I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Take a Moment

Throughout life - Every single person has an awkward stage or something about themselves that they are insecure about.  Most of the time these things are outside of our control.  Take a moment and think about a time in your life when you felt that there was nothing that you could do to defend yourself against a person or event that pointed out that thing that you are most self conscious about.  Remember that moment when someone maliciously pointed out your insecurities in front of a group of people and they all laughed?  You tried to fight back, but there was nothing you could do to defend yourself.    Do you remember a time when someone casually said something without thinking that it may hurt you, but it did?  Maybe you’re not self conscious about it or maybe you’re just really good at pretending not to be – maybe there is something about you that is just different – many things that make people unique are the same things that are pointed out and used as a weapon against them when they are younger.  No matter what it is that makes you different, hopefully you get to a point in your life where you can celebrate it.    I’m not saying that if you have big ears or are a minority or are overweight or if you stutter or are gay or all of the above that you should feel bad about it -- everybody is unique – My hope is that that while you were reading this, for just a second you were reminded of a time in your life that you felt like you couldn’t defend yourself – not a good feeling is it?  Now – look at a picture of my daughter.  A little girl that has spent 51 of her 100 days on Earth in the hospital fighting for her life – A person that has taught me more in her three months about life than anybody in my 38 years.  Do you see her big beautiful brown eyes?  Can you imagine how important and valuable this little girl is to me and my family?  Did I mention she has Down syndrome?  Once again, do you remember that feeling you had when you couldn’t defend yourself?  Think about that next time you decide it’s OK to use the word “Retard”.


  1. Wonderfully put, Rich! Your family is very lucky to have such a strong little fighter! My wish is that your daughter NEVER has to feel defenseless a day in her sweet little life! You have an amazing family and Gracie is just as lucky to have you as you are to have her :) My family has learned so much from yours and I thank you for sharing your life with us. My children are so much more understanding and aware now - elementary, jr., and sr. high - they are all concerned and ask how she is doing :) I really wish you all the luck and good fortune in the world, thank you for sharing! Kim Barton

  2. absolutely beautiful, Rich!!