It was no accident

His name is mentioned here in many of my posts, and there are many words to describe him.

His name of course is Gary.

His role is friend, spouse, and most recently caregiver.

Several months ago, a fellow blogger and friend Laurel, published a post about caregivers.  In that post titled ‘For Gary ’, she ended with these words –

Gary and other people in the same role are “unsung heroes.”  That’s a phrase that most of the time represents a person who doesn’t get recognition or notoriety but plays an important, supportive role…”behind the scenes.”

They should be remembered.

Thank you again Laurel for the touching post; reading it again brings tears to my eyes.  Please if you have not read Laurel’s post, please do so – there is an important message there.

As many of you know, a little over 3 weeks ago, I had a major surgery.  Before being wheeled off to the operating room, Gary was holding my hand and we kissed.  He assured me everything would go well and he would be waiting for me.

I woke after surgery feeling I had been hit by a truck and there he was waiting.

I am grateful for Gary my caregiver and my unsung hero; who is strong, supportive, kind, understanding and extremely patient.  The past couple of weeks have been an adjustment for me and Gary.  My body has changed, both inside and outside.

He is still here today, waiting on me hand and foot and I at times feel I do not deserve him.  I am fortunate in that someone else thinks I do deserve him – I am grateful.

I believe everything happens for a reason both good and bad.  Gary and I met for a reason; our relationship developed for a reason; we became married for a reason.

Yep, everything happens for a reason, and Gary is in my life for a reason – one reason is certainly as caregiver and unsung hero.

There is a country song I like by Tracy Bird titled ‘The Keeper of the Stars’, with the song beginning with these lyrics –

It was no accident me finding you

Someone had a hand in it

Long before we ever knew

Now I just can’t believe you’re in my life

Heaven’s smilin’ down on me

Yes, everything happens for a reason; it was no accident me finding you.

Thank you Gary for being in my life, for taking care of me and for loving me.

I do not deserve you, not at all, but I am thankful and grateful you are in my life.

Love you,

Terry

One More Try

There are countless posts on my blog written about life; the whys, the what’s and the reasons.

Why do we live?

Why do we suffer?

Why do we die?

What is the meaning of life?

What is it we need to do?

What is the meaning of death?

Reasons to live life to the fullest.

Reasons to stop and smell the roses.

Reasons to not fear death.

I have many questions, I always have, and along the way I feel I received some answers; but then again, more questions came from those answers.

Many times, I publish posts about certain topics and will include a link to other posts for those that might be interested in reading them.  My posts about life, the meaning of it, death, learning and other topics from my mind can be found in the category ‘Attitudes, Feelings and Views‘.

I always stated this blog is about me and my life; and many posts I have written mention my faults and weaknesses.  I am far from perfect and at one time in my life I thought I was supposed to be.  I overcame that thought and realized I just will put forth the effort to be a better person each day.  Each day I grow, sometimes just a little bit; but I grow.  Each day I move forward; towards being a better person and towards death.

Last month, I published a post ‘Faith‘, where I wrote about the impact of George Michael’s album had on me at a difficult time in my life several decades ago.  His album Faith was important to me at a time I needed something to hold on to.  During many times in my life, I have needed some sort of faith.  Depending on where I was in my live; what trials and tribulations were taking place or the demons I had around me – sometimes faith appeared when I least expected it.   Many times, faith was a message that came from someone else and over the course of my life, that message came in the form of a song.

A song from George Michael’s album Faith is titled One More Try and includes the following lyrics –

I’ve had enough of danger

And people on the streets

I’m looking out for angels

Just trying to find some peace

‘Cause teacher

There are things that I don’t want to learn

And the last one I had

Made me cry

This song One More Try is about a relationship with another person.  But could it also be about a relationship with God or ourselves?

There are many different teachers in my life who have taught many different lessons.

Times in my life god and believes taught me.

I have taught myself.

My mom, dad, husband and many others have taught me – including George Michael.

And though I have learned many things in life and improved myself and became a better person with each passing day, year and decade – I still have questions.

As I continue to ask the questions and continue to make mistakes and stumble, I am given one more try.

That teacher; whoever or whatever it is – continues to give me one more try.

(Note: my responses to your comments will be delayed this week.  Please understand I continue to be in recovery mode and am moving slow.)

The Good Drunk

My category ‘Pictures & Stories’ are posts with me writing a fictional, creative short story about a picture.

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The Good Drunk –

Is she a drunk?  That eye, that smile, do they tell the story of who this woman really is?  What about a boxer?  Could she be a street fighter?  Who is this mysterious woman?

A busy, hectic and demanding day well demanded a drink!  The bar was unusually busy that evening with regular patrons partaking in their usual drinks of choice.  Who were all these other people here for the first time?  Why was the bar filled with people needing a drink or maybe needing each other’s company?  The music is loudly playing the songs of yesteryear from the jukebox and the clinking of glasses and voices of the people consume the space.  Noise is soon replaced with silence as the front door slams and the figure walks out of the shadows.

It is her!  But who is she and why is she here?

As she makes her way to the bar, the crowd begins to play the role of drinkers again and the music once again begins to play.  As she approaches the bar, the bartender asks for her request and quickly proceeds to fulfill it.  The Shirley Temple is sipped slowly as she focuses on the room of drinkers.  Those drinkers are drinking due to a busy, hectic and demanding day.  As her glass is emptied she turns around for another request while at the same time the patron next to her begins to rise from his barstool.  What takes place next will shock them both.

The man’s elbow firmly encounters this mysterious woman’s eye with severe force.  The knockdown takes place with a smash – the good drunk is down.

Who is this mysterious woman?

He makes me want to be the best I can be.

He makes me want to be a better person.  He makes me want to be the best I can be.

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Image Provided by: spearfruit.com

Why is this?

There is an article on the thoughtcatalog.com website that lists signs your relationship is making you a better person and includes the following –

You find yourself making more and more tiny compromises—about which type of movie to watch, or what time to eat dinner—without feeling at all bitter.

Your main need might just be to meet their needs. And why not? You’ve spent enough years focused entirely on number one.

Overwhelmed by gratitude, you catch yourself saying “thank you” with more enthusiasm than necessary—to people who hold open doors, compliment you, or look friendly in general. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

You want to return the Universe’s favor, so you act kindly towards everyone, even not-so-nice strangers. It takes way more than an annoying street performer who gets in your face on the subway or a rude waiter to make you angry.

You’re drunk on Love Kool-Aid and you know it, but you’re not embarrassed. You’re desperate to share the joy running through your veins.

You’re more motivated than ever to exercise and eat healthy because you have more reason than ever to live longer.

Your general outlook is incredibly positive. Bad things definitely happen, but there’s so much good in the world, too. You know this because it led you to your lover.

Really?  That was not quite what I had in mind when writing this post.  For me my relationship is making me a better person because I want to be a better person for him.  He deserves a better person to be in his life to be his partner in life and to be his spouse, his support and his love.  This is why he makes me want to be the best I can be – to be a better person.  I know relationships are about 2 people and yes, I am a control freak at times and make it all about me.  I am working on this, because it is not always about me or should not always be about me.  I am working on this, because I want to be a better person for him.

He makes me want to be the best I can be.

Why is this?

Could it be love, devotion, dedication or commitment?  Well it may be a little of all – whatever the reason, it is good for me.  It is good for me because I want to be good for him.  I want to be the best for him, a better person; the best I can be.

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Image Provided by: spearfruit.com

He makes me want to be the best I can be and I am a better person because of him.

Mean Lately

I have been a mean person lately.  Gary is the recipient of my meanness.  I recently have displayed happiness, joy and positive here on my blog.  In reality, I have been a mean person lately.

In my post ‘The Evil Person Inside‘, I concluded with the following –

Is there really an evil person inside of me?  Maybe there is not an evil person inside; maybe I am just losing control.  Losing control of what?  Maybe I just have an anger issue or I am easy to lose my temper.z93gxke4hdevgvn8mhuf

Per the above excerpt, I am not an evil person and therefore there is something I can and should do to control my outbursts even when I do not know when they are going to occur.  For me I think there are triggers that cause the uncontrollable episodes of rage and angry.  I am trying to change my thinking so the triggers are no longer valid and therefore nothing occurs.  The changes include my mindfulness meditation, exercising, working on having more patience and I am really trying not to be a control freak.

In today’s post I write the following –

These episodes recently are occurring more frequency; maybe due to stress?  The placing of the current home on the market is occurring in less than a week and still there is a list of things to do.  And I thought we were going with ‘Plan A’ for our next chapter, but now we are thinking about ‘Plan B’.  There are still decisions to be made and time is running short; what if the current home sells quickly?  Currently we do not have a place to live immediately upon selling this house; and we still have some downsizing to do.

Yes, I have been feeling stress and I know as usual I place stress upon myself with my lists, schedules and time tables.  When the items on my lists are not marked off based on the schedule I allowed per my time table, I become stress – and stress leads to me being mean.  I have been a mean person lately.

Gary is the recipient of my meanness.  I recently have displayed happiness, joy and positive here on my blob.  Now do not get me wrong, I am happy about moving on from the current home to the next chapter.  I do feel joy about the move and change that will take place in the near future.  And I am positive the next chapter will bring me from a place where living life is unimaginative to a place where life is creative, original, new and fresh again.

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Image Provided by: quotesgram.com

I have been a mean person lately.  Gary is the recipient of my meanness.  He puts up with me, does not necessarily understand me at times, he is strong, sincere and patient.

I need to be more conscience of me, my behaviors, my reactions and my thoughts.  Difficult it is at times for me; the person who is impulsive, and creates outbursts of anger and control.

Yes, I have been a mean person lately.

Anniversaries

In my post ‘The Hit – The Last Chapter‘, I wrote the following –

I am unsure how long I stayed motionless with the eyes closed listening to the music and pretending not to know of this presence.  I opened my eyes and there next to me was that guy.  That guy I have noticed on several occasions but pretended to not be interested in.  This was the meeting of my future husband.

That day is when my life changed forever.  It is 13 years later, we are married and living and experiencing all the ups and downs life is providing us.  There have been struggles and good times, fights, making up, having fun and moving on.

In today’s post, I write the following –

That day the meeting of my future husband was 13 years ago today.

thecoupleconnection.net has an article ‘The importance of relationship milestones and anniversary celebrations’ which includes the following –

Most couples remember the important moments in their relationship: the time they met, their wedding day, the births of their children. But not all remember to celebrate these special occasions, especially after several years together.

Research shows that marking important anniversaries can actually help strengthen relationships. If a couple is having problems, taking the time to celebrate together will spark memories of those happy times they shared in the early days.

mommyish.com article ‘Only Boring Married Couples Stop Celebrating Wedding Anniversaries’ includes the following excerpt –

Please kill me if I ever get so complacent that I can’t muster up the energy to celebrate my own wedding anniversary. Yes, this lack of celebration really happens in real life—probably to real people you know.

Maybe I fall far on the other side of the fence because I’ve always been one for celebrating. I absolutely love birthdays and dressing up for random holidays because all of this shit only comes once a year, people! If you can’t dress like a slutty leprechaun every 365 days, then life isn’t worth living, I always say.

Wedding anniversaries are no different—if not a better reason to celebrate. Hopefully, you are still happy you got married however many years ago. Hopefully, you still enjoy looking into the dopey face of your spouse at least once a year on a special date night to celebrate the day you were wed.

Gary and I usually do not celebrate the day we met and usually do not celebrate our birthdays – maybe we need to start.

Gary and I have not reached our 1st year wedding anniversary – but I think we should celebrate it.

After many years of being together, we exist and our relationship continues.  It may be that initial spark has dimmed, and our routines are played out each and every day and we know the other so well we have become content and relaxed and comfortable.  This is good, but that spark that was lit upon meeting 13 years ago; should be revisited and celebrated – maybe we need to start – today!

Opposite

Opposite

merriam-webster.com has this definition –

Simple Definition of opposite

1:  located at the other end, side, or corner of something: located across from something

2:  completely different

enchantedlearning.com has the following information –

Opposites are also called antonyms. Some common opposites are:

absent – present,            alive – dead,      backward – forward,      begin – end,      

create – destroy,             dark – light

dead – alive,      end – begin, start,            fail – succeed,  

float – sink,         fresh – stale,      full – empty,      hard – easy

limited – boundless,       loss – win,           mad – happy, sane,         maximum – minimum, new – old,           no – yes

optimist – pessimist,      past – present,                

patient – impatient,       

possible – impossible,    stop – go,

strong – weak,  success – failure,              victory – defeat      

They say opposites attract – is this true?

psychologytoday.com article ‘The Real Reason That Opposites Attract’ begins with the following –

Did you ever think that it was a cruel joke of nature that most of us find ourselves attracted to people very much unlike us? I mean, wouldn’t it be an awful lot simpler and a lot less messy if we tended to be drawn to those whose personalities are more like our own rather than those who seem like they are polar opposites of us.

The article continues with the following –

We are drawn to others out of needs and desires that are unfulfilled in our lives, such as a desire to experience greater connection, security, love, support, and comfort. On the other hand some of those unfulfilled longings have to do with their polar opposites, such as adventure, freedom, risk, challenge, and intensity. While these needs and desires may appear to be mutually exclusive, they not only can co-exist with each other, but in the process, generate a “tension of the opposites” that produces the passion that sustains, deepens and enlivens relationships.

It continues with the following –

Opposites, or perhaps more accurately, “complements” do attract. Introverts and extroverts, morning people and night people, impulsives and planners, steady plodders and adrenaline junkies, adventure-grabbers and security-seekers…there’s no denying the idea that something in us is drawn to people who counter some of our dominant inclinations with complementary tendencies.

Gary and I are not total opposites, we certainly have our differences and we have our similarities.  If I had to pick and choose a few words from the above list, this is where the words would fall.

Terry                     Gary

Absent                 Present

Forward               Backward (he would disagree)

Destroy                Create

Dark                       Light

Fresh                     Stale (he would again disagree)

Limited                 Boundless

Mad                       Sane

Pessimist             Optimist (more so than me)

Impatient            Patient

Impossible          Possible

No                          Yes

Okay, upon viewing this list do you see who is the positive person in this relationship; the nice and pleasant person?  Do we have conflict?  Absolutely, but ultimately we balance each other out.

We balance each other out when it comes to other areas of our relationship as well.  He is a numbers guy – me not so much so.  I am the tech guy – him definitely not.

We have our differences and we have our similarities – ultimately we have each other.

Meet my Husband

In my post ‘spearfruit’, I wrote the following –

In 5 days, I will be publishing a post to introduce my husband to you.  The name spearfruit was created by me and relates to him.  I have a pet name for him, no it is not spearfruit; but spearfruit is the name that came from his pet name.

Here are some hints – see if in the next 5 days you can figure it out:

Breakdown my blog name into 2 words

Find the meaning or history or definition of 1 of those words

For the other word, find the surname that is associated to it

Once you have figured this out, you have found the pet name for my husband.  If you are unable to figure it out – that’s okay, I will reveal it to you in 5 days.

Good luck my friends!

In today’s post, I write the following –

In my ‘to expose me’ series, I slowly identified myself to you.  There were the hands, the feet, the wrinkles, the hair, the body, the location, the voice and yesterday I exposed all of me.

Today I want you to meet my husband.

Were you able to figure out his pet name or maybe his first name?  My husband’s name is Gary and I call him garyberry!

behindthename.com has the following meaning and history about the name Gary

From an English surname which was derived from a Norman given name, which was itself originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ger meaning “spear”.

Wikipedia.org has the following definition about the word Berry

In everyday language, a berry is a small, pulpy and often edible fruit.

So you see, my blog is named after my husband; Gary – garyberry – spearfruit.

Besides being a wonderful, patient and kind man – he puts up with me – no one else would.

Here are some interesting facts about Gary –

Born in Salem Mass – known as the site of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692.

Lived down the street from ‘The House of the Seven Gables’, which is associated with Nathaniel Hawthorne and his famous novel by the same name: published in 1851.

High School Valedictorian

Syracuse University – New York: Bachelors of Science – Major: Pharmacy

Northwestern University – Boston Massachusetts: Masters of Science – Major: Business Administration

5 years in ROTC

Army Years:

Pharmacy Officer, Flight Platoon Leader, Black Hawk Helicopter pilot for Medical Air Ambulance where he provided MEDEVAC support during President Reagan’s visit to the Republic of South Korea and in 1989 commanded the 214th Medical Detachment for “Operation Just Cause” – the invasion of Panama; that deposed leader Manual Noriega as dictator of The Republic of Panama.

He also served as Assistant Airfield Commander, Program/Budget Analyst to the Army Surgeon General, with other positions including Hospital Controller, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Healthcare Policy Analyst.

In his long army career he was stationed in Germany, South Korea & Panama and traveled extensively throughout the world, having visited 75 countries.

He retired as a Lt. Colonel after 22 years in the army.

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Image Provided By: spearfruit.com

This is my husband Gary, or to me garyberry.

Decisions, Choices, cause and effect

I made decisions in my life and the results of those decisions picked me.

I made choices in my life and the results or those choices picked me.

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Image Provided by: newhottopics.com

Our lives are full of choices and decisions and with these come outcomes, results and consequences.  When my sons were younger and at the age of making their own decisions I would guide them but never make their decisions for them.  I would remind them before you do anything, stop and think about the outcomes of your actions.  What could the results be?  Think about the consequences.  My sons grew into young men and yes, there were some unexpected incidents as a result of their decisions and choices; but today they are men living their lives and making good decisions and good choices.

As they have made decisions and lived with the outcomes, the results and consequences, so have I. I made decisions in my life to smoke and then to stop and start again and stop only to start again.  The smoking picked me with regards to giving me bladder cancer.  Yes, I did think about the consequences of my actions, but made the decision anyway.

I made decisions in my life to leave bad relationships and I felt the results would be beneficial to me.  The consequence of this decision was that it led me to my husband – this man, my husband picked me.

dictionary.com has this definition for cause and effect –

adjective 

  1. noting a relationship between actions or events such that one or more are the result of the other or others.

yourdictionary.com has the following examples of cause and effect –

  • We received seven inches of rain in four hours. – The underpass was flooded.
  • I never brush my teeth. – I have 5 cavities.
  • The streets were snow-packed and icy. – Cars needed more time to stop.
  • He broke his arm. – The doctor put it in a cast.
  • The boss was busy. – Her secretary took a message.
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Image Provided by: newhottopics.com

Is it cause and effect or decisions that lead to choices?  If I create a cause, does that in turn have an effect?  Well sure it does, all causes have an effect.  If I make a decision, does that in turn have a choice?  You see the decisions I have made in my life brought choices, not just choices offered to me, but choices offered to other people.

Many years ago I left a bad relationship and started over.  This led me to taking a temp job.  The company choose to hire me fulltime and the job lasted over 10 years.  That job led me to other opportunities and the consequence of leaving that job provided outcomes that brought me here today.  That one decision – that cause – had many effects – that resulted in many outcomes – that resulted in choices.

We make many decisions and those lead to outcomes, results and consequences.  Those outcomes, results and consequences may in themselves have a cause and effect.  Our decisions create choices; cause and effect – with the outcome that something or someone chooses us.

not many handshakes going on these days.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

I am a hugger and a kisser; my mom and her side of the family are huggers and kissers.  I remember spending holidays at my grandmother’s house – my mom’s mom.  I grew up with this side of the family always hugging and kissing.

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Image Provided by: animalshugging.tumblr.com

My dad’s side of the family was totally opposite.  They never expressed their love in this sort of way.  But my mom’s side of the family always did.  And I guess me not being your typical guy, grew accustomed to hugging and kissing and did not put much thought into doing it – except with my brothers and my dad.

My siblings and I worked for my dad in his fast food restaurants and I guess I considered him my boss.  My mom also worked in the business and I can remember calling my mom and dad by their proper name.  That continued until I left the business and moved on to other jobs.  The relationship with my dad was not close through my childhood years and early adulthood years; for quite some time it was more a business relationship instead of a dad/son relationship.  You can read more about my relationship with my dad in these posts ‘My Dad Who Taught Me Plenty’, ‘I understand the words ‘I love you‘‘, ‘Anger Towards My Dad‘ and ‘A Letter From Dad‘.  But over the years as we both grew older the relationship began to change.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

I was visiting my dad at his house and it was time for me to leave.  The usual action to take place was to shake hands; this is what we always did.  Today was different, not because of a special occasion or special anything; it was an ordinary day with an ordinary visit.  It was time to leave, and that farewell would be different.

Upon leaving with no intentional thought I hugged my dad and gave him a kiss on the cheek and left.  I got into my truck, left and started driving home and after several minutes it occurred to me.

What did I just do?  What was I thinking?

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Image Provided by: animalshugging.tumblr.com

That is the point, I was not thinking; I was just acting.  I was acting the way I acted with everyone upon leaving and saying goodbye; with a hug and a kiss.  This is what comes natural to me but did not for so many years to my dad.  We never spoke of that farewell on that particular day, but it was the event that helped change our relationship.

Today, I hug and kiss my dad always without hesitation and the response is welcomed.  I do not kiss my brothers, but we do hug now – not many handshakes going on these days.

The first hug and kiss to my dad – I remember that day as if it were yesterday.