June 4, 2009

It’s been several years since my Dad’s passing, and not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of how much he truly meant to me.  I thank God for giving me the kindest, most loving and supportive father that any kid could have.  His true beauty was unleashed by his charming smile, and his heart was as pure as gold. I wish you could have met him, he was truly a gem.  Some days as I reflect on the memories we shared together I cry; other times I smile.  But  I ‘m left feeling grateful that God gave me such a wonderful example to have as a father.

My Dad blessed me with extraordinary gifts and talents; and he challenged me to give my all and to reach for my dreams.  Sometimes, the tasks I faced were difficult but his love and guidance lead me through the tough times.  He allowed me to approach each obstacle in life with optimism until I had successfully completed the mission.

Like most fathers he wasn’t perfect.  My Dad struggled with alcohol abuse and many other problems.  But what I felt the most was his unconditional love for me and that wiped away a multitude of his sins.  There was nothing too good for his son; he made me feel special.  Throughout our journey together we laughed, we wept, we played, we fellowshipped, we did it all!

He was my best friend; I’ll never stop missing you.  Daddy, I love you.

In Memory of Fred Davis.  June 4 1940 – October 18, 2004.  Rest in Peace.


Tuesday, May 6, 2009

Often in our lives, the times became difficult – mentally, spiritually and emotionally – and we don’t know where our next blessing will come from.  In the days growing up when I faced my toughest challenges, 

I had one blessing I could always turn to.  With Mother’s Day fast approaching, it’s another chance I have to thank her – my blessing, my mom.

Azalene James is her name and she is the world to me.  Throughout tough times, my mom’s faith was undisturbed.  She kept praying and believing in God, and she taught me to do the same.

Frequently I recall mom’s favorite picture hanging on the wall. It was a picture of a cat hanging on to life by a string with a great distance beneath him.  Above it, it read, “Lord just help me to keep hanging on.”  That picture helped us to make it through many years, and continues to provide inspiration even today.

On this Mother’s Day, remember your mom and how she was there to help you to hang on when you need to.

And as my Mom taught me, if life has become unbearable and you think you can’t hold on any longer, just ask God to give you strength and he will.  If you don’t turn loose of his hand, he will never let you fall.

To my mom Azalene and moms everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome Friends!

As a young man I dreamed of a career in professional football and when I was selected by the New England Patriots in the 1987 draft, I thought I had made it.  My career seemed certain and I was on top of the world.

Playing for the Patriots was one of the best times of my life and I worked hard, aiming for the stars.  To be sure there was a sense of glamour to the NFL, like we see on TV and in magazines.  But just as sure, behind the scenes it was often different.

To play at that elite level means you are asking your body to perform at its peak and sometimes that can take its toll.  The result for me was a devastating hamstring injury that gave me a difficult choice: use cortisone to speed recovery and take away the pain so I could play or not use the drug and risk losing my spot to someone else.  I chose the cortisone and my damaged leg never fully recovered.  After several more seasons I had to retire from the game I loved but I learned a lot.

I’ve written and have now released my new book, Why Did It Happen to Me.   In it I write about my time with the Patriots and much more, beginning with my life as a young boy in a house with few material possessions but an abundance of parental love and support.  Why Did It Happen to Me takes you through those early days, my time at the University of Central Florida when I fully realized that a good education is the axis around which civilization revolves and then through the difficult times when my best friend was shot and killed.  That was Darryl Usher.

Darryl, who you see in the photo here, and I met when he came to the Patriots as a rookie; I was in my second year.  He was an amazing player and we became close friends, sharing the ups and downs of the NFL.  When he left the team as a free agent and, after several stops, found a home with the Arizona Cardinals, he took with him hopes and dreams to be the best that the Cardinals would have.  But he didn’t get that chance because his life was cut short by a bullet.  At the age of 25, Darryl’s bright star was dimmed.  I felt as if I had lost a part of myself; I was adrift.

But my parents had instilled in me the values that provided a strong foundation for my future and would help me to find my way back.  My parents gave me physical, mental and spiritual strengths.  My father was a fierce competitor who blessed me with the physical skills to become a world class athlete.  My mother nurtured me into a caring and loving person and her forgiving spirit taught me to have tolerance for others.

Today, as the proud father of three daughters, I have come through light and darkness to find my place in this world.  I am eager to share my thoughts with you and invite you to share a part of your life with me, too.