My Knight

My wife wrote this for me about this time last year after we had started dating.  I do not have the words to explain how much it truly means to me. I read it often, and each time I take away a new perspective on how deeply we are connected and much love exists in our relationship.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do. KW

Lots of women say they want a knight in shining armor…not me.  The way I see it is, a knight in shining armor symbolizes a man who has never been to war.  He has talked the talk, but he hasn’t walked the walk. He’s never gotten his hands dirty, never fought for what he wants.  The knight in shining armor may be prepared and have good intentions, but he lacks the necessary experience needed to go to war. 

I have found something much more rare and valuable than a knight in shining armor.  Ladies, start looking for a knight with worn and tattered armor. At first glance he may appear a little rough around the edges, but I assure you he has a heart of gold and knows what it takes to protect the princess. This knight is often overlooked, but don’t underestimate this dark horse.  He has seen battle and knows how to keep you safe from harm and is willing to go to the ends of the Earth to prove himself. 
The knight in tattered armor will show you true love. He will not only tell you that you are beautiful, but he will make you believe it – even when you’re at your worse & those are the times you’ll actually appeal to him the most. 
This knight will encourage you to be yourself and longs for you to be comfortable in your own skin.  He’s not looking for glitz and glamour, he’s looking for real. 
This knight is a true gentleman.  He will open your doors, carry your bags, kiss you on the forehead, protect you and cherish you.  He doesn’t do these things because he thinks he is superior to you, he does these things because it’s his way of showing how much he respects and values you. 
This knight will know there are certain times a girl HAS to have her chocolate and he’ll bring it to her at precisely the right moment. 
This knight will fill you with such joy and he’ll make you laugh until tears stream down your face, you snort and your entire body hurts in a remarkably fabulous way. 
This knight will make you feel like the most important person in the entire world. His eyes will pierce your soul and time will stand still.  Nothing and no one else will matter. 
When you meet this knight, you’ll know it.  You will feel an immediate, intensely intimate connection unlike anything you have ever known before. 
This knight will refuse to accept your standard “I’m fine” response when he asks you what’s wrong.  He’ll know better and make you tell him what’s really wrong and then he’ll hold you tightly in his arms and make everything better. 
When you meet this knight let him know just how special he truly is, never let him go and sit back and laugh at all the silly girls searching for the wrong knight.

Progress as Promised

As I have stated in previous blog posts, I normally stay away from politics and tend to keep most of my beliefs to myself.  I will say however, I do not have any particular political affiliation, nor do I plan to. I am kind of a live and let live type of guy as it pertains to politics, religion, lifestyle, or just about anything else.  No judgments, no lecturing, live your life the way you want, and I will live mine the way I want.

That being said, I saw something the other day as I was scrolling through Facebook that really caught my eye and made me think a little bit.  Now, as I mentioned, I will do my best not to turn this into a political rant, but more of a different viewpoint of something I’ve never given much thought to. I’m not quite sure what the post even was, or where it came from, or even who posted it.  It was a picture with an article link to something I didn’t even read, but it was the photograph attached to it that got me.  It was a photo of some people protesting holding signs, and one of the signs read, “Why is there always money for war, but not for education.”

Now as to why this hit me so hard, I’m not quite sure, but it did.  Maybe because I have children that go to school, maybe it is just a common sense thing, I still don’t know, but it did.  If we have enough money as a country to spend fighting, what seems like a never ending war, then why is it that we never seem to have enough money in our education system?  Or, for that matter, anything else.  We, as a country spend billions upon billions of dollars to fund wars, and police actions, but yet we have millions of people inside our own country that starve on a daily basis because there is no money for food?  I don’t get it, and maybe I’m not supposed to, but it seems silly to me.

I’m not anti-military, or anything of the sort, and I do believe it is important to have a strong military for our safety.  I wish the isolationist theory could actually work, but in reality that is something that is unattainable, especially how the rest of the world views the United States.  And, because there are times when other countries do actually need help with particular issues, so it is still important for us to be able to give aid when needed.

That being said, I just think that more emphasis should be on our country on an internal level.  We have people that are homeless, starving, uneducated, unhealthy, and many numerous other issues, yet there never seems to be enough money to help those people, but there is always enough money to continue a war or wars that seem to have no end or no reason.

Not sure what you think, but it Workes for me…

Don’t Ever Stop.

As his eyes opened, he immediately felt the tilt-a-whirl spinning in his head.  Slowly turning his focus to the side, he noticed the, luckily unbroken, empty whiskey bottle laying on the floor.  Trying to recall how he actually ended up on the couch instead of his bed, he shook his head, and decided it really didn’t matter.  The pain was too much to bother with unnecessary details, and this day would very likely be just like every other day…too much to bear.  With that in mind, he headed to the cabinet, opened it up, and took out a brand new, never opened bottle of whiskey, just like the day before, and began the day. 

Each and everyone of us have struggles.  Some more severe than others, but none of us are immune to some type of struggle or difficulty.  If we didn’t, we would be perfect, and that just isn’t possible.  Struggles can be anything from paying bills, to dieting, to waking up in the mornings, to even getting along with others.  Some struggles, like mentioned before can be much more severe.  Depression, abuse, bad relationships, death, drugs, only to name a few.  And, some of these struggles are a result of other struggles, or combinations of struggles.  So you see, no one is immune, it is only the severity.

I am no expert in anything.  I’m not a therapist, nor a psychologist, not even a religious guru.  I am only a man with an opinion, and some experience for what it’s worth, and I believe there is a way, maybe not to get rid of, but maybe lessen some of our burdens.   It isn’t a magic pill, a certain exercise, or even a specific song or prayer.  It is simply to keep. . .going.  Doesn’t sound like much does it?  In fact it may even sound a bit shallow depending on what specific struggle you may or may not be dealing with.  It kind of makes it sound like I am saying, “Suck it up, and forget about it.”  That isn’t exactly true.  Let me explain how I view it.

It’s kind of like one of those movies or cartoons where you find yourself walking along a path, trying to achieve a certain destination.  The Yellow Brick Road comes to mind from the Wizard of Oz.  Anyhow, as you walk along this path or whatever you want to call it, there are various things you run into, some good, some not so good.  The good things, obviously, make us happy and keep us moving forward on the path, to our final goal.  The bad things we run across, aka our struggles, try and contain us, stop us, keep us from moving forward, and can in some instances hurt us.  We only need to keep moving, knowing as we do, we will keep running into those good and bad things.  Some of those dark and bad places on our path will be longer than others, but ultimately we will reach our next good and bright place, and must enjoy it to the fullest.

I’m not saying we should just ignore the things in our lives we have a hard time with, because in some instances it would be a worse outcome, but we need to know that it gets brighter up ahead.  We may have to slow down quite a bit just to handle certain things, but as long as we do not completely stop and let it consume, or hold us in a state of idleness, we will reach the next part in our lives along the path that brings us joy.  The key is to keep moving, no matter how hard it is, or how difficult it seems, because it will get better, one way or another.  Don’t ever stop, because it will eat you.  Keep moving, head high and strong, for it will get easier.

As his eyes opened, he immediately felt the tilt-a-whirl spinning in his head.  Slowly turning his focus to the side, he noticed the, luckily unbroken, empty whiskey bottle laying on the floor.  Trying to recall how he actually ended up on the couch instead of his bed, he shook his head, and decided it really didn’t matter.  The pain was too much to bother with unnecessary details, and this day would very likely be just like every other day…too much to bear.  With that in mind, he headed to the cabinet, opened it up, and took out a brand new, never opened bottle of whiskey, just like the day before, threw it in the trash and headed out the door into the sunshine to fully enjoy the day.

Not sure what you think, but it Workes for me.


The Dangers of Assumptions

It has been quite some time since I have written anything, mostly due to the fact I have been struggling with things to write about.  I was talking to a good friend of mine on the phone a couple of weeks ago, who is an experienced and published writer, and I was explaining to him the scuffles I have within my brain to come up with something good and interesting to write about. He told me that I am trying way too hard, don’t sweat it, and take those everyday thoughts that I think so deeply on sometimes, and try and focus on those.  Even if they don’t produce reading material at that particular time, jot down the idea or thought and come back to it when ready.  He suggested that I may even keep some of them privately, that not everything has to be published.

So, as a new year begins, and with the advice of my friend,I intend to take those random thoughts and ideas I get so often and try and put them into words.   I’m sure most of the time it will come across as gibberish, or off the wall content, but as I have said in the past, it is my way of making sense of things.

To begin, I have been thinking a lot about assumptions.  Seems perfectly harmless, and most of the time, I think it is.  However, I believe we tend to assume way too much about things, some small, some much much bigger.  Assuming is something we tend to not think much about, I know I am guilty of it for sure.  For example, I assume my kids will be okay with hot dogs for dinner, and after they are all done and sitting on the table, one of my kids will always point out how much they DIDN’T want hot dogs for dinner.  Wrong assumption.  I know, seems pretty silly on the surface of it.  Let me explain a little further.

You’re stopped at an intersection where there is two-way traffic.  You look to your left and see a vehicle heading towards you with its turn signal on, hinting that it will be turning towards you at the intersection.  Instead of taking the few extra seconds to ensure the vehicle makes the turn, you ASSUME it will, and head out into the intersection.  All at once, the loud crunching sound followed by a tremendous and forceful impact.  Guess what?  You just got T-boned.  All due to an assumption.

Most importantly though, we tend to make way to many assumptions in our relationships with others.  I think all to often we tend to assume we know how others feel and/or what their needs are, instead of just taking a few seconds to ask.  We may see someone or know someone who seems (seems being the key word there) to be happy and outgoing, without a care in the world, only to later find out somehow that inside they were truly miserable or struggling with a particular issue for whatever reason.  On the other side of that, we may know or see people that seem (there it is again) miserable, or based on knowledge of things that may have happened to them or their experiences, we assume them to be unhappy or dealing with demons or bad things in their lives.  We treat them as such, thinking we know what they need or what is best for them, all for good reason, but finding out later it wasn’t necessary, and they were perfectly happy to begin with.

The point is, people have struggles, and people are happy.  They can even be both at the same time.  We should do our best to stop assuming we know what is best or what is needed, and instead focus on being a friend, or being a support, without making unnecessary assumptions.  We should let others live their lives how they need and want to, without letting our input and opinions get in the way.

Not sure what you think, but it Workes for me.



A Thought or Two About Suicide

The day was just like any other day for the most part. Nothing out of the ordinary, just another day at the office. Typical stuff, phone calls, paperwork, computer work, emails, and then at the end of the day, it all changed. A co-worker came into my office with a somber look on his face, and I could tell something was up, but I didn’t say anything as he stood there for a second. He finally looked at me and told me he needed to leave, that his wife had called, and his nephew had just shot and killed himself. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I couldn’t talk, all I could do was stare at the ceiling, and ask the air, WHY?

It seems as though suicide is running rampant in society these days. Those who know me, or have followed my blog know that I lost my wife to suicide back in the spring, so it could just be that I notice it more or am more aware, but I don’t think so. Just over a month ago, the shocking news of Robin Williams committing suicide came into the spotlight. Then, less than a month later, girl group singer Simone Battle did the very same thing. Our soldiers, teenagers, male, female, old people, young people, middle aged people, it is simply everywhere. WHY?

I don’t have any answers, I wish I did, it would sure make things a hell of a lot easier, but I don’t. Each case is unique, each person has had his or her own experience or situation that has caused them to do the unthinkable. In society there is a stigma associated with suicide, and it needs to be stopped. Mental Illness of any kind is a sickness just like cancer or something else. It is not something that should be looked down upon, or be ridiculed by society. It is serious, and is getting worse. WHY?

Once again, I do not have the answers, nor does anyone. All that we can do is raise awareness and be mindful of others. Being a survivor of suicide is something that definitely changes your life in EVERY way. You look at life differently, you look at society differently, you look at material things differently, and you look at others differently. People you know or even those you don’t know, could be fighting or dealing with something so traumatic, that at a particular moment a smile, a wave, or even an acknowledgement, maybe the one thing that could save their life at that time. Obviously awareness doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I was aware that my wife COULD take her own life, and I question myself everyday if there was something I could have done or said different that would have prevented it. I don’t have that answer either. All I know is she fought hard, just like everyone else that struggles with mental illness and disorders, but it overtook her. WHY?

I have decided to attach a link of one of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands.  Coming Down, by Five Finger Death Punch.  This was actually a song made a couple of years ago to raise suicide awareness, especially among teenagers.  Watch it if you want, it is a little difficult to see some of it, especially the first half.  The end, the part that really got to me, shows just how much a small act of kindness, can do to a person who is struggling.

Thought Process

Most days, my thoughts are all over the place, especially with the events I have experienced over the past few months. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, any kind of thoughts really. I have never in my life had to experience that amount of thoughts that enter my brain on a daily basis. Aside from the chores and tasks of the day, my thoughts run rampant in my mind, and sometimes my mind literally will go into vapor lock, until I can stop and think, even just for a second. I know my kids get frustrated with me, because they will talk to me, and I just have to stare at them for a minute until I can figure out what exactly it is they are talking about. I don’t like it, because it makes me feel inadequate, and makes me feel like a failure. However, I am quickly learning that these thoughts HAVE to be processed, and it is very helpful and encouraging to me learning how to do this and how it works.

One thing I have noticed is taking the time, whether it be a few minutes or a few days, just to myself, to clear my head.  Sometimes it is just taking a walk, a couple of hours on the front porch, or a long drive with my music cranked. That time has become very important to me, almost critical, it allows me to get one thing processed, then move on to the next.  One by one, my thoughts become less cloudy and chaotic.  Sometimes, I feel really guilty to my children for taking that time, but I need it.  At least for now, maybe someday, I will be able to handle it a little differently, but it is what it is.

Slowly but surely it gets better and better.  School will be starting soon, and it will help tremendously getting things back in order, and staying focused.  Also, it will take a load off of my brain, and maybe help even more with my thought process. One thought at a time.


A New Chapter Begins Part 3

I haven’t really posted anything for while, not much has changed, so for the most part, there wouldn’t be anything new to say. The kids and I are doing good, getting our routines back in order. There are days now and again that get difficult, but that is to be expected I am told. Seems like life is actually started to get back to normal.

This week, the kids and I finally laid Heather to rest. We picked what we thought was the perfect spot to spread her ashes. It was a lot harder than what I anticipated, but it was also necessary for me, her, and the children. After we did, I took a few moments to say a few words, and just like in the movies, as I finished, a gust of wind picked up. It gave me the comfort of knowing she was there and let me know, everything was okay.

So, now that there is closure we begin to move on with our lives. We will never forget, and she will always be loved with the biggest part of our hearts. I know her well enough to know she would never want us to sit around sulking. The one wish she had for all of us was to find happiness. The happiness we want and deserve. The happiness we create for ourselves. True and real happiness.

As we begin this new chapter in our lives, I will teach my children to go after those things that truly make them happy, and to never settle for someone else’s definition of happy. What is in our hearts is where we find the truth and the happiness we desire. We only have to act on those desires to bring about our true happiness. That is what Heather wanted for me and for our kids more than anything. Our true happiness.

Creating a Path

This past week has been a little. . . odd, let’s say.  Not necessarily in a bad way, but I guess, it just wasn’t what I was ever expecting.  In my last post I had mentioned that I had two great days in a row, which is true, but I never thought I would have more than that.

I kept relatively busy over that holiday weekend, which was kind of nice, I needed that.  Spent some time with friends blowing things up, taking my kids shopping, and just hanging out with them, simply trying to keep moving.  In doing so, I realized, I am really doing relatively well.  I feel good. My body is starting to feel like it has energy and reason to move now.  My mind (which does, has, and always will run ninety miles per hour) is starting to focus a little better, which is good.  But, what keeps eating at me is, should it be?

I think I am feeling a little guilty for feeling good, and wanting to enjoy and get back to life.  It seems as though I should just continue to curl up on the couch and cease to function, but that isn’t how I feel.  It sounds a little insensitive and maybe even a little shallow to think that I lost my wife not too long ago, and now I feel. . . Good?

I know I have to make things better, they will not do it on their own, and that gives me reason to get going, and see what lies ahead.  I know it won’t be easy, and it never will be, but that is for me to take care of.  It is my timetable, no one else’s. I choose to create my path instead of waiting for something that may or may not ever come.  I wish to create something real.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”



Keeping it Real

As strange as it sounds to me, I can honestly say I have had a great two days!  I didn’t ever thing I would put the words great and day in the same sentence ever again, but I did, and even added a two.  I am sure that I will still have ups and downs as everyone does, but I know that I can heal and am healing.

What makes all the difference in the world are those people who truly care about you and want to help.  That will sit and listen to whatever you have to say no matter how weird it is, or real it is.  The support is and has been the most important thing helping me get going again.  I sincerely appreciate all who have been there for me and continue to be there for me and the kids.

I know this road will continue and will be long at times, but with the real life connections with others that I have found, I can honestly say it may actually be less bumpy.  If that sounds weird, it shouldn’t because it is real.  And I am keeping it real, because that is what is what matters.