Category: family


Love, anger and numbness…

 flower

    I really do not know exactly what I am to say here, I have wanted to write but really did not know how to get it out. It has been so long since I blogged anything I think the last time was the cool (to me) car that I bought and picked up that I blamed my father for making me like it… and now… well he is at fault for this blog as well.

 

  On June 7th my father took his last breath, just 17 days ago… 17 days…

 

 On the 11th I got to see his face in person for the last time, that was hard… but I guess I better go back a little. I was going to start with when he called me to tell me that he was in the hospital… but no… I need to get more out…

 

  I never knew my father all that well growing up… he was the guy who make trucks (he worked at Ford), and he was the guy who would pop into my life with a few presents from time to time. I remember once, and I do not know how it all came about but my brother and I (different fathers but don’t you dare call us half brothers, we are soul mates lol it’s in inside joke, there is nothing half about being a brother you either are… or you are not… and yes read that in the voice of Yoda if you like) were visiting my father. I think it was a birthday, we were both young but I do not remember how young to be honest, all I know is he had to be the richest person ever (to the mind of a child)… he took my brother and I into a toy store and told us to pick out two things… any 2 things we wanted. I just remember the look on my lil brothers face, it had to mirror mine. Eyes big as the can get, “ANYTHING?” He mouthed… and I just shrugged… so there we were picking out two of the coolest Transformers ever… and think G.I. Joes… I don’t remember the rest. But it is little memories like that I remember from him… he was a semi foul mouthed guy that was really cool to me. He told you exactly what he thought in not the nicest of ways, and you could sit and listen to his stories for hours… as I got older he sort of reminded me of George Carlin more and more… just a simple why are people to fkn stupid attitude because everything was so clear and simple as he saw it.

  My dad was a guy’s guy for sure… and with no doubt a ladies’ man… he had that old wise guy type style, kinda could say almost anything and get away with it and he could pull off suspenders like they were cool.

  His friends that I knew were loyal to a fault, and boy have I heard things… lol but now that is between me and the grave… It was not easy being a son to a man who honestly did not know how to be a father… I was an asshole kid, and he did not take shit from anyone. So that alone was a tough hurdle to get over for us. He knew how to be affectionate to women… but I was a grown man child and well it was just awkward most of the time.

  I did enjoy watching football with him and listen to him cuss and get pissed off telling me he would never watch these stupid bums again… lol until next Sunday… then we would sit back on a lazy afternoon and watch old black and white movies, and westerns… now I know to a lot of you that may seem dull. But man as a younger kid I used to watch stuff like little house on the prairie with my mother’s father and that was what family was all about… well that and the dukes of hazard but well you have to have a little balance in your like right?

  There was a lot of good in our relationship, but still a lot of resentment on my part too… I had been through some stuff and he was not there. And now he wanted to be “Dad” and I have a bolder on my shoulder about that and was not going to make it easy. Stupid kid… was doing even worse stupid things…

  Fast forward a long long time skipping the ugly… Living in NC with my own half grown children, I remember the first time my Dad agreed to come visit my house… you would have thought the president of the United States was coming over… nothing could go wrong or he may never want to come again… it had to be perfect… and funny thing was almost nothing turned out right, and it was perfect. My dad and I side by side at my sink peeling what felt like 20lbs of shrimp because I go the wrong kind and it was not cleaned… man it took us hours to clean all of that. But between the two of us we got it done, I will never forget that. He enjoyed so much just relaxing at my table eating the food and listening to the kids talk about school, my daughter was all stary eyed at “Grandpa Dave” cause he was not like the rest of the family… my son just like I would… sat back and just loved to listen to his stories…

  I remember going to the farmers market here with him and picking out wine for dinner, and then cooking a steam pot for him with my friend Patrick and just having everyone sit back and enjoy the evening. I felt like that all the bad had gone, and I finally had my dad, my anger was gone and I just wanted so hard to work and be a man he could be proud of. No matter what he was my father and I loved him… I wanted to do more things with him.

medad

  Fast forward to 2015… my daughter is turning 18 and graduating high school, my youngest is an adult and loves her grandpa Dave so much. I asked him if there was any way he could surprise her and come in for her graduation and then we would do her b-day party that night. He would be her biggest surprise and she would be so happy. He told me he would have to check his schedule because he had a bunch of shoots in June… well that weekend was free and he said he would make it!! We talked about him not feeling well that this flue he had after he got back from Vegas was lingering, I told him to get some rest and we would nail down details later.

  I few months from the graduation we talk again, he told me about selling one of his campers and trading the other in on a better toy hauler that he could take to shoots, that he had it parked at a friend’s house who had a farm because it was too big to put at his place. He was going to clean out the other that weekend and get the new one ready for his upcoming shoot. I had not heard from him for quite a few weeks, so I left a few messages on his answering machine and sent a few emails… I did not call his cell because I really did not want to bother him if he was on a shoot or at dinner with friends. I knew he would get back up with me when he was done with whatever.

  Then… Tuesday June 2nd I am at my desk at work and I get a call on my cell, normally I would not answer my cell at work but it was dad’s cell phone and I had wanted to talk to him and the graduation and b-day party were less than 2 weeks away. He was telling me that he was in the hospital, and had been for over 3 weeks… he had had surgery and did not want to bother me with it. That people had kept asking him if he had called me so much that he figured it was time to call me and let me know. They had found a mass in his lower intestine and cut it out, but it was not cancer so no big deal. Took out his gallbladder while they were there and stitched him up. He was recovering and would end up going to an assisted living home for a few weeks after they released him. So he could go through physical therapy and get better, they could not let him go home because he was really weak and his bathroom is on the 2nd floor of his house. I asked the obvious questions, are you going to be ok… blah blah… I was kinda in shock did not know what to say. I have been trying to reach him for a few weeks and he was in the hospital the whole time and I never knew it. I felt bad, but how could I have known.

  He then tells me that in recovery his heart started acting up a little and would not get into rhythm and right before they decided to “shock” it back into shape it just leveled out and was normal. So for now they are keeping him on the cardiac floor, but if everything goes well today they will move him to a general recovery floor later in the week. He told me he did not tell me because there was nothing I could do and there was no point in getting me worried or having me run up there to just sit. I understood that I guess, and he was right there was nothing I could have done and he honestly saved me from feeling guilty that I would not have been able to just go up there and sit. The conversation was pretty short just him being him and updating me on what’s going on in his own, “fkn doctors got a tube in my dick” sort of way. I say I hope he feels better and update me when he knows more, he said he would. We said our good-byes… if I had only known…

  I called my uncle Jerry to get filled in on what my dad may not have been telling me. Well there was little to say, dad had said it all pretty much except that there was some concern that his digestion had not kicked in yet and that was all they were waiting on to get his body functions back online. I thanked Jerry and emailed him all my contact info incase anything like that happened again and he wanted to tell me he could.

  I got my kids to call dad and Kayla specially wanted to talk to him she was happy to hear that he was going to surprise her, but then sad that he was not well and would miss it. But she got to talk to him and that was good. I called on Wednesday but it was really short he was about to go for a test… then on Thursday I tried again but it went right to voicemail…

  So here it is Friday I worked late and then was going to meet Michele at dinner to go try a new place that opened up not far from where I work. We got a table and sat down, water and bread came and my phone rang… it was dad… I told Michele I was going to step outside… then everything changed. It was my uncle Jerry; he was calling to tell me that my dad was not going to make it. My brain shut down, wait what? This is dad’s phone I told him… dad was suppose to be calling me to tell me he got moved to the other floor for recovery… my uncle jerry was broken up, he apologized and said dad’s phone was the one with all the numbers and he did not think about calling me from it. I told him it was ok, I did not mean to upset him, this was not what I expected to hear, I really did not know how to process this… what happened? Why? My chest hurt and I just wanted to sit down… I felt ill…

  I went back inside trying hard to hold it together, I was in public, I almost lost it as I told the waitress I had to go, and I explained to Michele what was going on… I went home threw my stuff in the truck went back to work to send out emails and put things where people could get to it and I drove through the night to Ohio… my father was dieing and they were waiting on me… around midnight I get a call. Jerry is telling me they are moving him from on hospital to another and that there is a specialist that will see him. None of that made sense to me, I even half accused them of some sick joke and told him that if I get there and he has won the lotto and he wanted to screw with me to get me there I would be pissed. And Jerry said he wished that was the case. But he would let me know more when I got there, but at least there was a little bit of hope.

  Between accidents and construction that trip took forever so many things going through my head… my childhood, this I had said and done, things I should never had said and done and most of things I felt I really still so much needed to say and do that I was scared I may never get the chance to. Regret… and lots of it.

  I finally get there later than I planed but safe and sound… I’m kinda of numb to be honest; I mean I had my moments on the trip where I thought I would have to pull over, just so much emotion going on. So between that and not sleeping I just felt numb like it was not real… seeing my dad laying there I was very uncomfortable. I did not know what to say or do. I did not know what or how to feel… I just did not really know anything… Talking to the Doctor he explained a lot of things he had pictures and it seems when my dad’s heart when out of rhythm it was throwing clots and they did not know it. Instead of going to the brain or lungs it went to his lower intestine and cut off all blood flow. It basically died… when they opened him back up that Friday to try to figure it out it was too late. No one could have known… no one really did anything wrong, it was just shitty luck.

  The staff and doctors at St Johns were amazing and really answered many questions… and even shut me down when I offered to have them take half of my lower intestine. I was willing to try anything… anything… it’s still hard honestly to think about. So we made the decision to take him off the life support sooner than later, because we may have a chance to talk to him now… that later we may not. We were blessed… he got that chance, he was sort of alert, I got to talk to him and say my goodbyes. To tell him how very sorry I was for everything, to tell him I loved him. The conversation he had with the doctor was amazing as well, still kinda funny all the way to the end it seems. He was tired and wanted rest and then it really seemed he might be ok for days… we decided to leave him so I could get some rest and a shower and we would all meet back in the morning.

  I went back to his house and I felt like a stranger there… like I should not be there… remembering all the bad things that had been said, all the fights. The hole in the wall that is well hidden by something my father put over it. From my anger as a stupid teenager and putting my hand almost through the wall when he came home after a night of drinking and we got into it… all of that flooding back at me as I sit in the living room wishing I could just talk to him and regretting not making more time. Regretting almost everything… and now within days he would be gone… I absolutely hated myself at that moment and I struggle to think of a time I ever felt so alone in my life. Here I sit, the kid who last anyone knew was trouble and who had moved away over 20 years ago… would now have to make a ton of decisions about how to bury his father. I felt like an outsider…

  I finally get a couple hours of sleep, I run to the store, then go to get coffee… then I head to the hospital. I was to meet my uncle Jerry there that morning. I stop downstairs to call my brother and just talk to him a little, through some of our hardest times in life we always have called each other, we are never afraid to put each other in their place and tell them when they are being stupid. He lost his own father a good time back and I just wanted to talk I guess… we did and I felt a bit better about a few things and I still had not seen my uncle so I was going to head up. I knew he had been moved to a different floor they told us he would and my uncle said he was on the 3rd floor now… kind of a hospice floor so to speak.

  Getting on the elevator hitting the 3rd floor I was a little anxious… so much I wanted to say… walking to the nurses’ station I asked them for his room. That was when I probably came closer to ever passing out without getting touched than I ever have in my life. The nurse looks up and says something about them calling people in or something like that. I did not know what she meant… she said I guess you are hear because he passed or something like that… my heart felt thick… I could barely breath… all I could get out was “excuse me?” she looked up at me and said are you a friend or family? I do not remember my exact words but it was something along the lines I’m his fkn son… or he is my fkn father… and no one told me… she went ghost white… I just stepped away from the nurses’ station, I either sat down right there on the floor or up against the wall I don’t remember but everything just went blurry… he was gone… he was gone… she was there with her arm around me as was another nurse… I just needed more time… I needed to talk to him. I was not angry at them I was just angry… I stood up and I wanted to go in I needed to know where he was.

  I went into the room, I took a few moments, and he looked good, just like he was sleeping. I wanted so bad to just wake him up and tell him this shit is not funny. Then a nurse came in I told her I needed more time but she insisted I hear something… she told me how peacefully dad went and that it was really best that I was not there. It was very early that morning… and that really he just went to sleep. In the end it made me feel better, and I know she was right. Had I been there he may have tried to hold on… had we been there we may have panicked and tried to get them to do something… this really was the best way.

  Ok this has turned out so much longer than I planned… I will finish this tomorrow… I am a little drained from even writing this… I do want to thank everyone who has helped me through this. I will finish this up tomorrow, this has been pretty good for me to get it out I think…

Thank you for reading.  Please excuse typos and all my “…” it’s just how I write, it is like me… very far from perfect, but it is honest.

dad

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Chivalry

Chivalry…

 oh boy… man I have run this over and over in my head most of the day, after reading an article/blog that was shared on Facebook (why chivalry is dead from a mans perspective) this article/blog for me was an interesting read that made quite a few good points. Other parts were a bit off… but on the whole I thought it made a good overall point.

   Ok for a moment let’s just get beyond the history of the word, chivalry, I mean ok yes everyone who wants to run chivalry through the mud will bring up images of oppressive knights on powerful horses as they do evil things to prove they are great warriors and good knights, all the while looking down on their ladies as prizes and “things” or objects to own or to win over. They will also tell you that it is power trip to show women are helpless and need men to do things for them…  fast forward to today…

  Between our marriage laws and our president it is clear we are far from the dark ages… I am trying hard not to drag this out to much as I can tend to be rather full of myself and try hard to make my point clear 🙂 

  But ok back to today, and my thoughts on Chivalry and even this article/blog… he made some pretty good points about the direction our society is going and maybe even hurt some feelings with that. Some of what he said did come off a bit on the, poor me I’m a good guy side, no one ever likes being friend zoned for the bad boys and then having the girl cry to you that she cannot find a “good” guy… but again that is not what this is about…  I read over the comments about how sexist this guy was… and how oppressive his point of view was… I also read the comments when people stood up for him and said that they liked the way he thought and saw nothing wrong with it… then reading further as they got bashed for what they believed.

  So umm ok I am confused when are we aloud to be judgmental and tell people what they think and feel is wrong and when are we not? When is it we are able to look at someone and say you are stupid for thinking this or feeling like this even though this is your own person choice about how you want to be treated and how you are treating others…

  Reading this… I see respect not oppression… I see values and morals… at least from his perspective. let me take a second and define something this definition is per the ever knowing interwebs : Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other.”  so ok let’s look at this and the way he wrote this… I do not see him saying men are superior, in fact he states that he collected his values from the women whom he seemingly looks up to. Second he ends this with women hold all the cards… granted he is referring to sex, but he is stating that if they want higher standards in men they have to make them have them. That today as he sees it, women do not. Again I think some of the ways he got his point across are bit questionable… but no where do I see him saying, what is up with these girls… they know they cannot afford their own food, why can’t they just let me buy it.

 

 Now, holding open the door, pulling out a chair, walking on the traffic side of the street, these things are courtesy. Same thing you do for elders, it is a sign or respect. I mean yeah every guy knows from all the late night “fail” videos on YouTube a girl/woman can take a face plant as well as a man and shake it off… and seeing those men on the tables hooked up the with electrodes to simulate labor after which they are a pile of drooling jelly, the look on their faces was priceless as they realized just how tough their wives were through their own tear streaked eyes… I mean this is the information age, we know if a car splashes in a puddle and soaks us you are ever as able to take it to the face as I am… and we know you are just as able to pull your chair out and or stand and wait for me to sit before you do. Trust us we know you can take care of yourself and buy your own food, we also know that you can buy your own flowers. Knowing that… I still would like to do this for you… because you are weak or because I want to show power over you?  hell no… because I am attracted to you… because I like you… because I want to spend time to get to know you. I mean if you ever want to come wash my dishes, or try to get some of the stains out of my clothes I would be more than…. hahaha got you… just kidding lol thought you had me huh 🙂 but honestly ladies… this is a respect thing. And yes I said ladies… why? because it is my blog and I am a straight guy lol but this works for any gender in any relationship… if someone asks you out it means they are interested… if someone tries to buy you a drink do you get mad and rant that you can buy your own shit and go off on them? sure you can… go ahead… lol but why? it’s an ice breaker to try to spend time with you… someone from a distance noticed you were pretty and wanted to talk to you. and yes I know I will get talked to about why does it have to be about looks… how does he know he likes me… well he cannot see your soul and he cannot get to know you without talking to you, and well he tried to break the ice and do just that but you went off… and depending on what you do next after he makes that attempt to communicate, he or no other guy within 40 ft, may get that chance or want too for that matter.

 

  Ok so now that I may get blasted further… those that are chomping at the bit calling me a sexist so and so… ya know… some ladies… and men even… want to be treated this way.  Some women want a man who will be more dominant… who will take care of them… who will do things for them… then some guys will put a leash on and let his girl lead him around the house like a dog… to each their own lol. Everyone has a different view of what they want and or desire… I just do not understand in the world we live in where everyone is supposed to be so open and honest… where everyone is not suppose to judge or look down on anyone else… where we are supposed to be accepting of different religions, and sexual preferences, different class types, all of the above… those that fight the labels the most seem to be the ones who help reinforce new ones. Who beat down anyone who want to keep what they see as “traditional” beliefs…

 

  I respect everyone’s right to think and feel how they wish… but how is it when someone wants to do something they see as being nice and proper labeled as chivalry… and then others say, “hey I like that… that guy is speaking the truth.” that we can jump all over them and push our ideas of gender roles and sexism and knights and horses on them…

 

  My grandfather when I was little told me to never ask a girl out unless I was willing to pay her way, and I said why grandpa is it cause she is a girl? he said no son… because you asked her… she did not ask you.  Talk about making it simple.

 

  Would I buy a guy friend of mine dinner…  yes… would I buy another couple dinner… yes… do I stand normally until everyone is seated? yes… is this a power trip hahaha hell no… this is love.  I love people and would like to make them happy… sometimes people do not feel they are enough… sometimes they feel like doing things and buying things for people is a good way to show they care because they just cannot find the words… sometimes… little boys look at knights like the hero of a story… and would love to have a girl look at him like he is the hero… why? because he is the boss? because he is the man and she cannot do it herself?… no… sometimes because simply he wants to be loved.  We have to stop making everything negative… in the end there will  be no colors… no genders… just a grey dull world with no diversity and no choices… everyone will think and feel the same way… because they have no choice.

 

  call me sexist all day long 🙂 but chivalry the 21st century version that does not involve repression lol will live on!!! 

 

  *please note that I was interrupted many times while writing this and I am really bad at proof reading… also yes I have a mild addiction to “…” and well this is my blog and I am ok with that… and I have been told over and over to love yourself just as you are ;)”

 

  Smile… life it to short to run around trying to make everyone else happy… find what you like and do it… and above all else… find a way to love yourself. 

Yeah ok who am I to tell anyone the key to life? I’m no prophet or yogi… I’m not a learned scholar… heck I still rely on spell check for grammar and spelling issues way too often, and I still get it wrong… But I digress. I really should get this all out before I lose my thought…

 

 

An easy Google search tells me that a Key by definition is:

 

a. A notched and grooved, usually metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock.

b. A similar device used for opening or winding: the key of a clock; a can that has a key attached.

2. A means of access, control, or possession.

a. A vital, crucial element.

b. A set of answers to a test.

c. A table, gloss, or cipher for decoding or interpreting.

 

And there is more but this serves my purpose

 

 So as we see… a key, simply put, is a way to gain access to something: access to knowledge, access to a place, access to time (the key to a clock).

 

 Getting access to knowledge, places, people, and things… well that is what we do in life, is it not? So the best way to do these things is to live life… by a stretch of my already stretched imagination… to live… to really live is the key of life…

door

 

  The picture above looks very foreboding, metal grate fastened over a window with wire running through the glass… perfect for keeping people in or out. With only a small view as the one pictured, it would make you think moving forward was hopeless, but with a step back, (no picture sorry) we can find that the window is attached to a door. The point I want to make there is sometimes we are much too close to a problem we have in life… maybe sometimes we have to take a few steps back and the way will seem much more clear. There are times I feel that we move through life way too fast and we do not slow down to actually enjoy it… so we come up on our problems so quickly we never see them coming, and then we feel so rushed to get through them, we do not take the time to step back and make clear decisions. Maybe one of the keys to life should be to slow down, and do not be afraid to go back from time to time… maybe you missed something you should have seen.

different

 

   All of us are human, we may look different and talk different but we are all here for the same basic reason, to live life and learn as we go. We come in different colors, shapes and sizes… it’s a beautiful diversity that makes us as humans a beautiful thing.

differentsame

 

   But with that being said… many of us at a glance can seem very alike… but if you look close and take the time to actually see each person for who they are—their likes and dislikes, the things they are passionate about—you will see that even though they may seem to be the same, each person holds the keys to different locks. Each person can bring something different to your life and break open a new part of life you may never knew existed.

uncut

 

  Many people have a clear path and are good with things from birth… others seem to struggle trying to find their place… much like the keys in the picture above, one has been cut and fits a specific lock. The other is still blank, and although it was never cut to go into any one lock, you can see the age on it and know it has lived a long life. People are like that… some are really good at one specific thing; others never really find that one thing they are awesome at. Jack of all trades and master of none… it does not make one better than any other… it simply makes them different.

stop

 

Everyone wants to know the key to the secrets of life… but I think the memories we make with the people we know and love are the best keys we have. It is a key to a memory of a moment in time where you were happy or sad or whatever emotion you remember… it is a key to a moment in time that you lived. Living… is for this guy… the key to life. Take your keys wherever you go… in the form of memories and remember to make new ones and live for today… tomorrow is never promised to any of us.

 

 

   Smile… it might be the only key to unlocking the smile trapped inside someone else.

Four points of view that change how we see ourselves…

 

First word is an excuse used by many people to justify why they do not do something… It is a way to promote failure before you ever try, a way to beat yourself into believing a lie… oh I just can’t possibly to that… I can’t do math… I can’t play basketball…

 

The next word is something society and people around us slowly filter into our heads until we believe it as truth, School books, doctors, parents and even friends will sometimes think they are helping by telling you that a dream or a goal is impossible… sometimes they can be right and I would never ever tell anyone to go against anything a doctor tells them. But what I would say is that if you can afford it and it is possible, to get a second opinion on anything you feel strongly about. Many times we see things that we think are impossible for our self, and we tell others that it must be for them too. Some people lack the will power or the fortitude to push or go forward, then without even knowing it projecting that inability on to others. Sometimes we want to protect those we know and love from failure so we try to encourage them to not even try feats that for most seem impossible. This is not done out of malice or hate, it is sometimes done out of love or kindness and with the best of intentions. But the problem is if we never fail we never grow… and what might be impossible for you might just be possible for them. We have all been given a different measure of ability and gumption… it is what makes us diverse and amazing creatures.

 

Then we have *unable*… I am unable to do that… you will now not be unable to run or walk or play normally. I understand that these words are close and can be interchanged. I am writing this with the mind set of how I hear them the most in my life and in what way I have seen them used. Most doctors do not say… “You can’t do this or that…” they are more technical… “Because of your blah blah blah, your body is unable to handle… unable to bend… unable to move that way ever again.” Now I must repeat I would never tell anyone to ignore anything that a doctor says. Please do not get me wrong here… I feel all doctors have to go on is what they see… x-rays, and numbers from tests… what they cannot see spirit and drive… is sometimes what allows us to do thing we normally could not. Doctors do not want you to hurt yourself and do not want you to make an injury worse. So they will 99% of the time speak on the side of caution. The way the world is, if a doctor says you can do something and you get hurt they will be blamed and many times in this day and age might get taken to court… so I do not blame them for wanting to limit their patients so as to make sure they are not hurt. And if you are able to do more than expected… well it’s a miracle. Normally a doctor can only go on what is “normal” for your injury and your test results, from there they make educated guesses… it is not an exact science because we are not all the same, each one of us are different in one way or another… part of the reason why I like how they call it “Practicing” medicine…

 

And finally… Chicken Shit, It’s used to help grow veggies, and fruits… to make flowers beautiful… and grass greener when used properly. But when there is too much… it can kill all plant life and leave everything withering and dying and burnt… Chicken shit… Can’t… impossible… unable… all of these things when used to much can leave us withering and dying… but if used as fuel, to help fertilize our motivation and push us to grow… these words can make us stronger so we can blossom into maybe not what the world would see as perfect, but maybe if we work hard enough we can become extra ordinary. Being chicken shit is not always a bad thing… you just have to decide what it is you are scared of… pain?… failure?… ridicule… and sometimes we are scared of none of those things. Sometimes we are scared we may succeed, because once we do, no one will cut us a break anymore. No one will look at us and be easy and give us pity. Whether we like to admit it or not we all sometimes just want to lay back and do nothing and have people look at us and tell us that it is ok. To use what others would call a weakness be it our injury, birth defect, and mental limitations as an excuse to not do or be 100% of what we can. To lay back and say I can’t do that because it is impossible. I am unable to move/think that way and because I am chicken shit. To have people look at us and say, “Oh, it is ok… really we understand, and do not blame you on bit… we could not do it either and we don’t have your limitations.” Sometimes we just want to hear that it is ok not to try… that is Chicken Shit.

 

I’m blessed… I may have had a ton of work between meniscus tears and a blown ACL, collar bone broken in two places, double hernia in my lower abdomen, spent a good deal of time in the hospital as a baby with pneumonia, had the Forest Gump braces because of severe bowing and pigeon toed as my legs were developing, fractures to my skull, concussions, and a couple broken noses… there is more but cry me a river all of that was a blessing and I’m tired of thinking about all the negative stuff, each of these things made me stronger in other ways… but forget about all of that… I am blessed… I can walk upright without any disfigurement, I have all of my arms and my legs, all of my digits, and all 5 of my senses work well. My brain although scrambled at times and can get me in trouble is what I consider one of my best attributes and my heart, though over worked at times, helps me care about almost everyone around me. (Let’s not debate feelings being a chemical reaction in your brain this is figurative) I am blessed to be healthy enough to do the things I do… I have been told I am not allowed to run because I need at least one knee replacement and the other is close… I have been told that swimming and cycling are pretty much the only things I can do but even then I should take it easy *snicker*. But then they messed up, after I was told to take it easy they followed it up by saying, “You can really do as much as you want… it just depends on how much pain you’re willing to live with. You are too young to get a knee replacement at this time so your best bet is to just take it easy and hope science can catch up to you… and of course lose some weight to relieve a lot of the pressure on your joints.” Wait what? I can do anything? That was all I heard… ok it’s going to hurt… but I can do anything? Hahaha GAME ON!

 

So I have done a couple things here and there… a few really tough things to be honest although this is not about me or about what I have done. I have other blessings in the form of the amazing support system I have in my friends and family. I also think back to the very first MS150 that I had ever done… I was dying it felt like, and thinking how stupid it was… that I raised the money and there was no point in putting myself through this, it was hot and everything hurt and is was tired… I was just done; I had hit the wall (figuratively). Then I heard a voice say… “On your left!” someone was going to pass me but the voice was a bit low… it must be a recumbent bike I thought to myself… and then I saw him as he cruised by me with a strained smile and a nod… peddling his bike with his hands because he had no legs. I had never seen that before! I was new to cycling for the most part, but I had to stop myself from staring like a fool. As I watched him truck along by me and put more distance between us, it hit me like a wall of ice water and I teared up a little to be honest. What in God’s name did I have to complain about, I just got passed by a guy who had no legs, and he did it with a smile and a nod. Not a grouchy get out of my way… but an “on your left…” and a good job… keep it up… nod and smile. I got a little angry at myself, not at letting someone with no legs pass me, but at being “healthy” and complaining that I tired. It was not out loud and I was only complaining to myself, but really, what did I have to complain about? I finished that day, it was not easy, and I am sure that man has no idea the affect and inspiration he was to me that day. I had an obligation to do it for those who could not. MS strips people’s ability to do things for themselves… I had no reason to complain.

 

I won’t go into why I do so many of the things I do now and the inspiration behind it. I want this to be about the people I think of when I start feeling tired and I start feeling like I have nothing left to give… I will just give you 3 examples but there are so many others…

 

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First is a girl I started following on facebook, Amanda Sullivan I will let you read her back story in the links I have posted at the end of the blog. She is an amazing person, upbeat and the true meaning of inspiration. She does not let anything stop her, and if it does she just trains harder. Amanda is someone I have followed on facebook for a while, when I was attempting my last few challenges she came to mind. A couple times I was thinking about what she is able to do, and thinking about all the people she promotes on her facebook the men and women who have lost limbs or senses and are pushing forward to do extraordinary things. But not only that, they are so supportive of not only those who are like themselves in many ways, but of anyone who are trying. She is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I follow and she has a true warrior’s heart, with the kindness of an angel. I was blessed to have found her and to be able to just read about her adventures and use that to help me drive my own. I wanted to share her spirit with anyone who reads this… follow her on Facebook and help support her in what she does. If anyone deserves it, she does.

 

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The next person I met online and because friends with through a blog sight, she has an amazing heart and well for a long time I never knew she had a disability lol… and I laugh here because well there is nothing about her that says disability. She is one of the most able people I know. I would say she is normal, but she is not… in this day in age normal has become the people begging for money or assistance because they have a disability and should be taken care of. I have followed her blogs, and her life across the US and back again… shared in her heart break as well as some of my own… she has never, not one time, in my years of knowing her used what happened to her to gain an advantage and use it as a crutch.

 

She told me,

 

“Yeah, I really dislike for people to categorize me as “Ashley, the girl that lost her leg. Or battled cancer.” I want them to see me as much more than that. As just myself. Not what has happened to me. So, for that reason I don’t bring it up or let or “control” my life. Which I have seen a lot of”

 

When she was a teen she had a cancer that lead to surgery that led to complications and her loss of a leg. Can you imagine… a teenage girl going through all of that on top of all the stuff teenage girls already go through? (I have a 17 year old daughter I can’t imagine that) But she beat the cancer… and now has such a great attitude, rides horses, has recently become a gym rat… dances… I really have not seen anything physical hold her back. There are some restrictions she says, but most of it would come from the material the leg is made out of more so than her own physical issues. As someone I have gotten to know over the years who is a dear dear friend and someone I hold in the highest regard, she is kind and has not let any of the words above limit her life.

 

The third person is famous in his own right his name is Nick Vujicic and I do not know him personaly (so I have not added any photos) and have never spoken to him in email or otherwise, but I watch his YouTube videos often when I need a lift. This guy was born with more issues than anyone deserves, no arms and no legs. But I do not think you would ever hear him mutter any of those words I listed above. I will put a link here to one of his videos and a link to his channel and we pages bellow. He is a motivational speaker, trying to show people that even when life gives you a bad hand there is always hope.

 

I think I have went on enough… but before you think about using the 4 things in the title, think about the people I have listed and the thousands of others just like them… the wounded warriors… special Olympians… Paralympians… think off all these people before you look anyone in the eye and say… “I can’t…” “I’m unable…” “It’s impossible…” and then stop to think about exactly why it is that your “chicken shit”! Are you afraid to fail? Or are you really afraid you will succeed!

 

Nick:

 

You tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NickVujicicAIA/featured

Web: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NickVujicic

 

Ashley:

 

Blog: http://southerngrl85.blogspot.com/

 

Amanda:

 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gdHTIGISHwCWa38ADaqnw

Blog: http://blog.spartanrace.com/overcoming-obstacles-amanda-sullivan/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Crutching_Tigress/#

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaSullivanSmiles/timeline

 

   My first ever double century, only 12 short days after I complete the assault on Mt. Mitchell…

 

The alarm goes off and I roll out of bed really doubting myself and why I agreed to this ride. I mean I had already proven all I had to prove this month… and I slept like crud as I normally do before a big ride. But a commitment is a commitment so my feet hit the floor and I start moving before I have a chance to waiver and change my mind.

 

 I get dropped off, pack my stuff in Carole’s car and we were off, just a touch later than we had planned but that was ok… this was not an “official” ride of any kind so a few min here or there was not going to hurt us or keep us from riding.

 

The humidity was around 97%, the fog was thick in some places but after we said our hellos and got everything together the 4 of us headed on our way.

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It was Carole and Scott with me to do the full double, and Marcus joined us to only ride the first 100 miles. It would be his first century for they year! Later that day he had a date with some chickens that he had to cook for friends and family. It was not until after we got started I realized just how foggy it was. It was kind of cool in some places, made some of the trees almost look like creatures… and don’t laugh at me! You have to occupy yourself when you need to take your mind off exactly how long you’re going to be on your bike.

 

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For the most part in the early morning we had the roads to ourselves that made this small town look a bit like a ghost town… I almost wanted to stop and scavenge for food and resources, but then I came back down to earth… I’m on my bike not in one of my books.

 

 

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As the day went on it showed us just how beautiful the day was going to be, we passed a good deal of farm land and some gently rolling hills. I got to see a lot of cows and some realy beautiful horses as well as a ton of goats. We even fervently road past some dogs that were not so happy to see us.

 

 

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Carole was loving the low wind and the spotty sunshine we had early on… while Marcus… well I am not sure exactly if he was pretending to be an airplane or a big condor… maybe singing that song in his head from that cartoon movie Space Jam…

“ I believe I can Fly… I believe I can touch the sky…”

hahaha and yes I know your cursing me cause now that song is stuck in your head.

 

 

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As for me it was a rough start, my lower back starting hurting early and my left knee was acting up… so I stayed pretty quiet and kept my head in the clouds and my thoughts somewhere else the best I could.

 

 

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Then we came across our first of 2 “closed “ roads… did you know that “detour” and “road closed ahead” signs really mean something much different in the world of cycling? Oh yes… they mean “Cyclocross”, (insert evil laugh here) at least for us.

 

 

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My lower back was really getting the best of me so I got a lesson from Carole about cycling and muscles… evidently your hamstrings are attached to your lower back… well I am sure not directly but in a round about way… anyway… after crossing the “bridge” we stretched the hamstrings and poof my back felt much better… It was like magic… ok ok I am sure like 90% of anyone who is actually reading this is rolling their eyes because they knew this… but I really had no clue. I have never really had back issues… well except for sitting on a really thick wallet and having my doc say, “take that out of your pocket and you will be fine…” and I was, in less than a day. Oh it is the simple things sometimes…  

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Well slowly my knee started to feel a little better even though I was still getting a bit winded going up some of the small rollers. I started to feel like such a wimp with these guys doing most of the work pulling, but I worked in 2-3-4 mile pulls in here and there. I just felt super drained. Maybe my body was still recovering from the shock that Mt. Mitchell put on it.

 

Now we are back at Scott’s for a short break as we say our good buys to Marcus and we fill up water and drinks and get some food in us… 100 down… 100 to go… *sigh*

 

Carole is all changed and looks as fresh as she started, Scott is chipper and in good spirits, and I tell Carole that I am lucky she drove because if I had a vehicle there I would probably be done….

Do you know what she did?? She just smiled… and said… “You don’t think for a min I am going to let you quit do you…?”

hahahaha oh hell not even if I wanted to I guess… so I said with my best brave face. “Hey I never said I was quitting… just that I am lucky you drove so I do not have that option…” *another sigh*

 

Scott said to get lined up for another picture… thumbs up…. and off we go…

 

 

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Well honestly I feel a little better after the food and rest… it is just the three of us now so I am trying not to wimp and pull a little here and there. Well that is when Carole decides to get off the front… I think she likes it up there sometimes.

 

Now after some time passes and we get on in our journey we come across our second “detour” Carole was not so sure about this one but Scott was not even hesitating he went right up to it… Just as Carole says, “I don’t think we can get across this one guys.” I notice this little walkway that I assume the workers use… I point it out and it was quite the trip lol climbing down small dirt and gravel hills with a bike in your hand and cycling shoes on, with bad knees at that, is not fun but it was an adventure hahah… besides we could not let it stop us… and heck it’s my first double century! I might as well make it as interesting as I can right?

 

 

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So I go down first and then turn and get Scott’s bike so no one else has to try and carry their bike while walking down dirt paths… respect for my elders and all.

 

 

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After helping Scott get his bike past me on this narrow walkway I turn to then help Carole who is still not so sure this is a good Idea… so instead of waiting and letting her talk herself out of it, I decided to just take both our bikes across… I mean my family did teach me some manners after all…

 

 

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   With Carole across the walkway we find a few more challenges ahead… but there was no point in putting the bikes down now so I just kept going lol…

 

 

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Finally to the other side I reunite Carole with her bike and I get my bike and finish helping Scott across… he lagged back on the second part because he was having too much fun watching Carole tip toe through the obstacles and me playing the gentleman while he took pictures… With one last picture and the bridge about to be far behind us… we leave our last “detour” literally in the dust.

 

 

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Somewhere on that 65 mile loops I just ran out of mojo… the music did not help and putting my head somewhere else did not help. I just had no energy. I only wanted to lie down on the side of the road and close my eyes and go to sleep. This is a strange toss up… I am feeling like this was tougher than Mitchell at this point.

 

So because I was getting so far behind, Carole had Scott pull over in the shade so I could catch up and she gave me an extra goo that she had… for those that do not know it’s a flavored gel, with caffeine and electrolytes and other good stuff to help you get moving or keep moving.

 

 

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Well we make it back and fill up on drink again and we have someone join us for our last 35 miles… 35 more miles… what??? Oh how I just want to stop and sleep… and eat… and eat… and eat…. The smell of all the people cooking out on that trip was nothing short of torture.

 

Brian was all smiles and telling stories from the race he was just in earlier that day… that was a great distraction for me for a little while. He is a strong rider though and they had to keep reining him in because I was really struggling at this point to keep up.

 

 

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We make one final pit stop and one last group photo of the 3 double century folks…

 

 

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Man we are getting close now… Carole had some Garmin issues after she charged it and was lagging about 2 miles behind everyone else… so here we are behind Scott’s “hood” making some loops as the sun starts to fall. Just trying to make sure everyone gets their miles.

 

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And we are done!!! Cheers!!!

 

 

 

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As we leave Scott and his lovely wife behind I am reassured by one thought I have had in the past… that no one can ever tell me that a bike is not the fountain of youth or even a time machine… I mean look… here we find big Scott… and little Scott… lol (Scott’s grandson… same head shape and everything lol like a mini me of Scott) it’s almost like he has found his youth again… great thing to find in retirement if you ask me.

 

 

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Oh and one last thought… this is mainly for my pack… ya know Goldsboro might just be our Vegas… I mean… I felt beat up… and it’s like we woke up and poof… there was this baby… almost like our own Hangover movie… and I swear we passed some houses that had crystal meth tweekers in them somewhere… I would bet money it… I’m just glad my friends are much better than the ones in the movie… No one lost Me!  

 

 

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    Here is my Garmin Data for the adventure!!! and a Special song that my friend Marcy like to share with us from time to time.

     http://connect.garmin.com/activity/511108552

 

 

 Special thank you to Scott for letting me use some of the pictures he took… to Carole and Scott for being so patient when I was struggling…. To Marcus and David for hanging with us for what time you could… and To Scott’s awesome wife for all the encouragement and hospitality!! All of you guys are awesome!!!

   yours truely…. Dougie Doug Doug

The explanation…

 

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So first off let me tell you Bruno is doing much better, he ate his food last night as well as drank all of his water and he kept it down!! That is great news! I talked to a Tech this morning and well she seemed really optimistic but in the end it is the docs call to figure out if he can come home or not. So once the doc gets in and has time to look everything over she will make the final call. But we are excited to have him healthy and to have him home!!

So… something that has been on my mind quite a bit and I feel the need to explain. Not that I have to mind you… but I sort of want to. There are several different types of people in this world; it takes all different types to make the world the interesting and diverse place that it is… also we need each type to balance out the others, because if we were to all be the same then the world would be a dull place.

I am and I have tried my best to raise my children to be the kind of person that believes anything is possible. I am and I have tried to raise my children to know that kindness is not so much something you show to family and friends but something really you should show to all living creatures. As a child I was told I was too tenderhearted when it came to animals… I brought home sick creatures of every shape and size. I wish I have a picture of my mom’s face when I walked through the door when I was about 11-12 and I have a black snake curled all the way up my arm and partially around my neck, with its head in my hand. It had been run over by a car and I wanted to help it… lol she about flipped her lid. But being half country girl half city girl she quickly saw it was just a black snake and knew it was not going to hurt me. We did what we could and let it go… Is it silly? Probably… but I have a question… who did it hurt? Who did it hurt to show kindness to a snake… who does it hurt to show kindness to any animal.

I know I know… many people out there in the world think animals are just animals… and I get that and to them they are correct. But only to them… ask a blind man what his dog is worth to him… ask the kids in the hospital who get visited by pets and animals to help comfort them when they are sick what that animal means to them. Ask the grandparent who lost his/her spouse, and whose family no longer visit as much… ask them what that little dog/cat means to them.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not preaching… I am not soap boxing I am just explaining. I am not asking anyone to have passion for animals or anything the way that I do or my family does. And honestly I do not put an animal’s well being over that of my children or my family.

I have been asked from many places why on earth I would ever consider using this much money to make a puppy better… I have heard that I could buy 2-3 puppies for the cost it takes to heal this one, who might not even make it. I have been flat out told it is stupid what I am doing. Or that I could save the money and get another car (because at the moment we have only one). A lot of people just do not understand… and when I decided to take this on, I had decided I would sell whatever I could, or had to, to help make Bruno better.

My daughter seeing the strain it was going to put on us wanted to do something to help. And boy did she ever… and then for every person I knew that told me I was crazy. There were others who not only understood but wanted to help, with kind words, and support of many different kinds.

How much is it worth to, if for only a moment, be your child’s hero… the person that did not say no and did what they could regardless how stupid other people thought it was?

My obligation… Bruno never asked to come home with me… he never asked to get sick… he does not have the ability to make himself better. When my daughter begged me for a puppy and told me it would not cost me anything because she had the cost covered, and she was going to get a job for the other stuff and I would never even know it was there. Well I’m not stupid… I have been around the block once or twice and I knew what would end up happening. But I never could have guessed it was this. While he was not sick in his short time in our home, he quickly won over our hearts, such a little fragile puppy with teeth like razor blades… and who snored… ha-ha yup and even snorted. The stupid little dog was just too cute. My daughter was in love… I was told that we have not had time to even really be attached to it… I am not sure you can put a time frame on something like that, but we were more than attached.

My daughter has been to almost every charity event I have done over the past 8-9 years. She did not work out in the sun all day and help for a t-shirt… or to get free food… she really believes in the things I do. Be it for MS, or Cancer, Or the Human Society… she always wants to help support me. Taking pictures… giving out medals… doing whatever it takes. With her help I have raised a lot of money over the years for a bunch of awesome and well deserving organizations. I have tried to teach her how important it is to not just give money but time. And to help where you can… she has that caring spirit in her.

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So why would I agree to pay a ton of money to heal a sick dog… love… responsibility… because it is the right thing to do. Because of the gifts of family, friends, and strangers… this will not be a burden to our family at all… because of the love everyone has shown us this is one of the best learning experiences I could have ever give my children and anyone around me. Where there is a pure heart, and a will, there is a way.

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Because there are other people like us in this world, later today with tears in my daughters eyes she will see Bruno again, and the vet will tear up and the techs will tear up… but I won’t cause I am a guy and we don’t do that stuff 😉 and her mom will be blubbering like a child lol… and then I guess I will see all of this and my best explanation would be to the question of why would you pay so much to make a puppy better is… how could you not… the vet is going to walk away today and the techs… thinking to themselves as they wipe the tears from their face seeing my daughter and the puppy so happy… “This is why we do this… this makes the bad days better”
Ask anyone in that room what is that feeling worth… it’s priceless.

Would I let my family starve to do this? No… would I get my electric shut off? No… but I knew somehow it would work… and it all has. Thanks to everyone who loves animals the way we do… That bond is priceless.

HOPE FOR BRUNO

Fundraiser link

 

kaylaanddad

Bruno’s Update…

So just a quick up date and a few pictures that make me a little sad…

 

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I will to save myself time just cut and paste the update from my daughter’s fundraising web page…

 

 

Bruno update Thursday April 24th

 

I just got off the phone with the Vet tech and it’s a tough update day… Yesterday he only had water and was not interested in food still. But last night sometime he did actaully eat a little. But then he threw up. The vomiting is a set back because he needs to be able to keep food down. The tech is not sure exactly where the doc will want to go from here, so I will be calling again at lunch to see what the prognosis is.

 

On the flip side to that, it seems that the techs have fallen in love with Bruno and spend a good bit of time with him… but then again how can you not J She said that he is very happy to see them and is moving around a great deal. And even with the vomiting set back he seems emotionally stable. But she stressed as happy as he seems, the vomiting is a big concern.

 

He is still drooling a good deal which she said is an indicator that he is still nautious, hence the vomiting and they have injections for the nautia schedualed but at this point he should not need those anymore she said. So again she cautioned me and showed concern.

 

Our whole family is ready to see him and have him home… we are past our lower initial vet deposite and now will be getting into the higher end. Which as it stands now may go even higher… but honestly with all the love you guys have showed us we are going to do whatever it takes. We just want Bruno back home with us.

 

Thank you all so much for your continued loved and support.

 

 

So there it is in a nutshell… I’m a little worried about the food issue and the vomit… and he looks soo sad it is heart breaking to be honest. But I have faith that with all the well wishes and love from everyone that this is going to work out and we can bring him home soon.

 

 

Keep him in your thoughts if you would and feel free to share and or reblog this… if for no other reason than to make people aware that puppies are not safe out in the public untill they are done with all of their shots… not just a few sets… but all.

 

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Hope for Bruno Page 

 

*breaking news*

 

Just as I typed this up I called to ask the Tech if it was ok to post her picture… and well they have given him an oral antibiotic and he kept it down… as well as more crushed ice and water which he also kept down! That is a good sign. Also they are going to try more food in a little bit… so I am hoping that it is good!

 

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So Just a quick update on Sir Bruno the wonder dog…

 

Called the vet this morning around 8am when they opened, and he is doing much better. He was bright and alert and met them at the door of his kennel even wiggling his little butt. Still drooling a good bit but in much better shape.

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They are going to discuss taking out the catheter and going to solid (soft) food and water today. The vet stressed they are still guarded with their prognosis because he is not out of the woods yet. But you could hear it in her voice; she was hopeful as we are too.

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He seems to have a lot of strength in him and a ton of love flooding in from all over the place.

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So in light of that I wanted to just post an update and share some pictures

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Follow Bruno on Istagram: @SirBrunobt

 

Or on my daughter’s fundraising page for him:

 

 Hope For Bruno

 

 

Pictures take by my daughter… as you can see before he got sick she had a lot of fun with him… and then I tried to get him after we were both tired out lol Nap buddies

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So as most parents get hit at some point and time, there I was with a child of mine looking up at me begging for yet another animal, “Daddy please… you won’t have to do anything I promise.”

 

There it is… the short term memory promise all parents get from their children… that promise that says “For as long as it is new I will kind of sort of keep my end of the bargain…” that promise that in the deepest of hearts they intend to keep… at least right at that moment.

 

“No… No… No… absolutely not! Not in this life or any other are we going to bring any more animals into this house!”

 

“But… it won’t cost you anything!! I have it all figured out… and… and… and…” There is always another “and”. No matter what you come back with… no matter what logic you throw at them, there is always another “And” or “but”

 

“OK this conversation is over! No! I mean it with ever fiber of my being!! NO! No! No!”

 

And she walks away with the cold shoulder and the look of malice in her eyes… I knew in one form or another that this was far from over…

 

Time passes… room had stayed cleaned… no fighting… had been helping around the house… then the grades came… all “As” and I think 1 “B”… still she had not said a word about the puppy. No begging… no see I told you I could do it… humm… boy oh boy am I a sucker…

 

I talk to her mom and asked… “well what do you think?” just looking at me she knew I had made my mind up and she just shook her head… she knew as bad as it sounds it really did not matter what she thought lol I had made up my mind. But I explain anyway… she had missed a ton of school because of some issues she had with her heart, and even with all that still kept her grades up, had a way to get the dog she wanted without costing me any money… and it was a small dog, not like the monsters we have, so how much could it really eat.

 

So I call her… tell her I am not making any promises but I am headed to the pet shop just to look at this puppy… just to see what I think. She squealed… she knew what that meant… telling me that she was not going to say anything but she had just left there showing it to a friend of hers, that even though she could not get it she was visiting it almost every day.

 

First disaster… I get to the pet shop to see the puppy… and it sold just moments before I arrived. I called my daughter and let her know and at first she did not want to believe it. I felt so guilty for dragging my feet and now the dog was gone. I was on a mission to find her another one now.

 

We had a few leads thanks to the help of Facebook and the internet… and the found another puppy right here close to where we live. Put a deposit on it… she visited it, named it… took pictures of it and the works. This was her deal so I was letting her handle all the talk between her and the breeder… and due to miss communication… and just a mess… the breeder decided to refund the deposit and sell the pup to someone else. Her heart was broken… again…

 

The search continues… finally she found one, but it was far away… doing what she does… she talked to her friends and got a ride to get the pup… this time it was to take him home. She finally got her Boston… she was happy and when she brought him home, instantly everyone fell in love. You just could not but help to smile when you looked at him. The name she picked out was not fitting this one because she could not help but think of the other puppy she was supposed to get… and because of his stance and the way he looked “tuff”… she named him Bruno. And it fit him very well.

 

Kayla is good at research, but like most people gets sometimes too into details and did not look back at the big picture. I must admit I have even learned a good bit myself. She researched everything you would want to know about Boston’s and their breed, but got so caught up in breed specific care that left out “general” puppy care.

 

Neither of us realized how susceptible a puppy was to Parvo until it got its 3rd set of shots. Bruno got his first set, and we were going to get his second set but we were waiting for him to finish his meds for a slight upper respiratory issue he had… Kayla did like any dog owner would. She wanted to take him everywhere, to the park, and to Petsmart, to her friends, and she promised that she would be the one dealing with the puppy so did just that. Not knowing that until he got his 3rd set of shots, every public place he went was very dangerous for him. That Parvo lived everywhere and could live a very long time on its own.

 

Now Bruno just got over some upper respiratory issues, and we were about to schedule his second set of shots, when he started throwing up again, and snotting… we gave it a day or two thinking the other stuff he had came back. Kayla even boiled chicken and rice for him because she read it would be easier for him if he was sick. Well then out of nowhere it hit hard and fast… bloody stool and throw up… smelled funny too. Hitting Google and vet pages it did not take us long to figure he had gotten Parvo somewhere. And in the research I found that it is one of the most expensive things for a Vet to treat, and only has at best a 50-50 chance the dog will live, and the smaller the dog… the worse the chances. My stomach felt sick for him… and for my daughter. She worked so hard, and dealt with so much for this now to happen. And looking at all the info this was going to cost from 1000-2000 bucks. And that was money we just did not have laying around. I just had paid 360.00 to treat the upper respiratory infection. We really did not know what to do. I told her I had 200.00 in the bank we could use to get in and just get to test and make sure what it was, then go from there… maybe we could make payments or do something. I called off work the next day and was waiting outside the vet’s office.

 

It was in fact parvo… and he was getting worse and worse… I was racking my brain trying to figure out the money… I had guns I could get a loan on… and other stuff I really did not need, gold clubs and other stuff I could just sell and get rid of. The low side of the visit was over 900… but the high end was 1220, and that does not include the aftercare. So I gave them the 200 and told them I would get more by the end of the day… and if need be we could take it a day at a time.

 

Well I did something no grown man ever wants to do… I called my father. He is a bit old school and could not figure out why on earth I would put up that kind of money for a puppy we had not had very long… but in the end he said it’s your money… if you are paying me back I will loan it to you but it does not make any sense to me. I felt bad… like I was disappointing him in some way for doing something so foolish in his eyes. But how my daughter felt at this moment was more important… and it will work out, I just needed to keep the faith.

 

Instantly felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders, now all we needed was for Bruno to pull through and I would put in more time at work to pay Kayla’s grandfather (my dad) back. Kayla talked about putting in applications and doing odd jobs to help. She (almost with tears in her eyes) said whatever it took she was going to help me pay it back and be a better daughter. That kind of tugged on my heart strings a bit… as much as I liked little Bruno I was doing this more for her than anything else.

 

Later that night we were talking and joking around, I told her she better start thinking of fundraisers or something… then she talked to people online and came up with a plan that shocked me. It shocked me more than once… First off she did a great job putting it together, secondly the people she knew that were following Bruno on instagram are in line for sainthood… the well wishes and prayers… the love they sent my daughter still touches me. She was so sad and scared, and still is, but with the support everyone has shown her it has made it so much easier for her. Dog lovers really are some of the best people in the world.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/hope-for-bruno/168205 

 

I am not posting this as a way to get people to donate anything, I really wanted to post this to show, what the love a child can have for her pet, and her determination can do. And also to point out that there are really some amazing people out there in this world, ready to stand up and help strangers.

 

Also if you want to follow Bruno and his recovery and life on instagram @SirBrunobt

     I want to share a thought I had with you good folks… maybe it is worth your time… maybe it is garbage, but I was having a conversation about depression with someone. I won’t get into the details of that… but in that conversation it led me to an analogy. One of those things that just popped into my head out of nowhere, after which I thought was so brilliant I even surprised myself… so then I thought how can I apply that to my life. And poof another thought… all those thoughts and it did not hurt or anything 😉

 

     So maybe at another time I can touch on the depression issue in the same way I was able to with this other person… but for now and for my journey I will only write about how I will use it to in turn help myself.  I have heard many times that by helping others we in turn really help ourselves… and this here proves just that! And if by writing this out and someone reads it and they too can use it, well so much the better 🙂 the more “light” we have in the world the less dark it will be, and that will make more sense later lol

 

      So for my fellow weight loss enthusiasts… say you have a bad breakfast… or a bad lunch… then something bad happened at work and you get home later than you want… or for those that stay at home already, your kids come home or spouse comes home in a bad mood and everything in the air is just foul that day. Those are the days I dread… the days I just want to say forget it… no tracking points, no worries about nutritional info… I just want to throw some food together and eat and not think about anything else. Today is crap and I just want tomorrow to come so I can start over. I mean that sounds like a good plan right?  It will make you feel better right? Well until tomorrow… when you remember what you ate as you start tracking again… what if you have a whole week like that? And then before you know it is a month, then a season… and now we are looking at just waiting until after the holidays. I know all of this from experience. I have done it time and time again… and each time if I could track it back, I would track it back to one day… where it started off bad and I just said forget it.

 

     So here is my analogy… what would you do if you walked into a dimly lit room that only had a few candles burning… that room represents your day… you’re walking around and you can see the stuff around you, you know what is there, but it is so dim it’s getting hard to make things out. That is how I feel when I mess up… like I wonder why I am even doing this. What is the point, will anyone else even care. In the dim room that is my day goals seem blurred and hard to make out, it matters less and less the more I think about it.

 

     So you’re in this dimly lit room… what do you do? Common sense says turn on a light… light another candle, throw back the curtains if it is daylight… so then why do we walk into that room and blow out more candles… we have a bad lunch… we then go home and have a bad dinner because the day is ruined is like walking into the room  to see it is dim kinda in a funk and we make it darker. And the worse it gets the darker we make it… then in turn the worse we feel yet again.

 

     Light a candle… don’t blow it out… every time you have a bad day with food you can’t spiral into that black hole and let it swallow you… you can’t walk into that dim room and think it will get better by making it pitch black… oh and guess what… no matter how dark it is… no matter how black a room gets, the smallest candle will shine.

 

      So no more walking into dimly lit rooms and making them worse… make it better!!! Light only makes you feel better, and the more you do it the easier it gets.

 

      Last week I hit 25 lbs in my weight loss journey… I have not done it alone. I have an awesome support group in Weight Watchers, I have amazing friends that not only keep me up with my activity but also give me tons of support with everything else. And I have a family cheering me on from the sideline… I am blessed and I know it. Not everyone has that and I understand it is not easy… but find whatever you can to keep your room from getting dark. Keep those candles burning and do not get frustrated and blow them out! Once they are all out, it is tough to find your matches to light them again!

 

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   Smile… it can be the light that brightens someone’s otherwise dark day!