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The Mother of Blessings

Will you have this women to be your wife….

Why hell yes I think I will. When I met my wife I was coming out of an all time low. I am a good man but I had some wear on me from a previous marriage and any woman who took me on would have taken a chance. I was untrusting and not looking for love. I was not in a rush for anything. She asked me out and we dated a long time before I even considered going in for a kiss. I did not want to find out that this perfect woman I was dating was not all I thought she was so a slow path was laid before discovering she was more than I could ever imagine.

….to live together in holy marriage? 

We were married in a West Virginia backyard. We were surrounding by some close friends from several states. I was nervous but I knew I was making the right choice. My wife stands for something. She is pretty and she is smart but there is much more depth to her than that. She cares for people. She cares about strangers and their desires to have families. She see or hears danger and heads towards it instead of away from it.She doesn’t care that she does not have a plan when she heads toward the danger. Someone is in trouble and she wants to help. When a neighbor is in need she does not need in invite to go and offer them some relief from their grief. Being her husband is an honor.

….Will you ,love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health,….

She is unconditional in her love. She will stand for you no matter the cost. There is not a fight she will back down from for you. She will care for you when you do not or cannot care for yourself. In our marriage she has backed downed doctors, fire chiefs, and employers for me even when I wished she would not. She cannot handle the thought of anything harming me in any way. She loves me for me…freaky flaws and all as my daughter would say.

….and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you shall live?….

There could be no other person for me. I have loved many and lost many. Some I lost were my fault and some were not but the thing I learned in those loves is that when someone is willing to give their every everything for your happiness it should not be taken lightly. I will never know a love greater than hers. I will die for her and I will never leave her side. No sickness will slow me down, no challenge life throws at us will make me do anything other than dig in deeper and love her more.

….In the name of God, I take you Shan to be my wife to have and hold from this day forward, for better, for worse….

To some marriage is disposable. You take flight at the first sign of trouble. Problems tear you apart. Problems should and doe strengthen true love and love is true as a babies smile. We have overcome family loss, pet loss, work complications, lost babies, infertility, dreams not reached….with the shrug of our shoulders. We have cried and had sleepless nights but when the sun rises we are together and better than ever. I am so deeply in love with my wife that I can’t breath from time to time.

….for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow!!!

Death shall not end this love because our daughter will bear testimony to our love. She will be a beacon of light that her friends, lovers, and children shall find shelter in. She will be, in part, who she is as a result of our love. We will set the example that you give your all and find ways to make things work. Love is not work. marriage is not work. Your heart will guide you if only your eyes are wide open. My eyes are always open. I am a blessed man, a rich man, and all of this because I have the love of my life. Shannon Thornhill you truly are my sunshine, my only sunshine, and you make me happy every night and day.




I was in a hospital bed. I do not remember all the details as I was drugged out after surgery but I remember my wife laying the law down to the hospital staff. I was having a reaction to a drug the hospital had administered to me.  My wife was making it crystal clear to staff that they were changing my medications and there would be no hesitation. They changed my meds. I had tried for several years to get hired by a fire department. I was top five on the City of Norfolk’s hiring list. I was not hired and was given the answer that they had lost my paperwork. I was top five out of a couple 1000. My wife was furious and called the Fire Chiefs office and told them that they were ignorant by not hiring me. In 13 years my wife has had my back on even the smallest details of my life. She is unwavering in her commitment and love for me. I could do no better in life and neither could anyone else in my opinion.

I do not thing you can define love. Love is defined by so many different things. Love is a feeling, an action, a moment, and sometimes unspoken. Love means the world sometimes stops for a moment when someone walks in the room. Love means your stomach drops when you think for even a single tic that your someone has shed a single tear. Love DOES make the world go round but you can not use words to define it in terms that are the same for everyone. 

For thirteen years I have been humbled and blessed to be married to a walking inspiration. She makes me want to go on. She makes me want to be better.  What she may lack in self-confidence she more than makes up for in her wish to make the world a better place for the ones she loves. When we married I don’t think either of us knew about the difficulties that would come our way. No matter what life put in front of us we bulldozed through. She is the hurricane and I am the tornado. The long battles are quelled by her unmoved determination to not let anything tear our house asunder. I quickly put down life’s moments that can simply ruin a day. We are a team. We can not be defeated. 

I cannot imagine life with anyone other than my wife. When I am old and gray……and I am already getting gray hair….I want to be in a quiet house with her watching television, sitting on the patio talking about our years, holding hands, and watching our dear little girl kick the worlds ass. I love my wife and I am so lucky that she chose me. Happy Anniversary!!!!

The Definition Of Love and Luck




Did you hear the story about boy marries girl then girl tries to kill boy then boy runs away from girl and divorces her and swears off girls (well not wholly) and then another girl asks out same boy and the new girl marries the boy and they all lived happily ever after? If you have not heard that story then Valentines Day is a great day to hear it.

In 1992 I met the girl of my dreams. She was pretty, nice and was the type of girl many boys would have fallen in love with. I was working my dream job as a cop and now I was marrying the girl I assumed I would be with my entire life. After only a few months the problems began. There would be several events that would lead to me leaving the job. My first wife was a diagnosed manic-depressive with very violent tendencies and a huge appetite for alcohol. Over the seven years of marriage she pulled my service weapon on me several times, many times waking me up to the barrel of a Smith and Wesson. She pulled a radio out of the wall swinging it by the cord striking me numerous times in the head. I had abrasions all over my hands from covering up my head. When the police showed up to the police officers house to arrest her one of my supervisors saw the cuts on my hand and told me he was going to have my ass once he could prove I was beating her. I left the job because she wanted to move home and quite frankly I knew I would lose the job if I did not get away from her. I believe when you fall in love and marry you don’t leave unless your options are exhausted. We moved to Ohio and things got worse. After several months and a very violent final episode I left Ohio. Thanks to some friends I made in the Birthplace of Flight and my parents I escaped and started over. New life, new job and that concludes the prologue to my story.

I took a job at a grocery chain and for nearly a year I kept my head down and worked. I saved money and had no plans on dating. Near the end of the first year I got a girls phone number and gave her mine. The first time we talked on the phone it was three in the morning and she was asking me to come over to her home b because she was drunk and wanted me. We had never even been on a date and only spoke a few times. My experienced crazy meter went off and I never talked to her again. Strike one. Like a moth to a flame I started to talk to another girl a couple months later and in no time she became obsessive and frighteningly clingy. Strike two.  I was promoted quickly twice at my job and transferred stores. I worked long hours and was truly thinking that I would never date again because I only attracted crazy. Maybe I needed to bat for my own team? There was a girl that worked in the pharmacy at the store I was a manager in. She was cute, had pretty eyes, and wore glasses. I never gave it too much thought. I thought she was cuter than most but I darn sure was gun shy. I noticed her but left it at that. I noticed many pretty girls that walked in the store and even briefly spoke to some just to make conversation or maybe there was a part of me that did not want to forget how to talk to a woman. But the girl in the pharmacy was the one I often thought about. There were a couple girls who worked in the store that showed great interest in me but one was crazy and the other was married which by default made her crazy because I was not her husband. Strike three and four!!! I was done.

I was building a display in the back of the store when a girl from the pharmacy approached me. She was not THE girl and I figured she had a business question. She asked me if I was single and I said yes. She said that if I was interested the Pharmacist was off for the next four days and wouldn’t mind going on a date with you. THE girl was the pharmacist. I did not know this fact because she was so young I assumed she was a tech or cashier. I took the number and sat on it for four days. I waited until her last night off to call her because I did not really want to go on a date and I figured if I called sooner I might have to go on one. Did I mention I was gun shy? We talked for hours and the first date was planned.

The first date was a humdinger. I took her to a coffee shop and made the mistake of giving her coffee and rock candy. Her mouth was in overdrive and I drank it in like a fine wine. The next few dates were the same. We dated for several months and crazy never ever showed up. One day I was talking to her mother and she made the comment that if I did not marry her then they would find someone that would. She said this as a joke but I took it to heart and asked her to marry me. My only regret was not asking her father first but it was never an issue. We were married in West Virginia and still crazy never showed but it would.

After we were married a series of events occurred over the years that were just life moments. The funny thing about life moments is that the way you deal with them as a couple defines the strength of your marriage. I had a surgery that was not expected but it was not life threatening either. I can still remember her telling the doctor he gave me medications I was having a reaction to and he better switch up what I was getting. It was a lion protecting her pride. Even in a drugged stupor I recognized how dedicated she was to me.

A hurricane was approaching Virginia Beach and most hurricanes missed us but this one was on target. The night before the storm my wife was involved in a horrendous car accident. She would require a combination of stiches and staples that when counted were well into three digits. She lost a great deal of her memory and it completely changed her from that day forward. I did not sleep for two days watching over her after I got her home. The hurricane pounded our home and thankfully we were one of the few that never lost power. The storm passed and she was unresponsive. I threw her in the car and sped top the hospital. The roads were a mosaic of fallen trees and signs. The hospital took care of her and finally that night I rested.

We wanted a child and quickly found that we had infertility issues. We fought through miscarriages and several years of fertility treatments and gave up. One day she told me and I was not given an option that we were trying one more time through IVF. I begged no because I could not see her hurt anymore. Good thing she doesn’t listen to me because now our daughter is five.

This past year I lost my job due to downsizing. It was stressful. I had a job lined up but it was the same job I was losing for less pay still serving the same company that downsized me. My job was farmed out to another company. The company I had worked for fifteen years was not keeping some of its promises. I would go from happy to angry at the flip of a switch. Some of the people I worked with misunderstood my emotions and that only made things worse. The first few months of the new job were frustrating. The job ended out being a blessing and things began to smooth out. I love my new company and am no longer angry with my old company. My wife never wavered in her support. She never made me feel that I was not loved, special. Even when I was at my worst she was there. She has always been my rock. No matter what life has thrown at us in over a decade she is there. I do not take her for granted but I never doubt that she will understand me and when the time is right play my devils advocate. Love is one of those things that you know when you see it. You cannot define love because it is different things to different people but love is truly what gets me through the good and the bad. My wife, Shannon, taught me to take chances, trust myself, and not be afraid to fail. I learned to let go. I hope you all have this kind of love or find this type of love.  I love you Shannon. Happy Valentines Day!!!


My Valentine(s)

I have two blessings in life that make me wake up every morning and face the day. When I am challenged or pressured I think of those two blessings to help me make the best decision possible to make them proud and keep them safe. My life has two more heartbeats other than my very own and I live for them before my own. I have a sense of humor that sees me through dark places but it is my blessings that inspire me to do so. Many people will live life and never have a muse. I have two. I have two people who can make me laugh at a funeral on Christmas Morning. I have two people who worry about me and for me. I am a lucky man because of my two Valentines. My wife and daughter. I love you both. I hope everyone has what I have in their life in some form. I hope you will enjoy this special Monster Movie I made for my Valentines. Happy Valentines to all of you. I’d kiss you all but I am a germaphobe. 🙂



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