Why are you waiting? Time isn’t.

Tempus fugit.  The inevitable passing of time.

Time flies.

And we are all so busy in our own world these days.  We get caught up in so much to do and get done.  24 hour news and sports.  Social media.  Keeping up with the Kardashians.  Just keeping up, period.  It is amazing we are able to keep up and keep our sanity at the same time.

Time moves forward. And we need to stop every once in a while and appreciate the moment, and those we are sharing the moment with. And tell them.  And smile. And laugh.

A few months ago, my wife Diana was inducted into the St Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame.  Quite an honor.  And for days after the induction, she was riding a beautiful “high”.  She said that people kept telling her how much of a difference she made in their lives, on so many levels, for so many reasons.  People she knew, and barely knew, sent her emails, texts, phone calls and told her in person that what she did, helped them or their child/children.  She said it was the type of thing you normally do not get to hear because these things were usually said after someone had passed away, and they never got to hear the words.

Time goes by.

Diana is right.  Why do we wait?  Are we that busy checking Instagram ?  Is it that important that we just “Checked In” at the grocery store, but we haven’t “checked in” with those who mean something to us?

Time stands still for no one. 

Time certainly does not stand still, and wait for anyone.  I recently experienced that myself with the passing of my mother.  I knew it was coming.  I was as prepared as I suppose I could have been.  But Diana’s words were never more meaningful.  Mom had been at an independent living facility for more than 5 years.  Life of the party…and every happy hour…daily at 4:00.  Perfect place for mom.  Cleaned her apartment.  3 meals a day (and happy hour).  Did her laundry.  Fall festivals.  Holiday parties.  Spring fling.  And lunch excursions on Thursday.  But for the final 8 months of her life, she was in a skilled nursing facility.  Mom just couldn’t take care of herself anymore.

When mom left us to be with my dad after 16 years, there was an outpouring of love, kind words and actions from so many people.  People whom I hadn’t seen in years came to the visitation.  Friends.  Family.  Parishioners.  Even people whom had never met mom.  And the cards, prayers and thoughtfulness is extending for weeks as I continue to hear from people expressing their condolences.  It makes me sad and grateful at the same time.  I understand that many people who share their feelings often do it for the family, and it is appreciated.  But it is a shame that mom didn’t get to hear many of the kind and gracious words which I read and heard from so many wonderful people…some even relatives.

Tempus fugit. When you are having fun.

So don’t wait.  Today is a good day to tell someone how much they mean to you.  Thank them for the simple things they do.  Smile.  Hold the door.  Make them dinner.  Buy a flower.  Write a note…seriously, a handwritten note.

The moments we have to share our feelings with others are fleeting.  And few.  Taken up by a tweet from the “flavor of the month celebrity”.  Who is more important?  What is more important?  Who loves ya baby?

You know the answer.  Tell them.  Show them.  Stop and smell a few roses with them…or plant some.

You will be glad you did.  You can thank me later.

 

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Published in: on October 8, 2017 at 9:28 am  Comments (2)  
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I’ve Seen that Job and I don’t want it!

I might be paraphrasing a tad, and please excuse the Bill Cosby reference, but in one of his stand up routines, he spoke about the job of being a Mother.  And he nailed it!  (Ouch, need to be careful when making Cosby references)  Most of us men have seen what it takes to be a Mother, and I venture to say very few of us want that job…or could even attempt to do it as well.

If most dads had this job as a Mother, here is what might happen:

  • Fewer diapers would get changed when needed.  “Hmm, no, I don’t smell anything funny, must be the dog”.
  • Which may lead to more little kids running around naked.
  • When the baby would puke, even a little, so would we.  Consequently, we would practically live in sweat suits, the old cotton ones, with the drawstrings.  They are easy to wipe off and throw in the washer.  And speaking of…
  • The wash would pile up…laundry needing to be done…dishes needing to be cleaned so bad we are now using paper plates…and we all could use a bath
  • There would be fewer scrapes and cuts “healed” with love and a kiss.  Dads can usually “rub some dirt on it” and share wisdom like, “walk it off”.
  • School lunches?  Ooops, forgot again.
  • Bus stop?  Damn, late again.  I have to pick you up AND drop you off?!?!
  • What do you mean?  I think 4 years old is old enough to mow the lawn.
  • Most, if not all runny noses would go unnoticed and wiped clean with a shirt sleeve, or worse…leaving the poor child’s face looking like a day old glazed doughnut.
  • Toys would seldom get picked up and put away, unless the kids did it. Why pick them up, they will get them out again anyway, it is a waste of time and energy.
  • Meals?  Cooking?  Uh?  Grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Mac n Cheese…out of a box.  Cereal, is good for any meal.  Pizza, again good for any meal.
  • And changing the sheets on the bed?  Have they changed color yet?

Okay, you get the picture.  And while I might be exaggerating a little bit, but not by much, it is a frightening proposal…being a Mother.   It is also a tough job, and I didn’t even cover the whole childbirth thing.  Yep no way I want this job.  I have seen it…and I have seen it performed by the best…and because of that…I don’t want it.

I have been blessed to have been surrounded by some of the best Mothers which God has placed on this little green rock we call Earth.  One of the newest to “the task” is our “daughter (in-law)”.  She has proven to all how the joy and love of a child, and becoming a Mother, can affect your daily life.  And love.  My Mother, and her Mother, and her Mother’s Mother.  (Did I ever mention my great grandmother was so poor as a single parent, that she put her three children in an Orphanage and then got a job there cleaning, so they would be taken care of and she could see them?)  But my exposure to great Mothers continues with Diana’s Mother and Grandmother.  All of these women had a few things in common…their family meant everything to them…and that helped vault them into their successful task completion of Motherhood.  Tough job description and all.

I have seen a lot of strong women successfully tackle the job of Motherhood.  But none quite as successfully have accomplished the “mission of love” as Diana, my wife.  I won’t go into all of the reasons why, there are many.  But if you know her, you get an idea of why I say this.  And if you don’t know her…your loss.  Motherhood.  One of many jobs and titles she has held and kept her head about her.  Kept her head held high.

To all of the Mothers reading this.  Great job.  You should be proud.

For all of us Dads…we need to “up” our game!

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Last Time for Everything

003 (4)While I am not particularily talented, there are times I wish I was.  And it is usually when I write these posts.  I enjoy writing.  Putting my thoughts and feelings down on paper can provide a wonderful outlet, while feeling protected that there is a chance no one will ever read it.  And if it sucks…well, then I really don’t know and am not vulnerable to critics.

I admire authors.  I also admire songwriters.  Especially songwriters, as they are able to be concise enough to tell a story within a timeframe of 3-4 minutes usually.  And if not a story, they are really good at getting a point across and giving you something to think about.

Case in point is Brad paisley’s song on his recent “album” (yep, I still use that term).  The song is Last Time for Everything.  Paisley co-wrote the song with Smith Ahnquist, Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois.  Now I am not sure who contributed what or how much.  But I am glad they all collaborated.  Not that it is a good song, but it is a song that makes you think and makes you feel good.

“Using a fake ID at a college bar
Getting caught with a girl in the backseat of a car
Running out on the field for the senior game”

The song talks about all of the things that happen in life, that are the “last”.  Wearing a tux in a high school gym…Giving her your class ring…Going fishing with grandpa and playing catch with your dad…Wearing acid washed jeans (not that I ever did).

And it brings back a lot of memories.

And it makes me think about the “Lasts” which we don’t know are the lasts…yet.  Maybe things we take for granted.  Everyday occurrences.  Not that they are not appreciated, but you simply have no idea that it will be…the last.

I have had them.  And have recently had them…and know there will be more.  Just not sure when, what or where.

So be kind.  To everyone.  Tell them you love them and how much they mean to you.  Show affection and give time and attention.  love all of God’s creatures and even those you are not sure of…

Because it might be the last time.IMG_3232-1

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Story. Humble and Kind.

If you have read my last few blog posts, you will know that I have an inspiration for writing about the theme…”What is my story”.  And you may have seen, there is no single answer about what makes me…me.

Quite often “my story” is formed by past experiences, my upbringing, life’s lessons and those around me.  And more often than not, I find myself listening to a song and thinking…hey that could be for me!   Being raised in an environment where there was always three things present…love, discipline and music…it is no wonder I find inspiration in music.  And in this case it is Country music by Tim McGraw.

Humble and Kind.

I remember being told one time,”you are never as good as you think you are and never as bad as you think you are.”  It stays with me, just like this song.

“Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be a waste of time
Always stay humble and kind”

And I have found out in life, this is not always easy, to be Humble and Kind.  Sometimes you do not want to be humble.  You want to be “Loud and Proud”.  Make a little noise about yourself and what you have done. But that noise doesn’t last.  A humbled presence will last.  And sometimes I do not want to be kind.  Simply put, I want to be that A**H*** who does what many others are thinking.  But again, that is fleeting and does no good for anyone.  Besides, that isn’t me.  Not my story.

“Hold the door say please say thank you”

Did I mention love and discipline were always present in our house while I was growing up?  The lyrics above from the song was part of our daily lesson in life.

“When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind”

We all work hard.  We accomplish things.  Get things done. Sometimes things that no one thought we could accomplish.  The impossible?  Maybe.  When this happens we feel proud.  We feel good about ourselves.  It is a great feeling.  But it is also key to keep that feeling “in check”.  Enjoy that feeling of pride.  But don’t become too swollen with it…that will simply burst and get messy.

“Don’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why
Bitterness keeps you from flying
Always stay humble and kind”

There are many things in life which I find challenging.  To “Always stay humble and kind” is one of them.  But if you stop and analyze why you should stay this way, and I find myself doing this often, you will see that it is usually much better for everyone in the end…to stay Humble and Kind.

As an example, let’s take a look at some of these lyrics.

“Visit grandpa every chance that you can, It won’t be a waste of time.”   I used to make it a point to visit my grandparents on a regular basis.  I am glad I did.  It was like a classroom outside of school.  Not only did I learn things, although I may not have known it at the time, but I just really enjoyed it.  Seriously.  I wish I could listen to my Papa once more as the den filled up with pipe smoke, and Nana would poke her head around the corner asking if I wanted a “dollar sandwich”.

“Hold the door say please say thank you”.  Simple respect and common decency.  A few things that are lacking in our society right now.  Sad state, but I am glad I do these things.  You would be surprised how many times you get a smile in return.  A smile is golden.  🙂

“When the work you put in is realized.  Let yourself feel the pride.”  Hard work feels good.  As do accomplishments.  Go ahead with your proud self, feel good.  But as my father once told me,“If you are really that good, you do not need to tell anyone.  They will figure it out for themselves.”

“Don’t expect a free ride from no one. Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why.  Bitterness keeps you from flying.”  No such thing as a free ride or free lunch…there will always be a debt owed, a piper to pay.  When you hold a grudge in, it is like a poison that eats away at you, little by little.  It is a bitterness that keeps you from doing what you do and from being “Humble and Kind”.  Keeps you from succeeding in enjoying your life.

Humble and Kind.  It isn’t easy being this way or doing the things I spoke about.  And I am not saying that I am always successful in doing these things.  But I try.

As I said, it ain’t easy…but things that make us rich never are easy.

Anyway, here is another piece of my story.

Have you figured out your story?  You will.  I am still working on mine…

 

 

 

Published in: on April 30, 2016 at 11:39 am  Comments (2)  
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What is Your Story, Pt. 2

So the last time we “met”, I talked about a concept of asking yourself “What is my story?”.    What are things that make you, you?  A guiding thought or emotion that steers you in the direction to become the person you are.

Well, I have thought about it, and I am not sure where to begin…!  I am not sure I can address just one piece of my story.  But I will start with one and then another, and another, and again…and again.

So at least part of my story has to do with “Emotions” or “Feelings”.  You see, I hold these close to me. Not that I do not share them, because all too often I cannot help but share them.  I just mean that my feelings and emotions are important to me.  Many times throughout my life, I have actually been told that I can be too emotional.  Or that I take things “too personal”.  No argument.  I can read something that was written to me, or something about my family and my eyes begin to well up.  An old picture can take me to a time when I was naive and through my years and lessons learned, the picture can fill my heart with a swell of feelings which are difficult to describe.  Hell, I can even watch a damn Budweiser commercial with dogs and Clydesdales and find myself feeling verklempt.  That is just meshungenah!

But, what can I say?  That’s me.  It is a part of what makes me who I am.  It is also what directs me in the direction I need to be in, most of the time.

I say most of the time because sometimes it can get in the way.  Knowing this is helpful.  Especially if I want to correct the course of that ship.  Realizing the feelings that are about to hit you like a tidal wave, and knock you off of your feet, allows you to brace yourself a bit, pause and redirect.

However, that usually only happens when they can be crippling or destructive to myself.

Other times these feelings help me.  Give me inspiration.  And often serve as a coastline, helping me navigate in shallow waters to take me where I belong.

I like to think they have given me direction in being the son I need to be.  Especially right now with my mother’s health in a territory we haven’t visited before.  My feelings move me to be there and do something…or do nothing.  Just be there.  They focus on memories I have of growing up.  And she was there for me…so it is my turn.  And I embrace those feelings and emotions.  Consciously or unconsciously.  It is me.

As I embrace the feelings that help me to be a better person…Father…Husband..Friend…

…It moves me to action.  To tears.  Feelings.  Of joy, happiness and times past.  Memories.  Voices and images from the past. That help me act on the present and the future.

My feelings and emotions.

It is my story.  At least a part of it…(to be continued)

Published in: on March 19, 2016 at 11:30 am  Comments (2)  
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What’s My Story?

I work for a very good company.  I have worked for a few in my time, and I rank this one right up towards the top.  One of the reasons is the leadership.  I am quite impressed with what I have seen in the short time I have been with them.  At the beginning of the year, senior leaders were given the task to identify “Their Story”.  What makes them, well “them”.  What sets them aside from others.  And I have heard at least four members of the leadership team tell their story.

So, it got me thinking…a lot…about “What is my story?”  What makes me special or sets me apart.  Makes me tick…who I am…why I do what I do…

At first it was a little uncomfortable.  For a number of reasons, actually.  One is that I usually do not think of myself in that way.  I really don’t look at myself at being anything special, or different. I am just me.  And then the “A-Ha” moment came and I realized that was it…just me.  Next a wave of  thoughts seemed to come over me…an avalanche of adjectives came tumbling in my direction…some rather fitting, and others simply humorous. So setting aside those witty thoughts of mine with a chuckle, I decided to reflect on the initial query to myself and look for “My Story”.

Taking a cue from the task of the leadership team from the company whose employ I am in, this year I am going to share “My Story” in this blog.  It will address different traits or quirks that when put together, in various renditions, will begin to have the earmarks of something or someone that should look like moi.  

I am looking forward to this exercise of taking inventory…of/about myself.  My notebook is already starting to fill itself up with ideas and emotions about my make up and character.

But I will save those for my next accounting on this site.

Meantime, this may give you something to muse.  How about you?  Do you have a story?  Of course you do…go ahead.  Give it some thought.  It will probably bring a smile to your face while a liquid memory or two may find it’s way down your cheek from your eye.

It happens…

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Published in: on February 27, 2016 at 10:51 am  Comments (2)  

Roots and Wings…the Hard Way

Welcome back.  Actually, I am talking to myself since I have been away for such a long time.  It isn’t that I didn’t miss y’all.  It is just that I have had a fairly busy time the past several months.  Things have slowed down a bit, actually a bit more than I wanted them to, but that is okay also.

One of the things I did a while back was compile some thoughts and musings of my own, mixed in with some friends of mine, and put together a book.  The topic?  A very simple and straightforward one…”What is your secret to raising children?”  Simple?  Straightforward?  Yeah, right. However, the end result was a good one, at least I thought it was.  A recent release by CW Music singer Miranda Lambert reminded me of the book.  The name of the song is “Roots and Wings”.

I raise my glass
On a Saturday night
I thank the Lord above
On my Sunday drive
For Daddy’s hands
And Mama’s dreams
He gave me roots
She gave me wings

In the book I compiled, this was a common theme.  Roots and Wings.  As parents, we want to help prepare our children for their future.  We want to help them be ready for the things they may not see coming…the surprises…perhaps the things that caught us off-guard ourselves.  As with a house, I know this is an age old analogy, you need the roots or the foundation in order to grow and be strong and secure.  So it the book there was writings about God and faith, about knowing right from wrong and doing what is right.  About Love.  What is love, how to love and feeling loved.  These are all roots that we want to instill in our children, and I am sure our parents instilled in most of us.  Some of these roots came easier, more natural than others.  Maybe a few roots were even a bit painful because a “lesson” was being taught.  But in the end…

He said run on love
And run on life
And plant some seeds
Until you’re tired
Don’t take anything at all for granted

And there were a lot of thoughts in the book about developing our children into a beautiful unique individuals.  Allowing them to have a “voice” in family decisions.  Letting them to be heard when they have something important on their mind.  Acknowledging their opinions and showing them how important their opinions are to us.  It is okay to be different, think different and ask the different questions.  And the most difficult…at least for me it has been…encouraging them to follow their dream…give them Wings.

Difficult, you might say?  Why?  Well in my case it is only because of the consequences.  The consequences that we may be separated for extended periods of time.  That things might be different than I had imagined.  Perhaps “my” plan for them isn’t quite what they had in mind.  Or maybe it is just watching them grow and become adults.  Responsible adults and parents of whom I can be proud.  Each one of my sons has had this chance to “use their wings”.  And they have taken it and flown to great heights.  Heights that I never even attempted.  And I am proud of that.

So, they say that “life imitates art”.  And music is perhaps my favorite art form.  (See where I am headed with this?)

Roots and Wings.  It almost sounds like an oxymoron.  Jumbo shrimp.  Military intelligence.  Stay grounded, but fly high.

Good song.  Even better advice for parents.  New parents and us veterans who have seen a battle or two.  (cue the music…)

She said raise your hands
And raise your babies
Be yourself
And never change it
Be everything you ever wanna be

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Published in: on June 7, 2015 at 9:42 am  Comments (4)  
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Doctor, My Eyes…

Hey doc, I have had some problems with my eyes lately.  Vision?  No it is still, well the same.  No changes there, I still need my glasses to read the backs of the jerseys for Cardinals and Blues games.  This is a little more complicated…

It seems like they “water” up a little more then they used to.  What?  No, not on a regular basis.  Just at certain times.  Perhaps special times.  And actually I haven’t really seen a pattern.  It can just happen.

No, it doesn’t really effect my sight.  Except that my eyes are “hitting the flood stage”, if that makes sense.

When?  Hmmm.  Not real sure I can say.  Sometimes it is a memory.  Perhaps a simple thought.  Or a kind word.  Occasionally it can be a desire, a remote hope…a dream and a wish.

Family history?  Well, my Mother is a bit complicated.  Yes, still alive, but her mind is not what it used to be.  Memory is failing her…she knows it.  She laughs and sings and God help us, she dances…watch those hips and do not fall!  Never seen these symptoms with her.  Acts tough, but a real softie, like many mothers.

My dad?  Deceased, 2001.  “The big C”.  Marine.  Disciplinarian.  Blue collar.  Union man, electrician.  Thought Patton walked on water along with Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Jesus Christ.

Whoa.  Hold on.  I do recall as he got older he had a similar issue with his eyes.  At times they had a tendency to get swelled up and on occasion they would, well you know, they would tear up a bit…but c’mon, not that way.  Really?

So you think, perhaps it is my dad’s fault?  Not my problem?  I mean, well, you know…

I recall the things that seemed to move him were similar to those that are around me when my eyes tend to well up.  A special moment to cherish…a simple card or special word from someone…a unique gift or thought…a special memory that is etched in your being, and probably will never be repeated…yeah, that kind of stuff.

Uh?  No, those were the types of things that made my Dad, the Marine, a little emotional.  Not me.

Really?  They are the same type of things I said were affecting me? Are you sure?  Oh, okay, so what can you do for my eyes, doc?  Nothing?  Not sure what you mean by “it is all me”.  Do you mean it is not my Dad’s fault?  No?  Is there a cure, or some type of medicine?

Hmm.  So you are telling me that this is not a problem?  It is a blessing?  It is a reflection that I have a lot to be thankful for and many in my life who are special?  It means that I am living a life that far too many people never get to experience?  You are saying that I should get on my knees and be thankful for those around me and the love I receive in my life?   I am fortunate.

Doc, thank you for that diagnosis.  I actually feel better and now I see things a bit differently…using much more than just my eyes.  But what is that tune you are humming?  Wait a minute…ELP…Emerson Lake and Palmer?

He went to fight wars
for his country and his king

of his honour and his glory
the people would sing.

Oh
what a lucky man he was

Yes, Doc I am.  Thank you for the reminder.  I needed that.

Published in: on November 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

What is Your Life Verse?

More often than not I believe we react.  React to our daily chores.  Our habits.  Surroundings.  The way we do the things we do.  (apologies to the tempting Temptations)

Some call this life.  Just a natural response to daily activities.  Choices.  Decisions.

Yes, decisions.  Those little things that sometimes we make without even a thought, and yet other times we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders while we are mulling them over and losing sleep looking at the ceiling at night in our bed.

What’s for dinner?  Should I or shouldn’t I?  Can I without being noticed?  The red pill or the green one?  Which tie?  How about these pants? (or do they make my butt look big?)  Walk or drive?  Cash or credit?  Red or white? But what if?

Simple choices, mostly.  Innocuous and often unconsciously made.  But something helped you make them.  Pulled you in the direction of the white not the red.  Of going right instead of left.  Perhaps it was something in your upbringing.  Something in your fiber.  Something you developed along this journey of life.

Your Moral Compass?

Perhaps you have developed a Life Verse along the way and not really realized you were making choices that instinctively follow this verse of yours.

Do you have a Life Verse?  Or maybe verses?  Does it serve as a Moral Compass for you?

These verses are all around us.  With the popularity of social media, quotes are shared every day.  Open a book.  Listen to music.   Read the Bible.  The newspaper even.

Here are a few that I have seen/heard:

 Live to the point of tears

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine

Sink or swim, I’ll dive right in

To thine own self be true

I will find a way or make my own

If you fail in raising your children, nothing else really matters

In the end, we only regret the choices we didn’t make

At the end of the day, you did your best, be done with it and get ready for tomorrow

There are literally hundreds of phrases out there that can resonate with each of us and how we live our lives.  Myself, I could fill pages with verses from Proverbs, Songs or Psalms in the Bible, then fill more with things I have said and heard in my life…

If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got.

When you are tired and you think you need a rest, stop and think what your competition is doing.

Consciously or not, some of these have stuck with me.  And if I look at how I live my life, well, it seems like there might be a bit of a reflection in what I have done.  Choices I made.

There is a quote from Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, that has been circulating on Facebook recently.  Paraphrased it is something like, “When you are faced with an opportunity that you don’t know if you can achieve, take the opportunity and figure out how to do it later”.  

I like that.  It is a lot like life itself.  Would any of us, given a choice and all of the hard things we face, not think twice if we were given the choice of coming into this life?  Maybe yes or no?  But we are here so let’s figure it out!

Another recent verse I heard was something along the lines of,Love your parents and treat them with loving care and respect.  For you will only know their value in your life when you see their empty chair”.  Truth.

Gale Sayers, the great Chicago Bears running back had one that I think is beautiful.  His autobiography carried it as the title…

God is first.  My friends (family) are second.   And I am third.

So, think about it.  Your Life Verse.  Moral Compass.

Or not.  You can just take Mark Twain’s advice and…

Sing like no one is listening, Love like you’ve never been hurt, Dance like no one is watching and Live like it is heaven on earth.

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Published in: on September 1, 2014 at 10:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Song in Your Heart, A Song in Your Life and One in Your Head

A friend of mine from Australia told me he liked Country Western music because it talked about life, about things he could relate to.  And as much as I enjoy CW music, I never thought about it that way.  But ever since then, I find myself saying “wow, Alex Petrou was right.”

Sometimes I even wonder how that musician got into my head…the way that Dierks Bentley did with his song, “I Hold On”.

For those unfamiliar with it, don’t give up on this blog just yet.  Give me a chance to explain…

The song talks/sings about things in your life that are important to you.  Everything from an old box acoustic guitar, to your values.  Holding on…

To the things I believe in
My faith, your love, our freedom
To the things I can count on
To keep me going strong
Yeah, I hold on, I hold on.

Some might be meaningless to other people, like that item you have in your drawer from someone special.  To things that we can all relate to and treasure.  Things which we hold on to.

Like the stripes to the flag,
Like a boy to his dad
I can’t change who I am, right or wrong
So I hold on.

This song was actually playing on my Sonos system yesterday morning when I was updating myself on social media and Facebook.  I ran across a posting from someone I have known a long time, but haven’t seen in years.  It was one of those posts that you read, and think how spot on it is.  Then you either “like it”, “share it” or move on to the next post of someone’s kids pooping in a pool, or another cute dog.

Not this time.  This time I read the post again, and yet again once more.  Each time letting it sink deeper into my being.  My heart.  Here is that post, originally printed by AARP, I believe:

My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way … remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you … my darling daughter.

I know that it is meant to be to a daughter, but my mom had sons, until my wife came along and became a “daughter” to her.  It was actually the message above that was key.  Message received and lesson learned.  This could have been written by my mother, or perhaps she could be thinking this all the time.  She is slipping.  Walking slowly.  Memory fading.  Having trouble with her remote control.  Perhaps a stain on her clothes.  She was over last week for dinner, I know my patience was tested simply because of a few of the things mentioned above.

Lesson learned.

Yeah, CW music can remind you of real life.  My life.  I Hold On.  To memories.  Love.  Things.

And mom’s hand.  Heart.  Love.  And Life.  I hold on…and I am blessed to be still holding.

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Published in: on August 17, 2014 at 10:19 am  Comments (1)  
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