#Blessed

To be alive right now.

To be the parent of these three amazing kids.

To have the family I have.

To have the friends I have.

To have seen the concerts I’ve see.

To have clothes on my back, shoes on my feed, a roof over my head, and food to eat in abundance and variety and quality.

To have the job I have right now, and the career up to this point prior.

To be inspired every day.

To come back to the same foundation every day:

LOVE.

Lyrics Post: “Human Touch”

I’m only a so-so Bruce fan. But this song…it feels full of truth and vulnerability…it feels…GOOD.

“Human Touch”

You and me we were the pretenders
We let it all slip away
In the end what you don’t surrender
Well the world just strips away

Girl ain’t no kindness in the face of strangers
Ain’t gonna find no miracles here
Well you can wait on your blessings but darlin’
I got a deal for you right here

I ain’t lookin’ for prayers or pity
I ain’t comin’ ’round searchin’ for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Ain’t no mercy on the streets of this town
Ain’t no bread from heavenly skies
Ain’t nobody drawin’ wine from this blood
It’s just you and me tonight

Tell me in a world without pity
Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?
I just want something to hold on to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize
Well it comes with a hard hard price
You can’t shut off the risk and pain
Without losin’ the love that remains
We’re all riders on this train

So you been broken and you been hurt
Show me somebody who ain’t
Yeah I know I ain’t nobody’s bargain
But hell a little touch up
And a little paint…

You might need somethin’ to hold on to
When all the answers they don’t amount to much
Somebody that you can just talk to
And a little of that human touch

Baby in a world without pity
Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?
I just want to feel you in my arms
And share a little of that human touch…

Thought Box

The THOUGHT BOX.

Not sure where this idea originated, but it’s one I’ve used with the kids since they seemed open to it. I apply the concept to bad dreams, primarily…or at least that’s where it started. Now I apply it even more liberally, to things they are scared of, worried about.

Here’s how it works:

Close your eyes, and in you mind’s eye, imagine a small box. That is your Thought Box.

You control your Thought Box. You decide what gets to stay there. If something creeps in that you don’t want there, push it out. It’s your decision. It’s your mind. You control it.

Not sure how effective the process is for them, but maybe it helps a little. If it doesn’t help them, it for sure helps me use words as a strategy for coping with negative thoughts in the mind.

Not only does it work for them maybe, but I’ve been using it more of late in my own head too.

Work clouding my brain? Use the Thought Box. Too many issues to count? Revert to the Thought Box. Things you can’t control getting the better of you?

Thought Box.

You decide what stays there. It’s your mind. You control it. You control what gets to stay in the Thought Box.

Try it. I hope you find it useful.

God’s Work

This concept comes to mind often for me. When am I closest to God? When am I doing what God wants me to do? When am I truly aligned?

Sometimes it seems obvious, immediate, powerful.

Like watching my son run along the beach.

Or standing in the ocean with him, teaching him to hold his ground and the water rushes in, rushes out.

The ocean often has that effect on my overall. Timeless.

But it could be something entirely different. Like blow-drying my daughter’s new, furry friend.

All snippets, all bits of being closer to God, just a bit, just a bit. And sometimes a bit more.

Family

My mom used to say it, “family is most important.” It seemed like hyperbole when I was a teenager.

Of course family is important, I thought, but so is spending time with other friends, doing fun things, etc. Typical teenager thoughts, young person thoughts, natural. I thought at the time my mom was trying to convince us; as a parent now myself, I think I see a broader perspective.

As a parent I have this thought, and when it comes to mind I proclaim the same in my own head, “family is most important.” I think though, I’m not trying to convince anyone; I’m more making a sort of proclamation. I think maybe by saying it, stating it, it adds another layer of value, of meaning, somehow.

Maybe that proclamation is an outward expression to share the love a little more, and not so much convince.

That’s for sure what I feel. I want my kids to feel the value and the depth and the security of family. And I want them to know how much I value them.

Most important is family. It’s the foundation, if we make it so, if we let it be so. AMEN.

Number One Daughter

Silly title, really, “Number One Daughter”…we’re lucky to have two of them, two daughters, and they are equally magical.

But it’s the oldest’s birthday, so singing her praises just now, Number One Daughter, born that way, and how…

Such a joy, a gift, so blessed in so many ways, countless ways, here are a few,

ATTITUDE,

SENSIBILITY,

SENSITIVITY,

CARING,

LOVING,

SURE,

Of herself, of her place in our family, of how she wants to be, of what’s right and wrong, of the pose she knows she’s striking, showing off a new look…

When she was born, my attitude shifted, hadn’t thought about our child being a girl, beyond, “…I just want a healthy kid…”, and we got so much more. So much much more.

So here’s to our TEN YEAR OLD, say it in CAPS, no more single digits for this one, she’s off to the races, and then some, that one, watch her GO.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and hold you close all the days of your life, this my prayer for you, and happiness, and good health, and love, much love, and know that we love you beyond words, before words, and forever.

Happy Birthday, AGL~

Me & Dad

Back to back tribute, Howie Lud.

Three years gone, though his memory lives on,

On in what he thought, what he taught, what he was,

Was so much, to so many, still that today,

Filled up, love, gotta say,

The math and the sport, the way, and music too, not afraid, come what may,

he remains alive, memories of his fatherhood, trying to carry it on with my daughters, son,

He was Gramps too, four times on,

And his wisdom, patience, love, live on.

Much love, much love, Dad, and too must say,

Thanks, Howie, every, every day.

Remembering Howie, Thanking Vitas

My dad died three years ago this week. Super Bowl Sunday morning, 2018. Remembering him a lot lately; when even I need patience, he comes to mind. Steadfast? Yep, that too.

This year I’m also remembering the great care he got, we all got, through Vitas Healthcare. They provided solid hospice care to him; they also took good care of us as a family. Made it easy all the way through. They even sewed “memory bears” from my dad’s clothes for the grandkids, and my mom, after dad passed.

Remembering my dad helps me carry on through the struggles life presents. Remembering the care Vitas provided, makes me want to help others all the more.

Thanks, Vitas; Love you, Dad.

Swing Away

Maybe a baseball term, maybe golf, maybe just in my head. The intent is the same:

Don’t hold back, you’re free to make the decision, do what you think best, swing away.

Just make contact, play it safe, or let it all hang out, full rotation, come what may.

I think I play it safe most of the time. Happy to let it all hang out if I don’t care, but most of the time I care a little too much.

If we want big change, big growth, we have to risk a little more; if we want to go forward, we have to let go of what’s right now.

I for one am pretty sure I need to swing away, swing away a little more, come what may.