Accused of being happy all the time is not much of a burden. People are generally happy for someone else to be happy. So, for a variety of reasons, I am happy to be here, happy to have this life and happy to share my experience in the hope it helps someone else.
Part Two of Being Happy
Law school was what my brain needed. I needed the challenge of thinking the other way. Sure I could argue for Differential Y, but could I argue against it? I met some of the coolest folks in law school. Mayor and then Congressman Jim Marshal
l gave me my highest grades, but scared the hell out of all of us. You learned to be prepared with arguments for both sides with Jim. My best friends were Charles Bond, Ric Rowden and Larry Lee. We were the four Amigos. Still are, except Ric was killed by a drunk driver soon after law school. That was sobering. Didn’t really understand death much at the time. Not sure I do still. I never planned to be a real lawyer, it just kind of happened. I thought I’d be in the business world but life had other plans. I ended up in Houston County working for Judge Buster McConnell and Nunn, but McConnell mostly. He became a mentor to me and still is.
I was appointed magistrate judge, which was a good thing because I had no clue how the judicial system worked and I was a lawyer for eight years at that point. From there I ran for district attorney and won. Talk about having no clue! I knew how to manage an office, but how to prosecute was a learning process. Learning how to dole out compassion but get bad guys off the streets was difficult. I think I was pretty good at it by the end. I’ve had a great career doing what I want to do. It’s easy to be happy, if you want to be.
So being happy is self inflicted in my opinion. Can you laugh at yourself? Can you make a game out of a cardboard box? Can you play peek-a-boo boo with a child in the next booth at the restaurant? Can you help an elderly lady put her groceries in her car? God doesn’t expect you to conquer the world. But He does give us the opportunity to make life better, easier, more fun and less painful for others. Be involved in something.
I read to second graders at C.B. Watson. It is the most fun thing that I do. More fun than driving my MGB. More fun than skiing! (Did I really say that?) More fun than going to court. To have an impact on about 40 second graders is an amazing opportunity. Give and you shall receive? It’s true. If you have a giving heart, you get far more back than you put out. When those kids all want to hug you, it’s amazing.
I don’t know why God gave me a second chance at life. If you don’t know the story, I was in a coma due to my pancreas shutting down after a chemo treatment. I could easily have died. I had the most incredible, wonderful, amazing, euphoric and glorious 33 hours as I prepared for entry into Heaven. For my lovely wife, it was heartbreaking, tough and emotional as she was constantly told that I could go either way. When I came to, I grabbed her by the arms and begged her to let me go back. Back to the joy, the celebration, the peace! Alas, God had other plans and I was revived and over time I had an amazing healing. So I’m back for Life Round Two. I like to think I made a difference in Round One, but I know, somewhere, somehow, I will make a difference in someone’s life, because this second chance shall not be wasted. How can I not be happy?