In my junior year of college, Aubrey came to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi State for a college internship. He was in every way a young, southern gentleman, a kindhearted fellow with a charisma that shined when he spoke in his slow, southern drawl. On top of it, he was mature beyond his years.
We met at church and Aubrey immediately became a part of our college group. In fact, not knowing a soul from Texas, we became his local social network. He became a friend.
Even under the best of circumstances, things can go bad. For Aubrey, it did. Continue reading Hayride of a Lifetime
I’m not even sure how it started, but once it did, it became a friendly free for all. It was insults, from the Bible, no less.
I got to work one morning and found a yellow sticky note stuck on my computer screen from a co-worker which had both an insult, and a Bible verse that went with it. It said – They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard… Leviticus 21:5 “You shave the sides of your beard having your little goatee AND you’re bald! You’re a double sinner!!”
I laughed. Then plotted.
The next day I left a post it note on his desk, and was quite pleased with my response — Continue reading Bible Battle
It takes someone with a golden heart and an iron will to work at Hospice. My friend, Linda, is one of those people.
Hospice workers try to guard their emotions so they don’t burn out and can help the next person, the next day. Some people still get through the protective wall though and profoundly touch the heart.
For Linda, one such person was an older lady who was quite lucid at the time, but only had a couple of months to live. Every day she went to see her. They would sit and visit, and Linda did all the things she could to help care for her new, dying friend.
No one should feel alone when they die, and the lady’s family was scattered across the country and not able to be with her. Linda was, however, and she began preparing her for the final goodbye. Continue reading Baby Girl
Reading a magazine in the dentist waiting room, I saw someone in my peripheral vision pushing a wheelchair. I didn’t look up until I heard the familiar voice of a man facing the receptionist window.
I looked to the wheelchair and locked eyes with a woman staring at me. Even though I haven’t seen her in a couple of years, I instantly recognized her. I smiled and waved, but she flatly stared into my eyes without blinking or a hint of emotion.
She was diagnosed four years ago with early onset dementia. We worked together for over 15 years and she was an extremely responsible, competent individual who rose to every task and challenge ever thrown her way.
But now, she didn’t know me. She was looking right at me, but didn’t see. She was there, but not here; alive, but not living.
Continue reading True Love Through
Something woke me up at 3:41 AM this morning. Sometimes it’s insomnia, but not today.
Sometimes you wake up slowly and realize you’re stretching, feeling the freedom of every muscle movement. Sometimes you wake feeling completely rested, healthy and whole. Sometimes you know something woke you, but not sure what, and your mind begins a gentle wander wondering about chicken spaghetti, Snicker Doodles and peaches.
Sometimes you think the dog may have fleas because you hear it scratching in its crate. Sometimes you think of people and see their smiles and hear their voices and hope they’re sound asleep, or like you, completely rested. Sometimes you hear a noise and question how in the world you ever missed the ceiling fan’s sound as the quiet electric motor swirls the air. Continue reading Sometimes
Two questionable characters were loitering in front on the grocery store bench. I did what all concealed handgun licensed carriers do. I slipped a small pistol in my pocket before going in.
About the time I was in front of the bench, one of the men said, “Hey brother! Why don’t you hire me?”
That’s not the first time I’ve heard that line, so I knew at some time or another he had worked or interviewed for a job with me. I looked at the man who spoke and said, “I’m sorry. I recognize your face, but your name is slipping me.” Continue reading Rock Bottom Hope
It’s odd, but when the mood for pancakes strikes, Whataburger, the hamburger place of Texas, is where I go. On Christmas Eve morning, the mood struck.
When I walked through the Whataburger doors, the woman behind the counter immediately greeted me. She was probably 45 years old, fairly small, and a little rough around the edges. She was the only one there wearing a Santa hat which covered all but the ends of her short corn rows on the side of her head. She spoke with a semi-deep smoker’s voice and was missing four, maybe five, of her top front teeth. She whole heartedly welcomed me, took my order and started pouring coffee. Continue reading We All Is
Stillborn — that’s what the doctor said, but to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended family, you very much lived! Thank you so much for entering our lives, even if ever so briefly. It is sweet, yet bitter, to miss and love you so much at the same time. Goodbye seems impossible before hello.
Your mother knows you better than anyone. She loved…no, she loves you dearly, Emmitt! You made her really sick those first few months. She was miserable in the mornings, and certain smells, like baking brownies, made her really nauseous. By the third trimester though, she was talking about how much you moved and how hard you kicked. We knew you were there because sometimes your mommy would let us put a hand on her tummy and feel you move. You would roll and stretch big, then give a hard kick just for good measure! I think you got all that energy from your daddy.
Continue reading Dear Emmitt
In the brevity of a moment there are seconds, when noticed, that mysteriously blink. Those blinks are where the essence of life is lived. It is in the mystique of those brief seconds when everything can, and does, change. Although those seconds may be understood, they are never adequately explained.
It’s the seconds between a baby in the womb, and the first breath of life. It’s the seconds between a mindless, carefree drive in the car, and an explosion of the air bag. Continue reading The In-Between Seconds
Only the singers knew the song. It was alright. With some music and songs, you don’t have to know the words because the heart already knows.
After a few words, a gentle hush fell on the church congregation. The song began to resonate in hearts:
“But right here in this moment, May our strength be renewed, As we recall, what God has done, and how He’s seen us through.” Continue reading Just Say, Amen