I fought it. The symbol of weakness sat by itself in the guest room where I never went. Whenever I struggled to walk past the door, I purposefully averted my eyes, looking down or away. I did anything I could to avoid dealing with the wheelchair the young guy delivered in October of 2007. It was an ominous sign of my fading independence that I hated both for its invasion of my house and what it stood for.
Hey, Pop. I haven’t talked to you in a while, and I just want to say hi and see how you’re doing. I know you’re doing well, though. Continue reading
I completed my 41st year on the 30th of last month. Birthdays are usually a big event when you’re a kid. There’s cake and ice cream, presents from all your family members, parties with your friends, and you get to feel special for moving ahead and leaving all those other kids behind until they catch up to you at some point in the next year. Continue reading
One particular Wednesday night in March of my 30th year, I was at my parents’ house sitting at a table in the living room while working on my laptop. They were at church, and I was there by myself. It had been raining for several days and was still raining. I could hear the fat drops as they pelted the roof above me.
One night in late spring 2015, my buddy John and I were sitting on my front porch talking while the womenfolk were inside probably swapping recipes and churning butter or drinking wine. Who knows… Anyway, John and I were solving some social injustice or reliving his glory days on the gridiron as we were prone to do when he and his sweeter than sorghum wife Robyn came for a visit. Then, a man who would greatly affect my outlook on charity emerged from the darkness.
Last week was exhausting mentally, physically, and spiritually, and I’ll bet I lost 5 lbs. through my tear ducts and another 55 lbs. from exercising my smile muscles. If you saw me, however, you wouldn’t be able to tell because of all the good food I ate which had been prepared by neighbors, good Southern Baptist women, and The Lake (the restaurant at the local resort, Lake Tiak O’khata).
I’ve never been much of a vacationer. Growing up, we didn’t go on many vacations. It just wasn’t that big of a deal for my family. I can remember a couple trips to the beach, one or two visits to see distant relatives, and a week at a cabin at a state park. Outside of those instances, my travel experiences were mostly centered around school or church trips. As I’ve gotten older and my independence has been wrested from my grasp, the hassles of travel have kept me mostly within a couple hours drive of central Mississippi.
This past Saturday was a pretty special one for me. I turned 40, which seemed to be more significant than turning 30 and probably even more than 21. I feel like I have to be a real adult, now. Birthdays, and if I’m being honest, most other events haven’t ever gotten much of an emotion from me. However, the time leading up to this milestone has been pretty heavy with a significant chunk of my life having been uprooted, shaken, drowned, thrown at the wall, and hung on the line to dry. This past weekend signified to me a new beginning.
On the way home from work one day 10 years or so ago, I decided to pick up a burger for supper, so I drove through the new Dairy Queen and grabbed a cheeseburger value meal with a root beer. I’m a fan of DQ’s cheeseburgers because they’re super cheesy, and they don’t force me to pick off a salad’s worth of soggy vegetables before I take my first bite. (I get all the vegetables I need with the ketchup.) Continue reading
I am a pretty lucky guy when it comes to my job. I have a great job that I enjoy coming to on most days. I have pleasant, overly-competent people above me on the organizational ladder. The work I do isn’t usually stressful, and it challenges me from time to time to keep things interesting. I’ve gotten a ton of training on subjects that have helped me develop new skills and have made me a more valuable, more efficient employee. Continue reading