We spent the weekend in Chicago. My wife and son drove up there on Thursday and our primary function was to be there in support of JP as he auditioned for the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corp. On Sunday, we found he barely missed the cut, I am sorry to report. He is a superb trumpet player and a gifted musician and, in his life to date, he can probably count on one hand the number of times when he has not been successful at achieving a musical goal. It was a very close call and the competition for a very small number of positions was very intense, with players from all over the world. His marching audition was nearly perfect, but his playing audition was not as strong as it normally is, and he just lost his spot.
We were all disappointed, to be sure, but JP took this setback like the mature young man that he has become, and that made me even more proud of him than I already was. By the time we left Chicago he was already talking about how he would now have the time to work on his album, get a job, and maybe put a band together. I am truly blessed with a great son and the time we got to share this weekend was really special to us as a family, during and after his 3-day workshop. Everyone experiences success and failure in life's endeavors, and both, in their way, help shape us to be the people that the Lord intends for us to become.
A secondary reason for going to Chicago which, unfortunately, ended up not getting the full attention it deserved, was to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary which is coming up this week. My work schedule, unfortunately, did not permit us the unfettered freedom of a 3-day weekend so, hopefully, I'll find a way to redeem some time this coming weekend. We did enjoy our abbreviated stay, though, and had a great time sampling some excellent local cuisine and culture.
Here is a picture of us that appeared in the Irving Daily News back in, I think, early January of 1983. It was taken not long after we became engaged and, no, I have no excuses to offer with regard to that sweater. Clearly NCP did not marry me for my fashion sense. My wife remains gorgeous, I'm pleased to report, and looks even hotter today than she did back then. Me...probably not so much. We have a great marriage. There have been hard times and good times (she didn't marry me for money or fame, either, evidently)...such is the stuff that real life is made of, but we are happy together and truly thankful that the Lord has blessed us with one another.
Next year, for our 25th Anniversary, we want to go to Italy for a week or so. We have no idea how that is going to happen and it will likely require some Miraculous Intervention, but that is the goal. Hey, it could happen...