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I Can. I Will. Believe That. (An Open Letter to Roman Reigns)

We don’t know each other. We’ve never met, and the most likely scenario is that we never will, and that’s fine. We each have lives to live.

But at the same time, I need to tell you, I need you to know, that your catchphrase makes a difference in my life.

There are those that laugh at me when I say that. I’m too old to let my life be influenced by a celebrity and have stars in my eyes like some teenager mooning over a poster. But truth is truth.

Life has been hell for the last little while. I chose to go back to school for both my own sake and that of my family, so I could do more for them. I chose to study veterinary technology, knowing that math and science have always been my two worst subjects and that I was going to really have to dig in to make it work. But working with animals has always been what I wanted to do. There was no plan B.

Over the time since this decision was made, life has imploded. My children’s father, my partner of nearly fifteen years, came out of the closet, and a few weeks ago, his therapist told him that he had to tell me the truth about why we got together in the first place, and if I was a true friend, I would understand and work it out with him. His confession was that love had nothing to do with us getting together. He didn’t want to be outed as gay, and he wanted kids.


The arguments since then have been epic. He’s Chicago, and I’m New York. Neither of us is familiar with the word “quiet”.

To add to the mix, three months ago, the girls and I were in a car accident. My truck, with only three payments left on her, was totaled. Thankfully, my children were not hurt. I wound up in a splint for several weeks, and the aftermath of the accident resulted in my failing two classes. I also had to buy a new truck. Well, new to me, anyway. This meant a whole new auto loan.

And the kicker–I lost my job this past Tuesday.

Throughout all of this, there were so many times I sat in a corner and cried, so many times I wanted to quit, so many times I wanted to lay it all down, so many times when I thought. “I can’t.”

And then I would think of you, up on the announce table after spearing Mark Henry, saying “To hell with ‘I can’t’: I can, and I will! Believe that!”

It got me through. It’s getting me through. The splint is gone. I’m going to repeat my classes and pass them. My family is working out new dynamics and figuring out how things are going to go now. I’ll find another job.

Life isn’t sunshine and roses yet. It’s going to take time, probably a long time. But I’m going to manage, because of you, someone I’ve never met and never will. Yet somehow, your mantra makes me feel like there really is a Superman, and he’s my friend, and he’s in my corner.

I say all this to say thank you. Thank you for being the person you are, the superstar you are. And when I graduate in April, I’ll send you an invitation. I know you can’t come, and that’s okay. You’re a busy man with a family of your own and huge demands on your time. But I want to send it anyway, so that if ever you find yourself feeling down, you have a tangible reminder of a life you helped. Because you did. I’m going to make it through.

I Can.

I Will.

Believe THAT!!!


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