Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#1 Pals

Life is a strange little journey.

At first you're overwhelmed by every little thing. Whether its who pushed you down on the playground, who made fun of you in the hallway of your school (or who you made fun of, in that same hallway) or who didn't choose to go to a movie with you (when you FINALLY have that car and that ability to GO). You're awash with ever single decision, every single consequence & every little outcome. It's overwhelming. You'll think "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THIS THING CALLED LIFE?!?!"

Life is a strange little journey.

None of that matters though. Not really.

No matter how many times you're pushed down on the playground and no matter how many times you push someone else down. No matter who makes fun of you in a hallway full of your peers & no matter who you make fun of in that same hallway. No matter who goes to a movie and who does not. It doesn't matter. Sure, you'll remember everything, Everything, but it doesn't matter.

Not like you think, at least.

Life is a strange little journey.

You're going to grow and you're going to experience every tiny, ever so little, facet of this human condition, as we know it, that we have honed to perfection. Whether it be embellishment, indulgence, persecution, praise, violence, passivity, apathy, trust, betrayal, hatred, love, falsities and even, on occasion, truth.

It happens. ;) Not often... but it happens.

Payton, when you were 3 years old and you asked me about the stars and the planets and how they came to be, you curled your lip and looked at me as if I were an alien when I told you what I knew.

Please... Please... Please... keep that hesitance. Keep that skepticism. Daddy doesn't know everything. He never did. But he knows what he believes he knows. And that is what he told you. You have the inquisitive nature of a question mark. I know you want to know everything. I know you will always look for it. Keep looking. Always keep looking. You have a passion for understanding the complex things that I wish I had when I was your size. Your strength was born of intuition and acceptance, layered with a wee bit of "I'm Callin' Bullshit on This'.

Cayden, you're as patient as a caterpillar. I only thought I had patience. I was wrong. You're better than Me, hell, you're better than Job (and we both know what I think about that little story).

Use that, Son. Use that. Don't let it use you, though. A Man can wait his life away if he isn't careful.

You have always wanted to understand how things work. Why they click and clack as they do. Embrace that feature of yourself. Your strength was born of curiosity & perseverance. You were born in a bubble, as it were, but you did not stay there. You tore it wide open. Just ask the nurses.

They charged us for that. I'm just saying.

Life is a strange little journey.

I'll leave you with this little gem that my 92 year old Grandmother once told me.

"As far as I'm concerned the only thing that sticks around longer than People wanting your money or Death itself wanting your body are the Pals that sit beside you the entire time... waiting on the other two to show their cards."

You see, she was right. I still have have Chappy. I still have Sature. I still have Preppie. I still have Pooter. I still have Squirrel. Through everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, they are still there. Not because they have to be but because they choose to be. That's a very powerful thing.

Now you know why Pals matter to your old man.

Now you know why I hope they eventually matter to you too.

I've got nothing else worth listening to.

Well... I might have one thing left worth listening to.


I am Me, as it were. ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#2 Goodness


That's what defined our day in the eve of its departure.

I sat and watched you two try to gather those insects for the better part of an hour. Running around, with & into each other until the dusk that settled around all of us could not discern to me who was who and who was not.

That was Goodness to me.

I've written these letters for a reason. Every single one has something you'll eventually want to know I said. Now, what I've said may not always be what you will eventually want to hear from me, but that's how you learn where the two sentiments differ.

Now I want to tell you a story.

A long time ago I hated a boy. I hated him with all of me. His name was Jerry. I hated his name, his face & his existence. I hated. Not because he'd done anything to me but because I was told that's what I should feel.

I hated him because my Mom told me he was "no good" and that I shouldn't "hang around" someone "like him".

In school we'd always been pals. He'd been held back a year. He was older. We played on the playground together in elementary school. Jerry always had dirty clothes. I didn't care. He was a great kickball partner. He was awesome at duck duck goose. He was my friend. He laughed a lot.

One day my Mom told me I shouldn't be friends with him. She told me he was "Bad news".

Mom didn't know Jerry. But she was forewarned about him from other Parents. She was just trying to make sure I didn't get in with the wrong crowd, as it were.

When she and I discuss it now, I see her countenance fade. I know it bothers her.

I don't recall him in middle school. I think he dropped out in High School.

One night in 2009, while perusing news about my hometown, I happened to stumble upon this...

I had not seen his face in over 20 years.

The man who defended his home that night goes to your Gammy's church. He is a good Man. Your Gammy is my Mom, as you know.

I often wonder what would have happened if I'd been allowed to be friends with Jerry. Would he still be here? Would I? Would none of that matter?

These are the things your Dad thinks about.

I think Goodness, like many things, is relative. I think it has always been so & I believe it will always remain so, wearing a shawl of subjectivity as it goes. I think if it were able to give its own definition, it would say...

"I'm just a kid trying to catch fireflies at dusk with a bunch of other kids. Figure out which one I am."

Because if you can... you are Goodness.

And much better than Me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You have one life. Just one.

Whether you clutter the closet of that life with hopeful gifts of your chosen religion, whether you scatter your pride with those indigenous wares you assume your good deeds will reward you with or whether you let all of that bullshit go... is up to You.

In the end, we all find ourselves at the same depot. That place that has a sign that reads "From Here On... Good Luck".

What defines you has never been what you've done. What defines you has always been who you are after doing the things you've done.

The only judge in that courtroom is You. So I want to ask you who you are. Who are You... really?

I want to know the answer to that question. I desperately want to know.

Did you give up on those moments when you didn't have to? Did you stomp through the grits of someone who was only trying to serve you breakfast? Did you reach out a hand only to have it severed? Did you never reach out a hand to begin with? Did you look up instead of down? Did you do the best you could for you, for those around you & for those you don't even know... yet? Even when the outcome wasn't fair, all things considered?

You wear my Last Name. These questions matter to Me.

The organ in your skull needs to be taken for a walk on occasion.

I'll always be with you. Simply because you know me.

Don't let that picture define you.