By: Michael Aun
It is the time of the year when we consciously express our thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us. For me, that was summed up nicely one weekend in October.
My favorite teams with the initials of SC (Saint Cloud High School and the University of South Carolina), both won their games over East River of Orlando and the University of Tennessee, respectively.
The East River victory was particularly satisfying. A distant relative, Collin Drafts, had been their coach for the past couple of years and had turned the program around nicely. He has since moved back to my homeland, the midlands of South Carolina, where he has taken over the reins of another Falcon program, the AC Flora Falcons.
Their team went winless the year before but Collin worked his magic, taking them to a District Championship the same night I was being ball boy for my son Cory’s St. Cloud team as we beat the former Falcon team in Florida, 46-18.
I have a special affinity for Collin. His grandmother Tat Drafts, literally raised my three sons. Tat was the sister of Annie Laurie, who was married to my uncle Arthur Mack. I guess that makes us distant relatives.
Her sons, Brian and John (Collin’s father), are some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. Both were superior high school and college athletes. John went on to become a coach and Athletic Director. John’s pride was beaming as he shared Collin’s good news on social media.
I am so happy for his success at AC Flora High School. Of all the descriptions I have heard about a fellow coach, one of the nicest came from Mike Post, a former St. Cloud coach who worked alongside Collin at East River. “First he is a true southern gentleman; second he’s a great coach.”
The winning did not stop with AC Flora’s big win and St. Cloud’s victory. The Gamecocks came through 24 hours later but in the interim, I got the nicest gift anyone could get… a beautiful new granddaughter.
My son Jason (Cory’s twin brother) and his lovely wife Dr. Jessica Aun, gave birth to my fifth grandchild later that night. Adelaide Olivia Aun arrived on the scene at 1:46 a.m. with a head full of blonde hair. They nicknamed her Pumpkin Aun.
That gives me five little “hyetti’s” to snuggle, Ashley, Ava, Cameron (Yogi), Keenan (Spike) and now Addie (Pumpkin). The word “hyetti” is an Arabic word roughly translated to mean “You are my heart… my life… the breath of my life.” Little Addie is all that and much more.
Before you lay your head to rest tonight, do an inventory of your own day. Find the little victories and the huge wins that marked your day. Everyone has problems; try not to focus on those so much but rather effort to find the silver linings of your day.
I am sure I do not deserve to have the kind of nice day I described herein every day. And if I did, I might lose perspective of just how good of a day it was. As Dolly Parton would say, “You have to have the rain to have the rainbow.”
When Thanksgiving rolls around each year we all become conscious of things for which we should be thankful. For me, this was a pretty good day as family and friends I care about all scored big wins. I am eternally grateful for such a nice day.
Michael Aun, CSP®, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame® is the author of “The Official Toastmasters International Guide to Successful Speaking” (Dearborn Publishing)