There doesn’t appear to be an agreed upon date regarding the birth of Jesus. However, it seems that most agree that His birth is within the range of 7 BC and 4 BC. Performing the internet search “when was Jesus born” using Google, the first link in the response list yields the conclusion that Jesus was born at noon on August 21, 7 B.C. For simplistic sake, if we opt to use that date, this means that reason behind the yearly tradition of celebrating Christmas was spawned from an event that happened 739,014 days ago … or 2,023 years, 4 months and 4 days from today.
When I think of all the amazing and awe-inspiring events that have happened over the last 2,023 and 1/4 years, I cannot imagine living in a world without all of the advances we have made (technically, socially and spiritually) as we continue to grow and evolve. Along these lines, I thought I would consider the numbers that mean the most to me in my personal life and reflect back on some of the highlights I have encountered within each milestone.
6,496 – March 14, 2000
If we go back 6,496 days, the calendar lands on March 14, 2000. While the world is recovering from the fear of the Year 2000 bug and most still riding the wave of the dot-com era, I was spending some time in Guatemala City – in the Central American country of Guatemala. My reason for visiting, was to bring my son (Eric) home – who was nearly nine months of age and had been in the care of foster parents while his final adoption paperwork was being approved.
As I look back on his life, I am so proud of the man Eric has become. In the spring, he will finish out his senior year of high school and in the fall he will continue his education – studying Computer Science. Yes, I am extremely proud of his decision and feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be his father.
Some of my favorite memories with Eric are noted below:
- engaging in some type of game or activity with him – ranging from made-up games in the front yard to collaborative video games where we “save the world” together
- watching him participate in sports (3 years of soccer, 3 years of basketball and 11 years of football … ending with a record-setting undefeated state-championship season)
- seeing him volunteer at church and on the very same cadet football fields where he started playing organized sports – always placing the needs of others before his own
One would think that nearly 6,500 days would be a very long time. Honestly, each year seemed to zoom by faster and faster and I can’t believe Eric is nearly finished with high school.
I could not be more proud of Eric!
1,515 – November 2, 2013
It all started when I saw her profile on a popular dating web-site. After putting together a short (but hopefully intriguing) message to this beautiful woman living in Zionsville, I was hopeful to hear something back from her. However, anyone who has been through the saga of online dating knows that it is a very convoluted experience. With all the messages being sent and received, I would not be surprised if my introductory message became hidden between several similar messages. But she did respond back, the next day.
Then, one-thousand, five-hundred and fifteen days ago, I met Nicole at a place called Paradise Bakery for the first time. That late afternoon date began with the way she made me feel as she looked into my eyes and touched my arm with her gentle touch. She looked so beautiful as she sat across from me – both with her stunning looks and her amazing personality. Our time together was spent with conversations of both a fun and serious nature. One of the many similarities we shared was the desire to have another child. For us, raising our children seemed to transpire quicker than we wanted and we both realized how wonderful it would be to have the opportunity to have at least one more child.
When our first date ended, I knew that Nicole would be a part of my life. I wasn’t sure how the timing would work out and what our relationship would be, but I truly felt like I had found someone who was the perfect complement to me. I told so many people that she is the female version of me, because of the vast commonalities that we share.
I knew that God had a plan for us … and what an amazing plan it would be!
My love for Nicole continues to grow stronger and deeper every day. She is truly my soulmate. I am so grateful that our paths crossed four years, one month and twenty-three days ago!
1,372 – March 25, 2014
It was a Tuesday evening in late March when I had a dinner date with Nicole. We had dated occasionally without the relationship reaching a serious state prior to that time. When I visited her townhouse in the village of Zionsville, I was able to meet her daughter Sydney for the very first time. She was in her room, with her long-time friend (Cassidy) and they were going through some things on the floor next to her bed.
I remember after being introduced, sitting down between them and gaining an understanding on what they were doing. I recall feeling like they accepted me as someone they already knew and our conversation began to flow effortlessly. Now, knowing Syd for nearly fourteen-hundred days, I have realized just how blessed I am to have her in my life.
I raised my son Eric, starting on his adoption day, but I really had no experience raising a daughter. My role in Syd’s life has brought me great joy being able to be a part of watching her go through life and grow into an amazing person. I have seen Syd continue to be driven on so many levels – with her creativity, her dedication at her job and her unending love for her animals.
I’ve watched her mature into seeing things from the perspective of a young woman, embracing tough topics and seeing the world for what it is (both good and bad). She has the ability to understand her viewpoint, reach a conclusion and be able to defend/evangelize her position. Very impressive for someone her age.
I am so grateful for Nicole for so many things. Allowing me to be a part of her daughter’s life will always be at the top of my list of favorites.
144 – August 4, 2017
As one might imagine, August 4th of this year was an amazing day for our family. For that is the day that Phoenix (aka baby Finn) was born. Phoenix is our miracle baby. Baby Finn is the individual who bridges Nicole and Sydney’s life with the life of mine and Eric. Like the Phoenix in Greek methodology by which both the city and his name is based, baby Finn will reach new heights by rising above the ashes of all things before him.
Believe it or not, we are already seeing examples.
Since we found out that Phoenix was born with Down Syndrome, Nicole and I believe he will live true to his name and rise above every challenge that comes his way. In the first twenty weeks of his life, baby Finn has gained more muscle tone than what has been expected and continues to excel with his motor skills and body control. He is picking up on the basic sign language words we have been teaching him, watching intensely and then using his hands to communicate when his vocal speech is not yet ready. He also becomes laser-focused when we put a book or learning toy before him – trying to soak in as much as he can with the current experience.
What I truly love the most about baby Finn is his ability to make other people smile. It doesn’t matter if it is a friend/family member or a complete stranger. Phoenix will focus deeply on the person communicating with him, looking into their eyes. Then, when he is ready, he will light up with the most amazing smile, causing the object of his affection to return a smile right back at him. It is almost breath-taking. This started in his first few weeks of life and was only evident with his eyes, but now includes his smile and even a bit of his giggle – which is probably the cutest noise you will ever hear. (Sure, I am probably biased with that statement.)
Each day is a journey with our son. A journey I love at a level that is impossible to put into words.
0 – December 25, 2017
This is today. This is Christmas.
I honestly feel like I have received some of the most amazing gifts in the world – all of them are based upon the amazing individuals I mentioned above. I feel like God blessed me with Eric, Nicole, Sydney and baby Finn. For gifts and worldly possessions will come and go – just like careers and friendships. However, a good family with a strong bond – wrapped around unconditional love – is everlasting and unbreakable.
At the start of this article, I mentioned reflecting on all of the technical, social and spiritual advancements that have transpired and blossomed since August 21, 7 BC. These advancements have given us the world in which we live in. While I didn’t focus on really any of these aspects, my direction was by design. I am grateful for all the advancements that allow my family to live an amazing life. I am grateful for my talents and abilities – which have given me a career that I enjoy. However, I am most grateful for the items I mentioned above … my family. Because, my family is what I will always value the most and the reason I work as hard as I can on a daily basis.
On this Christmas, I hope that you too can look back on the last 739,017 days … or probably not that far … to focus on the milestones that are related to the things that you value the most. I urge you to make sure you make your feelings known. Using both my actions and my words (written and spoken), I try to express just how much I love and appreciate my family. Because, to me, my family is the greatest gift of all!
Have a really great day!!!