“Stars and Bars” – Observations

Stars and Bars

This flag was used as a navy jack at sea in the 1800s.
This flag was the battle flag for different corps in US history.
This flag has been linked to the Confederate States during the US Civil War.
This flag was used by the Democratic Party (also known as the Dixiecrats) who’s motto was “We stand for the segregation of the races.”
This flag has been used to represent oppression.
There are still countless numbers who see this flag as a symbol of a way of life, not of hate, but of hospitality and values.

Not everyone sees this flag as the same thing. Does this make every person who identifies with this flag a bad person?

I recognize this flag has significant historical value for many reasons.

There was a time for this flag to be flown.

That time has passed.

As my son likes to sing to me often, people need to “let it go” and move forward.

..end transmission..

That Fateful Night

He sits on a park bench while the rain pours down. He stares blankly at the emptiness of the darkness before him. The rain serves as the tears he is to numb to shed. The rain flows like blood from the open wound in his chest. His heart has been ripped from his chest, crushed beyond recognition, and shoved back into the gaping hole with no delicacy.

The rain – freezing rain covers him … drowning him … shrouding him in despair. He is too numb to notice. Life has been taken from him… joy yanked from his life… happiness blotted out of his sight. His hands hang down … open … weak. He could not hold on. He could not protect. He could not save. He could not be the man she needed him to be.

If this was all, it was still too much. He still has to tell the boy. He has to tell his son. He has to tell his son his mother is dead.

He had not noticed the rain stopped. He never really noticed it ever started. A car stops in front of him. The boy steps out. The joy on his face cuts like a deep paper cut. The sting is extreme.

The boy is joyful to tell of his adventures at camp. To tell of the things of his day. They walk inside. They stop at the table in the abandon room. They sit. The boy is full of stories of his day at camp. The pain builds deep inside the man’s chest. The boy shows his father 3 bands and 3 clips. One of each for him, his father and his mother. The dull blade pushed deeper into the man’s chest.

The boy asked about his mother. The silence of the space is deafening. The large room has grown to unimaginable size. The air is heavy. The room is cold. The pressure builds inside the man’s chest.

He speaks.

“Mommie was very sick. The doctors tried and tried to do everything they could to help her.”

The dull knife in his chest is turning … twisting … further damaging what is left of his heart.

“Mommie went to sleep. And she did not wake up.”

This was far worse pain. This was beyond explanation. The look of realization of the boy’s face was the final blow. The indescribable grief on the boy’s face was excruciating.

They held each other so tightly; they could have crushed a thousand bricks.

The man sat there … holding his son. He could not save his wife. He could not protect his son from this grief. He sat there … having had to let go of his wife just an hour before … now he just shattered his son’s world with this news. He sat there feeling emotions he could not even name. He held his son tightly in his arms, afraid to let him go. He lost his wife and feared of losing his son.

Despair was what held the man. Despair and his son.

“Do you want to see her,” the man asked the boy. “Yes” was his only reply.

The walk to the elevator, the ride up was a blur. He pushed the button … they let him and the boy come into the ward. The ward was cold and silent. The staff was somber, respectful. Death is something they knew all too well in their work. How can they do it, the man wondered as he walked by.

—————

The room was made ready. The man followed the boy into the room.

There she lay. Still and cold and pale. That was not her. It was a cheap replica of his lovely wife. She is the most beautiful woman in the world. This could not possibly be her. There is no way this could be her. This is someone’s sick, twisted joke. This joke must end now!

The boy, his son, their son, pulls him to reality … asking why they have tape on her eye lids. He always did notice the little things and asked the questions that were blunt and deep.

He asked many questions about how she looked, and what happened. You see, it was a joke between the man and his wife … the boy, their son, would asked deep and difficult questions about life. He would most often ask his mother as they were driving down the road. It was a joke, you see, because she would often say to the man, “why can’t you get a hard question now and then?”. The man sat there holding his son beside the bed … laughing on the inside. He could hear his wife’s words. He said, in a whisper, as the boy continued to ask things … “I guess it’s my turn now.”

The boy, their son, stood there … with his father holding him … talking. He was just almost 3 weeks shy of being eleven years old. He began to speak the story of salvation. He spoke of the power of Salvation, the power of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

You see, an important thing happened 2 months prior. This young life, this boy, their son, gave his heart to God. He was saved. He was baptized on a special day. A church picnic, with others being baptized. It was the man, his father, who had the blessing of baptizing the boy, their son. You see, the sweet woman left this world with the knowledge of her son’s salvation.

As the boy, their son, talked with such clarity and preciseness about salivation and the comfort in knowing his mother was no longer in pain, the man, his father, was glowing. The man looked at the body of his bride, with a very huge, proud smile on his face … he mouthed the words “That’s our son.”

—————

No, it did not rain that night. No, there was no park bench. There was only a hospital parking lot curb. It was a cold October night. The feelings, the pain, the despair was very real. There are no words that could adequately express the feelings of that night. There is no way to convey the feeling deep inside my chest. Yes, my chest. Yes, I am “that man”. I am the husband, the father of these words.

That night, I did two of the most difficult things of my life. I had to let go of my dear sweet wonderful wife. I then had to tell our amazing son she was gone.

I wish no one that pain. I wish no one would ever have to face something like this again. However, I am not foolish enough to think it will not happen to someone every again. I know it has happened many times since that night. Do I still fight with despair? Certainly. Do I still struggle with the emptiness deep inside my chest? Yes, every single day. Is this the end of the story? No. This is just the beginning of a new volume in the collection. Is there hope? Yes. There is always hope. Do I always feel the hope? No, it would be ridiculous for me to deny the feelings of hopelessness that dance around me.

Each day is a new day. Each day is a new day with new struggles, challenges and journeys. Some days are good days. Some days are not good days. Some days are downright horrible days.

My son, that boy, he is the reason I live. He is the reason I “Press On” each new day. Will I stumble? Of course I will, I am human.

… this transmission is to be continued at a later date …

Governmental Foolishness

Any business has always had the right to refuse to serve any customer. Granted, some do it much too often for erroneous reasons. Regardless of the reason, I am sick of a society that wants to “sue” every time they get their nose bent or feelings hurt because someone does not believe the same way. The United States of America has become a nation of egotistical narcissistic cry babies who want it “my way or no way”.

If an establishment refuses your business, say “Thank you” and go to an establishment that will take your business.

As for the “legal” system forcing establishments to “serve” those whinny babies .. yeah, Big Brother can’t leave well enough alone .. “legal” narcissists need to back off.

Now, on to the Bakery in Oregon. You know the one. It was all over the news because they refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple. The bakery was “ordered” by the state to pay “emotional suffering” damages to the couple .. to the tune of $135,000. Sounds to me someone was out to make money.

That couple could have just walked out the door and gone to another bakery. Which they clearly did anyway. They just wanted their day in the spot light. All over a cake. Yes, A CAKE.

This month, over 2 years later, the government whipped out every single bank account the bakery family had, the week of Christmas no less. This makes perfect sense, let’s leave this family totally broke with no way to pay any bills or buy food for their family for Christmas. All for the “emotional suffering” of two women who wanted a wedding cake. I see the logic here. Very clear. Yes. Emotional suffering over a wedding cake outweighs the emotional, physical and mental suffering of a family having their money stolen by the government .. just days before Christmas no less.

I am sure this post will offend many people. Good. Then that means the opinionated me is back and I am glad to be back.

**end transmission**

2016-10-01 UPDATE:  First Liberty Institute, along with Ambassador Boyden Gray (former White House Counsel for President George H.W. Bush, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren), is appealing the Kleins’ case to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Filed on April 25, 2016.

My Favorite Animal

I have always loved animals. Growing up, we had all sorts of them. There was even the “farm years” with pigs, chickens, goats, a cow, a horse, and a dog. Most of my life there has been at least one cat in my home.
Choosing a “favorite” animal could be a struggle for some people who love animals in general. Honestly, it took me all of maybe 15 seconds to choose which animal I consider my “favorite” animal .. the rabbit.
Why do I consider the rabbit as my “favorite” animal? It is rather simple actually. Because my wife was my bunny rabbit. No, not in the literal sense. You know how people tend to develop “pet names” for each other over time. We had a few for each other .. depending on the mood or situation at the time.
It was very early in our marriage when we started our first set of “pet names”. I would call her “Hug-A-Bunny” and she would call me “Hug-A-Bear”. Of course, we would say those names in some silly voice most of the times we said them.
We grew up in a time when Looney Tunes were not yet deemed a bad influence on children. Rather often, snippets of various “Toons” would just so happen to fit various moments in life. One night, as we lay down for bed, I quoted the mad scientist talking to Bugs as they fell asleep. I said “Nighty Night Little Raaaaabit”. She responded with “Nighty Night Little Bear”. Over time, those phrases evolved into “Nighty Nite Hug A Buunnnny” and “Nighty Nite Hug A Bear”.
Our first website I created was called BBPLACE. That stood for Bunny Bear Place. We often talked about me opening a restaurant and calling it BBPLACE. There was even a time we talked about a small craft shop of the same name.
Early on, we began collecting bears and bunnies. I even searched until I found an ink stamp that had both a bunny and a bear in its design. It became our “logo” of sorts. You could say we have a small stock in the Build-A-Bear company as well.
This past spring, while at Lowe’s (one of my weaknesses) I purchased something that now resides next to the front door to greet all who come to the door. It is a 2’ tall brownish stone statue of a rabbit. She is always with us in our hearts and memories.
My favorite animal most certainly is the rabbit because it reminds me of the most beautiful woman in the world, my dear wife, Lucenda.

..Nighty Nite Hug A Bunny..

Remembering And Recapping

So, yesterday was my 22nd wedding anniversary. The night before, Facebook was kind enough to remind me. I was allowed to add a comment to the notice and a couple pictures for all the Facebook World to see.
This is what I typed:

Lived in our home for over 18 years now. Not long after we moved in, I wrote something on a note card and taped it to the bathroom mirror on Lucenda’s side. Every time she looked into the mirror, she would see it. About 3 years ago, the old tape let go. She had it clipped to the basket sitting on the side of the sink. The note was still visible. This is what that note says …
“As the sun rises each day to bathe the land in brilliant splendor, your face floods my heart with unmeasurable joy!”
I was blessed to have been her husband for 21 and a half years.
You are still the most beautiful woman in the world my Hug-A-Bunny.

Followed by our engagement photo, and our last Family Christmas photo taken December 2013.

(insert photos here)


Today was a busy day. The boy and I went roller skating this afternoon at MagicWheels. We have not been in a month. However, it is still our “go to” place. It was not busy at all. For the most part, it was a great time. I will not go into my issue with parents who let children run the show. I will save that for an other time.


This evening, we went to the General Jackson’s ballgame. It was Disney night. Went to the Will Call table, no tickets .. went to the Will Call window .. no record of me ordering tickets. I am soooo glad for the Credit Union App on my phone. I showed them where it has hit my bank account. They could not give me the tickets I had reserved. However, we got better seats .. once the sun went down.
We both acted silly. I worked hard to embarrass the boy at times. We had pizza and soda. We walked around some. We went in to the store. We raised a smart boy, he immediately recognized the items were extremely over-priced.
At some point, they had on the big screen, various team players sharing their favorite Disney movie song. One player said “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” from his favorite movie “The Arisocats”. I started to cry a bit. That was Lucenda’s favorite also.
After the game, they had fireworks. The presentation was Disney themed. It was a very impressive display. However, the finally startled most of us. They had 4 massive fireballs that we ALL felt the heat from.
During the display, they played various Disney movie songs. When they played Phil Collins “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan, I felt as if it was me saying that to Lucenda. When they played “Let It Go” from Frozen (a very over-played and quoted song) I heard it different for the first time. It is time to let go of the pain and move forward.
All in all, it was a great day … I got to spend it with my son.

.. end transmission ..