Celebrating My Dad!

Mark G

It was dad’s birthday yesterday! And there are a lot of things I could say about how amazing the man is and how its okay that we don’t always agree on things, and that we’ve faced interpersonal challenges together, and how he’s my hero, so on and so forth… And all of that would be true. But I actually wanted to recount an evening he and my brothers had with him the night BEFORE his birthday that sums up who he is.

Provider and protector.

Matthew just wants to spread peace throughout the galaxy.

Matthew just wants to spread peace throughout the galaxy.

So America is in racial upheaval as of this month, especially the past 2 weeks due to killings and issues surrounding police and rioting. Its all over the news and #Ferguson or #MikeBrown is everywhere! Well the night before last, Dad just set us all down, us four Bradley Boys, to mainly tell us that he loved us. Through all of the fear, rage and conspiracy going on in the world, Dad mostly wanted to remind us that he loves us and that God loves us.

And that kick started my brothers and I naturally finding things to celebrate about each other. I congratulated and encouraged my brothers for the past year they’d had, through highs and lows. It was timely too, this meeting, because I had wanted to talk to Ethan recently and tell him how proud I am of him as he goes through the changes he is facing.

And I told Matthew he had inspired me to be more of a go-getter as far as art and life is concerned. I like his hustle

Ethan and Gamora are lean, green, stylin' machines!

Ethan and Gamora are lean, green, stylin’ machines!

and his attitude that he can do anything he sets his mind to. He is ready for anything and I love that about him and it felt good to finally say that amongst us guys.

I had heard Daniel, the youngest had been coming into his own as well and is growing into his teen years just fine, speaking up for himself and unafraid to be himself. I had worried about him just because I’m his older brother but when Matthew brought up Daniel’s successes lately I just felt at ease; Daniel is tougher than he looks!

At the end, Dad got out some Communion wine and bread and we just recalled the goodness of God in our lives and gave thanks for the love between us. Dad admitted in light of craziness on the news, he was worried and concerned about our safety, especially with me going back to college and not being around as much again. But we know we are loved and have love to give and that makes all the difference no matter what anyone outside my family is doing. What matters is home and family.

Hero stance!

Hero stance!

And I noticed that especially when life gets terrifying, sentiments like these don’t sound so cliche anymore. They can be the difference between life and death, emotionally and literally. So tell your people that you love them. In the end, everything and everyone dies, but souls do live on to inspire and transform life for the better.

I’m glad Dad had a great birthday yesterday just him and the family… the most noteworthy thing of all.

Yours,

JOSIAH!