Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Destroy The House

I came across this draft blog post from a few years ago.  Riley is now eight:

My four-year-old son Riley, is quite a riot. He is tough as nails, with a very tender heart. It is difficult to know what goes on inside his little head, but it borders somewhere between the sweetest little boy on earth and a child destined for the special forces.

The other day he invented a game called "chase." The game consists of running around the ottoman and having someone chase you. This is apparently an endurance game, as I have played "Chase" on occasion for seven-plus minutes and Riley has given no indication that the game was coming to an end. And yes, I consider any activity in which I move for seven consecutive minutes "endurance."

Recently, while Cheryl practiced the piano, Riley attempted to recruit her to play the game. She politely replied that she would be glad to play when she was finished practicing the piano. Apparently this answer was not good enough as he replied, "Mom, if you don't play chase with me...I will destroy this house."

Mom played chase.

It is quite easy to figure out what makes kids tick when you look at the situation from afar. It is when you are in the thick of child-rearing that you tend to make bad decisions. Riley wanted attention one way or the other. The only difference, is this time he gave us a glimpse into his thought process....endurance chases and demolition.  Special forces indeed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My run at the Presidency

I recently ran for president. Although I garnered a lot of support, I did not get a single vote. I have had a few requests to publish my press releases. What you see below is the official Ringer Presidential Campaign Library. Enjoy.

Official candidacy announcement (Thanksgiving Day, 2011)

Today I would like to officially announce my candidacy for President of the United States. My first act will be to end the pardoning of any turkeys. They make me feel hungry before the meal, and guilty after. They deserve no pardon. I will post more policies in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses.

My stance on airlines and TSA is as follows:

1. We will no longer be allowed checked bags or carry-ons.

2. We will arrive at the airport and remove all clothing (in a private changing room) and wear government issued hospital scrubs.

3. Ticket prices will be drastically reduced due to the decreased need for advanced security and lower fuel requirements.

4. Airports will increase the availability of shopping in what would formerly be the baggage claim area (no bags...remember)

5. Flyers can purchase clothing and goods upon arrival with the money they saved on their now-reduced plane tickets.

6. Items purchased on the trip which the traveler wishes to keep can be shipped home. A collateral benefit to this plan is the salvation of the United States Postal Service.

Also: Club soda will be banned from all flights. Seriously, every time I fly somebody in my immediate vicinity orders club soda. Who drinks club soda? If it is true that one in six (the ratio of people around me) drink club soda then why does it not have a more commanding presence in the soft drink aisle of our grocery stores? I've checked with pepsi and coke distributors and they are baffled. I have asked stewardesses and they notify the sky-marshall. Something isn't stirring the kool-aid.

My stance on illegal aliens:

I feel the MIB program is doing an oustanding job and feel they should continue to operate with complete autonomy and minimal oversight as the strive to keep our planet and galaxy safe.

My stance on socialism:

I am all for it. I believe each American has the god-given right to be as social as they want to be, or alternatively to live like hermits.

My stance on the situation in Egypt:

I feel that over the years America has shown profound support for Egypt. Ambassadors such as the Bangles and Brendan Frasier have helped us overcome stereotypes about the Egyptian people. Without their efforts to break down myths, the Egyptian people would likely still be viewed as non-mummylike who walk the same way as you or I.

As your president I promise to follow the trend set by these pioneers of tolerance and understanding. I will continue to extend the hand of international support to the dancing un-dead people of Egypt.

My stance on Community Service:

Recently I was asked how I felt about giving back to the community. I admit I was taken aback by this question. I did not expect to encounter the dirt-digging and mud-slinging this early in my campaign. So I guess it is time to address the issue head on:

YES I stole a bunch of stuff when I was a kid. YES I am still making restitution payments, or "giving back" (or whatever they are calling it these days...) I admit it was a mistake. But when you are young and passionate about G.I. Joes and don't have a lot of money, sometimes your conscience takes a back seat to common-sense. I have admitted my wrongs, and will continue to give back to the community until the judge tells me I'm paid up. I am also paying for that stupid Use Your Illusion II cassette that I just had to have for that awesome song from Terminator 2).

I feel that the mistakes of my youth have molded me into the man I am. And when I say molded I do not mean plastic molding, like those awesome G.I. Joe figures. I mean molded like a jello mold, which allows for much more flexibility. I apologize to my constituents and my loyal supporters. I know you will stand by me regardless. And knowing is half the battle.

Call for retraction

I have been asked to retract a statement in which I eluded to the fact that Ronald McDonald was a white-faced pimp.

I stand by my words.

My stance on ninjas in the military:

I feel Ninjas should have a place amongst our military, and likely have already infiltrated its ranks undetected. The problem is Ninjas tend to operate unseen and unheard. They like secrecy and anonymity. In addition, it would likely make many of our non-Ninja military uncomfortable knowing that they are serving with cold-blooded assassins of the Shinobi. As your president I would propose a policy allowing ninjas to join the military without disclosing their status as Ninjas, nor would any military be allowed to inquire as to the Ninja status of any member. I would call this policy "don't-ask-don't tell-so-nobody-needs-to-die-by-shuriken"

Resting on the campaign trail

I am taking a break from the campaign for the weekend. It isn't all kissing babies and photo ops. Being creative with the accounting of my campaign funds is hard work.

My thoughts on Afghanistan:

I think the people in Afghanistan have two things dreadfully wrong with their situation--
First, they have a difficult battle attempting to bring democracy, peace and order to a people who are unfamiliar with such adjectives being used to describe government. (I can relate as I too have a hard time using any of those same words to describe my own government)

Second, they have pretty crappy attitudes about the whole thing, especially for a country producing all that heroin. Lighten up dudes!

My answer: Send in Tim Tebow. He will take a crappy situation, get them to think positively, then he will proceed to run the show with crazy ideas and half baked schemes that will somehow magically work. Then we can truly say the work is done and then Tim Tebow can load all the troops on a boat and swim home, pulling the boat by the anchor, which he will hold in his teeth.

For those wondering, Tim Tebow has yet to throw his support behind my election campaign.

Official symbols and slogans of the campaign:

My campaign team and I have been working around the clock, and we are happy to announce the following as official symbols of the campaign:

Official Ringer Campaign Christmas Show:
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (now available on Netflix)

Official Ringer Campaign Slogan: "It is with much embarrassment that I return" (Google the phrase to figure out where it came from).

Official Ringer Campaign Soft Drink: Coke II a.k.a. New Coke.

We have also received word that the following celebrities are endorsing my candidacy: Scott Baio, the Diabolical Biz Markie, one of the members of the Blue Man Group, and that kid who threw a fit when his mom shut down his World of Warcraft account.

Thank you for your continued support.

Damage Control

I have recently come under a lot of flak for officially endorsing New Coke (or Coke II) as the campaign soft drink of choice. As many of you know I have an affinity for Mexican Coca-Cola. However, as I am campaigning for President of the United States, I feel it is pertinent to endorse local products...even if it the drink has been out of production since 1985.

There are many victims of the coca-cola marketing snafu who still feel the long term effects of what they deem as a betrayal by a trusted American company.

It is my hope that, as your President, I will be able to create an environment where both new coke and classic coke can coexist in harmony.

I will admit that I plan to continue my own personal consumption of Mexican Coca-Cola until such a time as the campaign is financially able to locate and purchase a stash of new coke.

Thank you for your support.
"It is with much embarrassment that I return"
Official Ringer Presidential Campaign Slogan

I am Chris Ringer, and I approve this message.

Grassroots Support

I feel it is very important to support the local politicians as they campaign for office in their respective jurisdictions. For this reason I have decided to periodically answer questions submitted by those candidates out stumping for their cause.

Alan Bloomsfield who is running for the School Board in Genesee County Michigan writes:

How do you keep your hair so perfect?

Good question Alan, first, you have to be born with perfect hair, like me. If you can do that, the rest is easy. Good Luck!

Call for retraction

In the most recent debate, I made some claims that, upon analysis by my staff, turned out to be untrue. I have decided to preemptively retract certain statements made by me:

STATEMENT: "Oompa-Loompas ARE real people and I promise to win the vote of every one of those little pumpkin-faced dudes."

Apparently its called "beta-carotene toxicity" and I offended some people.

STATEMENT: "I don't see what the big deal with taxes is, I have avoided paying taxes through both republican and democratic administrations and I am doing just fine."

As part of a plea agreement, I am required to retract this statement.

STATEMENT: "As president, I would hire all of those 'Occupy' people and put them to work for the IRS."

As part of the same plea agreement, the IRS is dropping charges in exchange for an agreement not to hire the 'Occupy' people. Sorry dudes. I tried.

STATEMENT: "Even if global warming was real, it only benefits me and my property interests in Wyoming...So who cares if California goes under water?"

I am renting. So I have no property interests in Wyoming. The rest of the statement is true.

STATEMENT: "Mitt, you look like hell need some sleep buddy."

No retraction here. The Ringer Campaign rolls on.

Little Known Facts about your candidate:

As different candidates try to reinvent themselves, I thought it appropriate to remind my voters of some of the lesser known facts about their favorite Presidential front runner:

1. I have taken 16 taekwondo lessons. This helps my ability to defend our country, and also gives me a special respect for ninjas.

2. I own a pair of tap shoes. This shows my position on the arts, as well as my ability to keep items around long after their usefulness has passed. (this should provide relief for IRS employees worried about voting for me)

3. I was once a certified lifeguard, which shows my ability to look important and useful, despite paying no attention to what is going on around me (important for budget meetings...if any other candidate pretends to care about those meetings they are lying).

4. As the proud holder of an undergraduate degree in psychology, I actually got a job in the field after graduating, which demonstrates my ability to make money out of something that is basically worthless.

5. I did get an F in a college level Shakespeare class. Which demonstrates my ability to walk out of any situation I deem to be waste of time.

Vote Ringer for President!!!

Grassroots Support

I feel it is very important to support the local politicians as they campaign for office in their respective jurisdictions. For this reason I have decided to periodically answer questions submitted by those candidates out stumping for their cause.

Craig Berkowist, running for the County Comptroller in Bergen County, New Jersey writes:

Q: You seem to always have the perfect answer to any question asked...Do you have any tips for fielding tough questions?

A: The trick is to simply ignore tough questions and pretend you were asked a different question, one which you have a better answer for.

(And just between you and me Craig, this is also a handy way to beat a polygraph. That little tidbit of information may come in handy if you are planning a career in New Jersey politics ;)

Taxes--who to tax, what to tax, etc:

Tax is always a hot-button subject. My overall view is that taxes should come from sources of guaranteed income...One example is what I would propose as the "addiction tax"

Phase 1:
Initially I would propose increasing taxes on items such as cigarettes and alcohol as they have a high level of addiction and people will pay whatever it takes to get it...benefits include:
--Revenue for the Nation
--Fix for the addicted
--Companies can simply pass the cost on to the consumer.
--Health problems resulting in increased medical revenue
--Addicts likely work beyond the age of retirement to feed the habit (again--revenue for the nation)
--Early death means less payout by social security

Everybody wins.

Phase 2:
Legalize other addictive substances and tax the HELL out of them. I will call this one 'Proposition METH'. Meth is a multi-billion dollar industry, and very little of that money goes through the government coffers. We want in on that action. I have garnered a lot of support for this proposition, but most of the supporters are itchy and have no teeth....some have lost the right to vote, and the rest I doubt will show up at the polls.

Please note that I am not the first to tax addictive substances, I am simply the first to cast off the false pretense proposed by both of the prior administrations that it is done to dissuade people from drinking or smoking. I am taking advantage of addicts. If you don't like the idea, at least respect the honesty.

Grassroots Support

Barb Askon of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (running for Jefferson County Coroner) asks:

How do you stay so calm on a big day such as a primary or general election:

Great question Barb: Preparation and hard work are the answers. By rigging the election weeks prior to the big day, it allows for a no-stress, care free day as the votes trickle in.

For all of my Iowa constituents: TODAY is the day. Go join your delegation and make your voice heard! then join us for the victory party. I expect that upon my landslide victory tonight that all other competitors will concede as defeated husks of corn...little left to go on....I expect all of them to throw their support behind the Ringer train which will gather steam until it overtakes the nation! The rivers will flow with the blood of the non-believers!

Withdrawal from the Election (January 3, 2012 - after the Iowa Caucus results came in).

It is with reluctance that I am withdrawing from the 2012 Presidential Campaign. In hindsight I should not have allowed Justin Bieber to endorse me. While he brought throngs of adoring, enthusiastic fans, my staff overlooked the fact that none of them are of voting age, including the Bieb. And while the initial popularity makes me hopeful for 2016, I fear that all of the female fans he brought will fall prey to NKOTB Syndrome, disavowing all allegiance to Bieber and anything associated with him within three years. I am afraid my political career is over. On the bright side, because I didn't spend any of the money donated to my cause on advertising, I will likely be in a sweet new ride no matter who occupies the White House for the next 4 years.

Wyoming in the Springtime...

Living in Wyoming in the Springtime is a lot like dating a beautiful, intelligent girl after breaking up with a psycho. It is hard to enjoy the lovely weather knowing that sooner or later, the psycho Wyoming Winter ex-girlfriend will come in and ruin everything.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Future for my Friend...

Today I attended the funeral for a friend who committed suicide. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to attend a few of these in my lifetime. However it has been more than 12 years since my last opportunity.

I am a firm believer that a funeral is NOT a time to bring INCREASED sadness. It should be a time to deliver hope, to remember some good times. Perhaps even some laughter. For Christians, this is an easy task (relatively speaking), because we believe that there is more to this life than this life. However, suicide funerals suck (moreso than other funerals...) and are devoid of hope. They are more than sad and somber, they are HOPELESS. Why?

I will tell you why...(and here is where I get upset and angry)...somewhere along the way, Christian belief, creeds and dogma have taken a very draconian stance toward suicide: It is the common belief of people that suicide is a straight ticket to hell. The problem I have with this theory is this...IT HAS NO SCRIPTURAL SOURCE TO BACK IT UP. None. Not a drop of doctrine. Not a single verse. Having said that, I have endeavored to back up each of my points with a scripture.

Suicide is the voluntary taking of one's own life. The scriptures teach us “Thou shalt not kill.” Exodus 20:13.

Why is murder so wrong? Besides the obvious, gut wrenching thought of what it would be like to snuff out a human life, we must look to the basic tenets of most Christian theology.

  1. All are sinners. Romans 3:23

  2. No unclean person can dwell with God. Ephesians 5:5

  3. God has provided a way to become clean through the atonement (intercession) of Jesus Christ. Leviticus 16:16; Romans 8:34

  4. One of Christ's requirements for benefiting from His intercession (and thus overcoming sin) is repentance. Mark 1:15

  5. A fruit of repentance is making restitution, or attempting to make right what once was wrong. Leviticus 6:4

It would seem then, that this is the catching point, how can one make restitution for taking a life? If you can't make restitution, then you can't repent...right? Well...

If we believe the scriptures, and I do, then we must take the Savior at his word when He said that all but ONE sin is forgivable...and that is the sin of blaspheme against the Holy Ghost. Mark 3:28-29 (What constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is another subject altogether) For our purposes today we need only establish one thing: Suicide is NOT blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Thus said, there are PLENTY of other sins for which restitution can not be accomplished, and according to this scripture, they are forgivable. Lets try to figure out HOW.

Is suicide a sin? You'd better believe it is. Can a person who takes his own life be forgiven? Lets draw the conclusion together:

  1. The Lord stated that all sins can be forgiven. Mark 3:28

  2. Suicide is a sin. Exodus 20:3

  3. Sin are forgiven when one repents.Isaiah 1:18

  4. As mentioned above, part of repentance is making restitution, or recompense...restoring what we have taken.

I have found the words of a man whom I greatly respect from my religion who sums up my understanding of the relationship between the grace (or atonement) of God and the law of restitution quite well:

"To earn forgiveness, one must make restitution …mean[ing] you give back what you have taken or ease the pain of those you have injured.

Sometimes you cannot give back what you have taken because you don't have it to give. If you have caused others to suffer unbearably—defiled someone's virtue, for example—it is not within your power to give it back.

There are times you cannot mend that which you have broken. Perhaps the offense was long ago, or the injured refused your [apology]. Perhaps the damage was so severe that you cannot fix it no matter how desperately you want to.

Your repentance cannot be accepted unless there is a restitution. If you cannot undo what you have done, you are trapped. It is easy to understand how helpless and hopeless you then feel and why you might want to give up….Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ.

When your desire is firm and you are willing to pay the "uttermost farthing," the law of restitution is suspended. Your obligation is transferred to the Lord. He will settle your accounts…..there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ.

Elder Boyd K. Packer, Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness, Conference Report, October 1995 (italics added).

Do I believe that one can continue to repent AFTER this life?

I do.

Why do I believe it?

Because the Lord said ALL sins can be forgiven (save one), and suicide ENDS this life. Thus if one is able to repent of the sin of suicide, repentance logically, and chronologically MUST be able to occur AFTER death.

I knew this man who committed suicide. While he may have been emotionally closer to others, there are very few who truly knew of his struggles and desperations more than me. I knew him well enough to know his heart. He had a good, enormous, giving heart. I take solace knowing that I am not burdened with the task of judging this soul in regard to his eternal destination. I also take solace knowing that our God who will judge him will judge him by what is in his heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Suicide often leaves behind a slew of people who pummel themselves with useless questions, “what did I miss?” “What could I have done differently?” “What if I would have called?” “Could I have made the difference?” The answer is there is no good that can come from playing that game. I have played the what if game, and I lose every time, and so will you. There is a question, however, that does have a winning answer, and I hope we all ask ourselves this question often, WHAT CAN I DO FOR HIM NOW?

We can pray for him. During the dark times in my life I could literally feel the prayers of other buoying me up, and carrying me along...helping me through the darkness into the light. I know that this power of prayer is in all of us, and it can affect anyone, whether they recognize it or not. My friend certainly has a price to pay, and a lot of work to do to try and make recompense where no recompense is possible. If we can pray for the living, we can surely pray for those on the other side.

Ultimately it comes down to this: There IS hope.

We sometimes get so wrapped up in the commandments and the "thou shalts" and the "thou shalt nots" that we forget the purpose of the commandments...they are there to bring us happiness...if we obey we have a happier life. God loves us and wants us to be with Him. John 3:16

I believe that if my friend does all he can, and we do all we can, then the Lord will pick up the slack....He will look at my friend, and He who knows all will judge him.

The thought that gives me the MOST peace, the MOST comfort, is that when my friend is judged, the Lord will look at his heart.

What I post here is more for me than for others. It is not my intention to (1) turn my blog into a religious platform or (2) to bash with other Christians whose views may differ from my own. If this has somehow brought you a slice of peace feel free to pass it on and/or comment below. Negative comments WILL be removed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Perfect Storm...

A few weeks ago we celebrated Black Friday. Most employers recognize the importance of Black Friday and give us a few days off beforehand in order to adequately prepare for the early-morning festivities. We start the celebration by eating a large meal the day before, and napping throughout Black Friday Eve so that we are well rested for the day to come. I now offer the rural town take on the blessed event.

To understand my point of view, we must first back up to Thanksgiving (This is what old people call the day before Black Friday--pay them no mind--). Most young people travel home for Thanksgiving. Most young married people, at the very least, alternate holidays with family and in-laws, thus making it home for 50% of the Thanksgiving holidays. And most people get up early for the deals of the day.

There are a few small towns in Wyoming that have been blessed (or cursed) with a Wal-Mart. As the only shopping venue in town, shoppers do not struggle with the question of which vendor will earn their business on this the Blackest of Fridays. Wal Mart alone stands as the vehicle by which the small town masses will stimulate the economy.

And thus the perfect storm has been created for awkward small-town-class-reunions. A storm that I avoid at all costs: Think about it: SHOPPING (hate) with HORDES OF PEOPLE (hate) AT 5AM (hate). People pass it off as getting a good deal on the things that they need. However, most people don’t even know what is on sale until they get the flyer on Wednesday or Thursday. I can no longer convince myself that I am saving matter how good the deal. But this is only a portion of the perfect storm. The second squall is social by nature.

To be honest, I stopped doing it. Not only was I spending money that I shouldn't spend, But I found myself running into too many old friends and acquaintances, people that I hadn't seen in years while wearing pajamas, toting morning breath, with my hair ablaze. Now I will readily admit that at 5am I am not overly concerned with my outward appearance. It is also apparent that nobody else is either. However it still makes for an awkward rendezvous and even more awkward conversation. The worst part is that the conversation inevitably turns into a chat about what you are buying–WE GREW UP TOGETHER, and we are talking about BLU-RAY PLAYERS. Deep and meaningful.

The awkward conversation takes a turn for the worse when the person who has (a) changed his/her hair length and color--or grown facial hair for the guys--(b) gained or lost few pounds, and most of all (c) hasn’t seen or spoke to me in over ten years plays the, “do you remember me?” game which I inevitably loose.

I sometimes get a glimpse of daytime TV where old high school classmates are reunited and the girl who struggled with weight issues confronts the boy who teased her mercilessly as a child. The girl inevitably has lost weight, blossomed, and now confronts the tormentor of her past. I am glad that I escaped high school without being mean to anyone. Because if anyone attacked me for something I said as a 16-year-old, I would probably only enrage them further by admitting I had no idea who they were.

In short I would MUCH prefer to meet for lunch than to bump into people at a moment when they are buying stuff they don't need, or trying to beat me up. That is something to be thankful for.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A bit of Sports Rage....

I apologize in advance to my non-sports fan readers. Posts like these will be few and far between.

Curse you Sugar Bowl. Curse you for taking guaranteed money over a speculative risk.

Curse you BCS rulemaker guy. Curse you for giving the Orange Bowl the first pick this year instead of the Fiesta Bowl.

Curse you Fiesta Bowl. Curse you for being “cutting-edge,” going against the grain, and making history by selecting two teams from non-BCS Conferences to play in Arizona next month.

Between these curses, I should be able to hit my target. My target being whoever is responsible for ruining the end of a great Season for non-BCS Conferences.

While this may not make a difference in the myriad of confusion that results when one attempts to decipher the BCS-Bowl selection process, one thing is certain, The Sugar Bowl is not required to take an SEC team if the current SEC Champion is playing for the National Championship. And while Florida was the easy moneymaker, two schools from BCS Conferences do not provide near as much drama (and thus commercial appeal) as the Undefeated David of the mid-major conferences versus the Goliaths of the Automatic qualifiers.

Now, instead of getting TWO games featuring big vs. little, BCS vs. Non-BCS, the chance to match Florida vs. TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, or Boise State vs. Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl, we get to see two small conference powers play each other. No chance to establish anything. No chance to shake things up.

BCS haters--who, by the measure of articles, emails, postings, and blogs far outnumber the BCS lovers--wanted this to go differently. We wanted to answer the questions everyone wants to know: Is TCU for real outside the MWC? Can Boise win the battle of the Blue and the Orange against Florida?

BCS Busters seems a misnomer as the WAC and MWC busting into the BCS together this year will do nothing to actually BREAK the BCS. We will watch because that is what guys do…we watch football. But the reality is, unless it is OUR team…we do not care who wins. UNLESS you add the parity of BCS vs. Non-BCS. But now there will be no drama. Nobody outside of their respective campuses (and to a lesser extent their conferences) will care whether Georgia Tech beats Iowa. Or Oregon over Ohio State. Perhaps some sparks would fly if Cincinnati bested Florida, but apologists would quickly chalk it up to let-down on the part of Florida for not playing in the National Championship. This would not be the case if Florida played Boise or TCU. Then the big boys WOULD have something to prove. They would do what every other BCS Conference team has tried to do when pitted against a BCS Buster. They would try to show that they belonged. And so far, history is on the side of the BCS busters. With the exception of Hawaii in 2007, The BCS Busters have come away successful.

I am just a lowly fan of the Wyoming Cowboys. I am resigned to the fact that the Pokes will seldom have a winning season, much less play in a BCS Bowl. I have accepted my role as rooter for the underdog. Outside the cold confines of War Memorial Stadium, I am also a fan and supporter of the Mountain West Conference. Like Wyoming within the conference, the MWC is the perpetual underdog on the national scene. A win by TCU over Florida would somehow substantiate the shellacking the Cowboys took at the hands of the Horned Frogs earlier this year.

Curse you BCS. Curse you for making me not care about the outcome of any Bowl Game this Holiday season--except for the coveted New Mexico Bowl. Go Pokes!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A sincere request...

For those in the mood for a laugh, I realize that I usually provide it, but this will be a rather poignant post. I have a heartfelt request for every person who reads this. If you do not want to cry, please read only the last two paragraphs of this post. Seriously.

It has been almost six months since the accident. Life for everyone around us has pretty much returned to normal. For us, it is a new sort of reality. We go through our day and there is not a moment that goes by that we do not think of our sweet boy. A thing so simple as walking into Wal-Mart and seeing the “Back-to-School” signs can bring me to tears in a flash.

It is the little things that make life worth living. And when you lose someone, it is those same little things that serve as a constant reminder of what you have lost. Hearing the diesel engine of the school bus go by...begging almost pleading that it will be followed by the hasty sound of the door opening, closing, and hearing a backpack drop to the ground with footsteps running up the stairs. The early morning sound of the toilet seat banging down. Going to the swimming pool or the park and doing the quick parental headcount and catching your breath as you get to three, when you should have stopped at two. Going to kiss my children goodnight and seeing the empty place next to my dear little four-year old where a six-year old should be. Joshua used to get up in the night to come see us, but he always hesitated just outside our door. My parental instincts would tell me he was there--I could feel it. There he was lurking in the shadows, just out of sight. How those shadows constantly remind me of him. How I wish that I could see him emerge from those shadows just one more time.

There are two ways to miss someone. One is healthy, one is not. It is okay to miss someone. It is okay to remember them fondly. It is NOT okay to play the “what-if” game. What if I would have just driven him to school. What if I would have flashed my lights instead of honking my horn–would she have seen that? What if...? What if...? What if...?

There are only losers in the What-if game.

There was a moment, I believe it was the moment of impact, when I felt the most calming, peaceful feeling I have ever experienced in my entire life. I felt an arm wrap around me. It was real. I heard a whisper in my ear, “he is okay” and I felt it in every corner of my body. It was the most singular permeating feeling of peace I had ever felt in my life. However this feeling was the calm before the storm as my mind wrapped itself around what had just happened. As I have stated before, I do not wish to here relive those moments save to mention this portion of the experience. It is hard to even write about that wonderful experience as it brings me so close to the terrible moments which followed.

For those who do not share my faith, we believe in a physical resurrection of the body. A reuniting of flesh and spirit. As I am limited to only what I understand on this earth, I must try and explain things accordingly. It is hard for me to fathom what it would be like to not be able to TOUCH my child again. I long to be able to FEEL him and EMBRACE him. In an ultra-simplified way, it is this longing to HOLD my little boy which reassures me of the reality of a physical resurrection. If Heaven is real, then of a surety I will hold my little boy again...and Heaven is real.

I find myself thinking back on fond times with Joshua. Pleasant memories which keep me missing him in the right way. However I have found that I, who did not keep a journal, seem to play only a few fond recollections over and over, despite six wonderful years of treasured memories. On occasion I have been blessed to talk to someone who shared one of their fond memories of Joshua, and as I recall the event, I add it to my own collection and use it as necessary to keep my mind in the right place. These are priceless to me and I need more of these memories. I have seldom asked anything of anyone, but I am asking anyone who reads this, if you knew my son, please share your memories. You have no idea how much it will help me.

Let me conclude by saying that my family and I are doing very well. We are doing as well as possible under these circumstances. We have felt the prayers offered on our behalf and we are grateful for them. We still need those prayers more than anything else. God lives. He loves us. If this life was all there would be tragic. Life is not tragic. My boy is there. I can feel him, just out of sight, emerge from the shadows into the light.