Saturday, December 10, 2011

Privilege

What a word. It means so many things in life. It can mean a benefit enjoyed only by a few and not all. It can mean a blessing of some sort you pick it. But today I got a firsthand experience that showed me I am privileged beyond my recognition.

So see I have a friend who can truly be said to have been privileged his entire life. He belongs to a family that has been deeply involved with the running of my city for generations. He is a Harvard graduate he owns one of the most successful businesses in our town and has been blessed in many ways. I have often caught an air about him and his family that I have felt a little like I was privileged to be allowed in the circle so to speak. It happened again today for me. I happened to be in his area and had something he wanted so I took it to his home. He was in the driveway overseeing some workers doing something or other. I drove up got my stuff and headed to his front door. He welcomed me as always with a firm hand shake how a sincere how are you, truly a gentleman of the highest regard. As I got to the front door I sat the things down and headed by outside he said no you can stand right here in the entry way!! I would have been comfortable in the outdoors with the carpenter’s. I have always felt his wife sees us a lower class of people. Anyway he gets what he needs and we speak a minute his wife never leaves the living room simply makes a small gesture from her safe distance. As I got back in my truck and headed to my house I was wondering what it was like to be a person of privilege. The more I thought about it the more I realized I was the person of privilege. You see he has lived his entire life trying to be a person to live up to his last name. What a curse! I, on the other hand, have lived my entire life trying to be the best person I knew how to be that’s it! So you see I have lived a privileged life. I unlike him have had scalawags as friends. I have been too drunk to fish! I have been in places his family and he would simply die if he had been there. And you know what I have had a blast. I have so many stories it would curl your hair. I am not saying he doesn’t have stories. I am just saying mine are truer to life as most of us know it. Wait a minute then if you go by the definition of privilege then who is the privileged.

Well I am going to say me! That’s my story and I am sticking to it. So it’s my hope as we all go through life that you have been privileged like me. I hope you know what it’s like to have so much fun it takes 3 days to recover. I hope you know what it’s like to watch your best friend get so wasted because some girl he is crazy for gives him the see ya later treatment. I hope you know what it’s like to simply enjoy your life. I am proud to have been privileged to live an unpretentious and inclusive life. I am not above or below anyone. What a privilege!!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flop

What comes to mind when you hear the term flop? Is it that Chicken that was over cooked? That Indian dish you tried that was simply uneatable? Was it the time you tried to fix that disposal and ended up calling the plumber? It is a given it was a huge mistake.

Well tonight it was pointed out to me I have made the biggest mistake of my life which translates into the biggest flop of my life as well. You see my angel of a wife turns 60 tomorrow. Me, trying to make sure she has a good birthday was trying to keep her in the loop. I had one thing planned. We were going out. Then a friend said they wanted to have a nice dinner for a group at their house. So the plan was changed. Then the friend backed out and another friend stepped in. Now I fine out from my wife that the entire birthday is a flop because I was thinking she had to have input. Well I have learned a valuable lesson. She really wanted a nice surprise party with all of the bells and whistles. Even though she has told me from the very start of the birthday season that she would have no part of it. I have tried since we have been together to always have her best interest and her wants at the fore front of anything I did. I learned a huge lesson tonight I should have taken charge and done what I wanted to do the entire time. She would have been happy and all would have been well.

Do you have any idea the feeling that you feel when the person you love the most on the planet tells you that a special time in their life that you were in charge of is a complete flop? Let me tell you may you never hear those words. It is very hurtful. And the sad thing is if I would have simply not listened to her and done what I wanted to do everything would have been perfect. I wanted to have a party a special celebration with a friend who plays the saxophone like Kenny G. With all of our friends and made it a night to remember. She heard of it and put the brakes on it right away. Me, trying to please allowed it. Never again. It is far too late to salvage this event and sadly you only turn 60 one time. So I missed my chance. However I have learned a life lesson here. Pay no attention to what the other person wants when you are leading with your heart. Listen to your heart not reason. I sit hear writing this with a heart broken knowing it’s too late to make this right and the person that means the most to me in the world has told me I have failed her on a moment that I can never get back. If you learn anything from my experience listen to YOUR heart not theirs.

Well I am really not sure what tomorrow will bring. I know the most wonderful woman in the world turns 60. I know I have let her down. I know I never want to feel this way again.
Sleep will be tough this night. Please take my advice and never let the birthday girl plan her own event heart ache is all that will come of it. If you special someone is having a milestone event my advice; have a blow out like no one has ever had. It is much safer to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reunion

This one has taken me a while to get right in my head. Of all the posts I have written this one might be the hardest yet. You see, my loving Mother in Law has left the building. On September 11 she went to heaven, if you believe that, and I very much do. I miss her and my lovely wife misses her terribly. We have gone through and adjustment period and we are coming out the other side now I believe.

If you share my beliefs then you can only imagine the reunion on the other side. As I have written here Bobbie and I had numerous conversation about her past and all of the things she has seen change. Can you only imagine seeing the things she saw? From Horse and buggy, to electric cars, from letters to email, from over the fence and church on Sunday, to cell phones and laptops, from walking to flying half way around the world in a day. What must it have been like? I was at a friend’s house the other night and we were talking about the changes in our lifetimes and I still do not believe we will be close. They came from nothing to something. We are coming from something to something else. But I digress.

The welcoming committee must have been enormous when she walked in the door. All her brother and sisters, friends and family all gather around finally getting to see the one who was missing for so long; the one who really held them all together while on this earth. The joy must have been overwhelming.

I can safely say that she showed me how you are supposed to live. She never had an unkind word. She never complained even as her mind was fading she simply would ask the sweetest questions and when you answered her she would nine times out of ten say “My My”! Man do I miss those My My’s! She always acted as if she knew you and was so glad you came by to visit. A truer person I have never known. May the good lord let me exit as gracefully as she did, not treating my caretakers rudely always showing thanks and love.

At her funeral which was as special as she was, the last pastor to speak was one she had tutored as a young man. He stood and told stories about the systems and practices she put into place many years ago were being used all over the world in missions. I sat there thinking what have I done that has had that kind of impact. The answer Nothing! And the real thing was I am betting no one in that room but the pastor knew Bobbie had done it. She never blew her own horn. She humbly just went about her life trying to make everyone else’s better. What a woman….

Well I could write for days about her and all of the qualities she had that few in my life have displayed. But that would be an unfit end. The best ending is heaven. The two greatest women I know now can watch over me. My Mother and Bobbie…. My My………
Peace,

The Blessed Man

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never

What a word! One my lovely wife tells me anytime I use it “Never is a long time”. How true are those words. We all say things like ‘I’ll never do that again” mostly tied to a drinking affair in my case! Or “I’ll never be able to understand so in so” read my son here for me!! But the point is Never is a long time and use the words sparingly at best.

Well I can remember using it a long time ago in one regard that I had to eat those words so to speak this past week. Here are the details;

I have been a golfer most of my life my Dad taught me how to play when I was about eight and I have enjoyed the game my entire life. We as a younger man I swore I would “NEVER” play golf with a woman! It’s just a man thing. I can’t explain it but if you are a guy and play golf you get it. Well Never arrived last week. I played golf with a woman!! And trouble is I had a blast!!

My Memphis sister, her husband, my lovely wife, and I have planned a trip to The Villages, in Florida, for many months. So we go down and her husband and I have played golf together for years. We get ready to go play and she wants to go and watch. I think cool you know I love being around her I thought this would be a blast. Little did I know she had a trick up her sleeve. We get out of sight of the club house and she tells her husband she wants to hit one!!! I am mortified I can’t play golf with a woman it’s against the man rules. I quickly look around to make sure no other men are watching as she steps up on the tee. Now get the picture in your mind please. She has on a brown dress, heretofore known as her “little golfing dress” and Flip flops heretofore known as “her golfing shoes”. She takes a couple of waggles and BAM drills it right down the middle of the fairway!! I almost fell out of my cart. She screams and jump back in the cart and heads to her ball. Well as the day went one she found the women’s tees and then she was trouble. She got to one hole drove it down the fairway and hit the cart path and bounded down the concrete path until she was 60 yards past either of us. Well that’s when the “I out drove ya’ll” started and it simply when downhill from there! She made 2 or 3 pars and had a blast.

As we were packing up after one round I thought about how it had opened my eyes that women can be fun on the course. I got my wife a set of clubs years ago she has never picked them up. I promise you I am going to encourage her to because if I had this much fun with my sister, imagine the fun I will have with my wife?

So my dear wife you are correct never is a long time, but the good thing is sometimes when a never rolls around there is a wonderful lesson in it. Like you can have fun with your wife on the golf course. So my dear get your clubs we have a 1:16 tee time. Let's make sure we bring the wine for the cooler. Because one must always remember golf is a gentleman game, and now a lady’s as well!!!!

FORE!!!!!!

Peace

The Blessed Man

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crazy

If anyone were to be reading this blog they would know I am very vague and completely anonymous about all people events and things that are written here. Well I did something yesterday that makes me think I have truly lost my mind. I actually gave this address to someone!! That’s means that now there is a possibility someone might actually read what is written here! What was I thinking? It was a moment of complete and utter insanity.

OK, here is how it happened. I got an email from this friend and it had a blog she is writing about her experiences running her businesses. I read the posts and laughed out loud. She has always had a brilliant sense of humor and was a part of the “in crowd” in high School. Very pretty, smart, and funny what a combination back in whatever years it was I was in school with her. Well she has not only matured into an even prettier, and funny person she has a wonderful Husband and family and what appears to be plenty of material for her blog. She writes, as I do, under a false name. She came up with in a hilarious way. Her daughter told her she couldn’t write under her real name so she had to use her “stripper name”!! My friend when on to explain how you get you stripper name by using the name of your first dog and the street you grew up on. Well if I were to become a stripper I would make a dime my name would be Migg Buxton!! What picture do you have? Did you throw up in your mouth a little? I know I did. Well hers is really funny but will not be revealed here as a simply Google search would reveal her blog and possibly her location and from there it could snowball I well I would never!!

So I wonder if the posts will change since now there is a possibility someone might read them? More than likely not I can’t imagine anyone having any interest about my thoughts and feelings anyway.

Well my dear if you really come here to see what I write this one is for you. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my feelings and rants as they are all intertwined. Like I told you in the email I can’t spell and punctuation is completely out of my realm. So here it is my first exposure.

You think anyone would read a blog named

Random thoughts of Mig Buxton? I think not !!!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man
(aka Migg Buxton!!!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

57


Yesterday I turned 57. If you would have asked me forty years ago I would have told you I would have never made it this far! I would have also taken much better care of myself had I been privy to that little tidbit of information. But I think the most shocking thing yesterday brought was that I have now lived longer than my father. As I worked yesterday that was something I continually thought about. My father was different than me in a lot of ways. I think he was a wonderful Dad; me not so much. He was the most loving husband the world has ever known; me trying hard and appreciating the lessons he passed down to me on how to treat your partner. Him totally selfless in all regards; me struggling at every turn to display this lesson. He always wanted to be the first one to die; me not at all. I can remember him telling my mother he was going to die first. My mother, of course, saying she was very uncomfortable with those thoughts and wanting them to go together in the rapture! I on the other hand want to live as long as I can take care of myself and not be a burden on my family.

Last night my sister, I am going to stop putting the adopted part on here, cooked dinner for me. I know my real sister, who lives in Alaska would have done the same if able. However, my Memphis sister didn’t have to and did. And not only did she cook she also had my closest friends there. We eat together 3 night a week so it’s not like all of us haven’t been there this week, but she took it to another level last night. And what really made it special was she got the group involved. She made the appetizers and the first two courses and one of our other dear friends made the entrĂ©e and dessert. All of the dishes were made with my special diet in mind and all were so wonderful. You could actually taste the love it took to prepare each thing. It was the dominate taste if you ask me. How blessed can one man be. As the wife and I were driving home we were talking about the how blessed we are to be a part of such a special group of people. It seems the group is always in transition. With the addition of Grandbabies, New Husband, New girlfriends and ever changing views on life yet something still holds us all together. And what is so special about it is that the binds are loose, nothing or no one every holding on to tight, except for me most of the time. I Love my peeps, as they say these days.

I never dreamed, as a young man, when I was 57 years old I would have people like this in my life. I remember back and my parents had no one who or no group of supporters like I have. They had really no one but each other, my father working sometimes three jobs, my mother doing a balancing act with the budgets and bills. It was like they never had time for friends. They were too busy trying to take care of us and making sure we were raised correctly. Maybe that in lies my problem with my son, but that’s another issue all together.

So as I enter the most exciting time of my life and what I truly believe will be the most fun I am so thrilled I have friends and family to take along. So come on group here we go. Gather around and pack your bags it’s going to be one fun ride. And I can’t imagine what life would be like without all of you, and I promise I never will!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Monday, August 8, 2011

Archive



In this age of computers and electronic filing I find myself always going to my archived things looking for that email that proves something to me or to the powers that be. What did we do before all of this ability to archive everything? How did we preserve the pass for recall when needed? Well I am happy and really blown away because I now know how it was done.

My lovely wife, for a number of years has been really patience and forgiving where my disaster of a closet has been concerned. She has always dropped those little hints like “you would have a lot more room in here if you organized this just a little bit”. Me always saying “you are right angel I will get on that over the weekend”. Well this past weekend was the weekend. I have been in a funk for well over two months and really can’t say why. I have talked to friends, pastors, and the wife and just can’t find the motivating idea or action to make me simply get up and do something productive. I have a deep seeded feeling I know what it is but am not man enough to face it in this post so it will have to wait a bit. So I arose last Saturday and made the announcement I was going to do something productive. The wife smiled and said those lovely words “how nice” if you know the joke you know what I am saying!!!!

So I got up and started the, what looked, insurmountable task of organizing my closet. Well out came all of the clothes. I found about 20 tee shirts I had no idea I had. Found probably 3 different sizes of pants. More shoes than ANY man should own, and belts that must have belonged to the house previous owners as I have never been that small. Then in the deepest darkest corner of this now open space I saw two boxes. Taped and sealed stacked neatly sitting on top of each other not having been moved in no telling how long. As I picked them up I couldn’t imagine what was so important that I had boxed them up and put them in this strange and unfindable location. The back of MY closet!

Well as I opened the fist box and looked inside a rush of emotion came over me like the way you felt when you father would drive over that one hill on the way home, that one that when he topped it and let of the gas always put your stomach in your throat. There before me was my life. The first box had pictures from my first weeding. Well over 35 years ago. My best man still my best friend to this day. He and I both were about 75 pounds lighter and hair we won’t even go there. There were picture of me and my father I didn’t even know existed. Pictures of all of my grandparents, uncles, aunts, my sisters when they were very small; Pictures of my Mother and all of the family, the houses we lived in, the Christmases, the Thanksgivings, the sisters going off to the prom, unreal archives of mine and my families past. I sat there looking at the pictures of a vacation I took with 3 buddies where we played 36 holes of golf a day for 5 days in a row. Pictures of the two girls, who were best friends, which my best friend and I dated at the same time, the one I married and he didn’t. I sat down and for over an hour I lived in the past. Called my best friend told him what I had found and set a lunch date to look at my new found treasure. Called my first wife told her what I had found and listened to her voice crack and break when I told her I had a picture of my father in the robe she had made him one year for Christmas and she was sitting on the arm of the chair beside him. Hearing her go silent when I told her I had picture of her now pasted grandparents and even of her father and mother when we first got married and went on that honeymoon with them! We laughed and enjoyed the moment together. Then came the hammer, I opened the second box.

This box it seems came from my mother. It contained all of the things from my childhood, clothes, books made in kindergarten, class pictures from every grade first through eighth I think. School picture of all of my sisters, a copy of my uncles first flight certificate she had decapouged; back when that was her thing to do and everything got mounted!! Then under this stack of cards and towards the bottom of the box I found the two things that took my breath. When I was about 9 years old I gave my mother a small figurine It was a small man holding his arms as far apart as possible and the caption on the base read “I Love You This Much” my mother treasured this thing. From the second I gave it to her it was always on display in her kitchen. We always mimicked the pose and say to each other “I love you this much.” I started to cry as I am now as I am almost over whelmed at how much I miss her and still “love her this much”!! Then as if by some guided hand I moved the last piece of crumpled up paper a report card file and there it was. My Mother’s Bible, I also gave her this. I opened it up and read the caption I wrote all of those years ago. Trying to relieve her of any responsibility of the bad in my life by telling her she raised me knowing right from wrong and whenever I did wrong it was my fault not hers! Then as I turned the pages in what was a well used bible I began to read the questions and statements from a life time of trying to get it right. Almost every page had a comment or an underlined passage. I do not know what I treasure more now. I realized I had been sitting for over 2 hours looking over my archive. What a life. I just haven’t been blessed lately I have always been blessed. And here was the archived proof. Just like the emails that save me today here was proof I have lived and incredible life. If I dyed tonight I have lived more than most people ever get to, Blessed Man.

So it is my hope for you that once in your life you find your archive. And have the unimaginable pleasure of reviewing it and feeling like I felt today. And I hope you can reach out to someone in that box and tell them how much they have meant to you during your life. I got to do that as well. What a feeling!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Unexpected

We have all been to our friends children’s weddings. We all sit around and talk about how glad we are that we are not picking up the tabs. How we have all changed. How quickly the kids are growing up. How beautiful the bride is. How handsome the groom is and what wonderful parents they will make. It is normally a very routine evening with family and friends. Then there is the unexpected!

Last night my pretend sister’s daughter got married. We have been a part of the planning process of this grand event for months. Mainly as support staff or the people who say “everything will be perfect”, or “That’s a great idea”, or “Wow I would have never thought of that” stand point. From the dress to the hair it has been an experience to be long remembered.

The groom a young man whose has made these pages before. A stand up guy if ever there has been one who will be a loving husband and good provider for the rest of his life with my adopted niece. This ceremony started as normal as any I have ever attended the gathering of friends meeting and catching up on everyone’s goings on. The trying to remember which side was the brides. The chamber music the beautiful church and flowers, just normal as all of the others I have ever attended. As the mothers were seated something changed. As I watched my pretend sister being seated by her husband, one of my best friends, I had a rush of emotion come over me like I had never had before. It was suddenly like I was evolved in this process from a deeper place. Watching as each brother of the bride and son of my friends entered the sanctuary everything began to really mean something to me. And then when the bride walked down the aisle she was the most beautiful thing I think I have ever seen. It was like I now know what it must be like to see your child walk down the aisle. The bride’s father beaming with pride her Mother smiling with a look on her face that must be what angels look like when they welcome you into heaven the look of total an absolute love and joy. As I stood there as they passed I was totally caught up in the moment. The emotion that ran through me was one with which I am not familiar a feeling of happiness and love as if this were someone who belonged to me! Standing there with what had to be a dumbfounded look on my face I am very happy no one saw.

As the couple moved through the ceremony the feeling simply would not be tamed. I was totally caught off guard. As they turned to face each other and the vows were exchanged I found myself doing something I have never done in my live. I had to wipe tears off my cheek!! Here I sit crying as if I had a player in this game. What was happening to me? I was totally surprised and confused. As I tried to gather myself I got a little lost in the moment and if the truth be known I think I enjoyed it!!

At the reception I had found myself and was going to tell my pretend sister about what happened as I started the story it happened again and I barely got through the story!! What a wimp!!

The reception was a blast I have never, in all of my experience, seen a couple more available to the attendee’s of the reception. The bride and groom danced with all who were there and there were numerous very special moments both funny and touching. As the wife and I watched them leave in the limo I suddenly knew this was a very special night for me as well. This was the night that I experienced the closest thing to a daughter I will ever have got married. And how cool was this that I didn’t have to pay a dime and got all of the feelings as if I were a part! Talk about blessed once again I was treated better than I deserve! So now not only do I have an adopted sister I have an adopted daughter!!!

So my angel I can only hope your life is as blessed as mine and that along your road you get to share your life with people exactly like you and your family! To know the feeling I got to share in last night. To be a part of something which is much bigger than the whole. To know what joy and love feel like so deep in your heart that you really didn’t know that place existed. Thank you my darling for showing me that place last night. I have always heard that there are numerous places in your heart, a place for your Mom, a place for your Dad, and a place for your spouse. We last night I got to know a place I really thought I would never know. The place that belongs to a daughter and for that I will be forever blessed! So for those of you with daughters be thankful for this special place. For those of you who do not have them I pray for you that once in your life you get to feel what I did last night.

So I now wish each of you peace and grace. My we all never lose sight of the important things in life. That would be, in my case, family, friends and crying at weddings!!!

Peace

The Blessed Man

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Agape

If you are unfamiliar with the term here is what the dictionary says” Love seen as spiritual and selfless and a model for humanity. Love that is spiritual, not sexual, in its nature.” Has anyone ever loved you in this manner? Have you ever seen this kind of love in action? If you haven’t you have missed one of the most beautiful things on this planet. I have been blessed to see it in action for a little over 2 years, in my home. As you know by now 94 year old mother in law lives with us and my angel of a wife who takes care of her daily. Well she really needed a break so I have had the pleasure of watching her for the past 2 weekends. Now, I in no way think I am doing one quarter of the job my wife does, however it does give you a very real picture of exactly what she does do. Unfortunately, her mother is really on a downslide and it is very hard for my wife. I remember watching my father as he started to decline and remember my mother and how everyday she tending him and watched him slide a little further down and how it worn on her mentally and physically. There is no way I can remove this from my wife’s journey, but I want to do everything I can to give her brief periods of respite if possible.

The total selflessness and commitment she has to her mother is unimaginable unless you see it. It is all about her mom all the time. She is always covering her up, cooking her food she will not eat. Making sure she is clean and loved and cared for and wants for nothing. Tirelessly doting over her like a mother over a new born child. I guess the roles have been revised. Some 58 plus years ago I can see the scene in a rural Georgia town with a small demur woman coddling a new born baby and beaming with pride and showing her off to everyone who would give her a minute of attention. Now I watch as that daughter coddles over the mother showing her the way upstairs and covering her up from the breeze of the ceiling fan. Telling her softly how to sit just right so the cat she loves so will sit in her lap for a brief moment, one that her mother loves the most I think. Patiently sitting by her encouraging her to eat and drink doing everything in her power to make certain that these are the very best days of her mother’s life. May we all have this be the end of our days.

But to show the absolute love my wife has she has placed in her will that if she ever gets the way her mother is she has requested she be placed somewhere so other can take care of her freeing her son from this walk she is walking today. WOW, talk about taking one for the team that is unthinkable. To, while totally sane, commit to your love ones that it is ok to place you in the care of others so they do not have to undergo the stress and pressure of taking care of an elderly parent. I stand in awe of her most days but these past weekends I truly understand the sacrifice she has given to her mother. To tell you the truth, if I am able, she will never spend a second in any place, but the home I will provide for her for the rest of her life. I have never known anyone who possesses the capability to love so unconditionally in my life and talked about blessed, she is my wife. I could not be prouder of her. Now you see why the title of this blog contains the words “blessed man”.

Well I am having trouble seeing the screen now thinking about how special this woman is. I can only wish in your life you met someone like her if there is another on the planet. I think I hear “The Link” coming down the stairs maybe it juice time? Think I will ask her about her family I love to listen to her talk about my wife! May we all be loved once in our life in true Agape style let me tell you, since I am, its breath taking!!!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Departure

Well it has happened my dream has come true, so to speak. My son just left for the next chapter in his life, in a far away state. He pulled away from our house, car loaded to the gills, and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance blaring!! What a picture. One I am sure I will not soon forget.

I wished him luck and told him he could be anything he wanted to be and whatever that became I would be proud of. Don’t know if it meant anything but I felt like it was the right thing to say at that moment.

So it begins; the journey which has been funded by my wife and me with an infusion to get him there and feed him maybe a week. He left talking about opening his own restaurant with his chef buddy down there. Wow to be 22 again! All I think about now is how can I retire. But that’s what 35 years will do to you for sure! I am excited in a way to see exactly how he is going to react to being on his own. I remember the first night I spent in my own apartment and thinking this was the coolest thing ever. Then in 3 weeks the rent came due, then the light gas and water bill. Then the phone bill, car insurance, well you get the picture but that is the last thing you think of when you are enjoying you success over the world for that first brief and, please pardon the word, stupid moment before reality sets in. I wish him that feeling when he gets to his destination.

I guess in reality I have been the gate keeper in his life for entirely too long. He has tried everything to get out of the pen. Now I simply opened the gate. I had a dear friend send me something the other night after I showed my ass at the dinner table. It went something like this. You cannot stand in front of someone and stop them from living their journey. You must step aside and allow them to go and live their life. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was standing in front of the gate and this boy/man has been trying to get out for a long time. Now I think he enjoyed the safety net for sure and doesn’t yet understand it is gone. But none the less I was keeping him from his journey. Well he is on it now and I wish him luck. I, like everyone other father will one day do, now stand back and let this man go into the world for the lesson that are taught there. They are always hard and painful but so important. The things that do not kill you make you stronger and I have a feeling I have just turned, what will be, a very strong man out into a very unsuspecting world!

So I am telling you all he is on the loose and traveling about with his own mind and ideas. Teach him what you have taught me. Family is first. Friends are your life. Children hurt you more than anything or anyone else in the world. As a sidebar; I will never forget when my mother held my son for the first time she was looking at him with a look only a grandmother can have. I asked you don’t love that baby very much huh? She smiled handed him back to me and said these words that have never rang truer than at this moment in my life. “That little thing right there will bring you more joy than you will ever know and can hurt you more than anything or anyone else in your life. Welcome to my world” As I sat there holding this tiny little child I looked down and tried to think of the times I had hurt my mother and of course nothing came to mind. I simply could always remember the happiness and love she had for me and I her. I am sure she spent many a night hurting because of something stupid I did but never did she mention it, WOW. That’s unconditional love. I guess now I just hope one day I can forget all of the hurt he has caused me and only remember the good times, like my mother did for me. Talk about a mother love, man!!

Well you have been warned! I have given notice he is on the way and ready for whatever comes his way. Teach him well and allow him to become a man we will all be proud of.

Good Luck my son. And as they say in Ireland “He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.”

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hurt

Hurt what a word so diverse, but never a happy thing. It is something we never want to do to someone we love, or even a friend. Have you ever hurt anyone? What did you feel like afterwards when you realized you hurt them? Did it bother you? Did it make you hurt?

Hurt is powerful. Hurt is never kind. Hurt, this is crazy, hurts.

I was hurt tonight by the people I love the most in my life and as I sit here thinking about it I find myself trying to take the blame! Maybe I wear my feeling a little close; maybe I am just to on edge these days. Maybe my job has taken a bigger toll on me than I realize. Maybe the fact that my son is reared his head back into the fore front of my life has totally consumed me and I am crippled by his constant greed and total entitlement, BINGO. I am about to do the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Now I have done some things please understand. I watched my father be eaten alive everyday for almost 6 months and was always by his side. I have made a fare life from a guy who grew up in a 900 Sq. ft. house with 4 women! I was way too smart to go to college, like a lot of my friends. I have lost a 25 years career with not even one days noticed and have risen from the ashes to a point of success that not in my wildest dream did I ever believe I could achieve. So I have been around the block. However, I am about to kick my son out of the boat. He will either sink or swim that is up to him. I do not think, no I know, that no one around me has any clue of the resolve I have in this endeavor. I have been, that father, the one who is always there. The one who rants and raves and curses and then in the end throws out the life line, well as Edgar Allen Poe said in The Raven, Never More! I think what hurts the most is no one believes me. This means the only way they will ever see my resolve is for my son to fail and I do nothing. Think about that. I have to let me son fail to show everyone I have had enough seems and sounds ridiculous. My hope is, of course, he makes a success of himself and proves me wrong, and everyone else, who says he will be a success right! However at the end of the day my resolve is sink or swim on your own. I am a firm believer in real men pick themselves up by their boot straps and make their own way. If I fed him, clothed him, made sure he has money, at what point would he say no thanks Dad I need to do this on my own. Correct, at no point. But that doesn’t make it any easier on me. I guess what I wanted tonight was a little we are with you; you are doing the right thing. We will be there to support you when your son starts testing the waters to help you with your resolve. But all I got was laughed at and told how crazy I was/am. I know sometimes men/dads have to walk the road alone and if that’s my journey I am ready and willing to walk it. I am a guy who hates to be alone especially when it is matters of the heart and yes sir this is one big matter in my heart.

So it begins. I am quite sure this is the first in a long line of posts that will come along as this part of my journey unfolds. But thank the lord I have this place where at least no one laughs in my face. You might be laughing but I can’t see it. And you know what, if you are laughing, good for you at the very least I taken your mind off your troubles. As always I bid you peace and happiness

Peace

The Blessed Man

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dance

What’s the picture, in your mind, if someone said dance to you? Would it be that first frightful experience standing there against that wall watching the girls dance with each other petrified inside yet dying to ask one to dance with you? Is it a picture of a lovely lady in a Tutu moving gracefully across a deserted stage to beautiful classic music? Or is it the experience itself? You and the person you love taking to the dance floor to your favorite memory of your courting days?

Well I can tell you what it will mean to me for the rest of my life. I am in a very special place. A place called “The Villages” it is in Florida, middle of the state, no beaches, no waves, no amusement rides, just golf courses, swimming pools, and golf carts everywhere. This is an age restricted community. You must be 55 to own property, and they are selling more than houses here they are selling a lifestyle, and one I really like. But you can read about that online if you like here is the link to their website, The Villages.
Every night, on two town squares, they have live music and dancing. Last night my wife and I were at the Square closest to own home for the week. We were sipping our wine, people watching, sitting in the shade, and having a blast. We noticed a couple dancing, him a rough and tumble salt of the earth looking man, head full of white hair. Her a grandmotherly looking pure soul, white hair to match her beau’s, denim skirt and white cowboy boots. As the music played they moved almost as one around the square. Each step as if they had done it a thousand times before. With every step they became the center of attention not only for us, but all in the square. Gliding around each other they were totally lost in the moment and I truly believe they didn’t notice any of the 200 people enjoying the show we were all being treated too. Lovingly he held her hands and with each turn and dip he always had her, she would never have to worry he was always going to be there. What a treat to see. By the time the music stopped they were the only dancers. As the music stopped and they hugged each other the entire square erupted in a huge round of applause for them. Almost embarrassed they shyly nodded their heads in a sign of their gratitude and moved back to their chairs hand in hand. They had to be pushing 80 if not passed a bit. That is what makes this place special.

We were talking to a couple next to us and they were talking about a study that was done on this community. The results were that people who lived here and participated in the active lifestyle lived and additional five years!! I can remember my dad always saying it is quality of life not quantity. And these people have quality to the max!!

Heaven would be to live here and have my Memphis family with me. How selfish is that. Wanting to uproot my family from their other friends and family to bring them here so I can be happy? Well that is just how I feel!!

So I guess we had better start looking at houses! No I think we need a Cul de Sac for all of my family.. Wait a minute they are playing our song! I had better go get my wife I think it’s time to Dance!!!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Friday, June 24, 2011

Helpless

What is the picture in your mind whenever someone uses the descriptor Helpless? Is it a baby bird that has fallen from the nest; a small fawn that has been separated from her Mother? The incredible imagines of a baby Kangaroo making the journey from womb to mothers pouch for the remainder of their gestation period. Interesting enough is all of the examples used are of a child and its
Mother, never the Father.

The pictures that natural paints of the Father Child relationship are those of that leave us all trying to understand how the Father could walk away from his child with such reckless abandon. Why is natural wired in this manner? A better question, are WE wired like that? In our world a Mother is for sure the nurturer watching with a trained eye for even the slightest change in behavior that might send the signal the child is in need. Ever watch a new mother with their first born? They leap to the bedside at the slightest whimper from the little one. The newly crowned Fathers are basically the same way. And here is where I start.

As I have written here numerous times I have a young son that is more than a small trail in my life. He just simply can’t seem to get it through his thick skull that what other people think and say is important, and should be listened too. This, as I have tried to explain a thousand times, is extremely important when the other person is either his Boss or supervisor! However, if he is in disagreement then, they, the person in question (read moron to him) should instantly recognize his superior mental ability and surrender their position and bow to his superior intellect. He has lost no less than 4 jobs because of this character flaw.

I would like to think that I am well respected in my industry. I have many friends who own the businesses that I call on daily. I have gotten my son two jobs in my field. He has been fired from both! It hasn’t damaged me as yet but I cannot allow his continued social ineptness to be my responsibility. And here is where the word helpless comes into play. As his Father I feel totally helpless as I sit by the wayside and watch him fail time after time without trying to rush in and save him. I talk to him, I give advice, I counsel, I try to support as best I can but to no avail. Is this what Fatherhood is all about? Is this how you make a man? Am I doing the right thing? These are the questions I ask myself every single night. The worst part is we have friends, dear friends who are more able to support their children who are close to his age. All he sees is the others, who struggle like him with life, being able to continue a lifestyle I cannot give him. This doesn’t help me either but I simply cannot afford to maintain his lifestyle and mine so I selfishly choose mine. In my heart I believe he will be so much better off making it on his own when he does he will mean something to him, as it did to me. He will feel, as I did, that I made it. I can make it. I am finally a man. He of course doesn’t see it this way. He feels like the entire world has lined up with the sole purpose of making absolutely certain he is trampled and broken. How do you feel that? In and during all of my trails I have never felt like anybody, especially the world as a whole, owed me a thing other than a chance.

So there in lies my dilemma. I guess as I write this I think I am sticking to my same strategy. He has jumped out of the boat he now must swim a while. I will allow him to get a little water in his mouth and make sure some gets in his eyes, but drown; I just simply cannot allow that to happen. Good thing he doesn’t have a clue about this space and even better no one really reads it. But it sure is good therapy for me.

So I am wishing you never have a helpless feeling wherever your children are concerned. If they are successes please call them and tell them you are proud of them. I promise one day I will be able to make that call. Now the question, will I be man enough to carry on that conversation without breaking down with pride?

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stagnation


I have had a bad couple of weeks. As you can see by the title I am in a bad place. Rare for me, as most times I have always been a, the glass is half full kind of guy. Not of late! My mind and body are here but the rest of me, is definitely somewhere else. And the shocker is, it’s not Florida! The wife and I have found our little piece of heaven and it’s called The Villages. It lies 51 miles north east of Orlando and is Disneyland for adults, more on it when I feel better however.

I am at that age where you start thinking about laying it down and retiring. My job of late has been a constant source of pressure and unhappiness. It is very hard to keep a team together when the atmosphere everyone is in is thick with stress and unrealistic expectations. However, rarely do we all feel badly at the same time. There seems to be one of us, on the team, that is always pulling the rest of us along. The member changes from day to day and sometimes minute to minute, but we always seem to make the finish line. Here lately I am not even interested in the race. I have always been a guy that wants in the game, the give me the ball guy. Now I am not even sure I want to watch the game. It is simply not fun anymore. How arrogant to think that you should actually enjoy what I do to make ends meet. Strangely I always have had a blast making a living, equally as strange is about every 10 – 12 years I have changed careers and when in a totally different direction! Well I just passed 12 years with my current company and I can see the signs. Total lack of interest, I feel like this is due to the fact, they, read my company, has a total lack of interest about me and my team. They are of the opinion that a clan of cave bears could do what we do every day and they would save $1,000 of dollars. Well I got bad news. If my team left altogether I promise they couldn’t make another goal for 5 years!!! We are a special group of people that really get it. We build houses every single day and none of us have one single hammer or even one nail but somehow these people everyday go out and make miracles happen and not one person above me has ever acknowledged their success. There are 3 divisions in my company. Mine, another and, a combined division of the two working under separate accounts. My team has an over $225,000 surplus to goal working with our fiscal year ending in 2 weeks!!!! They are going to walk to goal. The others you asked one is a million dollars behind and the combined division I have their shortfall made up in my area made up for them!!! Not one person other than me has ever stuck their head in our team meetings and said good job!!! So tell me how do you motivate people when there are taken for granted? But I guess that is how Corporate America rolls. I still do not have to like it.

I was working at a previous job and will never forget actually voicing my opinion about this praise issue I have with corporate America and my boss telling me that they paid me to do my job and my paycheck was all the praise I should need! I was floored. I was that guy that got there 30 minutes early got everything set up so that the day when smoothly stayed late if needed and never bitched. Some of the other guys, never on time, never did anything other than their job, and they were getting the exact same thing I was, a paycheck. What a standard! So I vowed to be like them. Sadly or not I couldn’t!

So here I am again in a state of stagnation. But this time I really can’t leave I have a lot of people depending on me for a lot of things. So I guess it’s time to make lemonade!!!

Thanks for listening and please pass the sugar!!!!

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Preaching

As I was sitting in church this morning I got the feeling I get sometimes and that is that the preacher is suddenly talking to me! I am blessed it happens often where I attend due to the quality of the preacher. He was talking about things people have done in the past to maybe discount you. I started thinking back and was hoping I couldn’t come up with times in my life where I had to discount someone for me to feel better. I remembered one time and I think it was because of the outcome I do not do it anymore.

It has to be over 30 years ago now. My best friend to this day and I were talking about with some people I really didn’t know. Well this girls name came up and I said something, not to nice about her, and the guy in the conversation I didn’t know said hey man that’s my sister! I couldn’t believe what I had just done. Everyone looked at me and I was no doubt the ass of the ball at that point. I have never forgotten the way I felt at that moment. Embarrassed, humiliated, and foolish were the feelings that even came back today as I sat in church wondering if anyone but me remembers the event. Then the preacher when on about other things he spun a new side to the sermon that really hit me harder than the first one. He started talking about things people might have said using examples like “You will never amount to anything”, “You’re an embarrassment to me”. “You are not worth anything”. As I sat there I almost started to weep as I have said those exact words to someone I truly love, my son. He can make me madder than anything, quicker than anything, and I am just not equipped to handle it at all. I have written in this space many times the frustrations I feel as I try to guide him through his life trying to help him avoid the pitfalls and mistakes his father has made. However, he acts as if I am the stupidest person alive. I know no other way to deal with it than to lash out at make it hurtful. I see friends and family deal with their children and it becomes clearer to me that the good lord is really testing me. I think I am a relative smart person and have a diverse view of the world patience in most cases and commented to doing well in anything I put my mind too.

So why can’t I get this Dad thing correct? What is the lesson here I ask myself. This is the one area of my life that I truly feel like I have failed. The larger factor is I am failing someone I love and have a responsibility to prepare them for a fruitful live. Why can’t I get this through my head? What is the block? As I sat there fighting with all of these ghosts this morning I am still battling them this afternoon. I have tried to commit to having patience with him. We sit down and in 3 seconds, or sooner, I have lost my temper. We have the most volatile relationship that is in my life, this is wrong. I started to think about the Dad’s I know and the relationships they have with their son’s. I can’t think of anyone who has the love hate relationship that my son and I have. What I really don’t understand is how to fix it.

I love my son. I have expectations of my son. And there is where I think the problems lay. He has totally different expectations, if any at all. I see an intelligent young man wasting his life away with job after job not even trying to get into a career. I see a young man when I was his age I was married and supporting a family. I see a young man with no responsibilities and living a care free live. Maybe that’s it, I am jealous? I sowed my wild oats but I grew out of it. What is taking him so long to get the picture that you need to get established and start working toward becoming a member of polite society?

I will never know I guess. I just need to stop take a breath and try harder to simply allow him to be him and quit taking responsibility for him. It would be so much easier if one of us lived in another area of the country. But for now that’s not happening.

So I guess that’s really about it. I hope if you have children you have a wonderful relationship with them. I hope they always ask for your counsel and then listen to you when you give it. I hope that every time you look at them you say, I am proud of you. You are important. You can be anything you want to be. I love you. And all of the other things the preacher said this morning were good thoughts.

For me this is a new day. I am proud of my son. He can be whatever he chooses and I will support it in spirit. He is important. Wow this is going to be hard.

Thanks for listening,

Peace,

The Blessed Man

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Return

Wow, it is hard to believe that it has been over 6 months since I wrote anything for this blog! That gives me a much fuller appreciation for the people whom are talented enough to just sit and write. Me, I am an emotion guy. Something has to move me to make me write or comment in this space. Not that I haven’t been emotional in the last 6 months. The stress in my job has been taken to new and unimaginable heights. The constant reminders of my short falls as a parent haven’t let up either. My Memphis family is still rock solid on most fronts. And my angel of a wife still amazing me every day with the kindness and total agape love she demonstrates constantly to her Mother. But some switch was simply turned off, nothing there, simply same Ole, same Ole, just nothing to report. Well last night the switch was turn on.

Last night I had the great privilege to attend a wedding. I can hear you now a wedding trigger all of this? Yes, a wedding. But this wasn’t just a wedding this was a WEDDING. I will try to explain so you might be able to understand.

In my business, as in yours more than likely, you get invited to things that otherwise you would not be able to attend. This was such an event. It was the “who’s who’s” of the community. The church was decorated with fresh flowers, as they all are, however, in this case there were so many you could smell them like you were in a field full of them as you sat waiting for the service to begin. Closing my eyes and breathing deeply in I was taken back to my Grandmother’s house the fresh aroma of the flowers and the solemnest of the moment made me think of her and the times she drug me to church where she always had the preacher fresh flowers every Sunday so we had to get there early, the absolute bane of my life when I was a pre-teen.

The music, live by a wonderful string quartet and horn section playing Classical music as it was meant to be heard in a chamber like atmosphere where it echoed beautifully throughout the church. The wedding party, men in tails, women in floor length gowns perfectly fitted and beautiful. The bride, whom I didn't know, in a spectacular dress with a train behind it that drug for 5 rows of seats. As I sat there taking this all in I thought what a special thing it was for her especially. The groom, whom I knew, was dapper with his father and brother standing alongside looking on with the pride in their faces only family love could compose. The service was everything the scene promised and was a joy to be a part of, very well planned an orchestrated from start to finish.

Then came the reception; this is where the emotional wall was torn down I have been hiding behind for over six months. It was so special, a lovely crowd of people all listening to the bands and enjoying themselves. Here is where it hit me. The bride’s father was living every Dad’s dream. He was able to provide a wedding for his precious daughter in the style all little girls dream about, that of a princess. Not being female, and having a son, I have no fantasies about this part but can only imagine this had to be close. There was nothing missing. From the food, to the wine, the cakes, the flowers again, and the overall feel of the event this has to be what fantasies are made of. What joy he must have felt last night as he laid his head down to sleep knowing he put it all on the line for his little girl. What memories the bride and groom have of this Lancelot and Guinevere type affair. What a fitting way to begin a life. We all should be so lucky!

I hope the Bride’s parents understand what a wonderful job they did last night. The event was a testimony to their undying love for their daughter and the total acceptance of the groom into their family. I can only wish my son is so lucky to be accepted by his future family in this manner.

Well guess I am back for a while. Seems like they have awaken the writer in me hopefully for a while, I do enjoy this so much.

So for now if you have daughters love them like the princess they are, even when they are not. And if you have sons be grateful, you only pay for the rehearsal dinner!!!

Peace

The Blessed Man