Christmas Cheer

Hardships are simply part of life. A wiser man than me once told me, "All sunshine and no rain makes a desert." We have had our share of rain as a family, but thankfully we have plenty of folks like you to help support us in our times of need.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I wanted to share a few words of good tidings and gratitude with all of you.

Growing up is often difficult to do and I certainly had a tough time of it.

I put those who love me in some tough positions over the years, but especially in my late teens.

After a stretch of poor choices and self will run riot, I hit bottom and was admitted to Pinegrove recovery in Hattiesburg, MS back during December of 1991.

As you all know, I take college football pretty seriously.

During my time in treatment, I passed the television and I saw MSU playing Air Force on TV.

State was in a bowl game and not only did I not know it ahead of time, I missed the journey it took for them to get there.

As a result of that sobering moment, I have learned not to take on the field success and especially bowl games for granted.

My relationship with my father was not what it should have been during that time in my life and that was entirely my fault.

Even after I began a new life, I didn't have a lot to talk about with my father. Mississippi State sports was something we could share and we did.

I would always call him before games, at halftime and afterwards, if we won, just to get his insight.

Mississippi State football helped me repair my relationship with my father.

We found some common ground and rebuilt.

By the grace of God, I was able to celebrate 21 years of clean and sober living earlier this month.

I know my daddy would be proud and I am proud to say that I do all I can to bring some honor to his name.

It has been a tough stretch for our family over the past few years, but we have made the most of it.

We may not have a lot of material possessions, but we have each other and a lot of love to share.

I encourage you to reach out to those you love and perhaps some who may be estranged from the family.

You just never know when you may get the chance to make amends and simply let by gones be by gones.

As we make the final plans for Kris Kringle to arrive, remember what matters most in life and none of it will be under the Christmas tree.

Here's to good times with good friends and the love and support of family.

Merry Christmas to you all.

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