Without You, I Wouldn’t Have Made It
Who are you thankful for? Who has encouraged and helped you to take a big step forward in your life?
I thought of performing in front of the family. I was not a natural when it came to performance. If anyone is wondering, I still get butterflies when I’m on stage or even when I’m on the on air. When that red light comes on, my stomach starts to roll like thunder. That night on my grandparents’ ranch in Montana was no different.
There are so many people in our lives to be thankful for that it can sometimes seem too overwhelming to remember them all. However, I have tried my best to remember these special individuals in my life, and I have even attempted to send them cards of gratitude as often as possible. I recently came across the photo of myself in a sombrero performing a magic trick in the summer of 1973. I know what you’re probably thinking, “Dave, is it really necessary for us to know your secrets from 1973?” Don’t worry, I just have to share the story of this particular performance. I had no idea at that time that I would someday work on television in front of the camera and be blessed to encourage and coach others on stage. In fact, on that very night, I was scared to death in front of an audience of only eight: my mom and dad, three grandparents, two uncles, and my aunt.
I like to encourage others to continually stretch themselves and do things that are out of their zone of comfort. Do one thing every day that scares you. Twenty seconds of insane courage can accomplish amazing things. My magic show in front of eight family members on that fateful night in 1973 was one of the moments in my life that changed how I viewed myself and also changed the course of my life. I tell this story because I am so thankful that my Uncle Bob Tester pushed me and encouraged me to do those types of things in my younger years. He and his wife, Lois, tragically lost their son (my cousin) Robert John to a violent crime two years ago. I don’t tell you this to shock you or to make you feel sad. I tell you this to remind you that in this month of Thanksgiving, encouraging others or telling someone “thank you” for something they did a long time ago can be very valuable as a reminder of why we are put on earth. We exist to help our neighbors and to love our friends and family. Without Uncle Bob, my parents, grandparents, and even many of you reading this, I would never have made it on stage to where you see me in the blue sports coat. My Thanksgiving wish (or challenge, perhaps) to you is this: Grab the phone and call someone in your family or in your circle and thank them for helping you to become the man or the woman you are today. Tell them, “Without you, I wouldn’t have made it.”
It was my Uncle Bob who convinced me to perform a magic show in front of such an illustrious audience. To create just the right ambiance, we even dimmed the lights as I came on “stage” in my magnificent costume. I had practiced all day, working on four magic tricks from a kit that was given to me as a gift (probably by my Uncle Bob), so I just had to give it a shot. I felt pretty confident while I was practicing, but my nerves were getting the best of me when
Happy Thanksgiving 2019.
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