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The quality of this picture is even worse than the last one because this is a Skype picture. I wanted to share this picture because the blue in the background with the silhouettes fascinate me. Still more fascinating is the man in the picture.

This is Gary. He is a 35 year old former Marine, divorced with three young children, dedicated father, struggling with PTSD, juggling two jobs and pursuing a bachelors degree to ensure a stable income for him and his family in the future. Starting with an abusive mother, having to eat out of a dumpster at times, a cheating long term girlfriend and having to give up his children last year to their mother after taking care of them for 6 years (due to personal and financial difficulties) he also struggles with daily nightmares and anxiety attacks, all of which he has to deal with on his own. Even though he misses his kids, he is sometimes unable to see them for up to a month. He does not have friends in the area or the finances to maintain a social life outside of work so for him, right now, its just work and study. Yet every time I see him, he has a warm (totally to die for! ) smile that lights up his entire face. He comes up with the goofiest puns and dorkiest quotes (proud Tolkein fan and Trekkie), constantly making me laugh. Even though life has been tough and the world seems like a dark place at times, he continues to look to the future smiling with a boyish curiosity that is both surprising and impressive.

On a positive note, Gary is getting a cat in a couple of weeks and doing some pumpkin carving with his kids this weekend 🙂