BY MATTHEW E. SEMRAU
There have been a lot of people in my life who have influenced me. Each deserve their own story. Together, they have been my friends, support system, encouragement, conscience, and role models.
These are the men I know.
I call him Moose. His real name I don’t know. Okay, that’s a lie. I was best man at his wedding, but using his real name is weird. To me, he is Moose, and Moose he is. He kind of lives up to his name.
He is a gentle giant. Well, unless you hurt someone he loves, then he’s liable to throw you over a car. Yes, he’s really done that. He’ll tell it to you straight, sometimes too straight, but then, that’s one of the reasons why I call him “brother.”
You don’t have to guess where you stand with Moose. Generally, below him. Because he’s tall. Really tall.
George is like another grandfather to me. Probably because he’s really old. How old are you again George? But in all seriousness, I love George. He’s one of the sweetest guys I know. He’s blessed me and my family so many times when we needed help most.
I look up to George. I don’t know if it’s because he’s tall or not. I’ve never met him face to face. He could be really short. Maybe George is a midget. I don’t know. But I still look up to him.
Tom is another old guy I know. I know he’s old because he’s told me. Not that being old is bad. It means you’ve survived a lot of things. I hope I get to be an old guy some day. Especially, an old guy like Tom.
He also has looked out for my family. I haven’t met Tom either. I really should. He only lives across the state. Tom, how does Christmas sound? Okay, maybe not Christmas. But we should meet sometime soon.
Jonathan is… I don’t know how to describe Jonathan. He’s one of the few in this story that I know I’m taller than. I still look up to him. I have to sit down to look up to him, but I still look up to him. He’s my closest friend. I call him “brother” too. I mean that. I get choked up just thinking about it.
Someday we’ll both be old guys in a retirement home and still be arguing over politics and video games. Maybe in the future politics will be decided by video games. In which case, him and I will both be great politicians.
I can’t exclude Brother Sean from this list. I don’t know his real name either. Okay, another lie. I know his last name, but he’s “Brother Sean” to everyone I know. Not “Sean.” Brother Sean. He’s a pastor. He glows.
He doesn’t literally glow. Well, I’m sure if you covered him in radioactive paint he would glow, but he’s the nicest guy I know. I mean, he’s like exploding with niceness. Oozing, even. But it’s never obnoxious. I mean, if you don’t like nice people, then I suppose it’d be obnoxious. But I like nice people.
He’s almost an old guy. Almost.
My dad is another guy I know. He helped make me. At least, that’s what he and my mom claim. I honestly don’t want the details. Eww.
But, I look enough like him and am missing enough hair that I can buy that. He’s helped me become who I am.
Not just because he helped make me (again, eww,) but because he’s always looked out for his family. I want to be like my dad when I grow up. Well, maybe with more hair.
I look up to him too, because he’s like an inch taller than me. I blame my mom for being shorter than my dad. She’s really short. But that’s a topic for another story.
These aren’t the only men in my life. Honestly, there are so many men who have been such a great influence on my life that I could write a book on it. Maybe I will. I have to mention Daniel, Joseph, Trevor, Shea, Brian, both of my Grandpas, and a lot of others. You guys are awesome.
Seriously. I mean that.