Monday, September 24, 2012

Old Willow

             I love visiting my dads house. Its one of my favorite things to do. I only live 10 miles from him so that's a bonus too. Its not just that I love my dad and my brother and his family, and its not just because they feed me whenever I go out there (well not totally the reason) But there is something about going to the house that you grew up in that makes you feel like a kid again. The memories are still there and I get joy out of knowing that my brothers children (4 sister in law just gave birth to my nephew Austin a few weeks back.)  are now enjoying many of the things that I enjoyed when I was growing up. The country roads, the swamp, the deer, and the many other blessings that come from growing up in the country.

             I was visiting the other day, when I noticed the old willow that has been there ever since my dad planted it. I was only a small child and I remember seeing this tree in many pictures of us kids, standing as stout as a tree can. We would do our best to abuse this tree, climbing it, swinging on its dangling branches, shooting BBs in name it we probably did it to this tree, and yet it still stands tall today. (Thank God willows are hearty and durable)

            It reminded me a lot of human life. It now has the blemishes of being old, the knots that once made it strong from the inside are now showing themselves through the old bark and it droops a little more than it used to. :) (I told you...a lot like human life)
To me...There is nothing better than a big old tree. To see the massiveness of a extremely large tree makes me think of the many decades that it has endured to make it thus far in life. I think the same thing when I see elderly persons. When I see wrinkles and blemishes on the elderly, I think of the many years they have also endured. I think of the many fascinating things that they must have seen in their lifetime. A lot like the old willow. It has saw many things and it still has more to see. The only thing that can destroy it is man and mother nature. One thing on my bucket list is to see the redwood trees. They fascinate me. Once you understand what it has went through during its have a higher appreciation for them. And once you have the appreciation for them its hard to imagine your life without them. I for one, cant imagine my life with out the Old Willow.

 I hope you have an "Old Willow" in your life.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luck Be A Blessing

I was traveling home one evening when I saw this house that had everything that used to be in it thrown in a huge pile by the side of the road. I was shocked by the mere size of this pile of stuff.
My thoughts quickly went from "look at all that stuff" to I wonder what he did that his wife would throw all his stuff out like that" :) But then I realised that it wasn't all "his" was everything. It looked like they were being evicted or was foreclosed on their home. Either way...I felt so sorry for this whomever it was having this done to them. Being homeless has to just SUCK. I wish I knew exactly what had happened or who it was so I could offer help.

I also saw the show "What Would You Do" the other night. They took a homeless (actor) person and had a woman take them into a restaurant / bar and sat them down at the bar along next to some other individuals and gave them twenty dollars to get something to eat. The bartender (also a actor) was to not serve him, ridicule him a bit and then take the twenty dollars from him and tell him he had to leave. I was shocked by the responses from the people sitting close by. Most was a good shock feeling. There was a couple of prudy ladies who said that he stunk and wanted him removed from the place. But most were defending him and was getting very hostile towards the bartender who was asking him to leave. One was even going to call the police. But the one that brought me to tears was this very older gentlemen. He was the one who gave the guy some money even before he even entered the restaurant. He defended this homeless actor right from the get-go. I was so impressed with this man I wanted to hug him. He was polite to the bartender while he was explaining to him how he too had been down on his luck before and needed help. And paying it forward is a good thing to do. (I'm telling ya... this guy is my idol) He even said that "if that mans (referring to the homeless actor) money wasn't good enough here than his wasn't either".

We have all been down on our luck before at sometime in our life....and just knowing that there is so many people out there that understand this very inspiring to me. Most of us have family or friends that would pick us up if we were ever down on our luck. But there are people out there that have no one. No Friends in high family around that could or would even help them. They are alone. Alone.... to survive on their own. Celebrate their Birthday alone...Christmas alone ....everything is done alone. To climb out of this hole that they are in (whether it is self inflicted or not)  is a monumental task. A minimum paying job (although a start) is not going to get them a house in the near future. They will still spend some of their nights alone and hungry at times.

I am thankful for the friends and family that I do have. Not because I know that they would lend their money to me to help me....but mainly because I would be alone with out them And although being homeless would suck....not having Friends and Family would SUCK even worse.

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You Have My Support

You may not know that Kim and I host a Lupus support group here in Lapeer Michigan.
A friend of ours started the group the year after Timbers passing. She works in the ER at the hospital and had saw Timberly multiple times when we took her in. But needless to say her schedule is very hectic and she also now has a new grand baby to take up all her extra time. So she basically has left the group up to Kim and I to run.

We have been doing it on our own for over a year now and at first we were a little scared that we would not be able to offer much to the group. We meet on the second Tuesday of every month and I really wish it was more often. Its not that I enjoy spending my Tuesday nights away from my TV...(you know I hate that part of it) but I really enjoy the friendship we have gained with the people that come.
There is currently 3 people with lupus that come and one the group members husband comes to also support her. So its a very small group, but that is really another reason why I love it so much. The meetings are so heartfelt and personal...I love that fact. There is a gentleman by the name of Aaron who is a member of the group and the story of his battle with multiple...and I mean multiple struggles is just amazing. I mean...I seriously don't think I could cope with what he has went through...and still does go through. This guy is a true warrior and has to live with the pain and suffering that Lupus can bring. I just find people like that amazing, and an inspiration.

Karen and her husband Mike also come and she was recently diagnosed so she is learning a lot from the group. But this woman had to quit her bus driving job because she was in so much pain to drive for any period of time. She has always been a active person and is learning very quickly that she has to listen to her body and not her mind when it comes to doing activities. She too struggles with joint pain and has now started to have problems with her kidneys (I hate that sign) because lupus many times moves to the organs and that's when the life threatening problems arise. She has truly been a blessing to the group to share her battle stories as she begins her life with lupus. And the fact that her husband comes to meetings with her every month, shows that she has a wonderful man by her side.
That is so important to someone with this or any disease. She is truly blessed and so are we to have them in the group.

Morgan who is a dear friend of ours has been with the group for a couple of years now, has had Lupus since she was 13 yrs. old. This girl has pretty much been through the rickets with this disease and offers such great advice because she has lived with it for so long. (she is 24 now)  She has such a good sense of humor. She is just so lovable that its just hard not to instantly like her. She is currently taking the newest drug on the market called Benlista and has done really well with it. She goes once a month and gets her infusion. She is also flying to Chicago to speak in front of a large group of doctors who want to learn more about this drug. She is truly a advocate of lupus. And this girl of only 24 years of age has the maturity level of a 50 year old. (I choose fifty so to not incriminate myself)

We were driving to a meeting one month and my wife said "I don't know why were are going...I doubt anyone will show up". I know she didn't really mean what she had said but the fact that she did say it made me tell her....
"Honey...It doesn't matter how many people show up...if one person shows up and needs questions answered, or help of any kind, that's why we need to be there."

That night...was the first time Aaron walked in. She has been a believer ever since.
I love this group !!