Friday, June 24, 2011


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?


The Blessed Man

Monday, June 13, 2011


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!!!!


The Blessed Man

Sunday, June 12, 2011


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,


The Blessed Man

Sunday, June 5, 2011


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!!!


The Blessed Man