My Greatest Achievement

In my life no one achievement has ever been the result of any one action. My greatest achievement was a result of hard work. The hard work that leads to what I consider my greatest achievement was a lifetime of compromise and dedication. Without a doubt, the greatest achievement has to be my 43 year marriage.

Lucky Guy

Being married for 43 years was accomplished partly by my having the good fortune in finding the right person to marry. The work that is required to make a marriage last is done in three ways: putting God before yourself or your family, loving your spouse before your kids or yourself, and finally, loving your kids before yourself. First let me show you how I learned to put God first.


Being raised in a predominantly Christian culture I knew, but rarely practiced, Christianity. My true conversion came on the battlefield of Viet-Nam. There is nothing like facing death to remind you how temporary life truly is. I made a promise to God that I would live according to the rules laid down in the Bible. The fear of God was truly the beginning of all wisdom. When I married my friend we didn’t have to make a decision to love each other 50/50, we both gave 100 percent to the other person because we both loved God more than ourselves. One of the ways our love for each other manifested was in the respect we shared for each other beliefs. I learned to compromise in our selection of place to worship God, and I dedicated myself to make sure our choice worked without complaining.

The second way I worked hard in order to make a good marriage great was to put my love for my spouse before the love for my kids. My wife and I agreed early in our marriage that we must come first. It was our example to our kids that gave them the understanding of love; the way we talked to each other, the way we looked at each other, and the way we treated each other. Our kids knew love, not by us talking about what love should be, but by us living it every day. I was dedicated to the marriage and our family.

family 1980

The third way I worked hard to have a long lasting marriage was to love my kids before myself. The way I achieved this was to make sure I was at every school meeting, and showed up to every swim meet on the schedule. My career and my life were second to my family. I dedicated everything I had to the family God had given me. I compromised my career by passing up promotions because travel would get in the way of going to my kids’ school events. I finished a bachelor degree at night so as not to interfere with my family. I started law school in the 80’s but had to quit because it would take too much time and dedication to be successful. I did not want to take this time away from my family.

Jamie and me

In conclusion, staying married for 42 years is my greatest achievement. This was accomplished through hard work, dedication, and compromise. I put God first, my spouse second, and third I put my kids before myself. The road was not paved, and there was no map to show me how to get to here, but the journey was worth the trip because now I have eleven grandkids who are my friends.


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