Monday, November 24, 2014

Glenn

  My father-in-law, Glenn Shaver died Thursday. I haven't written any of it most due to not knowing what to say since Denise reads this blog. This blog has acted like my pain medicine for many years now, a place I can say that which I usually don't speak along with that I do speak, and that seems to help lift the pain. Whatever I write I know will cause more pain for Denise, and that I do not want to do. Today is the day for the funeral and the burial is tomorrow. So this is mainly for Denise:

  I am so sorry for you all for Glenn, yet I rejoice for him. Actually his passing hurt me too, nothing on the scale as you, your mom, and sister. You probably noticed that I haven't spoken a word of his death on the blog, but that was mostly because I want to cause you no more pain and strife than you already have. You see, whatever part of me is left, I still feel the need to protect you. This time though I cannot. The worse thing is there are no words nor actions I can do to stop the pain, I can't seem to do that myself now after 9 months since mom, so I know I am powerless, but I do what I can do. It isn't much I know, like throwing a rock in the Grand Canyon and trying to fill it up.

  I have been blessed to have been allowed to be within the company of great people and your dad goes to the top of that list. I have known but only what I would call Godly men and that list I believe him to be at the top. I do not say that because he was a Deacon or Sunday School Teacher and Administrator, I know plenty of fake ones that do exactly what he did... talk. I say that because of what I have seen this 26 years I have known him. There was no false anything to this man, he lived what he taught. There are plenty of people who speak one way yet walk another way but few are they that lead by example. He did. Though I am not Jesus so I cannot judge who goes to Heaven and who does not, I am sure what he is one of God's now, safe in His hands and receiving his rewards.

  In 26 years I do not remember him saying a curse word, never seen his temper, never heard him talk about anybody nor judge anybody... how does one do that, I have no idea. While keeping a realistic perspective, he also both had and taught hope for a person. I never heard him "preach" to anybody nor back away from being asked a question. I never saw pride in his nature yet he took pride in himself, his family, and the world in general giving the glory and source to God rather than accept any praise for himself. For about the last 10 years his body failed him and though his mind remained in tact, his spirit was never compromised. I never heard him complain or ask why, I never seen any anger in his condition. The only person I know that done this was Papa, I think dad did that too. Papa, like your dad, lived his life and became an example. No words were ever needed.

   You may or may not have seen different growing up, but I bet you didn't. I know the 15 years we had Papa I never saw any difference than what everybody saw. Doyle Fox had these same characteristics. None of them actually believed in themselves alone, all believed in what could be done with God. Big or small, they lived what the read and believed what they read. If I had met your dad in the street I would not have had to wonder or question his beliefs, and he would not have had to say a word. Simple observation would have told me he was a Christian. No stickers, no Bible, no preaching... their faith spoke louder than words.

  I also owed your dad for you. He and your mom raised 2 girls to be wonderful women, and I was blessed to get you. You look like your day in many ways and in many ways act a lot like him. He was proud of you and Glenda and loved Iris with all his heart, and she loved him. 59 years is a lifetime to spend with someone you love, longer than some people live, and a blessing. Sometimes it seems like God doesn't care or reward, especially when you see a man like your dad become bed ridden for so many years, yet I think I know why. Few people give true inspiration these days to make someone want to be a better person, and your dad was one of those people. I assume that God knew Glenn's strength in his faith. It does not seem fair until you look at the reward waiting at the end of this world. Your family was blessed by being led by a man who led by example with a kind heart, one that sees the good in people, looking past the outwardly appearance.

  He served his country in Korea yet was like dad, he hated war and saw it as something that should not be. Dad was that way, I think WW2 was way more than he ever wanted to see. That alone tells us he was a Godly man for Godly men are men of peace. I do not make that statement meaning that is what made your dad a Godly man but just to highlight a part of his attributes. I could count the Godly men I have be blessed to be around on one hand and probably still have fingers left. Godly men lead by example and follow Jesus. They follow the Sheppard, not the flock, and do so with humility and while living with this world, stand apart from it's traps. You can see hope and the love in their eyes and smile, hear it in their words, feel it in their touch. They have a peace and contentment that is so great inside them that one can feel it just being around them. They read and study the Bible and not somebody's view on the Bible. Their wants seem to be for a place where moths and rust cannot take away, and are satisfied with what they have. They make people around them want what they have and that makes people want to be a better person.

 You have temporarily lost much, yet you have not actually lost, just merely postponed. One day you will meet again, not as father daughter but as brother sister, with no pain, no goody-byes, no wants or needs, in a love and peace that I cannot accurately express. That is where he is now. People like your dad are already rare, and that makes me fear the world today and it's hopes. God only knows how many people have been changed just by your dad's presence, people he sought not to change by words but rather by example. Through his life he has been an inspiration. Maybe he knew this, maybe he didn't, but he was a true inspiration to many of us. I know this does not stop the pain just as I know you know where he is. His concerns, wants, and needs are all taken care of now... just like mom and dad. We haven't really lost him for he was never really ours to begin with, Glenn belonged to God and He loaned him to us. I believe that we all have a mission to carry out and we have just enough time to complete it, then we go home. It is said we receive rewards for doing well and I would think your dad got top honors. Jesus said to pick up your cross and follow Him... and so your dad did in an excellent fashion. He lived his life in Truth, Love, Peace, and Honor. An old Cherokee Proverb goes, " When you were born your cried and the whole world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die the whole world cries and you rejoice." Your dad did that.

   I know that was your daddy and I know it hurts. I wish I could stop your pain, heal your heart, but only God can do that. If I can ease you suffering just tell me how and I will do it. I love you. Anthony                     

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Josh

Big 14 years old. 

  Ya know kid, you are growing up too fast. Now that you are a big city boy, I don't get to see you as much. That means that I don't get to tell you just how proud I am of you and the man you are growing into. Then again, you have always been a good kid.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

10-26-2014

Happy Birthday Little Man
6
Love Ya Buddy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10-21-2014 Rathfoot Follow-Up

  Today I had a follow-up with Dr Rathfoot, just a regular one, yet different. He explained from the Radiation damage is the throat was suppose to be one inch in diameter, the scar tissue makes it about a half an inch, or roughly 1/2 the size opening it should be. He wants me to double the dosage of Prednisone until we get back to where we were before the surgery then surgery will have to be done again. How long is anybody's guess. He said the main goal was to not open my throat up with a Trach. I said that sounded good. I set limits as to what I would and would not do and that is beyond what I am willing to do, but I remained silent. Meanwhile Roxie, our house dog undergoes surgery for cancer. 

  Call it weird or whatever, I seldom actually look into someone's eyes, though I will appear to. I think in part why I seldom go into crowds. I feel whatever they feel, maybe not to a exact extent, but close. Rathfoot's nurse had told us not to mention his wife's passing, that it caused him great pain and that someone did and he went to pieces. I got use to looking in his eyes, such kindness, compassion, and hope, so I mistakenly looked as he entered. All the good qualities are still there, but there is so very much pain. He has a necklace on that had a cross and what looked to be his wife's wedding ban on. We knew about his wife but not that his mom had passed just 2 weeks prior. I know I still miss mom after months, I could not imagine missing her and Denise. I talk a lot and I talk even more when I am trying not to say something, so I had diarrhea of the mouth. Looking over Denise 's eyes were teared up and she talked more than usual too. Neither she nor I wanted to cause any more pain for him. Those who read this please keep him and their children in your prayers.

  I know at one time he read some of these posts, in time this is just for you:

  We didn't know your wife but we do, in a way know you. I looked into your eyes from the very beginning and saw nothing but good, and that would not be so without you were with someone good. My heart has broken for you and your family, yet I have no idea what words would make it better. All I can say is in time it will be better, never completely healed, but better. No, it isn't fair for those who have been left behind to heal, but to the one taken it is a blessing. It doesn't seem fair that good people die while other good people suffer. I use to wonder why we called it death yet Jesus called it life. The body dies but with that body all pain and suffering does too. All the trials and tribulations are dead. It is then when real life starts, life free of those afflictions be they physical, mental, emotional that holds these spirits in bondage. Here up can seem like down and down up, yet there all things are known, all things are clear, protected from all harm. We are free.

  We are here just as long as need be to accomplish what we were created for, and then return home. I do not believe that those of faith ever leave without accomplishing God's purpose. We may take upon ourselves other purposes that may or may not be accomplished, yet His purpose is. That we leave and are missed, shows we have fulfilled what Jesus said to do, live in truth and love. That we have lived it well and complete, and knowing there are no good-byes. If we have those people 100 years it would still not be enough. It always hurts to see those go before us, and that in our sufferings they might be lifted up to those who knew them not. That in our sufferings we can make His Light shine out of our darkest days so others may see and wish to know Whom it is we serve, and how to they can find what we have. Anybody can be happy when all goes well and all is well. This is what I believe.

  Where she is now no bad can ever approach her, no harm can befall her. No questions are left unanswered. Imagine your best day, you best moment of that day, and it would be only a drop in the ocean to what it is like there. Nothing hidden and all in the light for all to see. Nothing negative period. No sadness, no sorrow, no guilt. No hunger, no thirst, no needs, no wants. No blemishes, no sins, no fatigue, no wars, no sense of time. A place where you know everybody and everybody knows you, and you welcome and are welcomed by all. Everything is perfect, everything. This is what I know.

  If I can ever help you or your family in any way just ask. In the meanwhile you all are still in our prayers each night.         

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10-23-2014

   We have someone wanting to rent the Office. Denise asked me all kinds of questions last night that I had not asked. I could tell her he had a 4 year old girl, as sweet as could be. I could tell her his wife's mom had cancer removed. I could tell her he was young and done record recording and singing for a living. I could tell her he was nice and his wife was nice, but I couldn't answer the main questions I should have asked. Funny thing, after meeting with them tonight I still can't. When I told her he wanted the first two months rent free, she wasn't impressed. She says I am a bad judge of character, and I am. Denise is usually spot on. I try and see the good in people and give them the benefit of a doubt. I talked with Misty since it will be hers when I die, kind of makes us partners in this thing. Misty has a good heart and she said she would agree with whatever I do. So tonight Denise met them.

   As we were leaving I asked what she thought. Now one has to know my wife, she is firm and strict, cut and dry as we call it here in the country. She is more a realist than I am. She said she thought we should take the chance. I even asked Tina, who is strongly opposed. They couldn't install their Charter boxes so I went and installed them for them, especially since Tina just had a heart attack. I had planned on moving and hooking up Denise's new Washer, didn't happen. I once heard if you want to make God laugh, plan. So here I set, 1:30 in the morning. I wouldn't be asleep anyway. This time of year I hurt, some say the chemo sped up the arthritis, and some say the radiation. Be that as it may I sleep in the floor these days. But what to do?

  His proposal was no rent until January, then he would start paying 950 a month to make it us for the first year, but he pays for the renovations. Some of the furniture and stuff he asked if I was going to take it. I asked if he could use it and he could, so I will leave that there as part of the rent. But the Denise throws me for a loop and says. not the 950, when he starts to pay the rent it is 800. That would pay the payment, insurance, and taxes, with a little left over to set aside to fix anything that might tear up. We don't have a lot of extra money, so if we do this it ain't because we are rich. My head and business sense says no, but my heart says yes. The fact that Denise says yes is enough for me to know my heart may be right.

  At 54, I have had enough medical problems that my chart looks more like a thick novel. I always wanted to make a good difference in my life, but I got side tracked, thats when we had money, LOL. Now, I look around sometimes and I see no big difference I have made that is positive. I'm too old to be good, so I just don't want to do no harm. I have to wonder, is this that chance. Like Denise said, we've prayed for someone decent to rent or buy the building, so maybe this is His answer. If it is I find it strange that if we go through with this deal, it will rely on faith. Oh I'll draw up a contract, but it will be written a bit funny. If we go for a 1 year lease and he sees he can't afford it, I will release him with no penalties.  If he is late there are no late fees, and if something bad happens that he will be extremely late, we will work with him. I would want that if I were him. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not the best business thing, not the best way to get money, but the best way to sleep at night. I have been where they are now, and truth be told we're not far from that, but far enough away to maybe help out. As for now tomorrow I plan to take down the sign.       

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10-16-2014 Just a note

  For some reason I just feel like writing. This has become my outlet since the book is done. It's not published, Amazon sent a reminder but I'm just not sure. So... what all is new.

  Last Sunday Tina (biological mother) had a heart attack. Tonight she is home. She first insisted on Ft Sanders where she worked and after they left her BP was almost gone, one of the guys in the vehicle told her she would not make the trip to Knoxville. She had never liked Dr Rama or Morristown Hamblen but that is where she ended up. She now has a lot of respect for Rama and the crew that handles cardiac at the hospital, plus the Ambulance crew. I'm not sure if she has experienced Rama's bedside manner, or lack thereof, but she now sees that he knows his stuff. Most doctors that skilled go to large cities, but he remains here. She is impressed.  Now she knows why I have always went to him, except I usually go when Deb is filling in, lol. He busted his butt that night working on me and I very much remember that. When we visited her she also saw the respect that Denise gets when she walks through. I would put her up against the best of nurses just as I would Rama against the best Cardiac doctors, but I may be a little prejudice.

  Our little inside dog has developed cancer. I do believe it is the food just as much as the chemicals. Roxie is 8 years old now. She has slowed down quite a lot. It always worries me when I get cut that if a dog licks the cut it will get the NHL in their system, but hers isn't NHL. 

  The Will is almost done now, I signed more papers today. I done as mom wished and the Lawyer didn't argue with the cars. Instead of the cars being titled to me I gave Misty mom's Mountaineer as she requested and Megan the Mustang. I kept the Cadillac, the least material worth of the three with the most memorable worth of the three. That one she said I could do with as I wanted. I remember dad loving that car. When he would drive it he was so short all you could see was knuckles, lol, and his smile. This was a man who had a 50 Ford F1 truck until he traded it for a 70 Ford F100, until 1990 when he sold that truck to me and bought the F150. I eventually bought his 90 and he bought the GMC. He would have 2 more trucks in his life, a GMC 4x4 and his 01 Ranger. I have 3 of them still. The Ranger he loved. I remember the 90 F150 overheating in the field while pulling a wagon of hay up. He wanted me to hook his Ranger to it. I didn't, there were eight 1,000lb rolls on a 20 foot trailer, way too much for it to pull.

  Signing those papers today was kind of sad. All the deeds are being done now, all mom's labors are now mine, which are bitter sweet. I thought back all day about the eight people that raised me, and my biological parents who were there if I needed them. All of them are gone, save one. All were pretty much workaholics, all pretty much poor except mom and dad in the later years, plus the one remaining one. Dad never got caught up in the snares of the material world but mom did, as did I until my heart attack. In the end mom came back to her roots though. We had several good talks and though I am not smart, I did learn a few things from that event. I've several friends now that have had an NDE and we all share one thing in common, a question for why we had to come back. I talked with dad the day he died and I think it helped him not to be scared. I talked with mom and answered her questions the best I could about what happens after we die, and how God is. Each time I would tell her not yet, you have to fight, but I could see the fight leaving her.

 Some who have followed my blog have read my faith, but I am not religious, yet I am. I looked at different religions for a time, and before the heart attack none. I hated to read yet these days for the last several years I read a lot, yet I have never read the whole Bible. I think it would take one a lifetime to actually read it and know what it is about. Even then, words fail to explain the glory of God. We all worry about going to Heaven yet I think Heaven is wherever God is, and if it's not, that is more than I could ever ask for, just to be near. Denise was present for mom's last breath and I missed being there by a couple of minutes, yet I believe mom was ready. I wasn't ready, Denise wasn't ready, but mom was and so was God- that is all that really counts.

  I showed the Office today to a couple that wants to put a Recording Studio in it. I looked around and saw what we haven't moved yet, and thought for a moment what mom had accomplished. Having said that though, this was not reflective of mom's worth. So what is the worth of a person? I believe the worth of a person is not what one owns, bank account, possessions... it is what one does. If we measure the worth of a person by their actions we find the true worth, and by this measurement we are all of worth. In God's eyes we are priceless. Truth, love, compassion, forgiveness, kindness... these are the marks of worth. Those are the things we take with us when we leave this world, not the things we can touch or hold. We come in naked, empty handed, and helpless and we go out the same way. Mom asked about us in the eyes of God one time and I could only explain as this. "When I was young I would sneak out and drink and smoke pot, had hair to my belt and a long unkept beard. I cussed a lot and cared for little. Sometimes my choices were disappointing to you and down right disrespectful. Yet you still loved me." Mom said "Of course I did. You weren't that bad". "I wasn't that good either, but you still loved me and wanted me. The things I did right you still were proud of me, and when I said I'm sorry you still forgave me. I could call you day of night and you still would help me. I am the same with my kids. Even if they hated me I still loved them. Me and you... we ain't perfect. So just think for a moment, if we, being imperfect can love, forgive, be proud of, there for our kids... then how much more can a perfect God be to His kids. You loved me even when I hated myself. He loves us even when we hate ourselves."

   Thinking back on the conversation it reminded me that our worth is priceless. Maybe that is why Jesus said an unpardonable sin is calling your brother "Raca", which in English means useless. He sees nobody as worthless or useless. I miss mom but I rejoice for her.   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10-01-2014

  I had my Stress Test done today, first time ever for a chemical one. I don't think I could do the treadmill with the neuropathy, so I went this way. A friend of mine had me a bit concerned, said when he had his done he thought he was having a heart attack. He needed someone to take him and pick up his truck he has at a shop being fixed, so I took him afterward. I told him that was not bad at all, and it wasn't. Some shortness of breath, some pressure, but the key words are some.... a far cry from a heart attack. Unofficially it turned out ok, but I go Friday for the follow-up visit after the doctor sees it. Denise said maybe a heart cath, so I am prepared. They do those though the arm these days and that beats the groin and being naked hands down.

  My friend Sally gave us some bad news the other night. Dr Rathfoot's wife died suddenly at 50 years old. We never met her but he is probably hands down the best doctor I've ever met, and one of the nicest people too. They have two kids. Not a night has went by that I haven't prayed for him and his family. I stand at a loss for words, I know, unusual for me. How does one say their heart break fir those left behind, yet rejoices for the one gone home. For his wife Tammy, her trials are over and now she is perfect. In a perfect place, with a perfect God. Yet for those who have not seen and experienced that, they are just words. Sometimes that can come across wrong as I cannot find words to do justice to where she is. Even then, it still hurts. Knowing there are no good-byes, it still hurts. I think it is suppose to be like that, bitter/sweet. I am reminded of an old Cherokee Proverb: "When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die you rejoice and the world cries." It would appear that is the case here.

 I have heard that two more friends I have have cancer, different in where they are and type. I pray for them too. Win or lose the battle one suddenly finds themselves in the reality of this world is temporary at best, a side track at worst. They will see that most of the stuff we think important isn't, and what we never thought much about is. Success will no longer be measured by things and possessions, nor bank accounts and dress- but by the very act of what a man (or woman) does, is, says, and feels. Success will be measured by love, truth, and peace; and with these comes kindness, compassion, and caring. The things of God and what He offers us. Things we need to be still for and know that God is God. Things that seem a curse that becomes a blessing. There is far more to saving someone than physical and knowing that one can be saved and yet physically die. If they live through it, and I pray they do, all they know will have changed.

  Then comes the hard part, remembering the lesson each and every day. Then another hard part will be speaking to others. Some will be pleased while many will not understand, even think you have lost your mind. That added to a near death experience leaves one looking and sounding odd to many. The more the world drifts from the truth, the stranger the truth will appear. The stranger the world will appear. I saw a lady today who stressed over tedious things, so much so nobody wanted to be around her. To her she makes sense, to the rest she makes mountains from mole hills, yet one dares not say that. People that seek self gratification are never happy. It is the carrot before the mule thing. I know that from experience. I was searching for the wrong things for the wrong reasons, though they seemed right at the time. Those days have ended now and so when I get told they can;t fix this or that, I'm good with it. This world is not what life is about.  Live your life so that you win either way.