I Have a Rendezvous with Death
I love Halloween, it is my favorite holiday EVER, period. However, it is also the most painful month too.
Gone too soon, only 21 years old for a few months… I am reposting this because of the 33 yrs anniversary:
It is with great displeasure that I write this post. What I wouldn’t give to have my brother back these 30+ years. To see whom he would have married, his children, his choices in life. But instead he chose one of the most unselfish ways to spend his short time here among us, he joined the Army and became an elite Ranger. Consequently he was killed during the second wave in a very small town, on a very small Caribbean island called Grenada, giving coverage to many American medical students forced to return home during a hostile political event.
A devastating time for my parents; to be told you will never see your child again, to never say good bye one last time, to say I Love You one last time. It’s one of those things we take for granted I think, saying I love you, taking for granted you will see or talk to the person tomorrow and remember ‘next time we talk’. Even saying it in passing is great to hear, but not quite the same as if you knew it would be the very last time…the very last time… heart breaking, devastating, it goes beyond that. There is just no word for the amount of empty left behind.
He was just a great person, not because he is no longer here and fond memories can sometimes overshadow the bad times, he was truly one of those people who would go out of his way for you to make sure you were happy, to help if he could, a kind and gentle soul and so very funny. He loved music, was artistic, and put up with his kid sister always tagging along when he just wanted to hang with his friends.
Ah, his friends, they were bountiful and from so many different crowds; neighborhood, school, church, sports, he fit into all the groups with ease because there were so many different levels of him to love. I could go on for pages giving him accolades, and all would be true, but I won’t.
Recently I have been given the opportunity to have him, and his unit, honored for years to come as I have been requested to submit his picture (shown above) to the National Museum, United States Army for a permanent exhibit in their halls. How proud we of him, how much we miss him every day, how I would give anything to change that day and have him back.
There are many things we cannot put a price on; love, trust, time…especially time… The value is priceless – it is just that simple.
My daughter’s laugh; priceless (and contagious)
There is just not enough time for us to have fun together; we always want more.
If I could pay for more time with her, I would surely rob a bank.
We paint, we plant, we indoor skydive, we vacation, we explore, we adventure…never enough time… value of time is priceless.
— I saw that the geese were on the move again this morning and made me want to post this again because they make me smile….
It has been said that geese honk while in their formation to encourage the lead goose, for it is that one goose that bears the brunt of the work. What work – just flying is work in itself! The point goose is breaking the air surface and thereby spreading the air current outward. Each goose after the point goose has a lesser degree of air surface to break and makes it a bit easier for them to maintain flight. When the lead goose gets tired he falls to the back of the formation and another goose steps up (or flies up at the case may be). That’s what all the honking is about – working as a team, cheering each other on, sharing the work for the better of the group.
There is so much to learn from such a simple gesture. It goes beyond teamwork and beyond encouragement and it is all natural. They ‘get it’. There is nothing selfish or mean spirited in their quest to get from point A to point B. They don’t secretly wish for one of their feathered mates to fall from the sky so they can get a good laugh from it. They are just honestly praising the hard work and perseverance they are experiencing. What a great concept!
For me, listening to the geese is so self-indulgent I almost feel badly; they bring such a smile to my face while they are working so hard to stay aloft. HONK HONK
I am a honking kind of girl; I give my car horn a workout daily. I want to be sure it will be in top condition should an ‘emergency’ ever arise. If I am not supposed to use it, why issue one in every vehicle, right?
Some people frown on honking as it brings attention to them, but really, isn’t that the point?
I give a honk if I am waving you through in front of me and it takes more than three of my hand waves to get your butt in gear. I am trying to be gracious and now you have made my arm ache… go already!
I give a honk if I have to wait more than 8 seconds at a green light and you are hopelessly staring at the light as if expecting a personal invitation be handed to you that it is safe to continue on your mind-numbing journey of life.
If you let me pass in front of you, I give the hand wave of thanks and a quick honk just to be sure you know I recognize your generosity. In these parts, if you don’t give the hand-wave-of-thanks you get the WTF buddy?!! Geeze you are welcome!! And then we take our anger out on the next innocent driver…so do society a solid and just give a quick wave of thanks. Even a half hand wave is acceptable.
If I see geese, turkey, or deer (pretty much any animal) look precariously from the side of the road as if they want to cross to see what is on the other side of the road, they get the honk to warn them to “back up buddy it is not safe, try again later”
Most importantly you will most definitely…without a doubt…get a honk, if, as in this past weekend for example, you are pulling out of the parking garage, stop and park just on the other side of the wooden arm, have everyone in the vehicle get out and change seats (no it was not one of those juvenile fire drills) and then have a discussion at the driver’s door about how the day was. People, there is a line forming behind you and by the looks of it, you are incapable of driving and talking at the same time, otherwise why would you be standing next to the vehicle? HONK!!
And then have the 20-something garage attendant school me on not using my horn because it was not an emergency!!? Oh no you di-int!! Since when does it have to be an emergency to use the horn? He obviously lives in a small town where honking is viewed as a nuisance not the vehicle’s voice. I didn’t give the long foghorn blast, just a quick honk to state; hurry it up ladies we are not getting any younger here and the world does not revolve around YOU.
Are YOU a honk, meep, beep type of person or the recipient of my honking??
This is why I don’t own a gun. A decent shot and a short fuse doesn’t mix well and I don’t have the time or money to get bailed out.
It’s nice to see that I haven’t ‘lost it’ as shooting is a perishable skill. The far left was the practice sheet. I was aiming for the head (aim small miss small is what I was thinking). Then I figured why not go for the center mass.
I had never used a hand gun to shoot with so the .45 felt like a small cannon in my hand. The lane distance maxes out at 25 yards which was a bit disappointing but the experience was very cool. Many thanks to F-Troop’s Vanderbilt for his patience and a great idea!
Next time, I am using the Zombie sheet (and not the outline figure as shown above) as I don’t want their rotting flesh and goo to distract me when it’s ‘go time’!
There is a fine line between a woman ‘standing up for herself’ and being a ‘bitch’. I have yet to find that line but I am sure it exists; more often than not, I get the ‘bitch’ label. For those of you that have said it to my face (on many occasions), you can agree that my response has always been, and will always be: stop kissing up.
I have to say that my super-cranky reaction to a situation is just that; a reaction. I am by no means searching out scenarios in which to wield my highly explosive intolerance for stupidity.
The first (and most repetitive interaction) typically involves me waiting in line and getting cut off, as though I have hit my ‘stealth button’ and instantly became invisible. The millisecond response from me is always an unwaivering, ‘are you kidding me?!” For some reason that seems to startle the offender and wakes them up to the fact that they are no longer on their lonely planet of “I” and must abide by the simple rules of society and it’s strongly recommended guidelines of ‘wait your friggin turn’.
There are times where adults are not pointing out their children’s misbehaving and I have to take things into my own hands. Example: at a college open house for Goose, potential students (17-18 yrs) and their parents are sitting in an amphitheater getting the background on the school and what they offer, finances, etc. and the three young miscreants with their mother were talking loudly and laughing throughout the whole seminar. It was not until the continuously full-blown kicking of my chair, did I spin my head faster than Regan from the Exorcist, and gave my, “are you kidding me??!!” to which the young men horrified, stood up and said they would wait outside. Good call because next comes the pea soup vomit while talking in tongues and no one wants that.
Other times, a good friend needs to have that certain someone on their side, that friend with a bit more bravado then they do. So… while in a Chinese restaurant with my friend (we will call her Shrink because she is one) and her boyfriend were sitting at a crowded bar, I hear a woman complaining to her boyfriend that Shrink is being loud and obnoxious. Really? We are sitting three people away in a packed bar and the only voice you can hear is Shrink laughing and telling stories. Hold the phone and call Oscar Goldman because a new Jaime Sommers is in town! (that’s a late 70’s reference for you kiddos) but I digress. I walked over to her and called her out on it, citing the fact that it’s a loud bar and there is no way she should be calling my friend names without provocation. As she turned to her boyfriend and started to curse about me, I kindly noted that I was not using profanity in any way and name calling wasn’t necessary… just apologize to my friend. The boyfriend stood up (a good 6 inches taller than me) and became aggressive to which I stood my ground and said that he was not part of the conversation, I was talking to his foul mouthed girlfriend. He then called me a bitch (yes I had to say, stop kissing up, it’s a natural reaction) and then he poked me in the shoulder a few times. I nicely reminded him that unwanted poking is considered assault and that seemed to warrant him screaming me a few other choice words but stopped the poking. No better way to show your pea-sized brain than to scream profanities; boring, yawn, over it.
So you see, I have been mislabeled and misunderstood my whole life. I will not be walked on or overlooked. I demand as much space in this world as the big jerks that seem to be taking over.
(P.S. if you know to whom I owe credit for this awesome intro picture please let me know!)