In Mom’s Steps

“Am I like grandma?” I used to ask my mom ad nauseam. “Tell me about grandma.” My grandma T died before any of her grandchildren were born and I missed having a grandma. Without any consideration for my mom having to bring up memories about her beloved mother I used to beg her to tell me about grandma T. In my defense, I didn’t understand and couldn’t comprehend how sometimes talking about the deceased can be a painful experience. That was a lesson I could only learn by unfortunate experience. So when I was young, I pleaded for information about this absent woman whose blood ran through my veins. I guess I yearn for connections and I needed to know if grandma would have liked her granddaughter. In a way, I am still searching for connections. Continue reading

‘Twas the night before vacation…

The night before vacation was rather busy. After work I ran a few errands including grocery shopping.   While at the store I text my dad and asked if he had already eaten dinner. He replied he was having another “spell” and didn’t feel like eating. I took a deep breath.

His “spells” have been troublesome for some time now. People ask what they involved. All I could tell them is it appeared to be some kind of lower stomach pain. Lately it culminated in him becoming sick and cleansing whatever it was out of his system.

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Way to go, Dad!

In my opinion, we are born with a desire to trust our parents. Our love for our parents is innate. It comes naturally. It’s pretty obvious that not all parents continue to earn trust and love from their children. Some of us, are blessed to be born to good parents. Not perfect people because perfection in people does not exist. But we are fortunate to be born to parents who try. That’s all we really need I think. And in their efforts, they do a pretty good job. We are the lucky ones – if luck has anything to do with it (and I doubt it does).

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On a Dime

Thursday:  I was assigned to a CPR class at work.  The annual CPR class is a requirement for each employee.  The teacher told us that on average, each person will have to use CPR at least once in a lifetime.  As I was getting ready to leave the class for the day I had a feeling I would be using the skills I relearned.  I scowled at the thought.  But the thought occurred to me I’d be using it soon.  Perhaps, even that weekend.

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Things Happen

This is my recollection of events that changed my family’s life.

It was in the fall of 2007 and my mom had been sick for months.  Though, every time she was questioned about it, she always had a self-diagnosis ready.   My dad had torn his rotator-cuff and needed surgery in Laramie, 200 miles to the east.  I had just started a new job and wasn’t comfortable enough requesting time off which meant mom had to take him.  I knew she wasn’t physically well but she insisted on being his driver.  I prayed the whole time they were gone that they would have a safe trip.

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Elizabeth Taylor died last month, she was 79 years old.  Born in 1932, she was only two years older than my dad.  Ms. Taylor’s life is being described with adjectives such as: legend, actress, icon, larger than life.  Twice she was awarded with the industry’s highest achievement, the Oscar.  She possessed a humanitarian’s heart and received recognition for her efforts with the AIDS community.

The headlines also made note of her personal life which went in a vastly different direction than her professional career.  Sordid details of her turbulent love affairs read like a juicy romance novel.  Even though she married eight times and had seven spouses, she died single.  Her four children are half-siblings as they have three different fathers.  Later in her life, she had numerous physical ailments which prevented her from acting. 

In contrast, my dad has been working at the same wearisome job for over 50 years.  Why?  He’s traveled over a million miles, 100 miles at a time, in order to provide a modest house and food for his family.  For nearly 47 years he’s been married to the same woman.  He is the model definition of a true father, provider, example, friend, and disciplinarian to his four children.  His grand-children adore him.  For more than thirty years, he has given up worldly vices and turned his life over to the Lord.

Who led a more successful life?  Ms. Taylor may have received the accolades and the opulent lifestyle.  But my father’s life, without a doubt, has been more successful.