Usually I feel thankful when things are going really well. I’m thankful at Christmas or another one of life’s high notes. I rarely feel thankful shortly after something terrible happens, until the other day.
Sarah was bit by a pitbull on Thanksgiving. Read more about it here.
After that evening’s emergency room trip, I couldn’t sleep because of an overwhelming feeling of being thankful. Thankful the bite didn’t hit a vein or tendon, thankful it wasn’t a bite on her face or neck. I was even thankful it was Sarah and not a tiny child. She’s tough and she’ll get through this. Some other less mentally strong child could be mentally scared from this, Sarah will be fine.
I sat there trying to sleep, trying to keep my mind from wondering how the situation could have gone and what that would have been like. It was my mind trying to torture me.
I’ve never thought about the optimal situation for a pit bull bite but we experienced it. I’m even thankful to know that Anna and I can think calmly while under pressure and react with a fair amount of wisdom.
I get so frustrated that my children will not eat their dinner without whining that I’ll sit in the other room and watch tv to avoid the frustration. I hate that I avoid the frustration, I hate the frustration they create and I cannot control.
I feel very thankful this morning.
I usually feel super thankful/blessed just before I start worrying.
My Grandfather died at 36 years old, he setup his family to be in a financial place that helped carry them for the next 60+ years. My family is still benefiting from what he started and he’s been dead for 50+ years!!!
I have Parents who gave me experiences like hard work, hardships, victories and curiosity. I’ve been given way more than the average kid in this town.
So my worrying starts…
Am I doing as much for my family as what was given to me? Am I going to exceed the gifts given to me? There’s nothing worse than failed potential.
I don’t want to invest more time into this local tech community. So my newest struggle is watching other people trying to help the local tech community. When I see or hear of someone doing something, I want to say something nasty “You think people here give a shit about helping each other?” or “This town is passionless.” or “Move from this town if you want to make a living from doing something you love.” I have to swallow those statements. It’s unnatural for me to be quiet & neutral. I either need to vocal or oblivious. I need to learn to smile and appreciate their efforts without getting involved.
Dear Jimmy & Sarah, Lyme Disease is why you do not have Uncle John in your life right now, maybe one day.
Right now life is simple. I’ve cancelled all upcoming travel plans. We’ve shut down WorkHappy, so no more workshops to plan, no more going into workhappy and having to give advice. I’m not planning any events to host. Even the University Academy website is off my hands.
Life is simple for the moment.
I’m trying to enjoy the silence of minimal stress. I’m exercising daily and working hard to control my eating portions. I’m focusing on LessEverything’s business and figuring out happiness. I’m riding bikes with Jimmy in the afternoon and because I’m home all day, I see Sarah a lot. I’m spending time with Anna each night, although I wish we watched less TV.
There’s not a lot of people pulling at me right now. I’m trying to let go of my need to have people need me.
I wake up, drink some coffee and start working. During the day I find a few things I enjoy…the rain, the silence, Sarah singing to herself, the thought of Jimmy coming home from school or something else.
Chaos, for now, is gone.
I hope one day my kids do something as bold & crazy as Nick Shelby.
Tomorrow, August 10th, is my little brother, John’s birthday.
All I can feel is sadness. His friends are progressing in life, graduated college, getting married & having kids. John sits there frozen in time. His body gets older, he’s losing his hair, he’s fat now. His mind is somewhere else on pause.
Maybe one day he’ll come back to us. He’ll reappear and have some amazing insights into his sickness and mental state. He’ll be thought of as an amazing example of love, patience & perseverance.
The picture below is from a day a few months ago when John was totally aware and talking. It was a wonderful day.
Thank God that nothing in my life has come easy or else I’d be so “confident” in myself that I’d think I know everything. I literally know nothing.
We lost Kirk Tuck 7 years ago yesterday. During his struggle with cancer I spent 2-4 days with him as he slowly drifted away from us.
The first few weeks after he passed my schedule changed, I wasn’t going to see him in the hospital any longer. After a few months my “new” schedule became my normal schedule, I’d forgotten about sitting at the hospital with him.
Within 6 months I’d find myself drifting back into the routine of “pre-cancer”. Tuck and I would hang out on weekend, watching football and having cookouts. I’d catch myself wanting to call him to come over. In fleeting moments I’d forgotten about his struggle with cancer, death and the hospital. I’d catch myself thinking “I should call Tuck and setup a BBQ”, then remember he’s gone.
A year or two after his death I’d adjusted my weekend. So the void left in the weekends was filled and my new routine was now the norm. I no longer had the urge to call him weekly but I’d catch myself wanting to call him when life milestones happen. I wanted to call him and tell him about Jimmy’s birth. I wanted to tell him that business was good. Things like that.
Once Jimmy was born I found myself in moments of sadness because Tuck’s illness and death rocked my future plans. We were suppose to coach our kids in sports. He was suppose to be here to make fun of my golf swing’s terrible slice.
When Sarah was born, I didn’t have the urge to call him. He had faded that far from my immediate life and routine.
Now 7 years have passed. The thoughts of calling him are gone. He’s gone from earth and my daily, weekly, month routine but Tuck still existing in my annual routine, the anniversary of his death. That’s the only part of my current life that he’s still apart of.
I’m guessing the next steps of this process is allowing the bad memories of him in the hospital to fade away and only remember & glorify the good times we had.
Often times when I pray I ask that all the heartache, pain and suffering that my children will receive be given to me instead.
I want my children to find out what they’re incapable of.
The older I get the more I think about death, legacy and my time left here.
I want to have a simple casual funeral, I want to have impacted many people in a positive way. I want to be included in the stories of many people’s “success” stories.
I want my family to be proud of me. I want my Grandchildren to appreciate me like I do the people before me.
My Great Uncle, Ridgeway Coe, died this morning. He was 91 years old, my Mumsie loved her old brother so much.
He was Fire Chief of Tallahassee Florida for several years. He was a Leon High School Football Hall of Fame member as well.
Mumsie told us a story of how he thought he was having a heart attack so he started to jog around the house to see. Later in life he fell a few times but Mumsie would say “because of football he’s hop up really fast”.
I don’t have a lot of memories of him but I do remember going to his house in Tallahassee and he had a lot of dead animals on the walls. They had a bear skin rug too.
Below are pictures of him, some as a boy on Thomas Pinken Coe’s knee. JB Harvey was “JB” to me, but Ridgeway’s real father was Thomas Pinken Coe who died when Ridgeway was a boy.
I hope heaven is real, the thought of Uncle Ridgeway seeing Mumsie & Aunt Faye again brings a tear to my eye.