“I want to let you know here tonight that although I’ve done some pretty incredible things in wrestling, in my wrestling career when you weren’t around. The most awesome thing I will ever do is be your father.” —James Hellwig, a.k.a. The Ultimate Warrior
Those words were spoken three days before The Ultimate Warrior breathed his last breath on earth. Who would have thought that just a couple of days after being enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame, one of wrestling’s greatest superstars was going to die?
I have to admit his death has shaken me up a bit. Not because he was one of my favorite wrestlers growing up. Rather, because his death reminded me just how brief life really is. No more than seventy two hours after reconciling with the company he had a falling out with, being given the honor that he was properly due, and celebrating this great accomplishment with his family and friends, the Ultimate Warrior was gone.
Life is but a vapor. When you truly reflect on that statement, it puts many things into perspective. For me, I start thinking, did I truly love those close to me? Not did I just say, “I love you,” but did I show it. True love is a verb. It is action. It is expression.
Today, Friday, April 11, 2014 marks the fifth birthday of my daughter, Isabella Grace. My, how time flies! I can still remember her as a baby with her beautiful, light-colored eyes and chubby cheeks wanting nothing more than her milk. Then she was a toddler who loved watching Disney Jr. shows such as The Fresh Beat Band and Yo Gabba Gabba. Now, she’s a little girl with a funny and sometimes sensitive personality. Yes, she’s a tad shy, but when she gets comfortable around someone, I promise, she’ll talk their ear off.
She is beautiful. She is smart. And I am extremely blessed to say that I am her father. As she turns five, I honestly wish I could stop time because I don’t want her to get older. However, I know I can’t do that. The only thing I can do is love her. In fact, that is the greatest thing I can do.
Many of you know that I have lofty ambitions, that I want to make a difference in the lives of many people, and that I genuinely want to leave a positive mark in this world. I’ve done some great things so far, and I know greater things are coming, but I know that for Isabella, the most important thing I can do is love her.
That is why I second what the late Ultimate Warrior said, “The most awesome thing I will ever do is be your father.”
Today, I’ll tell Isabella, “Happy birthday, baby,” and “I love you.” I’m also 100% positive that we’ll sing songs from the Frozen soundtrack because the most awesome thing I will ever do is be her father. Today and until eternity.