Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
--Elizabeth Stone, author
This is my friend, Eddie, with his newborn son. I'm proud of Ed and the man he's become. I've known him since he was 14 -- and I can attest that growing up wasn't always easy for him. Lots of hard times. But through every difficulty, through times of loss, pain and confusion, he sought to learn and grow and encourage others. He eventually joined the army and served for just over four years - including 15 months in Ramadi, Iraq during some of the most violent months of the war. When he returned home he joined the reserve -- and he's now finishing his drill sergeant training. I'm thankful for Eddie and those like him, who serve and sacrifice for our freedom and security with the hope that hard times come again no more.
The song, Hard Times Come Again No More, was written by Stephen Collins Foster in 1854. In its day, the song was well known and a favorite of both sides during the American Civil War. Although many have covered this song over the years, my favorite version is Johnny Cash's emotional rendition recorded in 2003 -- listen here.