It is quiet here. It is Sunday night and my daughter is at her Mom's parents spending the night.
It is how it is going to be here in three months as she heads off to college.
It is exciting and bittersweet, all at once.
I'm a very simple man. I will not apologize for that. I'm not for everyone - and sometimes I wonder if I'm for anyone - other than my parents and my daughter.
Some days life, emotionally, that is, is pretty challenging.
This weekend, though, has been good.
I had the chance - by race announcing - to support a new race in Montgomery on Saturday morning for a community that continues to mourn the loss of a second sister to a single family.
There were some minor hiccups, but nothing that ruined the spirit of the day.
I got to work with some great partners - the individual who supplied the sound (who has taken care of me at a number of other races and made me sound good) as well as the race timing company.
I believe that we were all able to provide a level of support that the new race director didn't have to worry about.
Today, our church had its graduation ceremony for its high school and college seniors. My daughter was part of that group and she was asked by our Pastor to sing a solo.
She chose Francesca Battistelli's "It's Your Life", which was very fitting, given the day.
It is very satisfying to see how decisions you've made as a father - and where your heart's been led - have influenced your child and their decision-making.
However, I try not to force one day ahead of what she is experiencing today - other than to plan, of course. Which is an appropriate exercise; however, I'm still excited about what God has in store for her in the years to come.
Me? It is going to be a little bit of an adjustment. I certainly have to get stronger and I believe that I have.
I've had to make some recent decisions that may have a reprecussion in a community that I'm a member of, but I can't leave myself unreasonably vulnerable again like I once did.
I once cost myself precious time with my daughter and I can't allow that to happen again.
When I meet people, right or wrong, I consider them a friend and I attempt to extend to them the same type of friendship that I have with my best friends.
Why shouldn't I attempt to give them - or everybody - my best?
Isn't this what God would want for us to do?
Is it risky? Could I get hurt? Yes, on both counts. But at the end of the day, there's absolutely no regrets. I get joy of being able to make that attempt to be everything I could, if they accepted it. And that's the key point: if the other person accepts it.
I had one situation where my daughter asked me, "Dad, why do you keep going back to that situation?" And I think I remember my response to be, "I hate to feel as if I'm giving up on people."
Most people will - and reciprocate it appropriately. A few won't, for whatever reason.
I just don't want this most recent situation to endanger my friendship with the person that knows the most about me short of my daughter.
We'll see. I just have to pray that God takes care of everything. In the meantime, I'll remove myself from some situations and just accept that it is what comes with the territory in trying to bring clarity to a situation that was troubling me.
It seemed that a person was seeking out my friendship perhaps, but when I tried to reach out, verify and act upon it ... I've been met with absolute silence.
Disappointing, for sure. Expected? Yes, kind of.
Without sounding like a braggard, it's their loss. There's a lot of things that I'm not, but I have some admirable qualities about myself that are part of a healthy friendship.
I'll continue to look for ways to serve other people as God wants us to do.