As a boy I couldn’t wait to get up before the crack of dawn. My Dad and I had a spot we fished about an hour’s drive away and the best time to get there was at dawn’s early light.
He had snacks and peanut butter sandwiches ready. I’d ride shotgun in the old pickup held together by rust and bondo. About the time the sun rose, we’d get to the lake.
Crappie, that’s what we were fishing for, and when they were spawning, we were certain to catch them.
Carefully hooking a live minnow in the back with a big gold rim hook, we’d drop 4 or 5 cane poles and couple of rod and reels.
Looking back, I realize I’d bait the first line I dropped in, but after that, Dad patiently rigged up the rest so I could fish right away. Continue reading Riding Shotgun
My dad, Daniel Rab, was best friends in high school with Jimmie Jones, who lived right across the street. Dad was the fifth of 9 Rab children and Jimmie was the oldest of 8 Jones kids. Needless to say, under those circumstances, they were always at each other’s house and there was always something to do.
Dad got to where he would go over to Jimmie’s house, but not so much to see his best friend, but rather Jimmie’s younger sister, Jo Ann, my Mom.
And so it was over time Mom became a Rab.
Continue reading I See Daniel
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
It was before calls could be identified, so it was next to impossible to trace. He called the 1-800 crisis line number in the middle of the night, and it was my night on call to cover the phone.
He went into great detail telling me he wanted someone to know everything he was thinking before he put a bullet in his head to end it all. Continue reading And Then It Went Silent
There’s a plot of ground that lays still, quiet. It’s a special, revered ground, but realistically, only to a few.
It’s a place to remember, a place to forget, a place to laugh, to cry, a place to go back and have conversations and wonder if anyone who sees thinks you’re insane. Continue reading At Least For Now
Two and half months ago a lightening strike at work crashed our computer server and immediately brought us to our knees. Within an hour a couple of computer geeks who work for the IT Company we contract with showed up. One started on the main frame and one, Joe, began checking individual computers. I walked in my office to see Joe at my desk. Joe glanced up and asked if I was having problems. I told him I’d spilled a cup of coffee on the tower and it’s acted funny ever since. Slightly amused, he retorted that my computer was just low on gasoline and after he filled it up and left he wanted me to plug it back in.
I stood fumbling through some paperwork while Joe kept hacking and coughing. Half joking, half serious, I told Joe if he’d lay off the cigarettes his cough would go away. Without looking up from the keyboard he casually said, “Not this time. I found out last week I have stage 4 lung cancer. It only goes downhill from here.” Continue reading A Short Time To Live
Whether it is the sound of a pencil scraping on a pad of paper, or the gentle clicking of buttons on a keyboard, the result is the same…..a note, a thought, a rhyme, a reason. To put some of these notes before the world, whether a few or many, is a daunting idea. Continue reading Quiet Pen, Loud Words