Thursday, March 31

Basketball and Spring Break, 2011

It is here! The kids begin Spring break today after school. I am stoked to turn that damn alarm clock OFF for the next week!!!

Tomorrow, Apr 2, is going to be a big night for us. We are Kentucky fans! For the first time since 1998, we're in the Final Four! The game starts just before 9 p.m. and will be on CBS... this is like a religious thing for us, so the phones and everything will be turned off/ignored for the duration of the sermon game.

I don't know about you, but Ardeo and I both filled out a few brackets (for challenges which had cash prizes!) this year. He filled out 2, I went with 7. Yeah, a little crazy, I know! This year in college basketball has been i.n.s.a.n.e. - every last one of my 7 brackets were total garbage by the 3rd round! So many good games, and SO many upsets!! It's been a great tournament so far, and it's almost over this year. :(

At least we'll have baseball now ~ happy Opening Day! In baseball, we're Boston fans:
Boston Red Sox - homepage
Go Sox! :)

Have a great week everyone ~ much love all around!


Saturday, March 12

The One About Grandpa

I need to write this; even though it is hard to think through and make the right words appear, I'm going to try. I started writing this on Feb 16, and actually finished on Mar 31. I stuck it back here in the middle of March so that it wouldn't be the first thing Dad's siblings might see. Bear with me.

3 generations
(L-R) Me, Grandpa, Bro, Dad

I didn't think Dec 21 would be the last time I'd ever see you. Hug you. Tell you that I love you. While I'm glad to have that good day as my final living memory, it still makes me sad; I think it will for a while yet.

Connie asked if I'd help carry the casket. It was an honor - do you know why? For all the times that he carried me while I was young, I was happy to help carry him this last time. Many hands make the load lighter.

The finality that is death causes most people to fear it; that's understandable, of course. I think Grandpa was "ready" though. That knowledge - or, at least, my thinking that he was ready - has helped me come to terms with the fact. I'm still sad, still have moments where I just start crying, still want to talk to him now and then; I've tried to remind myself that he lived a great and long life. He was active up until recently (he was a golfer, so it was weather permitting) and always partook of the best medicine - laughter! Grandpa laughed a lot. I can still hear it if I think about it, and I can tell you that all 3 of his sons have the same laugh. So it will continue.
I'm the lone Buddhist of my bio-family, among many Christians; however, I absolutely believe that if I talk to him, his soul can 'hear' me. I also feel confident that I had one last, post-death visit from Grandpa. It was a comfort, although I'm keeping that experience to myself in my written journal... but I know that he is okay.

Now for the hard part. Get the tissues....

Here's a song my cousin Brian shared: Dancing in Heaven (video)
Grandma died back in August 2002. I don't know where he found this song, but it is *perfect*. I think it was the hardest one for me to watch, because even thinking about the song makes me tear up.

Now, one of Grandpa's favorite songs was "Rocky Top" {live video} by the Osborne Brothers. (Here's another - "Rocky Top" {studio with static image})

Here's "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg.
I don't know, it feels right. And helps me finish crying. Still have your tissues handy? I only have half a box left....

Grandpa was writing his autobiography, thanks to my cousin Jeremy. One of my aunts is going to transcribe what he'd written so far; I believe the last entry was just a few days before his final heart attack. Once it's transcribed, I'll grab the bullet points and write up another post about him. I can tell you that he was pretty awesome, but I only know so much of his past. ;)

One more, because he was born in Kentucky: My Old Kentucky Home*

Sometimes words aren't enough, sometimes they're too much; some words are hard to find, some emotions hard to describe appropriately, and always, actions speak louder than words. Grandpa always had a smile, a hug, a laugh, a kiss; grace and passion and understanding. Those actions made the man all that will continue in his descendants.

I love you, I miss you, but I know that I'll see you in another life. Namaste.


*{The lyrics there are explained in the video. This song was not 'politically correct' until 1986 - Wiki link}

Wednesday, March 9

Why I've been absent....

The Grim Reaper has infiltrated my circle of beloved people, and apparently just started swinging his stupid scythe around. I'd had a hard time dealing with the passing of my paternal grandfather at the end of January; I started writing up a post about it, but never could quite finish it without crying, which led to me not knowing what I'd written or how to continue writing.

{Here's the link - "The One About Grandpa"}

Then in my circle of friends - one woman lost her brother, and another lost her oldest child. All three happened within about three weeks ~ there's a saying about things coming in threes, so I said, "okay, Grimmy, you're done here. Away with ye!". A week went by, then I heard from Mom that one uncle had been admitted to the hospital. Now, he'd been sick for a long while, so this was not exactly unexpected; unfortunately, today, my uncle lost his battle.

We can never tell our loved ones often enough that we love them.
Even if you think they know it, tell them anyway.
No one gets tired of hearing "I love you".
No one can be *too* loved.

It's a 'sad' song, but it's helped me this last month:
Way Over Yonder ~ Carole King

Hey, Grim? Yeah, I'm done with you. Leave me and mine alone for a while, eh? That'd be super.