My adult children have been wondering why I haven’t written a blog post about them. “In time” or “when the time is right I will put something together”, I would explain. Perhaps the time is now! With the birth of my first grandchild, Kingston (thanks Jordyn and Darren) and the graduation of my sons from medical school and college (congratulations Jarryd and Kjetil) I believe that NOW is the perfect time to write.
This post I hope may serve as a sort of letter sincerely expressing to my children all those thoughts, emotions and especially love that I have and have had for them all of my life, but not always taken the time to convey it to them adequately.
Many parents mistakenly think that somehow they are solely responsible for their children’s success. I know and realize that there are many people and events that have helped form their character and influence their futures.
Generally I have tried to instill in my children to do their best, to be kind and thoughtful and not be afraid to fail.
My hope for them is to enjoy this great journey and adventure as much as I have. I love you Jordyn, Jarryd and Kjetil.
Jordyn Victoria Rossignol 5/5/1988
What do parents want for their children? There is a pretty obvious answer to that question. True happiness is surely what we want for all of our children, for them to be healthy, kind and productive members of our/their society. I’ve been able to experience many special and happy moments in Jordyn’s life. First day of school, dance recitals, her playing on the many sports teams, graduations from high school and college and recently her starting a new business, “Miss Jordyn’s daycare and preschool.” All of those moments pale in comparison to the complete and utter joy and happiness that I saw, not only on my daughters face but her entire being when she gave birth to my grandson, Kingston Dominic. “Are you proud of me dad?” There it was the key to happiness in one little question, one big journey that is still ongoing. Pride in creating a sense of purpose and family. Am I proud of you Jordyn? You better believe it!!
So now you know, how long will I love you? All of my life, you are mine. Blood of my blood you are mine, but never forget that I’m always there, like a shadow by your side. . . For the love that I have…
Jarryd Markus Rossignol 4/28/1990
When did I know that Jarryd would be a doctor? I guess when he was seven or eight years old while playing baseball on one of our many days at Long lake. As Jarryd retrieved an errantly thrown ball out of the woods he exclaimed; “Hey dad, come see this.” As I approached I could see Jarryd removing a squirming frog headfirst out of a decently sized snake. As he carefully and caringly snatched life out of the jaws of death, he looked at me with concern, “do you think that frog will be OK dad?” “Yes son I responded, but that snake won’t be too happy.”
As I watch my son’s medical education progress and his maturity reach new heights, I am so pleased that he is part of this noble profession, the concern and care of others. I’ve seen the sacrifice, hard times, anxieties, fears, frustrations and difficulties he has encountered and endured and faced over the last 2-3 years. Recently Jarryd stated to me, “you know dad, this journey” ( medical school) hasn’t been too bad.”
This fall Jarryd and I, father and son traveled from Seattle to Colorado on a 5 day road trip for a few of the many interviews of Jarryd’s next phase of his medical education. Residency. We drove, ate good food, checked into and out of hotels, jogged through the streets of Seattle, Salt Lake, Denver and Boulder to name a few. Talked (a little), but mostly though we were simply present… We were together. In Boulder at random bike shop I spotted Allen Lim, whom I’ve heard speak on the topic of food, healthy living and success. It triggered a discussion and mutual understanding of success and happiness. The conclusion; be present in the moment, allow challenges and difficulties to make you better, be consistent with exercise, eating well (shared meals), doing things for others and discipline. We both agreed that by following this game plan we can and will continue to be happy and experience many more magical moments.
Kjetil Christian Rossignol 5/10/1994
Kjetil was named after we watched the 1994 Winter Olympics in Calgary and the heroics of the great alpine Norwegian skier, Kjetil Andre Amondt, such a unique name for such a unique individual. Being the youngest of three siblings is not always easy but does have many benefits. Kjetil’s older sister quickly began educating her younger brother, (that’s when I knew Jordyn would be a teacher of young children). My memory might be a little bit foggy, but I think that Kjetil learned to read at 3-4 years of age. In first or second grade he was reading the Harry Potter books in their entirety and could memorize all the chapters in correct order. As a kindergartner, a teacher once tried to explain to the class the proper way to address a black girl in their class. She was not referred to as black or negro , but African-American. Teal rose his hand and exclaimed, “I will just call her Andrea.”
In reality Kjetil is so much more than just another smart kid. His musical talents are only overshadowed by his desire to please and his kind and thoughtful demeanor is truly his trademark. He epitomizes the definition of team player, a state champion in cross country running and nordic skiing are part of his resume. A team champion! When he started out with skiing back in the 4-5th grade, I’d ask him how he faired at the competitions, he would simply state; “I did great!” even though he would finish at the bottom of the list. Over the next few years, same thing middle of the pack; “I did great”, in high school top of the heap, same cool response; “I did great!!”
I’ve learned from Kjetil that success isn’t always about finishing first, but about doing your best and enjoying the experience. I agree and I would have to admit that Kjetil’s best is pretty darn good!