Sunday, July 8, 2018

Have To and Want To

I came into see Brit one day and she immediately knew something was going on.  She asked what was wrong and I gave her the answer we all give, “I just have a lot to do and no time to do it.” 

She laughed and simply said, “Everybody has things to do, everybody is busy.  Well, except me, I just have to lay here.” 

It was then we started talking and she said your “have to” has to match your “want to”.  I can’t say it as well as she did, but it is basically this:

There are things you want to do in life and things you don’t.  Those things you don’t are usually the things that you have to get done.  Take weeding for example.  Everybody that has a garden or even just flowers in a bed has to weed them.  You want to enjoy the vegetables or the pretty flowers, but you have to weed it for that to happen.  Nobody lets the ugly take over the pretty because you know what it's going to look like in the end.  Same with life.  There is no point in dreading what has to be done, or you’ll never get to the part you wanted.  Don’t dread Mondays, you need Mondays to help you to get to Fridays.  It has to happen, it’s going to happen, so why dread it?  If you want some pity party about having to pay all these bills, remember you wanted to have that cell phone so you need to pay that bill to use it.  It’s all just part of the process, get your have to done so that your want to gets here quicker.

I think that was just her little story, or way of saying Stop Bitching about it and just do it, but it was a good way of doing it anyway.  We all have our want to and our have to, I guess we just need to make our have to as important as our want to and it’ll all work out.

Monday, June 11, 2018


 It was more than just a grandson and his grandmother, but be sure I never once called her my grandmother, she was Brit. We had this connection that is hard to put into words.  Brit and I understood each other.  Maybe it was mostly me just saying Yes Ma’am and doing what she said, but she knew what I needed even more than I did sometimes.  I was always made fun of because I was the favorite, but I just always liked being with her so I didn’t mind.  I was a box boy on Main Street, an honorary member of the Westside Garden Club, and an “Andy let’s go do this” (for lack of better words) person for many years.  Most importantly though, I was Brit’s grandson.  Many might not know what they were missing, but I can only hope to live up to the title.
  On June 1st, I lost more than just Brit.  I lost my place to get away from the world.  I lost my place to forget about the bad in my life and usually slip into a Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy coma.  I lost my Sunday morning writing time (well she took full credit for my writing if anyone wondered) and the place I felt like whatever I wrote was ok because she told me it was.  Over the last few years the scenery and the chairs changed, but the location was irrelevant.  It was just about being with her.
  Over the years my time with Brit took me more places than I can even remember, stupid me should have written them all down.  The whole point of it is it didn’t matter what we were doing, it was just the company that mattered.  The only consolation to her passing is she’s up there with Penelope teaching her all the things she taught me.  That’s just fine by me.
  There will never be anyone to ever replace her, not that anyone should ever try.  You might get close, but she’d let you know where you fell short right after she told you what you did well. 
I can’t write everything I want to say about Brit, but over the next little while I hope to write about things that she taught me over the years.  Most won’t care or understand, and I’m still trying to figure a lot of it out, but the point is it doesn’t need to be lost.  Brit’s wisdom never fails.  She always said what needed to be said, even if I didn’t want to hear it.  I’ll try to do it justice, but I’m sure she could say it better herself.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I Tried...

Losing a child is hard.  We all get that.  There is a part about your child passing away that nobody talks about really.  Your friend’s kids.  I have no idea how you are supposed to handle this situation, and truthfully I just acted like it didn’t happen.  This might have been wrong, probably pissed a few people off, but “Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn.”  I wanted to be a part of these celebrations, whether it was a new baby girl or a birthday party, but the grief and pain won over and over.

I wanted so bad to be outwardly happy for those posting pregnancy announcements, but the pit of my stomach turned so tight that it about made me sick thinking we had just went through another failed IVF; so I just sat at home and kept scrolling.

I wanted so bad to go hold a friend’s new baby and just enjoy a newborn, but all I could think of is not being able to hold my little girl again; so I just sat at home and kept looking at P’s pictures.

I wanted so bad to buy my best friend’s kid something and watch them play with it, but I couldn’t even walk in a kids section of a store or look at toys without losing it; so I just sat at home and held P’s boppy on the couch like I always do.

I wanted so bad to do all these things, but they hurt so bad I couldn’t imagine even walking out of the house to go do them.  It eats at you on the inside more than you can even begin to think, and I’m crying writing this just imagining it.  It wasn’t about the toys or the parties, but just the opportunity to have them for her, for us, was lost on that day.

It isn’t an apology that I kept to myself during these times, just an explanation that I couldn’t really talk about, and probably won’t ever after posting this.

The news of twins coming into our life brought hope back and a silver lining of happiness that has been lost for almost two years now.  I didn’t realize how much it really took a toll on different parts of life, but there isn’t some playbook for this junk so I’m figuring it out as I go. 

So to my friends over the past little while, I’ll always be there for you, it might just look different sometimes.  I probably should have done better at times, but sometimes it was the best I had.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


   Sundays have changed over the years.  I used to go to church, then it was a struggle, then I stopped going.  I traded sermons for sitting in a green chair and now I’ve traded that one for a seat at the end of the bed in assisted living.  I don’t exactly like it, but that is how change works.  We don’t have to like it, but it’s what we make out of it I guess.  That’s the BS I keep telling myself anyway.

   What we let into our lives is what changes us I think.  If you let negative in, you change in a negative light.  I gave up my football Twitter this week because I couldn’t stand what it was becoming.  Everything is about “Look at Me, Look at Mine!” instead of trying to create something positive or halfway thought provoking.  I felt bad about it, but then it hit me that I don’t have to sit and stare at it 10 times a day.  I thought it was random until Brit said this morning, “Write about being in this room.  These four walls never change.  The ceiling never changes.  All I can change is the TV channel and the side I lay on.” 

   It just made me think, at some point, I won’t be able to control the change.  I won’t be able to do anything about the world around me at some point in my life.  Until then I can change anything I want to, when I want to.  I think we as humans in this world today forget that.  I don’t have to work at this job if I hate it.  I don’t have to do something because it’s what I’ve always done.  I’m not talking changing the world, but I can change the world I live in to be what I want.

   I guess I wrote this more for me than anyone else.  It will show up in my Facebook Memories one day and I’ll probably say, “What in the world was I writing about?” Hopefully, I won’t open it up and forgot to have changed anything.  That would be a sad day.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

You Never Know...

     Going through the Pal’s drive-thru, they hand me my Peach Dr. Enuf and as I’m rolling up my window, a girl working in there says to me, “I love your book, it is awesome!”  I have no idea who she was, but she made my day.  Not two minutes before that I was looking at my Facebook memories, on the verge of tears, seeing a pic of me and my sweet girl.  Instead of going down that rabbit hole of sadness and anger, that one statement made me smile and changed my whole drive home.
     My heart breaks for a family in our town that just lost their little boy from complications of a car accident.  Even though our situations are a little different, I know exactly what they are going through.  I know everything that is racing through their head and there isn’t anything you can do about it.  I know all their hopes and dreams for their little one came to a complete stop; and all those opportunities they were looking to are now over.  I wish I could tell them it gets easier, but you learn to take all those memories and make them last a lifetime, and that’s all I’ve really got.
     There isn’t some miracle saying or action that will help, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.  One thing I’ve noticed through our journey in this, you remember all the ones that tried and all the ones that didn’t.  You sit back sometimes and remember little things like a card, a Facebook message, a text, or even that friend that brought some food on a random Tuesday just because.  It isn’t about knowing what to say or do, it’s just about the doing.
     We should all try to be there for people every chance we can.  You can’t go through something like this alone.  I know, I tried and failed miserably.  The fact is you don’t know what anybody is going through and you might be the person to help them through it.  But first we have to get our head up off the screen in front of us and do it.  I’m not saying I’m overly nice to everyone I meet or I agree with everything that goes on, but I try not to be a total jackass or sad person all the time either.  Whatever it is you do, I just encourage you to do it, not just think about it.  Write that letter, give your best friend a hug or smack on the butt, or text that person you used to be close with.  You never know.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


          Every day I see people wasting opportunities.  I do it myself, I’m far from perfect, but it seems like more and more people are either complacent with where they are at, don’t understand what they are missing, or are just simply too lazy to give a damn anymore.  Opportunities can come in all forms and fashions, but when you have lost your child, you see almost everything as something that “Could have been.”
          The Daddy-Daughter dance is what makes me think of those opportunities and really tears me apart in some ways.  I’m jealous of the Dads that get to go.  I’m pissed at the ones that don’t.  I’m so glad I got to dance with P in the rain, but heartbroken that it will never happen again.  I could go on and on about what some of us would give to have those few moments with ours, but more so hoping that the ones that have those moments don’t waste them.  It isn’t about feeling sorry for the others, but more about taking that moment with less eye rolls of having to do it and more excitement of getting to do it.
         I think though if we thought more of opportunities of “Getting to” instead of “Having to” our lives would be a whole lot better.

       This one isn’t very long because I think I talk about this a lot.  Maybe it’s because I have to remind myself to look at all these moments and take them to heart.  Or maybe it is my way of not punching some of these guys that don’t step up and really be that Dad.  Whichever it is, I hope that at some point in every day we all don’t waste that opportunity with our family, our friends, and wherever else it might show up.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Moving On

You can’t hold onto something forever, but sometimes it is all that is holding you together. 

Nobody wants this old green chair and that is fine by me.  I never got to sit in it much growing up because it was Brit’s chair and that is who got to sit in it.  For over a year and a half though it has been mine.  I’ve written a lot of my blog entries here, most of my Bored Teachers articles, and even the occasional football plan.  More importantly it’s been my “place”.  You know, the one place you feel comfortable and safe for whatever reason.  It doesn’t matter what’s going on, I can sit here and think, laugh, cry, cry again, and sometimes fall asleep because I’m so exhausted.  As much as it is about the chair, it is about where the chair is.  It’s at Brit’s and now it is time that I let this spot go.  It is time to move on and for most of us, moving on is hard.  It is hard to let go for some, especially me. 

I sit here staring at this crooked little table with books piled on it and know that I’ll miss it.  I sit here staring at the mountains and know that I’ll miss sitting here staring at them.  Truthfully, I’ll miss all of it and thinking about it not being the same about makes me sick.  Things never stay the same and other than death and taxes, change will always remain. (Another Brit quote.) 

I’m glad though that I’ve learned to take it all in so that I never have to fully let go.  I will be taking this chair home one day, not because I have room or it matches anything in this world, but so I can always have my space.  I’ll remember that the table was always crooked and how the pattern on the rug doesn’t really match from one side to the other from this angle.  It isn’t about losing things, but not ever forgetting about them I think is the scariest part.  I don’t want to let go because I don’t want to forget.  Now that I think about it.  I never really have to let go.  Of course it won’t be the same and I’ll never get that full effect back, but that doesn’t mean it won’t always be there.  I've thought so much about this place over the past year if I could draw worth a damn I could draw it inch by inch.  But once it isn't here anymore, will I be able to still do it?  That's the part that makes me upset.

  I can only hope for those of you that have to say good-bye to something that you have lived in that moment.  And that moment you never have to let go and never forget.  I write this as much for me as I do for others to think about.  For one day whenever I do read this, I can smile because stupid me thought I was ever going to forget.