My grandfather was a very wise man, a man who managed to stay happily married to my beautiful and smart grandmother for more than 60 years. Since Jeffrey and I got married at the age of 13 (which made us legal in the great state of Tennessee), we were often able to benefit from his advice. One afternoon, my grandfather pulled me aside and spoke these words of wisdom to me. “You know, sweetheart, when a young man falls in love with a woman, it’s because he looks at that girl and sees so much to love about her that he knows that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. When a young woman falls in love with a man, it’s because she sees potential. Then, she’ll spend the next 60 years trying to change that young man into what she believes he can become. Sometimes, baby doll, you just have to let him be who he is.”
And while I am still guilty of trying to change him, I often reflect on that advice in the moments when it is really painful just to let Jeffrey be who he is…
While Jeffrey was in Dallas for the most recent show, I was standing outside with all of my children, and a man that I didn’t recognize pulled into our driveway in his convertible LeBaron. He was sporting a United States flag bandana around his head and a matching sweatband on his right arm. He had on mirrored Kanye West sunglasses and a blue ringer tee with an Eagle on it, and I swear that even though I knew that it couldn’t possibly be my husband, I actually did a double take. This man literally had Jeffrey Jackson’s hair… from the cut all the way down to the gray hairs sprinkled in that Jeffrey claims are blonde highlights! I wasn’t sure if perhaps this was some sort of a joke.
As the man drew closer, I realized that it was a good friend of Jeffrey’s from a long time ago. Clay was in town visiting family, and I really enjoyed catching up on his life. He explained that because he has his own business, he is able to live part-time in Colorado and part-time in California. Clay is a wonderful guy, so, of course, I was glad to hear that he was able to live his own dream and make a living by doing the thing that he loves to do.
I mean how many people actually get to put the word “Inspirationalist” on their business cards?
As Clay was pulling away, our fifteen year old son looked at me and said, “You know who that is, don’t you? That’s Dad without you.” Truer words have never been spoken…
Dave Slagle, on the other hand, has the benefit of living the bachelor life with his two precious boys. (See pictures of his home in his recent post below.) He’s got no limits… no one holding him back from being all of the Dave that he can be. Dave can just go right out into the world and be an Inspirationalist!
Sometimes, Dave’s freedom hurts my ability to rein Jeffrey in when he and Dave have one of their brilliant late-night ideas. Sometimes, Dave’s freedom gives Jeffrey the crazy thought that he can go even further off the map that I have tried so desperately to keep him on.
So, now, I’m on a quest. All I’m saying is, girls, I think that Dave has a lot of potential…
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