Tag Archives: little help from my friends

My hopes for my children…


My cousin, Sylvia Orozco, posted this on facecrack, written by Lee Pitts , and I felt  the need to share it, so that maybe my boys would see it….

” I would really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would. I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him. When you want to see a movie and your little brother wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head. I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove . I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it.. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa . May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. These things I wish for you – tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life. 

I would like to add – that I hope you feel strongly enough in your beliefs to stick to them and up for them. Yet, don’t turn your back on those who believe differently. Sometimes, you have to agree to disagree. The world would be a very boring place if everyone agreed on everything. 

Sometimes, you will be wrong. Be honest and humble enough to admit when you are. Don’t gloat when you win, and shake the winners hand when you don’t.  

If someone falls, help them up. One day, you may be the one to fall. Never be afraid to ask for help, but be sure to offer it as well. Thank the Lord every day for the things you have. Your health and your family, and pray for those who who don’t. Pray for those who serve and fight for your right to do so. Pray for not only your friends, but your enemies. Forgive and forget, life is too short to be angry and hold a grudge. 

Sometimes, in life, you have to settle. A car, a house, even a job, but don’t get comfortable there. Always  continue to strive for more. Don’t just live your life content with where you are. But NEVER settle for the person you spend your life with. Hold out for your soul mate and once you have found her, never let her go. 

NEVER give up, never surrender.

…and remember … you are never too old to hold your mother’s hand. 

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Oh Happy Days…


As the cat sits barking at something outside the patio door (probably a gecko – I do live in Florida and they are all over!) I realize that I am crazy behind on my #100DaysofHAppy …well, sort of…

I have them…my life has just been such a cluster f**ck these days that I haven’t had the brain power to post them…

Here are some…I don’t have picture of a couple, so…use your imagination…

There was the day I was on my way to see mom at the hospital and the man behind me was jammin’ in his car – not just jammin’ – no, he was dancing …he saw me watching and stopped. I guess he really liked the song and didn’t care – and started dancing again. Man after my own heart – I am a klutz and can’t dance, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket – so, stand back and and plug your ears ’cause I love this song!

Then there is Suzanne…she is my bestest, oldest, dearest friend Misty’s girlfriend. She works at PAWS in Atlanta, an animal shelter. While it is sad, yes, it also makes me smile a little – before they have to put a doggie down : ( she brings them chocolate donuts. One last treat.

A couple of tickets we had dropped from our driving records so USAA let us back with their insurance, saving us a little over $100 a month!

It took me 2 1/2 weeks, but I finally got the laundry caught up (it was difficult with mom in the hospital and all of the running around I had to do with her) and unpacked…

and last, but definitely not least…

I GOT A JOB!!!

There’s more to come..but for now, I have got to get back to cleaning and organizing the house before I GO BACK TO WORK! WOOOO HOOOO!!!! 

 

All Who Wander are Not Lost…


This past weekend, I went home to Atlanta, for many reasons, but the most important of them being a memorial for my friend Kelly who had passed at the beginning of March.

He and his family had been estranged for many years, more years than not, really. So, they truly did not know very much about him. As his friends, the closest of us, anyway, he shared much and was a giant of a man with the heart of a teddy bear. He was also one of the smartest people I have ever known! Scary smart.

He was a martial artist, a student and teacher of the art of Jiu Jitzu. He made an incredible impression on those he met.

Kelly also lived a”colorful” life. He was an addict, forever recovering and slipping, as addicts do. Yet, the past year – he had been clean and sober. He was getting his body in shape and had found a renewed connection with God.  There were really not many of us who knew these things about him. Kelly, to most, was the tough guy always looking for a party.

I had known Kelly since high school, though, like most friends from that time period of my life, had lost touch and had only reconnected about 5 years ago. I was amazed at the changes in him even then.

However, Kelly was also a very troubled man.

During his Memorial, the preacher asked if anyone had anything they would like to share about Kelly. The coach of his football team when he was 12 years old spoke…Kelly was 45 at his death and this man remembered him from 35 years before. He had a few other friends speak, and while I really wanted to, when I speak about Kelly, very colorful words tend to flow too easily from my mouth and it just wouldn’t be proper in the house of the Lord.

After everyone spoke, the preacher said that the family asked that he mention that Kelly had a drug problem. “We’ll never know why he used drugs or the effect it had on his life “..then went on to preach forgiveness. WHAT?

A Memorial Service was not the proper place to mention that and we, his friends, his true family, we appalled that it was even mentioned. Disrespectful. We wanted to get up and leave, but we could hear Kel saying – just let it go…

I can not just let it go. It is crawling all over me.

However, I believe I can shed light on the reason for Kelly’s drug use.

Kelly had been diagnosed bi-polar, though I am not sure how many years ago the “official” diagnosis was made.

Bi-polar disorder is a mood disorder, more commonly known as manic depression – because we go from extreme highs to extreme lows. I say we because I, too, am bi-polar (https://annasmind.wordpress.com/2007/11/22/so-about-me/).

It often begins in late teens, but a traumatic event can bring it on in a child. Kelly’s mother died when he was very young, and his father told him to “get over it.” Not exactly father of the year material this man. I am sure he was going through his own grief process, but a child needs more help to deal than “just get over it.”

As the disorder takes over, people in general tend to attribute it to normal teen moodiness, hormone changes, puberty.. but it is much worse. We usually begin to self medicate – generally starting with alcohol, and when that quits either numbing the pain, or quits being fun (in the manic phase), we move on to drugs.

If a person is lucky, there is someone who loves them enough to notice these things and will get them help. I was. Kelly, not so much.  Once disgnosed, medications, such as anti-depressants, lithium, mood stabilizers and sometimes even medicines used to treat psychosis. Once we begin the meds, we feel better. We feel better, we think we do not need the meds anymore. It can be a terrible, vicious cycle. Again, if the person has someone close who loves them and cares for them, they will notice these changes and help them with treatment again. Rarely are we “fixed” the first go around. Or second. Took me 4…

Meds are a trial and error with bi-polar disorder. People react differently and need to be monitored until the right ‘cocktail’ is found.

Not everyone has the patience for this.

Not everyone has someone around who sees and understands and cares enough to help.

When the meds don’t work, we often go back to self medicating, and, too often, become addicts, as happened in Kelly’s case.

Kelly could be the life of the party. He was the sweetest guy who made huge impressions on everyone he met. He could also be so terribly depressed he absolutely had no idea how he could go on. He called me many times, saying maybe it would be better if he were gone. More than once, he had a suicide plan made. Luckily, he never followed through.

The last couple of years of  Kelly’s life, he had, as I said,  begun a new relationship with God. He was getting his life in order. His body and mind. The doctor wanted to put him on meds for not only for this, but for the extreme pain he was in. He had done serious damage to his body through the years, not just with the drugs, but the Ju Jitsu and MMA fighting he did. His weight had gone way up at one point and he was quite proud to get it back down. The point is – he did not even want to take the meds the doctor prescribed. Whether they were for his pain or psychotropic/psychiatric medications.

He found alternative methods to treat his pain – yoga, meditation. But the brain – bi-polar people – we have a very very difficult time dealing with the day to day – hell – with or without meds. Again, it comes back to the support system – which Kelly just didn’t have often enough.

So this, dear hypocritical preacher man, and family – is the why of the drug use, at least, I suspect. I am though, only speaking from my own experiences…and knowing Kelly.

When I found out, my first thought was – he was finally happy! Why now?

My second thought – He was finally happy. So, he died happy. 

The good that came out of it? I have spoken with the men he worked with at Capitao Jiu Jitsu and MMA in Fort Walton Beach, told me his students are making patches for their uniforms in his honor. He told me he was working with friends on writing a children’s book. He had the life experience that he could tell a young person – that is not the direction you should be taking your life.

Kelly was a wonderful man, a true friend and confidant. He was always there for you when you needed him. Maybe if the family had tried, they may have known this side of him, too.