Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Well as I write this Christmas is a short 4 days away. As I often do I went back and read a couple of the older Christmas posts and remember fondly where I was in that part of my life. Hard to believe this is the third year of this thing!

Christmas this year will be different like they are every year I guess. This year we have a couple of new members of the family. We have little Jax Ellis, and we have the soon to be son-in-law! You remember him from the post about how he treat his Mother is how he treats his soon to be wife. Spoils her mercilessly, much like her Father!! We have the soon to be daughter- in- law, she is so special, you will remember her from the proposal post.

We are all a year older. Wiser is still out for consideration. As I reflect on this past year and look to 2011 what hits me now is how no matter how much you want it to life moves on. Just like a might river nothing really can stop it. Whenever it hits to banks or obstacles it simply erodes them away or chooses a path around them always marching to the open waters of the delta. Life is like that, it simply marches on to our ultimate fate. What counts is making sure you are not trying to change the course at every turn. This is a lesson I hope I have learned in the closing part of this year. My son and I have gone through a drastic change. I have finally gotten out of his business and into minding my own. I cannot, and will not, be responsible for his bad choices. I will be there to tell him “sucks to be you” and listen to him plan his strategies trying to get out of whatever he has gotten himself into. It really seems to be working as we now speak only briefly on the phone and it’s “how are you”, “I’m Fine” “Cool” “What are you doing for dinner” and things like that. No more weeping and gnashing of teeth over every single phone call. I think this is going to make a huge difference in my health as well. He was starting to make me crazy.

My sweet wife and her mother are living their final days out together. What a blessing to be able to stay with the person who started you out in life and guided you along during your early years. My wife thanks me every day for allowing this to happen. What she doesn’t understand I think is how committed I am to making sure she is with her till the very end. If I had to go get 2 more jobs like my Dad did she will not work again as long as her mom is with us. They both deserve at the very least that.

So as this Christmas season comes and goes I have a simple pray that we each can just allow the river to flow. Always knowing that the keeper of the river will never let the water get over our heads. We might get a little water in our mouths and eyes, might even go under, but never for the third time. So enjoy your family and friends during this special time of year. I know I am.

Merry Christmas


The Blessed Man

Friday, December 17, 2010


What a term. How wonderful would it be if we could live everyday of our lives unafraid? Never fearing any of the bad things that come our way and always feeling we were going to be taken care of. This is the feeling my precious Mother in Law has every day. In the last 2 weeks she has digressed a great deal. She no longer knows where she is how she got here or even where the bathrooms are in our house. She has lived here for over a year and a half. I sat at the table today as she asked my wife. What is the building? How did we get here? Why are we here? Do I have any family here? My wife with the patience of a saint answered every question with the love only a daughter can possess. Five minutes later the entire scene is repeated. With the voice only god can give one my wife answered the questions again. Then she asked her mother the most important question I have ever heard. She said does it scare you that you can’t remember anything. Her Mother thought a minute and then said no not really. Unafraid!

Later that night we are in the kitchen and my wife is expressing her concern we talked about how and what it must feel like to not know anything. My Mother in law is always kind of heart. You hear the horror stories of the elder relatives who are brutally mean to the care givers this is not the case here. She is always kind and helpful and seemingly comfortable with her surroundings. We have decided it must be like having amnesia, just simply not knowing your surroundings and those who are caring for you at all. As we each put ourselves in that position we agreed that it might scare us a bit. After the conversation I started thinking about my mother in law and her life up to the point now where she might be struggling a bit. She has always been a strong woman coming from the diary country of Wisconsin in the early 1900’s. She is an educated woman graduating college in a time when few women even went to college. Married and had a few very tuff experiences through that ordeal. But the strongest part of her character has to be her unwavering faith in God. She is an ordained minister in the First Assembly of God. She is a leader of women and men and has the heart of a lion and the demeanor of a lamb. She is truly convictable as a woman of God in court. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks that’s why she is unafraid. She knows, and has faith, that God will take care of her no matter what. What a testament of faith. But this is how she has lived her entire life. At 93 she still says the blessing before every meal we eat. Her entire being changes when she prays. Her voice gets stronger, she stands a little taller and she prays as if God was in the room. I know her prayers get above the roof. May we all possess this kind of faith one day; it has got to make your life easier.

Well just wanted to share someone who lives life unafraid. May we all live like that one day. And may we all have someone like my wonderful, angelic wife to watch after us if we do stumble.


The Blessed Man


Had a good friend of mine send me a note today marking all of the events, and first in aviation that happened on this date, December 17. The Wright brothers first flew was among the facts and tidbits he included. He has spent his entire career in the aviation. I got to thinking about the date and remembered something else of merit happened on this date; 79 years ago, My Mother was born!

I have spent the day remembering my Mother. This day marked the first day of Christmas in our house. It was the day we got to put up our tree because my dad would not allow anything to be more important than my Mother’s birthday. This day also marked the beginning of the gift giving season, as my Mother got to open one gift a day, starting today, until Christmas. I think it made my Dad a lot happier than her because she always wanted everyone to open gifts early. I can remember this time of year my Mother getting everything from little puppy dogs, diamond rings, watches, and bracelets, too automobiles. My Dad worshiped her and her him. It was not a Ward and June Cleaver thing they truly loved each other. My Father is the one who taught me how to treat my wife. And I can only hope that, if he were here today, my darling wife would thank him.

Another tradition in our house was you got to eat anything for dinner you wanted on your birthday night. Well Mother’s again was a little different. She always got to go out where we always had to stay home!! I can remember once when Mother asked to take us along on her birthday dinner. I think it almost hurt my Dad’s feeling. We got to go because Mother got what she wanted, but you could tell we were getting a peak into something that my Dad really wanted to keep between him and her. After all with 4 kids there wasn’t a lot of together time. Other than the early morning or the late nights whenever it was he was off was their only time. Tthis time of year my Dad would work 3 jobs if he could juggle the schedules. He worked at the airport, 37 years, he always played in a band every weekend, and this time of year would work at Corondilet, or Goldsmiths, or somewhere stocking at night, or putting bikes together, or doing something to make it all happen for the rest of us. I can remember him coming home dead tired and seating at the washing machine, feet up, drinking boiling hot coffee and talking to my Mother. I can remember, when my room was next to the kitchen hearing them talking about everything from his music to money. She always had time for him and when he was home, and awake he was the numero uno thing.

As I sit here wishing I could call her today and wish her happy birthday there is no way I can be sad. I can see her in heaven sitting at the table with my Dad his feet up on the washing machine talking about whatever you talk about in heaven. One thing is for sure it’s not money anymore!!

Call your Mother, if you can, even if it is not her Birthday

Love you Mom, Peace

The Blessed Man

Friday, December 3, 2010


What a word. What does it evoke to you, money, happiness, fame, security? I write about what it means to me here. There are many perspectives of a blessing. I have sat back and watched one of late. I am not too sure the person traveling the road thinks it’s a blessing, but I can promise her it is. How can I do that? I have walked the exact same road.

The road we walk, watching a loving parent slowing go to heaven, if that’s how you believe. And I believe it to be that way so that’s how I think. You see one time I tried to tell her she was blessed and she nodded and said thanks but I do not think she ever believed it. And you know I am sure if someone told me that I didn’t believe it either. When you are in the middle of it all you are so consumed by your feelings you do not have the time to recognize you blessing. What a privilege it was to walk with my Father to heaven’s door. I was the last person to talk to him before he went to joint his Mother, Father, sister and brother. I was the person who turned him over, lovingly to them, and knew in my heart the night they were going to take him and let me become a man. My sister was blessed to do the same with my mother. We have talked since my mother’s death and she understands how special it was to be there and take mother back to Dad and be the one to make sure she arrived safely.

Well the time for my extended family member to do the same came today. They, as a family, walked to heaven’s gate and lovingly turned their Father and Husband over to a better place. What a blessing to be able to be the ones to make this journey, knowing in your heart that your loved one got there safely because you were there to hand them over. What a spectacular act of love and caring. Wow almost overwhelming when you think about it.

As I look back at the time when we lost my Dad it was really hard on everyone but me. I believe in my heart of hearts that the reason is because I was there and knew he was safe. My sisters really took it hard and I could never understand that because we all knew he was sick, we all knew he was going to die. They just seemed to believe it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I can remember calling my sisters and each one almost falling apart when I told them he was gone almost as if they never knew he was ill. My Mother took it hard but she had just lost her life partner of almost 35 years so she gets a pass.

I can’t wait to talk to my family member in a couple of months when she has had a little time to forget the bad days of hospitals and illness and her Father not being able to recognize her or her new born son. She will one day be thinking about her dad and it will hit her like a ton of bricks how blessed she truly was to be able to be there to support not only her mother but more importantly her father as he went through this world and into a better place. I often think about my father on special occasions and know he is there in spirit. As we sat for Thanksgiving dinner last week both he and my mom were here and so was the succotash and roasted Turkey they so loved. After the meal, just like we used to do, we all sat around a TV and watched football and thought about lunch the next day of turkey sandwiches and warmed up dressing. Did I miss them? More than you will ever know. Was it good to have them here even if it was just in spirit? Absolutely!

So as we head down the holiday road to Christmas I can only hope one of the presents my darling angel receives this year is the knowledge of what a blessing she was given to be able to be with her Father to the very end. He knew she was there. He knew little Jaxx Ellis when he touched him. And he will be there this Christmas, and every other Christmas, until she is blessed to go to be with him in that better place. One thing I can promise will happen when he meets her there is: He will give her a huge hug and thank her for taking care of him, and bringing little Jaxx Ellis to see him before he went to heaven.

So as we approach Christmas let’s all count our blessing and reach out to family and friends and make sure they all know how much they mean to us. My wish for you is to never get a call in the middle of the night and a voice on the other end tell you, you have just lost someone dear to you, that you didn’t get to say good bye too.

What a blessing to be able to take care of your goodbyes while they are still here.

Happy Holidays and Peace,

The Blessed Man

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I went back and read the first Thanksgiving post I did back in 2008. It was good to see it. I still miss my Mom especially this time of year. This was when she was at her best. Cooking, loving and just being Mother, she was terrific and I miss her as much this moment as I did the moment my Brother in Law told me she was gone. In the first post I talked about being selfish wanting her and my Dad here. Guess things didn’t change much there. I also spoke about seeing my adopted sister have her first Grandchild. Well the good lord let me live to see that event and it was as special as I had hoped. She is a wonderful grandmother and loves that baby. We were out to dinner the other night and she was going over to spend the night so the parents “could rest” yeah right, so she could love on that baby!! What a wonderful thing a grandmother’s love. I can remember mine, especially this time of year. Always walking into her house and almost running to the kitchen, into her waiting arms and hearing her ask me what her baby wanted to eat. Guess that’s why I am the size of a house today, but I would not give that up for anything in the world. I can see Little Jaxx running into her arms and saying the same thing. I just hope he knows how special each grandmother hug and kiss are, because one day they go away, and that is sad.

As we get ready for Thanksgiving this year a lot has changed since 2008. My young son seems to have finally gotten it together. I almost hate to put that in print as I do not want to jinx it. He has chosen a career and is working awfully hard to make a go of it. He has acquired a car and is actually becoming a responsible person to the best of his ability. I am proud of him. The family has changed as well. We have members who have retired and are moving in different directions. We are still together, but for some reason maybe just my own jealousy again I think we do not get together enough. I understand people change and grow. I just hate it when it happens inside my entire circle. A benefit of this has been I have learned how to sit at home and enjoy my wonderful wife. We have begun to put puzzles together and visit and enjoy each other. I am reminded daily how special she is and how much I truly depend on her for my sanity. Her Mom has taken a turn for the worst. She has a lot of trouble remembering anything even the easiest of things. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to look into your mother eyes and her ask you “did I have any children.” What character you have to have to work through those times I am guessing. The good lord knew I could not handle that and didn’t give me that cross to bare. I know it still hurts. I wish I could do something, but all I can do is support, and love them both, which I try to do every day.

This year we are having my wives family here. We are both very excited and looking forward to a wonderful family gathering. Her brother and his wife, her Son and his family, my son and his friend all are coming for the meal. This reminds me a bit of Thanksgiving past. My Mother, like me, loves this holiday probably more than any other. This is truly a family focused holiday. And lord knows I am a family guy. We will gather and eat watch football and sleep all over the house. I will think about the thanksgiving my dad burned his foot and we were at the E.R. for over 4 hours while he was being tended too. He was moving the turkey out of the oven for my Mom and he spilled the grease all over his foot. What a guy, didn’t drop it, put it on the counter and said he thought he burn t his foot. Couldn’t wear a shoe for six weeks!! Thought he burnt his foot, right!! Then there was the time when I chased my cousin through our house she was carrying a Pecan pie and she slipped and it when under the T.V… My Dad invoked the 3 minute rule and we ate that pie as messed up as it was!!! The sneaking to the fridge to fill your mouth up with the whipped cream in a can and having Mother scream at me from the other room when she heard the noise the can made. Man I miss the old days.

I am really excited about this Thanksgiving. It will be, just like always, a family affair. I just hope that in some way I can make memories for someone like I have about this holiday. Maybe the grand kids will remember coming to the house and eating and having a blast. Maybe my son will remember sitting around watching football and solving the world’s problems. I don’t think we will run through the house with pies or burn up anyone’s feet but we will do something to make this a special year.

I hope all of your Thanksgiving’s are as special as mine have been; I wish you peace, joy, and health during this very special time of year.


The Blessed Man

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Golf III

As you know I am trying to introduce you to some of my strongest and most loyal friends in the series called Golf. Well today we go to a very special guy. I will never forget the first time I met him.

In high school I fancied myself a golfer, and had a couple of other friends who thought, like me, we were good golfers. I played on the golf team at school so I knew all of the golfers, or so I thought. I played football with a guy who said he had a friend he would team with; I could get a golfing buddy, and we would have a little competition with a little bet, if we so desired. I was a little wary until he told me the guy he was playing with went to school with us. He didn’t play any sports and was just a buddy of his who lived down the street from him. Well at that point he had me hook line and sinker!! We were poplar and we knew everyone in school so this guy had to be a chump so we accepted the challenge with a “make it light on yourself” kind of wager. We show up to play and here comes this guy, my now dear and treasured friend, shorts and shirt that didn’t even go together in the 70’s! No socks and his golf shoes untied! Well after a brief round of introductions we settled on the bet, which to this day I can’t remember, and began to play. After about 4 holes and this guy was even par and we were struggling to keep up I thought we might be in a little trouble. I suddenly figured, if I messed with this guy he would lose his cool and we would simply run over them since my football playing buddy was in the bag from the first hole. So I began, slowly at first, with just little things. Dropping my ball during his back swing, coughing at just the wrong time, standing with my shadow across his line, very understated at first, then more and more intently. It seemed the more I messed with this guy the better he got. I was amazed. So we get around too number nine. Match all tied, everything on the line for the bet. We tee off. This guy hits his ball into a raven on the edge of the fairway. My partner and I in the middle advantage us!! So I start again, looks like a bad lie, how can you hit the ball that far below your feet, wow tuff luck shame to lose on a bad lie, the whole nine yards of less than positive reinforcement for my opponent. I will never forget this part. I cannot set up this shot if you do not play golf. Leave it to say it was next to impossible. My partner and I both hit the green for the first time all day. I am feeling very relieved at this point and settle back to watch this guy kill himself trying to get this ball up next to the green. Then it happened, what I now recognize as a trademark of my dear friend. He looks over at me and then down at the ball, smiles, then hits the ball, it stops inside a foot, gimme, game, set, and match. I will not tell you how badly my partner and I missed our putts to tie the match. Leave it to be said it was more embarrassing than my behavior had been that afternoon. This was my first introduction to the guy we call Granny!

This match started a friendship that has grown over the last 40 years into something so special that it is hard to describe. Red might know where the body is buried but Granny, knows how it died! This guy had bailed me out of more trouble financially than anyone. I have never been the best with money. He could be Midas. He would just give me money whenever he knew I was flat ass broke and never ask for it back. I am proud to say when I paid him off with the final payment some years ago he looked at me and said “What’s this for?” I said dude you let me have that 10 or 15 years ago. He said wow I had forgotten about it, and you could have too. That’s Granny. As far as I know he has helped everyone one of the band of brothers out with money over the last 40 years. When someone kid needed braces Granny was there. A car broke down Granny was there. He was, and still is the nicest, most moral guy I know.

When I was having trouble with first wife he allowed me to move in with him. Needless to say we lived at different ends of the spectrum. Me the out all night running so hard sometimes I didn’t know how I got home. Him working hard all day coming home eating McDonalds everyday of his life and hanging around his house. He told me after I had moved out that he missed me. I asked really? He said yeah he had gotten used to the newspaper being on the table when he got up!! He also said he used to play a little game of where was I parked in the yard before he walked out to go to work every morning.

This guy is something else even to this day. When we were young we participated in every kind of sport you can imagine. Here are granny’s stats never to be duplicated. His softball batting average, 800. His bowling average, over 200. He golf handicap always under a 5, until recently, now I think he might have crept up to a 7 or 8. Tennis, he played in college, putting himself through school. I can remember one time he was challenge by someone to run a 10K race. He had never run a race in his life. Remember this is the guy who didn’t even tie his shoes. He ran finished the race and beat the person who challenged him. He was originally slated to go to college on a golf scholarship. He got to school and they told him they had done away with the golf team. He asked what other sports could he do and keep the free ride. They said, Tennis. He said oh I play that as well!!! He called me asked me what I knew about Tennis? I said nothing. He went out brought a racquet and rule book started hitting balls against a wall and in 3 weeks made the tennis team. When he graduated he was playing number 2 on a team of 6 people, incredible, huh?

Ok I have told you all of this to say this. When I was lost this is the guy that kept me grounded. When I would be about to really screw up he always knew exactly what to say to get me back down to earth and give up any crazy ideas I had. This is the guy that I will always think about whenever I am faced with an ethical dilemma. He is the little guy that we all should have on our shoulders when we really need to make the choices that matters in life

I can remember only once in his life where he was lost. He met his one and only. While I was living with him and he was finally as messed up as me, he was love struck! They spent every waking and any possible moments together. I was never happier for him. Well long story short it didn’t work out, she had battles that were too hard to overcome and she decided they were to end. It crushed him. I know he never got over it, because a few years ago she passed away. It was like they had been together the entire time. I ached inside for him as he worked his way through it. I often have, what if, thoughts about them. I know he would have finally found that one of a kind happiness that you only know, when you share you live with “The One”, she was no doubt his One. The unfair part, if anyone on earth deserves that feeling it is Granny, a babysitter to the wild, true friend, and unselfish giver, who better to feel that feeling? And how does a person like me get to feel it all the time. Strange how life deals the cards and the hands we each get.

Well that’s my friend Granny. A man who has shaped my life in many ways and I have shared some of the best times of my life with. My hope for you; that you have a Granny, a Red, and a goose, who is next up in the hit parade of golfing buddies, in your life. If so, call them right now and tell them you love them. Lord knows I love these guys.

Thanks Granny, Love you man…………………


The Blessed Man

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I always write about my emotions and feeling I have never written about todays subject before. Pain. The kind that keeps you up at night, makes it hard to walk, is a constant drain of you emotionally and physically. The kind I have had for over 3 years every day. I write about it today because whenever I write about the other things I seem to feel better so I am going to try this outlet again for a little solace.

My granny, who taught me how to cook, clean a chicken, gather eggs, and garden a little was riddled with Arthritis. I can still see her withered hands going along never complaining about a thing and always thanking the good lord for a blessed life. I can always remember when it got cold she would suffer the most always rubbing her hands and trying to get them lose enough to make me something I loved to eat, or going to sit by the stove so she could quilt a little where the warmth of the stove would loosen her hands enough to enjoy her passion. She was as solid as a rock, buried 3 of her 5 children. A more humble woman I have never met. When she finally was out of her misery the funeral home couldn’t hold the people coming to pay their respects, a wonderful tribute, to an extraordinary woman.

I watched, as my Father was eaten alive by cancer. His, as you have read here before, was all consuming lymphoma. By the time they found it he had less than 6 months to live and all they did was try to make him comfortable. I can remember going to the treatments almost daily and him saying he didn’t know which was going to kill him first the treatments or the cancer. He would just ache from his cancer and really never complained. He was always mindful of my mother and he never wanted her to know how really bad he hurt. He said it made her fell back and he would never be a party to that. We were blessed the doctor gave him mega doses of pain killers so when it got really bad we could help him in the only way we knew how with a pill for some forced rest.

Me, my knees, I have had severe knee pain for well over three years in both of them. I had a small surgery back in February that was to fix one of them. It has really brought no relief. My right knee is bone on bone and the doctors have all told me I am too young for knee replacement. They say I am over weight and that is causing the unrelenting pain. I am over weight however, what really gets me the most is I see people who are a lot more over weight than me and they walk just fine. Why is this, my path in life? What is the good lord trying to teach me? What is to be learned from hurting every waking moment? I truly try to be like my Granny and father mentioned above I really try to never draw attention to my plight. My friends all know when I have bad days and all wonder, like me, why can’t this be fixed. I am sure there is a lesson here and as soon as I learn it the pain will subside. I just wish I was smart enough to see what it was.

So I guess I will continue to seek out the lesson. I will forge ahead using the examples I have shown here to be my guide for learning each day that there are people out there is worst shape than me. I have a great job, great friends, and a loving family. Come to think of it that’s the same things my granny and Dad had and they made it just fine.

So I guess it has worked. I just need to stop focusing on my pains and worries and just be thankful I have a support group that loves me and cares about me and let that be solace enough to at least open my eyes to the fact that it is not all about me and my pain. I have had others go before me that showed me this fact but for some reason until this moment I have never put into this prospective. So Granny and Dad I will use your example of selfless suffering to try to overcome whatever is standing in my way of getting better.

So once again I get up from this computer, somewhat slowly, but feeling better for being here. My all of your pains be controllable, short and life lessoned learned.


The Blessed Man

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Golf II

As I mentioned in the last Golf post, I have a group of true blues that I really need to introduce to you. We will start with the easiest one. The one I have known the longest. This is Red.

He was the best man in my first wedding. I have known him for fifty years. We have been to the mountain, and back together. We have always been there for each other. I count on him more than he will ever know and always ask his counsel in important matters in my life.

He is an extraordinary example of what a good husband and father should be. He married later in life and got it right the first time. His wife, already had 3 children, and he took them on as if he were their father, because he really was. The real Dad was really never around unless it was to his benefit. He like most deadbeat Dad’s always kept letting his kids down. This was a large pain for my buddy and we have spoken about it many times. It used to eat him up; he could never understand how a father could simply not care about his kids enough to love them and try to be a part of their lives. He simply took over and the kids now, I feel, look to him as their real Dad.

This is the guy that one weekend my Mother and Father went to visit the grandparents and left me at home. I think we were about 17 at the time. Well we did what all 17 year olds at that time did we went out got a bunch of beer and came back home and drank every drop and proceeded to walk around the neighborhood singing at the top of our lings. There was a ditch in front of our house we fell in it and I know it took us over an hour to get out of it and it might have been 3 feet deep. We finally got in the house and passed out thank you lord. Well as fate would have it my Mother got a little sick and my parents decided to come home early. When they drove up in the drive away my Dad saw Red's car in the drive and told my Mother to wait outside he wanted to make sure everything was ok in side before she came in! He came in to find Red butt naked on the kitchen floor every eye on the gas stove running on high! He woke me up first, then we got my buddy up and about the time he fell into my room my mother walks in, as far as I know my Dad never told her what he found. Thanks Dad for that one we owe you!

This is the same guy who I have played golf with for over forty years. We used to play in a lot of local tournaments around our area. We weren’t too bad either we won a few and lost a few but always had a great time, just like the other day. We have worked on every car either of us has ever had including the ones we drive today. We have built lake houses, and dog houses. We have wired houses and done about anything we ever put our minds to we are good for each other as we always think together we can do anything.

Where would we be without people in our lives like my buddy? What kind of existences would we have without people who bring us unmitigated joy? The times in my life I have laughed the hardest are with this guy. The memories I have that make me smile and my eyes fill with tears mostly I can connect to this guy. What have been thought together can only be characterized as life. All of the crossroads all my life he was right there by my side. This is the closest thing I have to a brother on this planet. He is the one I would take a bullet for, and I think him for me as well. We have lost parents together, friends, girlfriends and wives. We have seen each other’s kids born and quietly supported each other as they made choices we both know would turn out badly for them. We have sat across the lunch table and cried and laugh together. We have shared a full and wonderful life together.

Now our lunches are more about how we can retire and what we want for the golden years for each other. I have always said when I hit to redneck 401K (read Powerball) he will reap the benefits as well. I always know I will one day retire and enjoy the last days of my life living on a little land and raising a few animals and fishing. He always says he will be carried out of his job and a stretcher. I try to make him understand you get what you ask for but he is just not there yet. So when my ship comes in I will do whatever I can to make sure he can retire in the mountains as he wants and live the life he so rightly deserves.

I hope reading this has brought back a memory of a friend you had growing up that you miss. If so, please pick up the phone, break of the computer and email. Whatever it takes please stay in touch with eh people that shape your life. I do not know what I would have become had it not been for my band of brother I grew up with. I am so blessed we are all still together save one who it was his choice to be removed. I still would do anything for him and I truly believe he knows it. So take it from a blessed man, life is all about your family, friends, and the relationships you foster, keep in touch.

Thanks Red, Love you Man..................


The Blessed Man

Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome Jax Ellis Montgomery

You may recall a post about the revealing of the sex of my adopted sisters first Grandchild. Well today we welcome this fine young man into this crazy world. I can only imagine the emotions my friends have been through today. I can almost feel them as I sit here thinking about the new addition to our family.

What lies ahead for young Jax, no one really knows. I know he is going to be better equipped than anyone I have ever been around to handle whatever life sends his way. He has the best Mother and Father I have ever seen, as a young couple. I hold great hope for their ability to raise young Jax in a way that will benefit him throughout his life. His Grand Parents are the ones we all wanted. Loving to a fault and having the ability to provide things the young man will need to shape his character into another member of this outstanding family. A Great Grandfather that simply defines words. A man of unquestionable values and standards, an example young Jax will be able to emulate and put him head and shoulders above his peers. A set of Aunts and Uncles that will be there as the safety net for young Jax as he walks the tight rope of life. How cool is it to know you are walking through life with a net? An advantage we all would like to have.

As I write this I feel a sudden wave of emotion almost like jealousy. Maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s just me wishing I could kind of go back and redo some of the things I have either done or didn’t do as I was making the growing up mistakes or misjudgments. I had great parents, pretty cool Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. So what is this thing I am feeling and why do I hold such great hope for young Jax and think I might have done things better. Well I guess being without parents and grandparents for years and removed from Aunts and Uncles even longer I have lost that family tie. I now look at these people as my family. I have watched the enter actions of this group and have been blessed to be included in a great deal of the enter working of their family unit. I think I know Jax will get a do over card from this group. My family was a little stingy with the do over cards in fact they were nonexistent, but that was how they were raised as well so no blame there.

So we welcome Jax Ellis Montgomery into the family. A word of advice from someone who loves your family like his own, treasure them, and hold them dear. There will be times when you feel like they are all in your business be glad they love you enough to care. Emulate their actions, you will only be loved as much as you love, and you can’t out love your family. Be at peace with you choices, if you have used the light of love that has lit your path from your family they will always be the correct ones. And above all never lose touch with your base. These are the people that will always love you, protect you, and forgive you. They are a special group like none I have ever encountered in almost 60 years.

So Happy Birthday young man, enjoy your life. I can only imagine the impact you will have on this earth and it will be wonderful and to the benefit of all that come to know you.


Your adopted Uncle, The Blessed Man

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I have spoken in this space about my Memphis Family. My Son has taken his space, as well. I talk about the love of my life my wife and her angelic Mother. I tell of my love for my parents and even take time to talk about others who move me. For some reason I have omitted a very special group of people. There are 5 others that I could write about for ages. These guys are my brothers in crime. We all have them they are the people in your life that know where the body is buried. They are the people if all else fails you know without a double one call and they are by your side for as long as needed.

I was playing golf yesterday with 3 or the 5. As one of them was hitting his tee shot I was taken back to a trip we made together well over 35 years ago to Myrtle Beach South Carolina. We were what they call young flat bellies and we were all away from home and I can’t tell you how much fun we had that trip. As he hit his shot watching him struggle to bend off the get his tee we all laughed about how we have all changed. We used to be winners of a lot of this kind of one day tournaments. Now we are always in the also played group. But I can guarantee no one on the course has more fun.

Earlier this year there is an annual trip that another group of guys get together. They would almost pay our way to go as long as they got to hang around, what I have to believe they think are, crazy people. One of the other guys on the trip actually told us he comes on the trip just to see what one of us says, or does, so he can go back and tell about it! One of the rounds we were all playing together, a stipulation we put in the rules for one day, and it started to rain. We, by the grace of God, were right next to a rain shelter so we pulled under it and began to visit. One of the guys lives out of town, and has for quite a while. So we really enjoy the time we spend together on this trip. We gathered under this shelter and relived a lot of the moments that shaped our lives together. At one point we brought up a story about one of the many Fathers and when the story was finished as we all laughed uncontrollably a clap of flash of lighting and a clap of thunder pounded down on us. We all sat there stunted as this was really close. The guys whose father we were talking about suddenly comes out with good lord dad we were only kidding. We all fell out again.

As I think about these guys I know what has to happen. I am going to try to give each of them a place of their own here in my little archive of my thoughts. So I will start with this general story and then go on to try to introduce you to the most impressive set of friends a man could ever be blessed with. From boys to men the things we endured together have been many from marriages, divorces, death of parents and siblings. The birth of children and the raising of them and all the trails that comes with that exercise. I have lunch with one of them about every 10 days. We sit and solve each other’s problems and listen to each other’s dreams and tell each other we will get there one day. I think we offer each other hope from a source that we think is different than our family. And I feel like everyone needs hope. He is a special guy and will be the subject of the nest story for sure.

So I guess I am hoping you have guys or Gals like this is your life. People who have been in your life for over 50 years and know you like no one else simply because they understand your changes because they lived them with you. They get everything that makes you tick and the things that might be frustrating to others they understand and give you a pass on. I know this Blessed Man has lived a charmed live with these people in it and I hope I can share them with you soon.


The Blessed Man

Saturday, October 9, 2010


We all have times in our lives when we go through transition. It is those times that test us to our very core. I feel as if I am standing on the edge of another transitional period in my life. I have always loved the transition portions of my life. I can remember when I transitioned to being a Chef. It was exciting and a learning period like no other time in my life. I became a Father during this period of my life and lost my Dad at the beginning of the transition so it was a very forming part of my life, and it has had a great effect on who I am today.

As I said I feel like I am about to move into another phase of transition but this one I am not so excited about. My Adopted Sister is about to become a grandmother for the first time. Rightly so she is about to transition into that role. A role she has prayed for all of her life. A better grandmother the world has never seen. Transition. My Mother in law is slowing down. It has my wife in a state of transition. She is wondering out loud, for the first time, how much longer her Mom will be here. When her Mother passes she will be like me, a parentless child. Transition. My Son, who occupies more than half of these posts, has finally moved into something I consider a career. Transition .

My job has taken a turn for the worst. Large companies are fine for safety but for the human element they are really not equipped. We just lost another good person this last week because her job was affecting the way she mothered her children. She made a conscious decision to leave before it affected them anymore. My Boss has turned into a guy who is sad or mad all of the time. This is a guy who I have laughed so hard with on the golf course that tears literally ran down my face. He is in Transition as well. I went to church this morning and the new guy preached. Not my style at all. I have been asked to give him a chance I did. The one thing that I loved about my church is the preaching styles of the pastors. All of them preach as if they were sitting with only you in your den. A style that is so comforting to me I have missed maybe 4 Sundays in 6 or 7 years. However, I guess even the church is in Transition. I do not like all of this transition.

Here is what I see happening to me. I am about to go through he loss of my Mother in Law. And I hate to see it. Heaven is getting the sweetest, kindest, purest, and most loving woman I have ever known since my own Mother.

I am about to maybe not lose, but not see my sister as much as I would like. She will be the very center of this new child’s life. Her and her husband will be grandparents we all wished we had. That baby, if nothing else will know what it is like to be loved and cared for by the best.

My son, god forbid, might actually be getting on with his life. He has become a more focused and stable young man. He is moving toward his goals and I think has made a huge transition in his own life.

And then there is my wife and I. We more and more are looking for a little place for us to retire to. Something simple a little acreage with some form of water on it be it pond, river, or creek; room for a few chickens, and a cow or two ; our little piece of heaven to live out the golden years on taking care of each other and enjoying each other’s company.

Then you step back and look. Is it Transition or me being selfish and spoiled? My sister needs to be with her grandchild. My mother in law will go the way of god’s will, not mine. My son will be just fine as well. Do I want that? Have I always been glad he was all up in my face? Could that be true, no way!! Here is where I get really confused.

All I know is that my world as I know it today is about to change and change in a big way. I should be thrilled I have my health, a loving wife, and a group of friends second to none. The transitions in life are always there and happen to us all the time. I guess when we see them going in ways we do not understand we get a little leery of them.

So with that come on Transition let’s see where we end up. For some strange reason the good lord has always taken care of this ole retch and I can take comfort in he will once again take care of me.

May all of the transitions in your life be ones that only bring joy and happiness to all you know and love.


The Blessed Man

Monday, September 6, 2010


I was in an account of mine last week and we started talking about time, in the real sense. Kind of a pseudo quantum physic thing. Yes, the conversation was over my head, but the guy I was talking to was smart enough to dumb it down so I could semi-understand. That conversation got me to thinking about time as it relates to me and mine. I am in the stage of my life where I think more about retirement than ever before. As I look at my starving 401k and the economy in general I wonder if I will ever realize that dream.

Lately the wife and I have been kicking around the idea of making a few steps in that direction. Looking for a few acres somewhere it is safe and warm, with mild winters, and long lazy summers. I am a water guy, always have been. Not that I don’t enjoy the mountains, or the rolling hills, I just like the water or near it at the least. The wife is a major water person so we are leaning in that direction. You don’t have to be able to explain Quantum Physic to a guy like me to know beach front is a large investment and then I wouldn’t have my garden area either. So we are talking about a short drive to the water and a little land for me. I think we can find exactly what we are looking for. I have one major problem, my friends and Memphis Family. How do you box up the people you love more than life or persuade them to come along on your dream? I can’t imagine any of them sharing my dream of a small farm with chickens, a cow or two, big garden, a pond for fishing, maybe even a river close or running though the land. Sounds pretty nice huh? Well not to all. One thing about my Memphis family is we are all different but all share the same unconditional love for each other. How do you move away from that even if it is your dream? Aren’t you supposed to share your dreams with the people you love? And how can it be a dream if my Memphis family is not included?

I guess that is what they mean when the old timers said time waits for no one. Time is always moving. Nothing says we will or we won’t find our dream place. And nothing says we are moving tomorrow. However, the thought of it makes me very sad in some ways and excited in others. I know people move and change. There is about to be a big change in the family very soon. My adopted sister is about to have her first Grandchild. I know the pecking order is going to change. I know there are going to be things change because of the baby. I get that, and have no trouble adapting to it. But no one is moving, we are all still here, she is a phone call away, just like I am, just like we all are this very minute. Are the visits going to be fewer, more than likely for a while? Will the baby take center stage? Absolutely. Will we all still get together of course? So, time is moving on. It brings babies, and houses, and happiness, and joy.

So when you think about it, I guess time has been a friend to the ole blessed man. Look at all of the things I have been blessed to share in my life. Many of the things you have read in this musing of my experiences. There have been many more, too many to write about even. So I guess Mick Jagger had it right when he sang “Time, Time, Time is on my side. Yes it is”. So as I sit here and write this today I am very proud to be a guy who loves time and embraces its every change. Time has been an ally to me. It heels hurts. It allows love to grow where sometimes the ground is not so fertile. It educates and makes memories. It softens hearts hard with pain. It allows people into your life that over time, make a place in your heart you never imagine existed, and once they are there, you never understand how you even breathed without them being there before. It makes you see the good in people when you allow it to work to open your eyes. Time expands you as a person, to the very edge of your reality, making you understand that no matter what you do, or who you are, you need others in your life to be fulfilled. Time is my friend and treasured companion.

Well time will tell what happens to me. I know one thing, there is no battling time. I will allow it to work, as it has for my entire life. Trusting it to be my friend and always having my best interest at its very core. So here we go, the train is leaving the station right on time. Come along for the ride if you like I can promise it will be filled with joy and wonderful times. Just like the times of my life have been to this point. All Aboard!!!!!!


The Blessed Man

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


What were you doing 32 years ago? Think about it, 1978. I started working at the airport at my dream job. I had been married for 3 years. I weighted a lot less than I do now, and I thought I was Teflon. My Dad was still working at the airport, so I was working at the same place as him, I was the coolest guy. Disco was rolling, and dancing was the thing. I had some of those stacked shoes and some pants that John Daly would not wear today!! Live was good. Well on August 30th that year a marriage happened. It was not unlike any other at the time, but man was it a special thing. You see my claimed sister got married that day, and 32 years later she celebrated it with us all. I didn’t know her then and she didn’t know me. She has since met some of my friends from that era and says she would not have liked me to much back then. I guess we all change, at least I know I have. Her, I am not so sure. I have got to believe she is still exactly like she was even back then. A cheerleader, and of course the best looking girl in school, she is the one everyone could understand. She is the one that spoke to everyone and seemed to get along with everyone, what a talent. She married a guy who, like me, I think maybe had a little bit of wild in him. But she saw the diamond in the rough and married him anyway, and what a great choice on her part. He had been a magnificent father to her 4 kids, a tireless partner and supporter of her., a welcoming soul for her father and mother who have, and still live with them. What a guy. Let’s think about that last statement. He has lived with her parents their entire 32 years of marriage. Could you do that? Her Mother has passed but her dad “Tone the Bone” has lived with them for the entire 32 years.

As we sat down for dinner, on their special night, her dad “Tone the Bone”, got up to make the first toast. His voice always seems so strong until, he starts talking about her. He just can’t do it without getting all emotional about it and then we all get that way. He started out with he has lived with her for her entire life. What an accomplishment for a father to live with his daughter all of her life. He has seen it all the birth of the kids the death of his wife and the growth of us all while living with his heart and soul, his daughter, what a blessing for Tone. He spoke of how her husband has become a son to him, something the husband will tell you without a bit of prompting, he loves Tone like he was his dad. He spoke of the children and his wife and how they all just have grown together and how special the entire 32 years has been for him. As we all sat there I wondered what that must have been like for them to spend 32 years together and still be so in touch with each other and have each other’s best interest at heart. Seems like something in today’s world that is extremely rare. How blessed am I to even be at this table, much less, to consider these people my family.

As I look back over that same 32 years I can see things that were great, and things I would like to forget. However, I only have one regret; I wished I had been at that wedding! If I had been, think of the joy and the fun I would have had enjoying all of the things Tone spoke of during his toast. Were there bad times? I am sure. But as it always seems in life the good times seem to be ones we always talk about and remember. And trust me there have been a ton of good times in this family. I have seen the videos!! The boys when they were younger tag teaming the family dog, a boxer named Rolex, and the dog actually pinning one of them to the living room floor. The young daughter kissing the little boy next to her during a school program until he actually walked to the other side of the stage! The speech the son gave at his high school graduation, because he was the class president. The football games at UT where the two sons were cheerleaders and came running out on that field carrying the UT flag, the wedding in North Carolina, the announcement of the upcoming grandchild, the engagement of the oldest just a week ago, the pending engagement of the daughter. Seems this family is a joy attractor. What a 32 years! May we all have this kind of impact; not only on our own children, but those we call our friends as well. I think I am a better person for knowing these people. They have changed my life in ways they will never know. I love each and every one of them and truly think of them as my family.

Wow what a 32 years. Makes me want to go put on some KC and the Sunshine Band put on those Stacked Shoes and dance!!! Wait a minute, I would pull every muscle in my body and I have to work tomorrow!! So I guess I will just be thankful that I had shared the last, oh say 8 years, with this very special group. And it’s not every day you get a sister out of the deal either. Love you angel, thanks for the memories.


The Blessed Man

Monday, August 30, 2010


I witnessed something this afternoon I thought was unimaginable. I watched my friends, whose dad just died, do his father’s funeral. As I sat there and listened to my friend recounting all things his Father I tried to put myself in his shoes. I remembered back when my Dad left me. I was prepared. I had my Mother as my main focus. I made sure all went as we had planned during his funeral. I made sure no one did anything he had asked not be done, but to officiate the service, not a chance. I watched my friend with his wife; mother and children sitting not 5 feet from him capture the essence of his dad for all there who did not known the man. He spoke about how they really never had cross words. He even gave an example of when he tried to kind of get under his dad’s skin, but his dad wouldn’t take the bait. As he continued he would mingle in stories about his kids and his dad, his mother and his dad, his dad and friends, his dad and him. Voice always strong except when he talked about his own children and how he hoped he could be the example his father was to him and them.

That got me to thinking. What would my son say at my wake? I can promise you my son and I have had numerous wars of words. I am not so sure I have been a very good example of a dad. I swear I try to be there but can never make the grade. My hard head always wins and I go off like an atom bomb and here we go again. All I want is for him to be better than me. Is that too much to hope for? I know my standard for him is higher than any I might be able to attain but this is about him not me. I know what the real world is like, and no one out there takes prisoner, they all shot to kill and it takes great wisdom and courage to make it. If I give him every single thing he thinks he needs then when I am gone he will be soft and not ready. How did my friend’s dad do it? How did he balance the skills of getting his son so ready for the world, he became a leader of men, and still never had crosswords? I think when my friends gets a little better, and removed from this, that will be a conversation we have over a really nice bottle of wine.

I can promise you my son could not say those things about me. However, in my defense, and yes, I have one. All I have ever wanted for him was for him to be happy and safe. I want him to know the joy and comfort of being able to make it on his own. To know, no matter what he can eat tomorrow, and have a place to stay because he is in control of his life and destiny. That might sound a little melodramatic I know but that’s how I feel my Dad left me. When my Dad passed I was on my own, married and doing just fine. In my lifetime I have lost jobs unexpectedly and have never been sunk. Because I feel like my dad taught me how to survive. He taught me how to work hard, and never give up. I tell my son that, yet all he sees is his counterparts not having to work hard and never give up, so I am an uncaring dad in his eyes, as he has called me many times. Will I ever live to see him learn the lesson I am so desperately trying to teach him? I know I am not too sure my dad had all of the confidence in me either. However, he did leave me in charge of his most prized possession, his wife, my mom!

So I guess we are back at the beginning. I have always had respect for my friend whom I saw today. He went up a few notches in my eyes. I guess you know your son has achieved all you have asked for when he has the wherewithal to stand up, and preach your funeral, Unimaginable.


The Blessed Man

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Inevitable II

Well as predicted, in the earlier inevitable post, my friends Father passed away. I am reminder often when this happens to someone especially when they are as close as this guy is to me the old saying “You become a man the day your Father dies”. Nothing can be truer. He no longer has the safety net to operate above. You know I can remember always knowing in the back of my mind that my Dad was there. I would go long periods, after I moved out and before the cancer, where we would never even speak. It never seemed to bother him. I guess he kept up with me thru mother most of the time, if he ever did. However, there were always the times when I had a tuff one and he was always there. Never with the where you been or now you want to talk, just solid loving advice that I wished I had taken every time. I would be much further in my life had I done that one small thing!

So my friend texted me, to tell of his dads passing, and I felt a feeling that you only get when you know someone just became a member of the man club. It happened to me and now it has happened to him. He has been blessed to have his Dad for all of his almost 60 years. He spoke today of his father and how he influenced him in every aspect of his life. My friend worked today, yes the day after his father passing. You see my friend has one of the most important jobs in the world. He is an example. His every word and action are constantly being watched and analyzed by his friends, co-workers, and his enemies. Quite an unenviable position, I would imagine. He seems to just glide along, always smiling, having a kind or encouraging word for any and all he comes in contact with. He is a wonderful father to his children. He is also a good husband, like us all, he married way out of his zip code and truly loves his wife. He is also a good friend, this maybe his best trait, since it is the basis of my interaction. He has always been there for me. And lord knows I have needed him. He is the most non judgmental person I think I have ever sat and talked with. He makes no claim to know all of the answers but will assure you, the answers are there and together they will come to us. Just saddle up next to him and we will get to the answers.

I love my friend and welcome him into the club of men who have to live without their Dads. It is a club which no one hopes to be a member, but one where all of the membership has all walked the same road. It is also a supporting membership of each other. Maybe now I can be the friend, to my friend, he has always been to me.

I love ya MBFAM


The Blessed Man


This morning something very special happened in church. There has been a drive to get people to bring a friend to my church today. There had been talk of a special guest who no one would ever believe would be there. Well the cat got out of the bag earlier in the week when we found out the sure enough there was going to be someone special Amy Grant! So they put out the warning for the regular people to maybe go to the least crowed services which would be the 530 on Saturday evening or the 8am, our service of choice, to maybe avoid the crowds. Well the 5:30 service had over 5,500 people. I was scared to death the 8am would be over run. Funny how the whole idea was to get people to come to church and I am worried about not getting my favorite parking place and being able to sit in “My Seat”. I get the honestly I promise.

I can remember going to the small country church with my granny. Every member had “their seat” Everyone would file in and take their seat and church would begin. I never think much about those days, but this morning they came flooding back like a raging river that had been unleashed in the depths of my soul. I never thought much about those Sundays until Amy Grant got up recalled her being in, what sounds like the exact same church, from the exact same denomination. She spoke about her and her sister sitting there singing these songs and how they are the things she remembers most. She even mentioned to our pastor how she doesn’t remember one single sermon, but all of the songs. Then she sang a medley of three songs that instantly took me right back to that little church. I could see Uncle Jim wearing his best pressed checked shirt and cleanest blue jeans. My granny, hair in a bun on top of her head, wears either her blue flowered dress or her plaid one as she said those were her church/funeral dresses. Sitting behind us was Ms Brown singing off key and as loud as any one I have ever heard. Then there was, I forget their names, but the was an older gentleman and his wife. They always spoke to my granny before they sat down. His overhauls were always clean and pressed his wife always worn a hat with fresh flowers on it. I thought that was cool until I grew a little older then I thought it was weird. There might have been 50 people there and then you could bet it was “Dinner on the Ground” Sunday. Anyway, Amy Grant stood there and took me back in time. She sang a medley of 3 songs, one was my Mothers favorite, one my Granny’s favorite, and one my father’s favorite. I was moved beyond understanding. I could suddenly hear my Mother and my granny singing along with Amy Grant, what a wonderful feeling. They were there I have no doubt about it. I when to church this morning with my mother and my granny, so yes Amy Grant is and was a very special guest at church this morning.

Sadly I will never get to thank her for the gift she gave me this morning, the chance to go back to church with the two most influential women in my life, my mother and my granny. The two women I loved the most in my life during my formative years. The two women responsible for whatever good I might represent in my life. Standing there hearing them singing along with this super star is something I think I will always remember, one of the purest things that has happened to me in a long time. Thank You Amy Grant for giving me the gift of precious memories.

So if you ever hear that there is something special going on at your church or one you have been thinking about attending. Please go you never know who might be standing beside you singing their heart out.


The Blessed Man

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I am a family man. I love to be with family, I think families are the absolutely the foundation of a civil society. All of my original family lives in Alaska. All that remain is a sister who lives there with her family, her husband a fine provider, and Dad to her 3 children all healthy and happy. I don’t see them much. I talk to my sister on occasion and there are the obligatory birthday calls but we are not close. I love her and always want her to be happy. She has a wonderful family in Alaska and they are truly happy. I am glad. Me, it’s just my lovely wife, my son, who I write about way too much, and my precious mother-in-law.

This one is about a family I write about a lot, but they are truly more than a family. They are a Clan. Their roots run deep, from the Patriarch, Tone the Bone, right down to the upcoming Grandchild, yet to be named. This is a group that defines the word family. They are always there for each other and go out of their way to include each other in every aspect of their lives good and bad. The Eldest son, a wonderful young man, who my wife will tell you in a heartbeat, is the best looking man on the planet. But more than handsome, he is even more special on the inside. An example of his kindness, I can remember when my Mother was alive; he would come into the room and just light up, hurry over and hug her and tell her how glad he was to see her. I will never forget her telling me how special she felt every time she went to this family’s home. Another time, I needed to go pick up a truck my young son had abandoned it was 4 hours away. I simply made mention of the fact and he insisted I take his truck because it was bigger and safer than mine. What 20 something do you know that would be that concerned?

Well the Clan is on a vacation and they are all together at a wonderful beach house. The eldest has been dating this wonderful young lady for a while, we have all been hoping and praying they would marry. Well down on the coast with all of the Clan together he FINALLY asks this young lady to marry him. That is what I mean about doing things together. You will remember the story about the Grandchild, done when the entire Clan was together. To a member they are special. I am very proud to claim to be an edge member of this clan. They treat me, and mine, as if we were one of them. If the event is held in town we are almost always a part. Very Special people.

Now what makes a clan/family special? I am thinking it must be the leadership. As I think back to my youth I can remember I had a buddy whose Dad was almost as big of an influence as my own. He was out of bounds funny and really taught me a lot about doing things for yourself. I can remember whenever one of our cars, mine or my buddy, his son, would lay down he always told us we could fix it. We kept a car torn apart in their driveway from the time I was 16 until we moved out together when we were 18. He was an avid golfer shot the first 59 I had ever heard of he is still a local legend around town in the golfing circles. I can remember one time when the bathroom toilet was busted and we installed a new one. He was supervising, my buddy and I are the work crew, and his Mother, the general manager, was yelling at all of us to not get any water on the floor. Well needless to say we almost flooded the house; we still laugh about listening to my buddy’s Mom and Dad going back and forth about it. Like my folks, they are both gone now, and missed greatly. The Clan I write about here has great leaders to, the Father, a more caring man you will never find, the mother, a more loving example cannot be set. The children are walking, breathing proof of the leadership of the two people who drive this family in the direction of all things good. So all of the Clan’s I have been blessed to be a part of have had great leaders.

That brings me to another thought, where is my son’s clan? What kind of Clan leader have I been? Judging by the examples I have sited here, not the best. Then I ask, what kind of member he has been, possibly trying to hide my lack of leadership. Does he know he is missing out on some of the most special memories? He really has no friends to speak of, for reason stated in other posts, my opinion only. He doesn’t really come around my Memphis family. I invite and he comes on occasion. Where will his memories come from? He might be living a fuller live than me, I just don’t know about it I guess. Still I hope he has a clan to go to when times are tuff. It is easy, as we all know, to make it during the uptimes. It’s when you are feeling abandoned and alone that I take such great solstice in my Memphis Family/Clan.

Well congratulations to the newly engaged couple. May you be as happy in your marriage as your Mother and Father, and as I am in mine. Always remember there are great times and tuff times and always rely on your Clan to share it all with you. I know I do!


The Blessed Man