Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gallery

Theodore before and after

This gallery contains 4 photos.

We finally broke down and really did get Theodore’s hair cut. I have included two pictures from four days apart. I think he looks just a little bit different, but I like it.

Aside

As the winter wears on and time passes without my two oldest boys around, I think about them, and I miss them. I think back to times we have spent together. I also think back and re-visit some of the … Continue reading

Moving Day

As the winter wears on and time passes without my two oldest boys around, I think about them, and I miss them. I think back to times we have spent together. I also think back and re-visit some of the times we had the chance to say good-bye.

This is a little note I wrote in September 2010. This was my first moving day. Moving my oldest son into his dorm at Dartmouth for his freshman year. Sue and I loaded our cars and set off to move Steve in. This is the original note from start to finish.

Sue and I took Steve to Dartmouth yesterday. It was a great day and we had a wonderful time. Honestly I was so happy to see Steve’s face and the happiness in his eyes right from the moment we pulled up to his new home on campus. We drove up in 2 cars as to fit all of Steve’s things in one trip. Steve rode with me. I was doing pretty well with all this until this afternoon. I think it went something like this.

We pulled onto East Dunbarton Road like hundreds of rides we’d taken and more,
we laughed and talked on the way, like so many rides before.
 
The miles flew by and time passed quickly, in no time we were pulling off the highway.
Suddenly I wanted time to stop. I wasn’t ready for moving day.
 
As we pulled to the front of the dorm, we were greeted with smiles and direction.
Steve’s eyes lit up like this school he chose was a fit of perfection.
 
The move in was easy, so well thought out, it took no time at all.
Next thing I knew we were walking to lunch at the nearby dining hall.
 
We ate, we talked, we laughed some more, then headed to the arena for the President’s greeting.
As I sat there listening, I tried not to notice my time with Steve was fleeting.
 
Next, it was off to the field house for the information expo, the last event on the list.
We checked it all out and took a look around to make sure nothing was missed.
 
We talked a lot as we walked across campus to the closest school store.
We spent some time shopping but I wasn’t ready for what awaited outside that door.
 
We walked outside together and started for the cars while Steve headed to his new place.
He had events to attend so it was time to leave, the moment I wanted not to face.
 
We waited at the curb for our son, our boy now a young man, to come say good-bye.
As I hugged him, we spoke, I could see how pleased he was and as I nervously laughed, I wanted to cry.
 
As I got in the car the joy in his eyes was obvious as he welcomed this new element.
He’s not all grown up yet, but he’s getting close and I am feeling it all, a Dartmouth Parent.
 
Steve I know you will be awesome and will truly have the time of your life. I am proud of you and love you very much. Don’t change. You are wonderful young man. Love, Dad 

Prayer from despair

This hit me tonight. I had to write this now. I have touched on these thoughts, these feelings, these places, this journey I share below, in posts I have written from time to time. This is maybe a deeper dive into that misdirected wandering than some would care to see. Maybe this is garbage you’ve already read, or a bunch of words that are of no interest to you. Or maybe it’s a beacon signalling to you that it’s time to change the path you are on. Whatever it is; it’s very real to me. I shiver when I let myself delve into this memory. I know there’s more I need to admit to myself and to my God, and I will get there. It may be painful at times, but I am not afraid to face the gut wrenching, heart pounding, mind-boggling, truths I have buried somewhere inside me. See, I traded my imperfect mind for the Lord God Almighty Himself as the map for my journey. So here it is. I expose this reality from my own past as a healing of sorts for me, a lesson I never want to forget, and maybe, just maybe, as a place for someone reading this to jump their own personal track and upgrade their destination.

Silence is golden when every noise inflicts a familiar, gnawing pain.
Where can I run, maybe hide, or escape this state controlling my brain?
 
I could shout, elevate my voice above the source, this persistent hum.
But like the boy who cried wolf, my peace would never come.
 
So I sit and stew, just as the finest wines age in settings set by strangers.
Bottled at times it seems, holding it in presents its own set of dangers.
 
So many things are better kept inside, and left unsaid.
Even if the words pound like a thunderstorm inside my head.
 
Then again, it has been said, the truth will set you free.
Why is it that knowing so, I still would a million places rather be?
 
Every night passes the same way. Sleepless, standing alone, a fake.
Unknowingly I race across the placid disturbing all in my wake.
 
Run? Where? I have run for miles and just as many years.
I am certain now. You can never outrun the space between your ears.
 
How is it I am in this place? I have run myself ragged to be someone like me.
Lack of sight maybe, I really couldn’t see the forest because of all the trees.
 
But, clearly, I know all the answers. This self that is now. Why ask?
Paralyzed completely, indecision accompanies even the simplest task.
 
I can’t breathe. The weight is too great for my supposed strong chest.
So here I lay, eyes closed, white noise covers the hum, still distant, much desired rest.
 
Parts of my life are enhanced, even amazing, this level of performance, a rush.
A sham really, for these things amount to nothing, if even that much.
 
Am I crazy? I know at some point this journey has to end. 
It was kick-started by an eye-to-eye wake up call from a close friend.
 
The travel from wherever I was, proved longer and harder than I thought.
My own fault. It was me that had taken me to that forsaken spot.
 
I had to get my head right, which was unavoidably attached to my heart.
When you think your head’s just fine, it’s past the time you stopped being smart.
 
Ignorance, not a word anyone wants attached to their name.
But it’s all that’s left until you stop, kneel, and give up the game.
 
I was completely lost, a scribbled mess of a facsimile resembling a man;
But by God’s grace, I was spared, after doing everything to avoid His plan.
 
Love, kindness, prayer, and consistency were a few tickets needed to continue.
It’s not fun rebounding from a self-guided tour to discover everything in you.
 
Realizing, as I once had, the journey never really ends if you take the right path.
The times I missed, the joys I lost, only can be measured using God’s math. 
 
Comfort comes easily now; with a prayer and a glance to the blue sky.
Or even by seeing myself in the reflection of my children’s eyes.
 
I pray Lord that your will be done, and that blessings for my family not cease.
I bow before you, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
 
Amen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Poem from It’s Quiet Now

I was thinking about my kids this evening while looking through the 100+ blog posts I have written. I came across this poem I wrote as part of the post, “It’s Quiet Now”, from October. So I thought I’d post it on its own. It still brings tears to my eyes as I’m reminded that time keeps flowing
Iike a river…hey maybe that should be a song. Anyway, enjoy. I love our kids.

It’s quiet now, except for the gently, falling autumn rain
But the tears on my face expose my feeling of pain

The twins are down for the count, sleeping so serene
Two kids off at college, with two more in SAU 19

I try to hide deep in the sound of music on my headphones
Looking at pictures; reading, sniffling, and crying at my own poems

I tell myself to feel the feeling when it’s present, don’t push it away
Enjoy the reasons why this feeling will come again another day

The kids are all growing, way too fast as far as I’m concerned
Not fast enough for them, a lesson yet to be learned

Erin, my beautiful daughter, will be off to college soon enough
Another moving day on the horizon, good-bye will again be tough

Hundreds of photos, thousands of words, about my kids, the rhythm of rhyme
Fills my head, while I relish the quiet, but can’t wait for our next time

I hope in this time their thoughts are on things other than me
It’s important they be present, engaged in life, as it should be

Oddly enough there’s nothing planned at all for later this evening
A rare occurrence in this day and age of unrest and constant moving

But if the kids had something on their plate tonight, that’s the place
I would rather be, with my wife, and a smile on my face

I could count the days until we’re all together again, but its torture
When I think of how few the chances will be in a grown up’s future

So, while my heart is still pumping, and my eyes see the morning sun
I will be a driving force to make sure there’s time for everyone

Family first, the words hang in the kitchen on the refrigerator
Be present now, so there will be too many memories to reminisce on later

That’s all for now I guess, with a smile on my face, because what I did,
Really, I reminded myself that I have six absolutely amazing kids

Special People

Saturday afternoon I was fortunate enough to be present for a very special celebration. I attended a celebration of life, the life of Joe Hubbard, my friend. Due to family commitments, I arrived later in the event than I would have liked, on the other hand, I was honored to be there and wouldn’t have missed it. I did miss the speeches/remembrances shared by friends and family. Although I was very happy to hear from several folks as to how well they were received.

It’s been several hours since I left the safe space that hides just inside a circle of friends, where a warmth of familiarity exists that can’t always be explained, but in that circle it doesn’t need explanation, because we were all there. Joe was there today. His spirit was alive and well. I felt it in each warm embrace. I saw it in the sparkling eyes searching the room for familiar faces. I heard it in the voices that trembled when talking about him. I heard it even more in the laughter that filled the room as we all recalled times with and without Joe, brought together today to a single time and place, in fond memory of Joe. As I said to a friend today, memorial services don’t end, people just eventually go home. Joe’s effect on those who knew him will never go away. His memory will forever be embedded in the circle.

So this, more or less, leads me to the thoughts I have been pondering since I left the gathering on this afternoon. I felt like I was in the midst of some very special people. Some people may read into that or even take it the wrong way. Special. The Encarta dictionary even references special-needs children among its definitions. When you think about it, don’t we all have special needs? That’s not to take anything away from anyone but more about the fact that God created us all. We have free will. We have souls. We have spirit. We have needs. We have love. We are each beautiful individuals.

Special. Unusual or better. Held in esteem. Reserved. Made for specific purpose. Arranged for specific purpose. Additional.

Those are some definitions of special. That’s what I felt today at Joe’s Life Celebration. Special people. I am sure that many groups of friends, families, and generations feel they’re special. I was in the midst of special people today and here’s why I feel that way. When multiple generations are gathered together for one purpose, to celebrate one of us, and the quality of the individuals gathered is both measurable and impossible to discern as to where it begins or ends, it’s special. Special people celebrating the life of a special person. As I looked around the room and saw parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, kids, etc. I would wager that any of the above would have been a great group to grow up with. Special. We are all special in our own ways. I have found that the ways we are special are most often, best described, and best received when told by someone other than ourselves.

I saw people I expected to see. I saw people who I had no idea I would see. I met people I had not met before. Each and everyone I had the pleasure of addressing will forever be linked to a memory. Some will be a memory of today. Others will always be a flood of memories that rush into the focus of my mind’s eye simply at the appearance of their familiar face. Now if only I had a better memory. Seriously, it was so great to see everyone. I wanted it to never end. I wanted to go back in time and be in the moment with those around me who lived through those same moments. Hindsight tells me that I wouldn’t want to take the same road I took to get here again. As it should be.

Humbly I share the following with you. Today I was honored and humbled to meet some of Joe’s family, to renew acquaintances with others in the family, and to be approached by so many friends who I will always call friends. In the last month I have written a couple of blog entries that exist solely as a result of my relationship with Joe Hubbard. I wanted to honor him, his life, his legacy, the best way I knew how. For me, that’s writing. Writing for me, is a chance to gather thoughts, to reflect, to hurt, to laugh, to love, to relish, to allow emotions their run from extreme to extreme, while presenting words that hopefully resemble a conscious series of thought that reflects at least a little continuity. As for what I have shared in tribute to my friend Joe, I thank you all for the kind words. I am sincerely humbled by the reactions. I am thankful that God allowed me the opportunity to arrange some thoughts and reflections that was in fact, Joe’s life. At least from my perspective. I did write the words, but I was just the lucky one because I knew Joe. He lived the life; Joe lived the words. He shared with us all. He touched all of us in one way or another.

Joe was, and always will be, special people. Today’s crowd, special people. I was fortunate to be a part of today and to be among so many special people.

Joe it was great to see all the pictures of you today. If only everyone had those smiling eyes the world would rarely frown. It was a pleasure to celebrate your life today. I wish I could celebrate life everyday the way you embodied the joy of time spent here on earth, but there’s only one you. Like so many examples people could share, we don’t always recognize what we have when it’s in our midst, but only fully begin to understand the greatness as we play back the effect we knew. Special people.

Gallery

Twin Adventures – 22 months old

This gallery contains 14 photos.

The twins have just grown beyond the 22 month old mark. I know, at some point soon, their ages will be measured in fractions of years. Either way they are growing up too fast. These pictures were taken in our … Continue reading