Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


Let me Give You A Hand

Recently a very special man passed from my family.  He was one of those people characters are developed from in novels and emotions are forever compared against. He was in so many ways everything life was meant to be, how it should be shared and experienced.  The family released a photo of just their hands touching, as he left this life for the completion of his journey, and the reward he so richly deserved.  I can honestly say there will never be another tribute as perfect, complete or as eloquent in stating who he was as that simple and loving image.


In this life, he was the one who was always first to lend a hand, even as he aged, fought cancer and pain or was just unsure of his ability, and in his youth, those hands taught high school wrestlers the meaning of strength, honor, perseverance and commitment.  As an educator he reached out to those who welcomed his knowledge and guidance, and prayed for those he was unable to touch.

He held new life from his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, was there when they needed a hand in being raised, shared or celebrated, but especially when they just wanted to hold his large calloused fingers.  He was a husband who held up his end, and a businessman who held others trust sacred.  He was a veteran who had a hand in the freedom and security of those against war and conflict; and he was a son who held values against his soul , a friend you could always count on.

There are beautiful buildings and homes he had a hand in making, some through design and some through actual nail and hammer, which he held in a grip of ability, knowledge and pride, most men never know.  Stadiums across the country held Super Bowl games, not knowing his handy laugh and sweating brow helped make them happen, because in his humble humility, he became nothing more that another fan applauding in the stands when the players took the field.

As his life continued he handed down wisdom and humor, laughter, honor and compassion to anyone who had the privilege of sharing time with him.  In his last days, knowing the cancer trials he participated in would not help his suffering, end his pain or extend his life, he did so because he knew someday they might help, and he would have a hand in saving someone from experiencing what he had.

Hands down, there are people in life that will touch you, move you and even give you a moment to rediscover who you are inside before it is too late.  These are the people who have their hand on the pulse of life and should one cross your path, you will never be the same again. Trust me you will know when they appear, just don’t ignore their gift.

Maybe it will be a twinkling eyed Santa handing you a gift you never expected – himself, not just the package, or that moment of acceptance after everyone else has turned away or forgotten, letting you know you matter, just as you are.  It might even be the kind soul who moves out of the way, smiling after you are handed ice cream at a Dairy Queen, and you find yourself remembering that smile more than the soft serve once you get home.

These are the people who are the true treasures in our journey of life and too many times we fail to see them for the gift they are.  We tend to keep our hands in our pockets, as we walk by shutting ourselves off from the greatest blessing ever offered in this life – an open gesture of unconditional love.  How sad for those who never experience what my own life received so freely and beautifully.

The next time you find yourself alone, concerned or scared with sweaty hands, look to the faces of those who love you, and just maybe there will be someone as special as this man who now calls heaven home.  And just maybe, if you are lucky, you will get the chance, to have a hand in shaping the destiny of both yourself and someone else before you leave this life.

Compassion is a gesture born from the soul and only allowed to grow when it is offered freely and shared honestly, so don’t wait until the hands of time have stopped and all you have is regret running through your fingers.  Not every outstretched hand is asking for something – many are offering to share, but it is up to us to know the difference.  Make a point to use the example these travelers of life give to us daily, and take a stand to make a difference, because if you do, hands down it will be the investment of your lifetime and someone else’s.


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Just a knob

The best way we can understand life, is to simply admit whether we want to or not, that none of us truly has a handle on it – can’t be said any simpler.  When you wake up in the morning is it a blessing or a curse?  Do you fear the moments which will follow your first footsteps of the day, or do you feel an energy, which will send you into the world making  a difference no matter how insignificant or over the top?  As much as we would like to always be positive, we still allow those WTF days to happen, along with road rage, something dropped, spilled or broken.
Recently life left me a little more humanly WTF unhinged than normal, when the door shut quietly on 18 years of living.  However, it reopened the next day, to possibilities and scenarios, all new and filled with trepidation and excitement.  It was an eye opener as well; to how easy it is to become complacent in the space and time of life, as we move towards that eternal finish line, where there are no winners or losers, just participants who have hopefully gained knowledge and strength from their journey.  Although I stand fully accountable for my part in the sad stagnant state of affairs that predetermined my shut door, it doesn’t change the outcome.  It does however change how I see myself, the future and the finish line.

When we are first brought through the door, hospital or otherwise – we see faces anxious for us to succeed, love and grow (hint: they never really change as we age by the way).  After that it is up to us, and how we allow outside influences, people and events to shape who we become.  The past 18 years clouded my ability to understand the impact of that sentence, most importantly the simple word “allow.”  Because free will is the central characteristic of mankind, when it is given up in any capacity, we cease to become that initial bundle of life facing the unknown, instead becoming a bundle of raw emotion torn between who we are and who we are trying to be.  Free will also comes at a price no one knows until it has been surrendered, and then it is too late, and it usually takes a few prisoners in the process.

How easy it is to lose ourselves in the ambitions and dreams of another, for no other reason than we have become comfortable together, and don’t want to rock the boat or appear judgmental causing friction in the relationship. Yet, if we are walking along and a rock gets into a shoe, don’t we motion our partner to walk ahead, saying we will catch up, or maybe they take the initiative and pause, waiting for us to begin the walk again.  We don’t ignore the simple rock until it has rubbed the skin raw, bloodied the foot, caused injury or even further, allow it to become infected with possible amputation at some point.  So why do we do it in a relationship – albeit personal or professional?

It is a blessing we have the free will to eventually recognize behavior killing our soul, and understand walking away is sometimes the only way to allow life to rebuild, and recover from the disenchantment and destruction, regardless if it has been only months or many years.  The question is of course; can we learn from the mistakes, and reclaim the individual we are, ready to face whatever is waiting behind our door?

I know I am strong enough to continue, and with a certain amount of excitement anxious for what will now be my life.  Opening myself up to what I am capable of accomplishing and refusing to shut down when my emotions may fall short, will be just as important as any door I may face.  The free will is mine and should never be given up for another, because in doing so would again begin the destruction of anything healthy.

Every day in your life the door is open to possibility, walking through it is an adventure and an obligation as we take the journey to the finish line, and the only handle we will ever have on that journey, is maybe the knob we secure on the physical door behind us, as we face who we are and all that we can be.

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If I could just change…….


How simple the sentence, but how intense the meaning.  Life brings us the gift of being able to change so many of the circumstances we live with and in each day.  What is doesn’t do however, is change the person we are and for some that can be a curse.

Indeed, there are circumstances attached to people, such as physical or mental health, which we have no control over, and those are true sign posts on individual journeys.  Yes, they do affect us greatly, but we need them because they give the character and strength accenting who we will always be, to either remind us or cause us to wipe our eyes, and see what we have ignored for whatever reason.  Nevertheless, how we would all like to change things.

Over the years, I have watched as people pass from my life, for various reasons, and on the occasion we meet later in life, someone always seems to say, “You haven’t changed a bit.”  Now of course appearance is a given, but the soul of who we are doesn’t change, it is who attracts us to other people, bonds relationships and trust and is one gift only we can share with another person.  I think it is also the curse of mankind, because we usually choose to see the circumstances of someone, and not the person when we make decisions in life.  We miss so much.
Someone in my life has recently been taking photographs while inside of her car at the car wash.  That sounds stupid, but actually is beautiful and thought provoking.  She is not seeing the factory made and over used plastic bristles and paddles, which rub dirt off the metal of her car with toxic chemical and soap – which after all is the circumstance of where she is.  Instead, she is seeing the water as it reflects and moves in the light, showing not just a unique pattern or colorful piece of abstract art, but what is normally just taken for granted as the basic fluid of life to drink or use.  In those few moments the circumstances change everything – and what will always be plain water, is given the chance to be amazing and appreciated.

Make yourself a promise, and instead of hearing yourself say that someone “Will always be there” or “Has always been a great person” or “They never do that, so I’m not even going to ask,” look closer and maybe, just maybe the reason they are who they are, is because of their circumstance, and with your help, things could change like neither of you have ever thought they could.

People unfortunately are no different than water, they can shine and sparkle in the light, serve a purpose or be left standing.  But after a while, if their circumstances don’t change they become stagnate and sometimes even toxic to both themselves and anyone else.  The easiest thing in life is to walk away, assume and accept a situation or the circumstances surrounding someone.  It takes strength and conviction to open up and make a difference for someone.
Indeed, we are who we are and it will never change – but just imagine how much better the quality of life could be if we took the chance to change the circumstances that held someone or ourselves back.

Like satisfying a thirst, what a rush!