Tuesday, March 20, 2012
It is hard for me to say this: My dad was disappointed in me. He let me know it on a regular basis. I wasn't my brother. I didn't achieve great honors, design important buildings or marry an attorney. My kids didn't all graduate at the top of their classes, receive full rides to "name universities" and get plum jobs out of college. It was hard for him to get a handle around who I was and the things I do. "Life Coach and Consultant" just didn't ring right with him.
I got over the hurt a long time ago. It was replaced by a cold sort of resignation and a dwindling hope that sometime before he died he and I could talk things through. It never happened.
I thought about all of this as I lie in bed last night and then I thought about my own children. I have not always agreed with their choices or decisions, I have gotten angry at them and I know on more than one occasion said things like "You idiot....." There has been frustration and wondering why they didn't drink up my wisdom like a glass of cold water on a hot day. Despite them not living their lives the way I thought they should at times, I was never, ever disappointed in them.
I wondered if they knew it?
I sat down earlier today and wrote them each an email. I told them that no matter what differences we may have had or will have, I was nor will I ever be disappointed in them as people. I thought they should know. Many years from now I don't want them staring at the ceiling at 3AM wondering what they might have done better. They needed to know I loved them and was proud of them.
This is not a bash my dad blog. He was a good man but like all of us had weaknesses, failures and flaws. I'll never know how he really felt because neither he or I took the time to clarify matters. In this way he helped me. I don't want my children never knowing. I'll never be dad of the year and I have made my fair share of mistakes but they will always know I love, honor and respect them.
It's nice to know and even better to hear. I'll always be left wondering. If you have kids, let them know what they mean to you. Choose your own vehicle, but let them know. It'll mean the world to them.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid
It’s amazing how everything that was so important just a short week ago really doesn’t hold much meaning to you. You are grateful for very small things: A kind word, someone handing you a cup of coffee or a blanket while you sit in an ICU waiting room and mark time. You stare at a sickly green wall a lot. You get up and hug people you haven’t seen in ages and after a bit that gets tiresome also. You want to be left alone.
You forget about Republican primaries, March madness and spring training. You spend a lot of time being silent. You find it to be soothing. When the moment comes you are surprised. There is no real dam of emotion that breaks inside of you. You feel really disconnected from everything; like you are watching yourself in a movie. Every time you close your eyes you see yourself on a huge rock in the center of an empty field. You feel no breeze, hear no birds or bees, and smell no flowers. You only realize how alone you are right now.
After the Monday funeral you have an opportunity to cubby yourself away and be alone. The cold, icy knife of grief begins to poke and prod you. You don’t fight it. In the midst of that storm, off in the distance you see a small ray of sunshine darting in and out of the storm. As it moves closer you smile a bit. In the midst of this storm and sense of loss you realize the lesson you are to learn. You are learning what’s important. It’s not all the goofy stuff you’ve concerned yourself with over the years, it is the people you have met, the places you have been and the love you hadn’t recognized. It’s the moments you wished you’d seen what was REALLY their and not conjured it into “What’s best for me……” There is a certain sort of peace there. The clouds clear and your emotional spectacles are clean, you see. You even laugh out loud a bit. The lesson, albeit a long and hard one, was that you’d been looking in the wrong direction for a really long time.
Thursday evening, just a few short hours before he passed from this existence, my dad said goodbye to all of his grandchildren, one at a time. My son Matt shared part of their conversation. It went like this: “I have had a good life Matt, but it went by so, so, fast.” (My dad was 88)
“We just get one ride around the sun in this dream of time. It goes so fast and one day we look back and we ask, “Was that my life?” Jo Dee Messina
Be blessed today and stop for just a few minutes and take in everything around you.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Dad left us around 3:00 pm Friday afternoon. his passing was peaceful and dignified and represented how he had lived his life for close to 88 years. In the end congestive heart failure was his cause of death. His funeral will be Monday.
I am doing ok. I had an opportunity to say good bye to him and sort of make my own peace with this process. Yes, I miss him but he isnt suffering any longer and that provides me with the most peace.
Thank all of you for the condolences and the Spark Goodies. They were greatly appreciated. I will be away for most of the week.
Much Love To You All and Be Blessed Today
Saturday, March 03, 2012
A friend sent this to me so I thought I'd share it with you
Saturday, March 03, 2012
First, and foremost, thanks to all of you who showed concern about the weather situation in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio yesterday. In 58 years of life I don't believe I have ever seen this violent of weather this early in the year. We had a lot of rain last spring, but the storms are full of wind, lightning and hail but very little rain.
Yesterday afternoon, three tornadoes touched down roughly within 10 blocks of where I live. The civil defense sirens for this area of town are two blocks from my house. I get a really loud blast when they go off. With all the watches and warnings, schools and businesses closing, and then the sirens going off to alert us to a tornado, it can be quite daunting. Fortunately, none of those tornadoes did any real damage. It appears they touched down for a few seconds and then went back up into the sky. This was the second wave of storms to come through this week. The first wave literally destroyed Harrisburg, Illinois which is about 70 miles to my west. Yesterday storms destroyed the towns of Henryville and Marisburg, Indiana. Those two towns are roughly 100 miles northeast of where I live. We were very fortunate. It hailed for about 5 min., rained for another 10 and scared me half to death for about two hours. Fortunately, all is well.
I would like to clear up a misconception from my last blog on trusting yourself. I received a lot of private feedback scolding me, LOL, about solely trusting my ability and not God's. Point well taken. What I should've added, is what I sincerely believe: God provides the inspiration, we provide the perspiration. I have fallen prey to the trap of throwing everything in God's lap so I can conveniently blame him when things don't work out the way I think they should. I believe God provides me with all the tools I need to do the things I want and need to do. I do not believe God is a marionette nor that I am a puppet and that I have the choice before me each and every day to use or not use those tools, to accept or not accept his guidance and love. Further, I believe the really neat thing about God is regardless of my choice he is there every morning ready to love and support me and give me another opportunity. My failures, in God's eyes are simply opportunities for me to make John a better person. Thank you for your continued support.
Have a blessed Saturday.
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