13 & Counting

This post I originally planned for yesterday!  Yesterday morning I choose to publish my post ‘it touched me‘, because I felt it necessary that post was read yesterday.

This post’s significance is a little less than if it were posted yesterday – but I am posted it today anyway.

Pretend it is yesterday –

Today is the 13th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

Okay this is interesting – the 13th month of my blog falling on the 13th day of the month!

mentalfloss.com article ‘13 Reasons People Think the Number 13 is Unlucky‘, includes the following –

There were 13 people at the Last Supper. It’s said that Judas Iscariot — the one who betrayed Jesus — was the 13th man to take his place at the table.

Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission (intended to get men on the moon, anyway) thus far. An oxygen tank exploded and the survival of the astronauts on board was pretty touch-and-go for several days, but they did all come home safely in the end (but you already knew that).

Kids officially become teenagers at the age of 13, and we all know that’s a scary phase.

In numerology, the number 12 is considered to be the representation of perfection and completion. It stands to reason, then, that trying to improve upon perfection by adding a digit is a very bad idea indeed — your greed will be rewarded with bad luck.

Friday, October 13, 1972, was a bad day in the history of aviation. That’s the day that Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 infamously crashed in the Andes, killing 29 people. On the exact same day, 174 people were killed when a Soviet Aeroflot crashed in a lake about a kilometer from the runway.

You can click the above title link to find the rest of the list, if you are interested.

I personally think there is nothing bad about the number 13.  But then I started thinking about replacing other numbers with 13 and maybe it is bad number.  For instance –

In 1973, a single topped at #2 on the music charts ‘The Twelfth Of Never’, and includes the following lyrics –

I’ll love you ’til the poets run outta rhyme

Until the “Twelfth of Never”

And that’s a long, long time

Until the “Twelfth of Never”

And that’s a long, long time

I guess using the lyric ‘Until the “Thirteenth of Never”,’ well just does not have the same meaning.

In 1983, a movie premiered ‘3 Men and a Baby’, well ’13 Men and a Baby’ would be weird and creepy.

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Image Provided by: en.wikipedia.org

The television show ‘2 Broke Girls’ is presently a popular show, I do not believe ‘13 Broke Girls’, would be as popular.

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Image Provided by: http://www.cbs.com

Then there is the book ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, what about ‘A Tale of Thirteen Cities’, no I do not think so.

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Image Provided by: scientific-journals.eu

Okay, 13 may not work in many titles, but I think it works fine for the title of this post.

Today is the 13th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

What do I want to leave when I am gone?

In the past 11 ½ months I have written posts about life, death and legacy; you can view these posts under the category ‘Attitudes, Feelings and Views’.

What do I want to leave when I am gone?  When my last breath is taken and my eyes see for one last time, what do I want to leave behind in the minds of people that know me?

I ask again, what do I want to leave when I am gone?

Originally it was a book; a book about me and my life.  Would anyone read it and would anyone really care?

Then it was a blog about me and my life.  Would anyone read it and would anyone really care?

When I started this blog almost a year ago my intention was to let my sons, the rest of the family and any friends to have access to it.  Will I do this?  I have not totally decided when I will provide this blog to my sons and my family.  I am unsure if I am ready to let them have access to it.  It is not finished, it is uncompleted and a work in progress.  How long I continue this blog remains to be seen, but the book I wanted to write, it could still take place because the writings are here on my blog.

What do I want to leave when I am gone?  When my last heart beat takes place and my nostrils take in the last oxygen, what do I want to leave behind here on earth?

Does it really matter that I leave anything at all?  I often think about my grandmother who died several years ago, she resonates within me.  She was a great woman who in her doings and her ways unknowingly became a teacher to me.  I have a few pictures of her and a few knick-knacks of hers and I have her bible.  But more importantly I have her memory and the things she taught me.  She never wrote a book, never had a blog, but instead lived a life as a wonderful person; a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a great-great-grandmother, but more importantly a teacher.

My life is very different from my grandmothers; it has taken a very different road – but I can strive to be like her; me as a wonderful person, a father, a grandfather and maybe a great-great grandfather, and maybe even a teacher.

Times have changed; they are very different than when my grandmother was alive and I lived near her.  Today my sons are further away and I am here, the locations are different and the lives are different.

What do I want to leave when I am gone?  What do I want to leave them when I am gone?

Maybe this blog and maybe someday that book will be available to them to read and maybe, just maybe they will learn something from me.

Legacy

Dictionary.com has the following definition –

legacy –

noun, plural legacies. 

  1. Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
  2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
  3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
  4. Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.

In my post ‘Treasures’, I ended with the following –

The most important treasures are those related to my sons, the pictures, the school related material, the newspaper clippings; these are the most important items.  But do my sons really care about them?  They have significance and are important to me; therefore I cannot throw these treasures away.  Are they important to my sons; I ask again, do my sons really care about them?

Someday I will give to my sons these treasures I have of them and they can choose to keep them or throw them away.  I am unsure if the younger generation today understands the importance of keepsakes; those items from the past that the older generation considers treasures.

In my post today –

Are these keepsakes, these treasures one aspect of a legacy?  Back several years ago, my grandmother died.  My mom and her siblings went through her things and in turn my mom gave me a few keepsakes or treasures that belonged to my grandmother.  I have her bible that I know was the foundation of her life and a few other knickknacks of hers.  I will hold on to these items, but then what will result in them once I am gone?  Will my kids take them and keep them?  Will these items have any meaning to them?  Time will tell.

I have many personal items, really not worth any significant amount of money, but I do want to leave a legacy of some sort. The legacy I want to leave is not of the physical sort in terms of material items, but in the immaterial, the spiritual kind.  The life I led and the person I am; my experiences, my journey through life, my being.

This blog began with me introducing myself and in my 2nd post ‘I want to write a book’, I wrote the following –

I was thinking writing an autobiography, but then again maybe a memoir would be better.  If it were a memoir and it was written well, than I could always write another one.

Many notes, thoughts and memories I have documented over the years are available just waiting for me to organize and put together into the final writing.  So what am I waiting for?

In my post today –

The book will most likely never be written, and I am okay with this realization – my autobiography, my memoir is this blog.

This blog is what I want to leave as a legacy; to my kids or whoever else is interested in reading about me and my life.

What will you leave as your legacy?

Thoughts From Years Past.19

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.18’, I ended with ‘It was not creating a state of mind that took me away from the craziness I felt: instead it created an evil person that hated life and everything about it. ’

The following documentation is the conclusion of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

I became extremely depressed to the point of not being able to get out of bed for days.  I hated myself and everything about life.  I hated everything, yes maybe even my kids or at least the stress they brought to my life.  I could not cope with life any longer and decided it was time to end it.  I had these thoughts many years before as a young child during those growing up years.  There was a time as a young boy, I felt depressed and wanted to kill myself.  I recall going into the kitchen and grabbing a knife out the drawer and thinking about stabbing myself.  I wanted to so badly; I wanted to be dead, to not experience the pain I was feeling at that time.  But, something kept me from going through with it.  I was just as scared of killing myself as I was of living.  Now in my late twenties it was the time to go through with it, to end this miserable and disturbing life.  I was older now with more stresses and struggles in my mind.  I was older now to have the strength to carry it out this time.  The time had arrived.  It was time to end my life!

Thoughts From Years Past.16

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.15’, I ended with ‘After several days, mom and baby were doing well and it was time to go home.’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

My second son was born in 1984 on Valentine’s Day.  He was a big baby, weighing in at 9 lbs. & 12 ½ oz.  He was born without incident, coming into the world as the first did, by C-section.  He was a big bundle of joy and was an exciting addition to the family.  His big brother was only 21 months at the time and was so cute with his bleach blond hair.  I remember him holding his younger brother in his arms and wanting to take care of him.  I have two boys now and with them came additional responsibilities and stress.  Two months after he was born, mom got pregnant again.  Wow, not necessarily good timing as the two we had required much attention to take care of.  But within two months a miscarriage took place and we viewed it as a blessing in disguise.  We just were not ready for another baby.

….to be continued….

(more about my sons in this post: My 3 Sons)

Thoughts From Years Past.15

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book‘ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.14’, I ended with ‘This state of mind was the stage setting for a dramatic play, a play that was to unfold with the births of my boys.  ’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

My first son was born in 1982, one week after my wife and I celebrated our 4th anniversary.  I knew before that day that a boy would be brought into this world.  Right after we received the news mom was pregnant I saw a falling star one night.  I made a wish that night that all my kids would be boys.  Sounds kind of corny I know, but my wish came true.  Back during those days, dad was present in the operating room when the baby was born by C-section.  I was nervous and excited at the same time; the typical emotions of a new father.  Mom had an epidural and was awake to experience the big event.  With knowing a baby was being brought into this world I had no concerns about what was happening.  Watching as the doctor cut her abdomen and then her uterus had no effect on me.  The water began gushing out and I knew the time had arrived.  As the doctor placed his hands in mom’s womb I could feel the sense of anticipation overtake my body.  Slowing moving his arms upward, his hands begin to appear holding the head of a baby.  I knew immediately by seeing the head it was a boy, there was no need to see the rest of the body.  It was an amazing experience I would be blessed to participate in two more times.  As I carried the first born to the nursery from the operating room I was gleaming.  Waiting on the other side of the nursery window were aunts and uncles and the proud grandparents.  The bundle of joy overall was healthy.  He had an infection that required a spinal tap be performed.  As frightened as his mom and I were, the procedure was completed without incident and he overcame complications.  After several days, mom and baby were doing well and it was time to go home.

….to be continued….

(more about my sons in this post: My 3 Sons)

Thoughts From Years Past.14

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.13’, I ended with ‘I added to my list of failures me being a worthless lousy father. ’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

Shortly after graduation and before the first child was born, I worked several jobs from waiting tables to house maintenance repairs to painting, to finally getting hired as a manager trainee in a fast food restaurant.  After all this was the environment I grew up working in and knew so well.  I excelled and became general manager in a short period of time.  The responsibilities were numerous and the stress associated with the job was high.  I did what I always did, worked hard but not handling the stress well.  I wanted so much to earn my superiors approval, my dad’s approval and everyone else’s approval that I created great expectations for myself.  These expectations would never be met as I set them so high they in themselves created tension and stress that resulted in failure and disappointment within me.  This state of mind was the stage setting for a dramatic play, a play that was to unfold with the births of my boys.

….to be continued….

(more about my sons in this post: My 3 Sons)

Thoughts From Years Past.12

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.11’, I ended with ‘We all survived and years later I came to know a man of great character and goodness.’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

The marriage created more stress and struggles.  My senior year of high school was tough as I worked two to three jobs in order for us to survive.  I thought the marriage was needed in order to change my life for me to continue on somehow.  I wanted to have a reason to live and not just exist.  I wanted a reason to live a life that had meaning and not one of insecurity and worthlessness.  But the meaning was not there, the purpose was not there.  I did graduate high school, just barely though.

Thursday, September 23, 2004, 8:00 AM and it is another day in the office.  What will today bring?  I imagine joy and happiness, peace and patience, love, grace and contentment.  As I write this story of my life, it reminds me where I have been and where I am current day.  I appreciate my life; all the trials and tribulations, all the triumphs and successes.  There have been many of both that I will continue to share in these writings.  I believe this journey called life is like a school which I am taught lessons that will aid me in becoming a better person.  I truly believe this for everyone.  I believe we all are at different levels or stages and throughout our lives our experiences are the lessons from which we learn.  Events are thrown in there to test us on what we have learned.  I have failed many tests, but with experience and practice have successfully passed tests.

One of these tests is my relationship with my 3 boys.  Yes, I have boys, actually young men now.  I spoke with them this past week and have gained a sense of peace with myself knowing they are doing well.  Our relationship is special and fulfilling.  But it was not always like this.  These men were given life by their mom and me and have been taught all that we could teach them the best way we knew how.  I believe we did okay, they appear to be happy even with the struggles they have.  They are each on their own journey of life working on fulfilling their hopes and dreams.  I love my boys with all my heart and pray their lives are filled with happiness, joy and meaning.  I have a great respect for them that I guess most dads have for their kids.  They bring a sense of peace and focus in my life that at one time was hectic and confusing.

….to be continued….

(more about my marriage in this post: My Marriage)

(more about my sons in this post: My 3 Sons)

Thoughts From Years Past.11

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.10’, I ended with ‘My dream changed due to life throwing an unexpected curve along the way.’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (edited from original writing to not disclose specific location)

So why did we get married at the age of 18 and with me having my senior year of high school left?  I know we got married ultimately for the right reasons but at that moment in time for the wrong reasons.  I know my life would have been very different if we had not gotten married that summer.  Another road would have been traveled if it were not for a hot spring evening in late May or early June.  We were miniature golfing and having a good time.  I told her I was bored with life and needed a change.  I had given myself and her three options for making this change.  Option one: rob a bank, option two: kill myself, or option three: get married.  Well I guess she did not want the first two options to take place so we decided to get married.  Within a couple of weeks we got our blood tests, the marriage license and on June 16, 1978 we heading over to the nearest town to the Justice of the Peace who married us.  We both cried out of joy and fear.  She had told her mom prior to that day and I told my mom right before I left the house.  Those are the only people that knew what was taking place that day.  I remember my mom crying and not understanding why I wanted this.  How would I be able to continue school and survive?  I could not really answer her questions, so I left and did what I felt I needed to do.  After eloping it was time to face the new father-in-law.  This was going to be tough; he was a religious man that would not understand our reasons.  He was a man I really did not know well and in some way was intimated by.  The meeting was tough, and I had to explain why we did it, telling him “I love your daughter.”  We all survived and years later I came to know a man of great character and goodness.

….to be continued….

(more about my marriage in this post: My Marriage)

Thoughts From Years Past.10

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time. My post ‘I want to write a book‘ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.9’, I ended with ‘My dream changed due to life throwing an unexpected curve along the way.’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (edited from original writing to not disclose specific location)

That curve along the way was meeting my future wife. We met at band camp the summer before my sophomore year. She was a junior and at the time I was dating another girl. I did not pay much attention to her but she told me sometime later when she first saw me she commented to a friend that we would be married someday. We hit it off and started dating sometime that school year. All of our friends knew we were serious about each other. After dating for more than a year, the month before the summer of my senior year, my band director told us we better not get married that summer. I was the drum major and I guess he felt getting married would in some way affect my abilities to perform my duties. I am not sure why he provided this comment. I do not recall if we mentioned this possibility or it was spoken to anyone, especially him. Well anyway you guessed it, we got married that summer. It was difficult day to go to the band director’s house to give him the news. I remember him opening the door and the first words out of his mouth. “You got married!” I guess the look on our faces gave it away. I was afraid of losing my drum major position in the band, as it was important to me. My fears were soon eased as the band director allowed me to keep this position even though he was not happy about the situation.

….to be continued….

(more about my high school band years in this post: My High School Band Director)

(more about my marriage in this post: My Marriage)