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