Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Go Fish...

I have to share this little gem. My daughter is beginning to teethe, and it reminds me of when my two older boys were teething. It's more fun when they get older, and lose their baby teeth. The tooth fairy comes, and money is left. This particular incident happened last year, almost a year ago to the day.

My wife was working her last week at the hospital in Jacksonville, FL as we were preparing to transition out of the Navy and move to LA. She was on night shifts and I didn't usually call her because I know how hectic working on a postpartum floor can be from all of the stories I have heard her tell.

The night started normally, her leaving for work, the kids and I eating and then finishing homework. I let my two sons play in their room an extra 30 minutes that night while I was catching up on some last minute paperwork before I started my civilian job. The normal sounds of kids at play filled the air, laughter, an occasional "I was playing with that" and "You always do that". What happened next scared me to death. My oldest, who was 5 at the time, came running into the living room with his hand covering his mouth. (muffled voice through fingers) "Dad, he knocked my tooth out!!!" I was immediately alarmed. My youngest son, who was 4 at the time, is definitely the more aggressive one, and doesn't always realize how rough he gets. I asked what he got hit with, and he wouldn't answer me. I ran in the bedroom and saw that my youngest son was laying on the bottom bunk of their bunkbeds and laughing hysterically. He was holding a blanket in his hands.

I couldn't figure out why he thought it was soooo funny to knock out someone's tooth. "Why did you do that?" I asked. "How did you do that?" He looked at me and said , I didn't mean to. We were just playing go fish. " I looked around the room and did not see any playing cards or even their official "Go Fish" deck anywhere. I asked him where the cards were at, and he said, "Cards? what cards? We were using the blanket." How can you play "Go Fish" with a blanket? Well... let my son tell you.

....Dad, I was on the top bunk, and he was on the floor. I was the fisher guy, and he was a fish. I threw the blanket out and yelled go fish. And he bit it. I set the hook, and his tooth popped out.

LOL... I couldn't believe he remembered from the one time we went fishing, that you have to set the hook. The tooth gap wasn't even bleeding bad, my oldest son was just in a little bit of post loss drama. He said it didn't hurt, it just scared him. We never found that tooth, but the tooth fairy did leave a little money and a note saying to be more careful being a fish around your brother.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

People

Ok folks... we all know some people are more challenged in the common sense department.
If you work, or even just venture out to the local K-Mart you may run into a few of these people.
I have been known to fall into this category myself from time to time. As I sit here pondering the
need for wearing 0akleys in a world so dimly lit by these, ahem, stars... this clip ' Berlitz - Sinking on Transbuddha 'came to mind.

It totally reminds me of that Bill Engvall skit, "Here's your sign". Would we be more apt to talk to
them or would we avoid them? I am thinking some days, when you need a great laugh for later, talk to them.
On others when you know you won't have the nicest thoughts running through your head, avoid them.

AWTM (Army Wife) had a great run-in with some tax people. For those who remember seeing that entry, it was rather amusing.
She also added how it is not nice to talk about others. I agree, but I also think it is ok to do so and laugh if you are willing
to let yourself be put in the same lump category.

Find the humor in any situation, without being hateful. Is that even possible? Food for thought.

I tend to avoid this type of talk to others, as it sometimes backfires, but I think life is what you make of it, or better put,
what you tend to see. If all you look for or focus on are the bad things, then maybe after a while the bad things block
out the good things. It works both ways though. I hope I don't lose readers or blog buddies over this. I've just been taking
a good hard look at life in general lately, and my friend's mother passing on kind of put the spotlight on things for me.

Hang in there reader's.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Friends: Part 2

Sorry if this appears jumbled together, but it is hard to write....

My best friend (and only really close friend since the late 1980's) and I have always been there for each other. He is as close as a brother to me, and always will be. I might have to post some of the funnier stories on here one of these days, but I'll wait for now. He graduated in 1994 and went to college, and I graduated in 1995 and joined the Navy. There were times when we couldn't always get ahold of each other, or make our schedules fit together on summer vacation, but we always managed to pick up our conversations right where we left off at.

One of the times I truly regret not being there for support was when I was on deployment, and he was going through a divorce. I was so upset that I couldn't call. Emails are nice, but sometimes words are better spoken than written. The second time this happened was in 2001, when he called and told me his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. I am no longer in the Navy, although I still work with them. I don't have to worry about being shipped out to some crazy shoreline to be shot at and worry my family anymore.

(Back to the present)
When this particular phone call came in, I was just floored. The phone call was about his mother, and how the doctors had only given her 5 or so days to live. Deep down I had always feared this phone call, knowing how aggressive her cancer had been. I bit my tongue to keep from breaking down, and listened. I told him I would fly up as soon as I could. He said I didn't have too. He knew I would, and I knew I would. We made some jokes, like we always do to keep each other on our toes, and said goodbye. He would call later with any updates.

Right after the call was over, I couldn't take it anymore and broke down. I know how close his family is to each other. They are like spokes in a wheel. No matter how many new spokes (grand kids, new in-laws... etc) are added to the wheel, when one is not there, it is sorely missed. All these memories came flooding back from High School, and I kept crying. I pulled myself together and let my wife know. We began looking for flight prices, just in case.

Tuesday night, the phone rang again... she had passed away that evening, and he would let me know the details of the arrangements the next day. He was on his way back home. He lives in St Louis, and our families live in Kansas City.

I finalized my flight plans and left on Thursday morning. The visitation was Thursday night. When I arrived, I pulled it together so I wouldn't add to the sadness. It was hard to see my friend and his family, whom I have also grown fond of and close to, going through this. His youngest sister is also one of my closer friends from high school/middle school.
We spent most of the evening reminiscing, and trying to laugh.

I remember hearing that Bill C0sby once said that if you can find humor in something, you can survive it. It seemed to be working well, and we kept it up. The service was the next morning, and was very beautiful.

The unity of my friend's family was shining brightly, even in this seemingly dark moment. The pastor reminded us all that we shouldn't mourn her loss, since someone can't be lost if you know where they are. We all know where she is, and how well she lived her life.

My friend got up to read a letter that he had written in 2001 when his mother was first diagnosed. He read it very well considering how hard it was. I don't have the words to describe how moving this was, it is just incomprehensible, unless you have been in a situation like that.

I was so glad that I was there in person, to comfort him and his family. I don't think I could have forgiven myself if I hadn't gone (like that was a possibility while I was still breathing). It's times like these, that you really know how much you care for your family, even family that isn't blood family. I am deeply honored to know this family and be a small part of it.

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Friends

I received a call I had been dreading last Monday. It's not a call anyone wants to ever receive or make. I'll flash back a few years and then fill you in. It's gonna be a long one... so be prepared.

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