3000 NewsWire Editorial
Life can sometimes change, as the song in Cabaret says, “due to one little word: married.”
My little boy has just become a groom now, someone’s husband. The man who gets up to see what that noise was in the middle of the night. The fella who buys flowers when the fight ended last night and they haven’t made up yet. The guy who tells his woman he’s sure she’s beautiful, even when she isn’t sure he’s telling the truth.
That’s my son, Nick. He was married in a celebration last month. A handful of hours over a couple of days when everyone smiled, when old hurts healed over, when hugs worked their song-filled magic, embraced new love, soothed the sick, sparked happiness.
I drove to The Plantation, purpose-built in the 90s with an ante-bellum design, driving with my mom in the seat next to me, with my brother Bob behind me, with my wife and partner Abby riding along on the wave of joy and expectation. And the tears poured down my face when “Married” and “Sunrise, Sunset” rolled off the iPod and into our ears. The day was clear and cool, blue skies an omen for the life of Nick and Elisha together.
It’s a wonderful thing, this kind of redemption, the outcome you work toward but dare not expect. This HP 3000 community which has cared for me, brought me up in the industry for almost as long as I have been a father to this new groom, sustained Abby and I — you are reaching for resurrection, maybe hoping for redemption of a work-life-long partner, HP.
Few things stung more in my career than enduring the news of HP’s boardroom miscues. Few things hurt more than your child’s mistakes they must make on their own, to learn lessons that endure.
But when that moment of redemption arrives, whether it’s believing in the sustainability of your homestead plan, or finally marrying up with the companies that can help you move away from the home of your 3000 youth — it’s a powerful revelation.
At mine with Nick, I wore a tuxedo with a white vest and white tie for the first time. White tie, at last, the better part of a quarter century after I learned in a little newspaper office in Burnet, Texas that I was going to be a father. The woman who had told me that in 1982, waiting for my joyful response and not hearing it, finally saw my joy for our boy. We hugged one another at wedding and rehearsal in an act of contrition and submission, and told each other, “We did good.”
The cars kept arriving and emptying like a fantastic circus act, unloading those we knew and those we met for the first time, Elisha’s vast cast of Wallers and Mezettis and those they love. One fellow so beloved that even after he divorced their sister, the Mezettis loved him and the woman who became his next wife. He’s a regular at Thanksgiving and weep-fests like that That’s the power of love, back to a bright future.
I sat on the front row next to my wife and wept even as the bride and groom walked the path to the gazebo. Why wait? So many tears needed to flow that day.
And why not? It was a day of redemption. Out of struggle and failure comes success. I believe if you haven’t moved on from HP’s decision of five years ago, redeemed yourself from that scary moment when everything you’d built changed in value, now might be the time to set that rock down. Surely, HP’s humiliation of the past two months can qualify as retribution enough, a story of how big a mistake can noticed. The general press never so trumpeted the error of dropping the 3000 off HP’s future. For some customers, that was a much bigger story than the one that squatted on Page One for much of September.
But like any story, it ends sometime. You decide when.
So like my son, who saw so much from me of the hard, the lesson-through-mistake that marriage can bring, you can take a leap of faith like he did on that wedding day.
He held on, snatched up the reins of that spitfire steed we all aim to steady in our saddles. We had all hung on for that day. His grandmother, my mom, through all her years, so that at 80 she was seeing her first grandchild married before those old eyes filling with tears.
Abby and I had held on, my wife, my partner, the first person in the world to believe in the NewsWire, now in its 12th year, with more to come. She’s become my special consultant as of this issue, retiring away to teach 14 classes of yoga a week, but never further away than the room next to mine here in the southern part of our house in Austin. This morning the low autumn sun pours through my window where I write and yes, cry again.
His bride hung on too, clinging to hope while she weathered a young man’s reserve, wariness, a sensibile his dedication to the impossibility of the prospects of a lifelong pact. Two of every three marriages end in failure today. But Elisha kept believing in Nick’s power of faith, waiting for it to grow up.
Finally, Nick hung on to himself, not the doppelgangers of his parents and their partners and the shadows of disappointment that marriage had showed him.
His grandfather did not hang on for this day. But at the end of more than 100 photos, I snapped the last one, capturing Nick’s joy in a picture that would have made my father, cameraman in his life, smile with approval. Two Seybold boys, Ron and brother Bob, worked that wedding with joy and aplomb and tiny digital wonders in their hands. Bob took the best stuff, an honor I always struggled to give him when we were boys just 15 months apart in age.
Things change. Nick took on work that he enjoyed, something none of us saw coming, convincing people in the artistry of sales, handling the most charged of elements, money at Compass Bank. He had to learn to show faith despite his own doubts, to see that half-full glass and offer it to others. Earning money, earning praise, earning his own self-love, he began to grow old enough to grasp some of life’s richness.
What can a day of delight change? Perhaps very little. Perhaps everything. You never know. Set down your rock, lift up your glass. Join Abby and I in celebration of the NewsWire’s first 11 years, of a day in joyful tears. Still married to what she created, still by my side in her office next door and then in a yoga studio down the hall or across Austin, she joins me in wishing you and your company a career full of happy surprise, and redemption.