Well, it is now a brand new year! A few minutes ago, the fireworks began showering the sky, a neighbor boy’s trumpet was blasting away, people were cheering “happy new year” and horns were honking. It was quite a site in this relatively quiet, yet active neighborhood. A few minutes before midnight, my friend, Jason, called to say he was in my driveway and could he please come in so he would not be alone at midnight. We heard the first few strains of “Auld Lang Syne” and then hurried to the deck to watch the sky all lit up with flairs, rockets and Roman candles. The phone began ringing with greetings from my sister, my friend Frank who is in Seattle with his family, Phil from Cincinnati and several students.

Dick Clark, recovering from a stroke, was back in his seat hosting the musical celebration for the new year’s eve festivities in New York City. It is sad to see him struggle with his speech, but it is so good to have him with us yet another year.

Last night, a student IM’d me on AOL chat and as we discussed several items he mentioned how life has both a good deal of predicted and unexpected turns, as well as those moments when you ask, “What if this moment in my life would have happened this way?” I think we all ask “what if?” I know I have.

  • What if I had continued with the wish to go to Georgetown University near Washington, DC to study historical curation rather than Ball State University for music education…?
  • What if I had not auditioned for drum-major of our marching band as a freshman…?
  • What if I had not auditioned for the Ball State Singers…?
  • What if I had not taught at Northside…?
  • What if I had not moved to Dayton…?
  • What if I had decided to remain permanently in NYC…?
  • What if the secretary at Fairhaven Church had not dropped the message from my phone call accepting the music position there…?

At that point in my life, 1996, I can see where so many things began merging into a particular path. The secretary at Fairhave Church dropped the note from my telephone call accepting the music position. I had been contacted by Normandy United Methodist Church, several times within six months, and was holding off on responding until I heard from Fairhaven. After a week, I figured Fairhaven had made another decision and agreed to meet with the music committee at Normandy. A few weeks later, I was Normandy’s new music director and the following day, Tim called me from Fairhaven to apologize for finding my phone message behind a mailbox.

At Normandy I met, and became good friends with Bill & Kay Hetzer, and a number of other wonderful people. I became closer with the Hetzers, when in 1997, they lost their son, Andrew, 16, in a tragic automobile accident on Mother’s Day. That summer, Bill and I discussed adoption – I wanted to be a dad and he and Kay were not finished being parents.

We both began investigating the possibilities, and the Hetzers discovered ACTION Adoption Agency. In 2000, they adopted Joey, and in 2001, Christopher. In 2002, I got Matthew, and in 2003, another son – which, sadly, did not work out. Then, 2004, Jose arrived. I missed out in 2005, somehow, but am eager to continue my family growth in 2006.

So, had it not been for the move to Dayton, a church secretary losing a message, me going to Normandy, the Hetzers introducing me to ACTION…. well, I may have adopted, but I would not have the two sons I now have. As I wrote a friend earlier this evening, life has a way of working out the way it should, sometimes by our choice, and other times by Divine intervention. It is great to be in my forty-second year and able to look back with satisfaction on all the twists and turns of these past 41 years. I am ready for another 41.

Happy 2006!

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