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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wake Up Call

Frequent and timely health checkups

·       Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ~ Bill Keane
How often do we hear this quote and for most of us, it goes in one ear and out the other (at least I know it used to for me)?

As our families mature (our children) the family extends because of the friendships that they develop and eventually the marriages that follow.  With the extended families come a whole complete set of new family ties.  This includes: an equal partner, in-laws (spouse’s parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces, nephews), including extended friendships.  In essence a total and complete new social unit (nuclear family).

Up until recently, I thought of myself as slightly removed from that extended unit, simply because I felt like it would affect my child who marries into that family, and not me directly.  However, if you truly love your child (which I know that I do without a doubt), anything that affects him or her (especially emotionally) affects us, his or her parents.

As usual I won’t mention any names or get into too much detail to maintain a level of privacy.  At the end of last year, just before the Christmas Holidays, a mother in-law to one of my children fell and hurt herself, she was not known for frequenting doctors’ offices or clinics with aches and pains.  She loved her church and had a great big faith in prayer, which she heavily relied on for her ailments.

After a few days of lying in bed for he bad back pain, one of her children practically forced her to go to the emergency room to be checked out.  Approximately 9 days later she passed away from advanced (terminal cancer). I am still in shock that life can be that way.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there are two professionals that we must communicate with, probably the most important is your physician.  The other professional deals with finances (feds).

I implore you, that if you have any personal pains that persist or that you can’t explain, please have it checked.  If you have an elderly loved one or friend that has a condition that hasn’t been checked out, please convince them to go to the doctor.  If you can’t influence them to do it, talk to other family members and gang up on them to take action.

We all deserve every day that we can extend our life with our loved ones.  Because I have had this wake up call, I feel that the best is yet to come………….. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Surprise At Every Turn

Surprise At Every Turn

Do you remember a time when you felt in control of most aspects of your life?  Perhaps I am unique and no one else ever felt that way.  A possibility but doubtful.  Even if raised in poverty I believe it's human nature to be optimistic.  I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but thanks to the love and nurturing of my parents, I had all my needs and many wants.

Special treatment growing up didn't set me up for false expectations, but did encourage me to strive for attainable realistic successes (goal outcomes).
Two key words so far are "optimistic and realistic."

  • someone who is optimistic is hopeful about the future and tends to expect that good things will happen
  • optimistic about: She said that she was optimistic about the future of the company.
  • be/remain optimistic that: I remain optimistic that a peaceful settlement of the dispute can be achieved.
Synonyms and related words
  • Feeling hopeful and optimistic: the glass is half full (empty), hopeful, optimistic...

  • The definition of realistic is someone who has a good grip on the reality of a situation and understands what can and cannot be done, something that is a practical, achievable idea, or something that resembles the actual truth about life.
  • An example of realistic is a person who knows his own limitations and isn't going to expect to be an amazing opera singer when he can't even carry a tune.
  • An example of realistic is having a steady job that pays a monthly amount and realizing that you have to keep your budget within the constraints of your pay.  In other words, don't plan on a 30-day vacation at a 5-star resort if you budget can't handle the expense.

Because of my love for my country I am optimistic that we will survive the political turmoil that we find ourselves in, evidenced by the 100s of thousands of demonstrators in our country and around the world.

I won't admit to what side I stand on, but it doesn't matter.  Even a blind person can see that we are a country with its citizens divided.  One side sees the country in need of being saved from self-destruction to include carnage.  The other side sees a country in need of improvement from within and by the people themselves.

I am optimistic enough to know that we have survived times in our history worse than what we are going through right now, three examples are: 1) two world wars plus other undeclared wars possibly worse, 2) The Great Depression of the 1920s. 3) the assassinations of presidents.  Believe me when I say that many books can be written about all the bad times that our country has survived.

I am realistic enough to know that the ship won't right itself, we will need to roll-up our sleeves and put our shoulder to the wheel.  I consider what's happening in our country a wakeup call.  Many of us have become complacent, and confident that our country will continue to be great on Auto-Pilot, not so my friends.  You can interpret this post anyway you want, just don’t take your eye off of the desired outcomes.  The best is yet to come……….

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Caught in the Middle

Caught in the Middle

I’ve served my time at getting caught between, being there for my gracefully aging parents while meeting the demands of my own children growing up.  Well, it has now been more than a dozen years since my parents went to be with the lord.  I’ve enjoyed the relief that comes with knowing that that they are free of their aches and pains and in a better place all together.

Now enough time has gone by and it pains me to see my children begin to struggle with the realities of aging in-laws.  Our children are fortunate that their parents (us/we) are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest with minimal discomfort.  As with most people when young couples meet and marry they have no way of foreseeing what awaits at the end of the line.
One rule of thumb that I strongly believe in and promote is:  get to know the family before you get married, especially the older family members (particularly) the parents, because what you see is what you get.  Many times children have a way of mirroring their parents.  There are many exceptions to be sure, many children turn out great despite their parents and upbringing.  Can’t move on without mentioning that some relationships will be great, just because the people involved are so special to each other.

This writing comes to be because I am seeing one of my children struggle with the emotions of dealing with an in-law that is struggling with serious (possibly terminal) health issues.  I wish I could be more helpful, but every situation is different and I am not close enough to the developing situation to know what to say.  I do offer my support and understanding as much as I am allowed without intruding.

I am willing to bet that I am not the only one and that this situation is not unique.  This scenario must play out time and again all over the world.  It just hurts to witness it affecting people that I love.

Life is not discriminating when it comes to love and suffering, sooner or later we all come to that intersection of life.  The best is yet to come……

Sunday, February 12, 2017



Everyone knows that some of the best tearjerker movies are also known as “Chick Flicks,” a great example that I can think of is “Love Story.”

This morning I woke up to some of the best company possible, my three youngest granddaughters and newest addition to the family (two-year-old grandson) spent the night in order to give their parents a well-deserved break.  My grandson is so energetic and bordering on over-active that he woke up a couple times during the night ready to start his day.  Grandma managed to get him back to sleep, after all 2:30 and 3:30 in the morning is a bit early even for grandpa and grandma.
Finally, at around five am we gave in and walked him to the family room to watch his latest favorite movie “Toy Story 3.” 
  • With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and the rest of the toys find themselves headed for the attic but mistakenly wind up on the curb with the trash.

While not a recent release in general, it is to my grandson.  He totally loves it. The idea was to have the movie playing in the background so that he might fall asleep for a couple more hours, after all it is Sunday morning.

Well, the plan backfired.  We have had that movie around since it was first released in 2010, but I’ve never taken the time to view it.  My grandson got energized by it and all the action that makes up the storyline.  I slowly got into the plot and it got me into comparing my growing up years, and even wondering where all my toys and comic books might have ended up.

I got into the movie so much that I actually might have shed a tear or two towards the end.  To be clear, there were no witnesses, so I am not owning up to it.  The question is something like: if a tear falls and no one sees it, did it actually happen?

Since my grandchildren are the center of my Universe, I’ve decided that I will spend some more time enjoying some of their movie entertainment (besides Star Wars and the like).  The quality entertainment available to our little ones is unbelievable, and definitely enjoyable. 

I would encourage anyone that isn’t already sharing their children’s and grandchildren’s entertainment to test it out, you just might get hooked.  The best is yet to come…….