We all want to know what makes people tick – especially if we are dealing with professionals talking about our money. I hope that this brief glimpse into my life and values will help you learn a little more about me.
My core values are:
* Loving, helping and serving others is Job One. It really is the greatest producer of joy.
* Honesty works and pays; sometimes not immediately, but ultimately.
* We are all accountable to others and to God, whether we know it or not.
* True wealth is found in relationships.
Parts of my life below, I hope, reflect and have produced these core values.
Married almost 40 years
Many things help form who we really are. My wife is undoubtedly the biggest change agent in my own life – in wonderful ways!
Here she is about the time I first met her:
Our parents were close friends and lived only 2 doors apart. When I proposed and phoned my folks that evening, they got out of bed, threw on bathrobes and walked 2 doors down to celebrate. All our parents are gone now, but we are still as much in love as ever. I am a very, very lucky man…
Our Surprise and Miracle
9 years into our marriage, we had our third child – 4 months early. He was 1 lb., 11 oz. Later he dropped to 1 lb. 4 oz. Doctors gave him less than 1% chance of living. We began every visit (every day) with an NICU Indian doctor greeting us each morning with the news “Baby will die.”
The Prognosis: And if he did live, they said, he would be blind, have deep mental disorders, need lifetime kidney treatments and he’d always have a failing heart.
There is a CNN broadcast about a preemie that is popular now. Its video is indeed very powerful. But our son was actually younger and smaller than the one featured on it.
Two weeks on the “outside” and his head was still smaller than a tennis ball:
2 months later, he gets unhooked from his wires & tubes and is out of his box to meet his siblings:
And of course, to be held by Momma:
He came home after 4 months in the NICU. We hung this sign over our house:
It reads: “Behold. I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?” – Jeremiah 32:27
It is said that life is not so much about finding the right answers as it is about asking the right questions.
We began to realize we didn’t know what the right questions really were when times were easy, especially questions about life, death, God, and what or whom we are living for.
We got a lot better with the questions during these times…
Here he is today, 30 years later, at his wedding. He’s the gentleman on the far left with the babe clinging to him (my wife). You can’t imagine what my wife and I were feeling about our son’s amazing journey during this weekend!
My Family is My Real Wealth
Our other son and daughter are both professionals in business and health care. Our adult children and their spouses are truly our best friends! Two recent additions to the clan from my older son:
Hearts for Displaced Foreigners
Not long after our adventure with our preemie son, a buddy called who worked for a local relief agency in town, asking if we’d help settle a Vietnamese boat family. We met this forlorn little family at midnight at O’Hare.
All they owned hung from the wife’s wrist in a small plastic flight bag. Over a year or two, we helped them get housing, jobs, schools and Vietnamese friends. The experience absolutely changed our lives.
Here we all are, 20 years later. That original flight bag had expanded to include a Mercedes, full rides to the University of Chicago and Harvard, and a house bigger than ours:
Right from the get-go, we were hooked. I never kept count of the different people and families we got involved with, but like our Vietnamese friends here, they all were escaping persecution, including death and torture: Rwanda, Afghanistan, Cuba, China, Kosovo, and others. It became an honor for us to know these people.
Well there you have it: my personal life, my family and the experiences that have formed my values. I truly love helping others!
If you would like to chat about your financial issues with me, now you know something about who is at the other end of the line.
If I can help you sort some things out and achieve your goals, I truly will! Call or email me anytime!