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