Tag Archives: future

Wet Snow

As I made my way around town this morning, I marveled with the kids at the spectacle of the winter wonderland we passed through. The limbs all around us, bending low, to display their burden in beautiful form. Trees bowed to the Creator, silent and still, in reverence to the One that giveth and taketh away. The fresh coat of white, wet snow, with barely a hint of breeze, made for a postcard setting around every turn. Yesterday’s imperfections redeemed, covered anew, with barely a trace. And isn’t it fitting that we sit to enjoy, to ponder, and to draw parallels, from this place. Nature has it’s darkness as do we all, still there are moments, when perfection draws near. If you listen in silence and look past the obstacles we all erect over time, I am refreshed and can see hope from right here.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24

And if the Lord sees fit to make the rest of the week, then too will I continue my thanks for the blessing and the promise in it.

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Farewell My Son, For Now

Tears fill my eyes as I contemplate the thoughts that frame this post. Tears of joy? Yes, some. Tears from the pang that is separation? Yes, some. Although, it has been too many years since my oldest son and I shared the same roof, I have always accepted him as ‘home’ when in town. This week his home will officially become a place some 245 miles from where I sit. Steve has taken a job in New York City and starts work there next week.

First, I have to admit that I have failed so many more times at being his Dad than he ever has at being my son. I cannot apologize enough for the errors I have made, nor can I undo the things done. Yes, it pains me to know my first-born goes into the sunset of his youth to take on the world without more, better, timely rearing from the one writing these words. Tears don’t sum this up now, it’s more of an uncontrollable sob. I had no intention of going here, yet here I am in just the second paragraph. Thankfully, this is about him, not me. I just try to get right to how it is because although it hurts at times, it’s safe, and it’s true.

Second, I did make some great choices too. For instance, I can’t imagine that Steve could have been blessed with a better mother. He always has carried himself well, and had extraordinary insight at young ages, but he also always had his mother. I did my share, but where that measures up will be my cross to bear, and maybe Steve’s too. My door is open, my mind is clear, and my heart walks the path it should, so to do I hope this for all of my kids, and certainly now for Stephen.

My cheeks feel the air in cool streaks as the moisture from my tears evaporates into the dry wintry air. The rest of me is overheated with emotion and the sweltering embrace such a reaction carries with it. I think of my son. He bears my name. He walks this earth along with me, and he is such a new and improved version of this name. I hesitate to use the word legacy because people use the word often, but not always is it used in its truest meaning, so I will spin my thoughts on my son, my legacy, and the connection I see.

I start with a couple of meanings of the word ‘legacy’: 1) an amount of money or property left to someone in a will. 2) a thing handed down by a predecessor. I find beauty in words themselves because they carry so much meaning when huddled together or strung out for all to see. Aside from my actual will, I look forward to the world that has been left, or at least shared with, Steve and his will. For it is in his will, his determination, and his desires that I share excitement in his future. Furthermore, I challenge Steve to seek God’s will and utilize his strengths in alignment with Him. Formidable may be an understatement. In a timeline of our lives I am certainly Steve’s precursor. Handed down, if you can call it that, are the things concerning biochemistry for sure. There are lessons on and off of ball fields and courts. There are examples to learn from on both sides of the equation. There is the constant work in progress that I hope none of us ever get too big, or too good for. There is love unconditional and boundless from father toward son, and I know there will be days when that shows up, or is needed, more than others. Like the weather though, it’s always there, sometimes more noticeable than others. There are many things, but mostly there is hope, there is anticipation, there is joy in knowing who he is, there is exhilaration in trying to fathom his potential, and there is certainty found in the faith I have in him as a young man.

I am proud to be a father and I take it seriously. I am eternally blessed to have the children that have been entrusted to my care. So, as Steve takes on this new chapter in the book detailing his life, I welcome the view of his life that a father is allowed, whatever that might be.

My poetic prayer of sorts…May his steps be led by forces greater than himself. May he always have time to disengage long enough to never lose sight of the little things in life that we long for more and more as we edge our way further along life’s path. May he always revere, respect, remember, and love his mother with every fiber of his being, as this will never betray him. May he run when others may walk, but not blindly, rather from his confidence in preparation, foresight, and determination to make a difference. May he love unconditionally. May he feel fully. May he fail enough to recognize and lock away in his own annals, the sweet taste of success. May he engage in life’s moments fully with all of his senses even for a few seconds than wish he had been paying closer attention, after the fact. May he love God, himself, and his family; and truly mean it, for when the days of our lives dwindle there will not be another group of beings we’d rather be surrounded by. May he know himself deeply and intimately because in the moments that our minds crave when time and distance from the next rung on the mental ladder of structure present themselves, chaos can ensue. May he know his limits and understand his strengths especially as they relate to the planet’s most valuable asset, people. May he listen often. May he speak with a voice that is strong, with words that are calculated, and with concern for things outside of himself. May he remember that there is much love and support for him wherever he goes. May he be resourceful enough to know when he needs help and when he needs to just work harder, or learn from his experiences. May he return to us all safely and often as we will bide our time engaged in our lives, waiting with bated breath for his shadow to once again darken our thresholds.

I love you Steve. I wish you nothing but the best, and I have faith in your ability to look after yourself. I am here always, if you need me. I will miss you. We all will miss you.

Family 12-23-14

The Silence Before The Dream

I stand in darkness, nearly in complete silence. The night air encircles my body and it’s comfortably warm, the same, safe, and it’s just right. My face is turned to the clear sky and I see the bright moon before my eyes close. There I stand still. Still as the night air which is only disturbed by my own movement. Eyes closed, face skyward, I feel the coolness of the late night air as it descends toward me. I drift to some far away corner of the world, nearly losing my balance as my mind engages in this dream trip my mind has taken on. I stagger a step or two only hoping to recall the place my mind had taken me to. It’s too late, I catch my balance and look around. Lights play tricks with my perception of depths and shadows in this old space. Nearby, time, I sense, moves faster than it does in this, my sheltered place.

It’s the eve of an event. An event I would categorize as major. One that I’ve never experienced myself, college graduation. I’m standing alone on this Ivy League campus, in the midst of celebration and anticipation. Yet, sounds and movement are almost non existent where I stand. I soak it in. I welcome the lack of anything moving or even competing for my attention. I think, and I enjoy the lack of need for any tangible thought or decision expelled from my seemingly limited thought process. Breath leaves my lungs without pressure or force as I ease into a comfortable, near dream state.

In a few hours my own flesh and blood will graduate from an Ivy League school. Having watched him, having listened to all he has said in silence and having observed him, here he belongs, far more than me. As it should be, for I am just a visitor here. This is about him and his classmates. This is about grace under fire, a sense of wherewithal beyond ones own years, and hard work known only to few. I tread among the brilliant, I rub shoulders with the wealthy, I walk past the ones carrying opinions deemed more valuable than mine. Yet, we congregate here in this place for the same reasons.

It’s late, real late. But like so many that will walk the stage in a few hours, I too, can be tired. Oddly, it hits me that an era is ending for one, which will prove more emotional somewhere down the road I’m sure, while, for the same, a new era also begins. As these roads cross, and the mates circulate through the vast green, I’ll be there in awe. For, it’s those who run with the tools they possess, while still assessing what it is they have, onward, forward, boldly, ignoring trepidation, that make me feel feeble, small-minded, and otherwise simple. Perhaps almost ignorantly, I take great pleasure and pride in my own flesh and blood pressing toward the unknown, while certain that pressing is the way to go.

I look past the stage and the neatly arranged seats, looking for a spot that would not be less dignified were I to occupy its space for the coming ceremony. I find comfort in those spaces, mine identified hours before anyone will show up. Regardless of the distance between my perch and the stage, or even the space between my ears versus the brilliance around me, I’ll stand with tears in my eyes, my heart pounding in my chest as I watch my firstborn walk with the company he keeps. I may not look the part, but true loving pride never met outward image. Congratulations to my son and all of his classmates. Job well done. I’m a proud Dad. Your future will certainly repeat some history, but the future you create will be in a realm never seen before, and frankly, that’s exciting, even for this old school thinker.

For now I’ll take in the silence of the midnight air. The temperature falls in proportion to my eyelids losing their battle with gravity, the result of another long day. My dreams are only seconds away as I slip from consciousness. A smile eases over my face as I approach my dream state knowing how real his dreams are and how close his dreams might be to the reality of the coming morning sun. I thank God for His many blessings. Good night. I’m proud of you son. You will always hold a special place in my heart no matter where paths may lead us. Every step, every moment of every day, you’re here with me. Congratulations my son.

~Love, a very happy, proud dad.

Beautiful Innocence

I sit here at my keyboard tonight, trying to procure rationale from the chaotic swarm of thoughts swirling in my head; In doing so, I try to separate the thoughts of anger that bubble up in my attempts to understand the how and the why events like this can happen. Somewhere over time, I have tried to be better at facing the things that bind my mind and twist my intellectual limits to the maximum, and just think on them, inside and out, backward and forward. And sometimes I win, and peaceful rest finds my cranial capacity for a time, and another battle is won at least for that night. Sometimes I write and let the words go where they take me, hoping that the vastness of constant thought presents itself in a manner that is legible, understandable, and worthwhile. Lest I waste more time not getting my thoughts out in the form of words strung together, I move forward, not sure of what will show up on this screen next.

I think of any smooth-faced five-year old boy who shows up at his school not because it was his plan or thought, but because that’s how his parents have explained to him that his days must be spent, for now. Nevertheless, he shows up, smiling, trusting, and innocent; looking forward to the days’ promise as explained yesterday by, some larger than life figure, known as his teacher. He believes all will be well because each day he’s left at this place with a kiss and a promise. And the beauty of his human spirit, instilled in each of us, develops a little bit more every single day, and his innocence is both beautiful and sought after. For innocence is purity, debased not, and nothing is more beautiful. Sought after, only because the beauty of purity is tarnished for all time once it has been contaminated or otherwise compromised. And knowing these things the boy’s well being is entrusted in this place day after day in hopes of his safety certainly, and the maintenance of his fragile, lovely innocence. He doesn’t know he carries this innocence, he just knows he is, and in being him, he smiles, he loves, he feels, and he learns. He openly displays his lack of fear as he knows no difference, and his purity glows about him as adults watch in the blur of warm fuzziness while recalling their own youth and wishing for that pure innocence once again.

Then one day, it was today maybe, that innocence was stripped away. And worse yet, the little boy with no fear learned to fear in an instant. Maybe he had seconds to process the feeling, this new thing that he wasn’t familiar with, this feeling that his parents hoped would only come in appropriate doses, as needed, but maybe never be completely developed. And this precious little face, where nuzzling, hugs, and kisses were never far away, fell silently, forever to sleep. This little boy’s life was taken away. The boy who, now would be denied, the chance to learn why the adults looked at him with silent smiles and sparkling eyes, all because of a random act of selfish cowardice. The boy rests next to Our Lord tonight.

Here on Earth, we have more questions than we have answers. Investigations will uncover all that they can in order to explain the things that can be explained. All I can surmise is this: The act is one of selfish cowardice.

Selfish: devoted to or caring only for ones self; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

Cowardice: lack of courage in facing danger, pain, or difficulty

Perhaps my words are an understatement, perhaps they sum it up. I know it’s not that simple, but it also may not be that complicated either. A young man, who may have started his life, not much different from the five-year old I have described above, was the reason that innocence was plucked from its beautiful place, and life was taken. I will not dwell on the reason, cause, or my interpretation of the dark, ugliness presented in human form in Connecticut today, as his choice to live life as he did today, renders him as completely insignificant in my book. Any and all attention devoted to this evil act should be replaced instead with thoughtful prayer, loving communication, and the spiritual commitment necessary in taking the road to heaven, and all its promise. Heaven welcomed several children today, sent along their way by the evil that is capable of dwelling within us if we so allow it, and those children; who are loved, cherished, adored, deeply missed, and mourned, will also be waiting in all of their glory for any and all of us who join Our Lord one day in heaven.

I wasn’t sure how to start this, and I am less certain on how to end it. I have cried many, many tears over the hours I have taken to untangle the mess in my mind. I will hug my children tighter, kiss them a little bit longer, and notice them in their beauty a little more alertly, like many parents around the world. I will again cry as I try to place myself, mentally, into the shoes of parents and survivors from the horrific scene in Connecticut today. As my parents have taught me, and as my family, far and wide, have reminded me, when the questions come faster than the answers, and relent is nowhere near, just pray. Pray.

Dear Lord I come now to you in prayer. I pray for the strength, wisdom, and direction to be a positive difference in every way I can, in hopes that many, maybe thousands, or even millions, will stomp out evil where we can by being the difference in someone’s life. As I have written many times before, it’s important to remember that we don’t know when we are being the example that other’s need to get through this battle or another, so it’s better to be the example as a matter of the way we live our lives. Lord, I pray that I will never be the example of human nature that let someone clinging to one last hope, fall, stumble or fail. Lord, I realize this may be a massive responsibility, but I believe that we, all of us, need more examples of responsibility in the hopes of making differences all around us. Amen.

I honestly cannot share effectively through these typed words how emotional it has been to write these thoughts out. I sob, in tears, thinking of our future, these children, who have been slain, especially in the places where we have been taught to feel safe and nurtured. I sincerely hope this hasn’t been too much for anyone to read through. Many of the images and thought patterns I have tried to compose here, have been gnawing at me since I first heard of this tragedy earlier this afternoon. I feel sickened by the evil that manifested itself today, and my emotional response is sincere and is as thoughtful as I know how to be. I observe. I think. I write. And tonight I cry, and I pray for all of those folks affected by the tragic events in Connecticut today. But mostly I cannot free myself from the thoughts shaping the pictures in my mind’s eye of that most beautiful innocence and its unauthorized loss.