by your greatness and generosity.


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