BEHIND THE PLATE: Journey leads brother to become man of steel |

BEHIND THE PLATE: Journey leads brother to become man of steel

A young man walked an uncertain path, searching for his purpose in life.

It first started when he was little as his list kept growing of what he wanted to do when he grew up. Was it a hockey player, a firefighter, a police officer or a baseball player? Every week, it changed as he would try to dress the part regardless of how impossible the dream was perceived. The point was that the dreams were alive and strong and served as a motivation to want to do something when it was his time to grow up.

Inspired by his father and grandfather through countless tips of advice, he started searching after high school. College was the first option and playing a season of football at a small school in North Dakota seemed to point him in the right direction. Football didn’t work out, so he tried baseball and when that didn’t feel right, he worked on-call as a responder during the winter storms and flooding.

He wanted to help people.

But when college didn’t work out, he came back home and tried out numerous jobs from construction to mining to security. Long hours, exhaustion and hardly any free time handicapped him from hanging out with friends and family as much as he wanted to. He seemed lost but driven to keep plowing every day, earning a living and paying bills.

His social life almost suffered as he tried finding a suitable relationship but each one kept falling short, leaving this struggling man yearning for something to make his life better and give him more reasons to continue his journey of finding the perfect life.

Sixty-hour work weeks were his kryptonite, but then his life began to change and that crippling stone slowly shrunk.

He became an uncle almost four years ago and that helped ease the stress and tension caused from working long hours. It gave him another reason why family matters most and that someday, he would find someone wanting to share a life and raise children together. It just wasn’t his time.

Like Clark Kent trying to find out why he was put on this planet, my brother, Dave, continued searching.

The persistence and determination paid off last year when he finally found someone wanting the same things in life. Everything came together quickly as he not only found his life partner in Meagan but inherited a son, Ayden, to pass on his experiences and lessons that there’s no such thing as giving up as long as you’re willing to put in the effort to achieve a purpose.

He’s cherished every moment of his new life, which escalated last month with a small wedding and then the birth of his daughter, Isabella, this month.

He hardly let his emotions show before his life changed but since last summer, Dave has transformed into something that every boy grows up idolizing — a man of steel. His compassion, strength and fearlessness are just a few qualities of what makes him a modern-life superhero to his family. To them, he feels immortal because of how he withstood the many obstacles of his quest to find his purpose in this world.

Dave may not have ever found his super powers but he has soared within his family because of what he found in his heart with fatherhood and being a husband, uncle, son and brother.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at