You’re Welcome….Thank You ( to my siblings)

Today is our mothers birthday. She would have been eighty-seven today. There is no thank you needed for doing what I should have so obviously done. I truly believe God put me in a place in my tumultuous life to be right there at that exact time.

While being a familial caregiver takes it’s toll on the individual providing the care it also provides ONLY that individual the rewards. The private moments. The intimacies that no one else will ever know about. The great struggles and the small successes that mean so much. The smile or the look of gratitude in their eyes that express an emotion that no words can capture.

Although one may sacrifice their health. Strip the emotions raw. The price is so very small to pay. Just to hear the words in the still of the night as you lay half awake in case they need you….Nighty Night…I love You…

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Lunch Time Sunshine

There was a time when the shine of the sun could not give me warmth. I was a cold, broken, no shattered being. At times I did not even realize I was locked in a spiritual arctic wasteland. Other times I felt like I would never find my way out.

Now, today, the sun brings an involuntary smile to my face and the warmth reaches my very soul. Finally I have learned when I feel cold, broken, even shattered and it looks like there is no way out… I need to only turn towards the Son.

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Two years ago today my father defeated Parkinson’s disease. There may be no cure for this horrible affliction but it can be beaten. My father, Tata, was diagnosed when he was fifty-six years old. That is my age. For a man who took such pride in his physical prowess and appearance this news should have been devastating. Instead he took as a direct challenge.

His response when people expressed their sympathy was almost flippant. ” Everybody has something. I have Parkinson’s “. For twenty six years he did battle with a disease that tried, but could not, take away his spirit. He taught anyone who met him just what the words dignity, grace, perseverance, and willpower meant. He was the embodiment of the word gentleman.

The marathon runner fought for twenty-six years and on this day two years ago he won.

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Beginning And End

Beginning And End.

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Beginning And End

Isn’t it odd how sometimes we find ourselves in the same place that we were perhaps years ago? It has happened to me many times. I have even written about it before in a post titled Full Circle. While I was examining the year 2014 I realize it has happened again.

As a senior in high school I worked at a psychiatric hospital. That job evolved into one of the most personally rewarding experiences I have had. I shared part of that experience in a post titled, And The World Smiled. Now nearly four decades later I am in almost the same place.

Working with elderly brings just as much satisfaction. There is so much joy and laughter. There are also many tears. I have had so many different jobs in the last four decades…searching for something that I had already found.

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The Beggar (the conclusion)

I stood outside the doors of the church trying to listen to the service but to ashamed to go inside. How could I not have seen this coming. I have done it to others so many times before. Acquire a small company. Keep the key players until I milk every bit of knowledge from them and then put them on the streets.

It took less than a year and I have lost everything…My wife, my children, my home, and my mind. I started relaxing with Crown Royale and Knob Creek. Now I will suck the drivel out of a beer bottle somebody threw in the trash…Cigarette butts and all.

I scurried down the street in my torn and filthy clothes and unkempt hair to my ally before it got to dark. Sitting on some cardboard and digging through some garbage I have already gone through earlier a shadow was cast that startled me. It’s just another bum standing with the street light behind him. I couldn’t make out his face.

Something struck me as odd and then I realized what it was. He didn’t stink like the rest of them. In fact there was a pleasant aroma that I could not place that surrounded him. “What is it you want?” I asked territorially.

“What is it YOU want?” he responded.
“I want you to leave me alone. Go find somewhere else to sleep. This is mine”
“YOU have nothing. Everything you ever thought you had I provided. Everything you lost I took away.”

The world stopped turning. There was no sound. There was only myself and this man standing over me…and I could not see his face because he was silhouetted in the light behind him.

“Why have you done this to me? Haven’t I been good enough for you? I’m not a bad man! I don’t rape or kill or molest kids! What the hell do you want?

I want you to love me.
“Alright how? Tell me what to do!”
I want you to change your heart. I want you to take the blessings I have given you and pass them to my brother on the street. I want YOU to change yourself and until you do, this will be your life.

“Where do I start?”
He pointed up the street and pointed to a man and said, “start with him.”

I looked down the street and saw a man running…Head down, braced against the wind and the cold, trying to get in an office door. He was holding his briefcase in one hand and his hat on the head with his other. There was something familiar about him but I couldn’t place what it was. As he ducked into the alcove I ducked in there with him.
“Sir..I’m cold!”
He ignored me and went inside to the warmth of the building saying something to the guard in passing.

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The Begger (cont.)

I can not believe it!! The merger has gone through putting me into a position where I will be making more money than I could have ever imagined! All I have to do is keep my head down for the next seven years and I will be home free.

Walking down the street to the parking garage I’m thinking I have done it. I have been loyal and persistent and I am entitled to everything coming my way. There’s a crumpled figure propped up against the wall. Coughing and hacking. Oh God why can’t the city do something about these people?

I cross the street so that whatever virus that parasite to society is blowing will not contaminate me. Not only that, I won’t have to listen to his sad ” help me” pleas. Get a job you tubercular son of a bitch…

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