Monday, March 06, 2006

Grieve, and Grieve Well 

Its funny how Kyle's words keep ringing through everything we experience. Some part of it just always seems to perfectly fit whatever moment we find ourselves in. I lost my Grandpa on Wed afternoon. I was sitting in a meeting at work when I received a couple of calls in row from my dad. Knowing that grandpa wasn't doing well, I decided to step out to call him back. When I called I couldn't reach him, so I called mom. Mom told me that grandpa was in his final stages and that Hospice had told them that it would be in the next 24 hours. Mom and Dad told me they were calling to give me one more chance to say something to grandpa. They told me that he could hear and understand me, but wouldn't be able to respond. That gave me pause. I was about to speak to my grandpa, the only grandpa that I have known, for the last time. One last chance to say what I wanted to say, one last chance to tell him how I felt. I could barely say a word. I was thankful for the chance to say something, but when the moment came there was very little that I could get out. I told him I loved him and that he meant the world to me. I heard him groan as he tried to say something, but I just told him I loved him again. About 30 mins later I was on the phone with my sister when I saw Dad's number come through and I knew what the message would be.

That day I got on a plane back home to be with the family. From this point on I don't think I took Kyle's words to heart. I didn't grieve. I didn't want to. I had done enough of that already. I didn't want to say goodbye. I didn't want to think that my grandpa was gone. So, I somehow blocked it. I don't know how, but I did. I didn't let myself cry, I didn't let myself see the loss. I spent my time feeling numb to the events. I would call Beth when I could and lose myself in hearing about her day. I didn't want to talk about mine because that would make me think, make me realize my loss. Last night I was talking to Beth when she was having trouble sleeping and asked me to tell her a story about something. I started to tell her things about grandpa and then just started crying, really allowing myself to for the first time since I got home. This morning I continued the blocking of grief. Dad told me in the morning that Grandma wanted any of the grandkids to speak that wanted to. I hadn't planned on this because originally it was only to be Dad and my aunt that would speak. I didn't know what to say, or how I was going to say it. I decided the best bet at the moment was to go for a run to clear my head.

The run allowed me to pull my thoughts together, but I think the wall that I put up to grief came down as a began to speak. As I stood there in front of grandpa's coffin my voice began to quiver and shake. I prayed for strength, but the tears came freely. Maybe the tears were exactly what I needed most. I hope I was able to speak through the tears and emotions, but here is what I said (or wanted to say):

When I think of grandpa I think of a few things. First was that he was a well dressed man. You would never find grandpa without a nice suit, a crisp shirt, a new sweater on, or ever see his hair out of place. I often wondered wear my love for clothes came from, or especially my ability to go to the mall and drop money on a new shirt or pair of jeans without hesitation. After looking at grandpa's closet and remembering him it didn't take me long to figure that one out. I think on more then one occasion you would find grandma shaking her head as grandpa walked in with yet another bag from Dillard's (grandpa spent 20 years of his retirement working there). The next thing I think of was his quick wit, his smile, laugh, and the twinkle in his eye. More then anything though I think about his wink. Grandpa loved to wink. As a kid I used to think that this was a thing just between grandpa and I, as if he had never winked at anyone in his life but his grandson. I quickly learned this was a joy that many shared with many others. My favorite wink was always following a statement from grandma that grandpa might not have actually agreed with, but didn't want to say. Grandma would make her statement and would always end with, "isn't that right, Joe?" Grandpa would respond, "oh, oh yeah" and then turn to you and wink. But most of all I remember Grandpa for his love. The love that he always should for others and the great love that he held for his family. A friend of mine whom I lost this fall always closed each of his sermons with the same words. Right now those words for me epitomize how Grandpa lived his life. He Loved God, he Embraced Beauty, and he Lived Life to the Fullest.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Giving Thanks 

I traveled home this year for the first time in what I think was about 5 years for Thanksgiving. I was looking forward to the trip, however it was the first time that Beth and I had been apart for that long in quite awhile, so a bit bittersweet to me. I would have loved to have spent it with her, but I'm a bit of a dunce, so we'll leave it at that!

I haven't been on this blog in a long time, but I've been feeling like I should for the past month. The one thing that has permeated my thoughts during this time has been the loss of Kyle. Kyle always encouraged writing your thoughts and journaling, but I've never been great with journaling, so I thought this might be a good place to start back with. I was able to keep up with this at one time, and was encouraged by Beth and other friends to restart it, so here I am.

I've never really had to deal with death in my life, but it seems like its been all around me the past month. Honestly, I've never come to grips with death. Its always been a distance thing that happens to other people, read in the news, relatives of friends, but has never pried its way into my life. The last real loss that I remember was when Nan-Nan (my great-grandmother) passed away, but I was probably in 5th grade at that time. Kyle's death left me numb. I didn't know how to deal with this, how to understand it, where to put it. It just didn't/doesn't make any sense to me. I have had to deal with a lot of illnesses in my family, however that has almost made death seem less likely to me. Its not that I didn’t believe it could happen, its just that when you see people pull through the things that I have, it makes it seem more distant - less likely. Loosing Kyle brought a harsh end to that naivete.

This Thanksgiving I went home with a new perspective to visit Granny, who recently has had a battle with colon cancer, and my grandpa, who suffered a heart attack last year and has had declining health ever since. I honestly was terrified of going home to see them. I didn't know how I would react, what my mind, my heart would do as I saw them with this new understanding of what it means to lose someone. In some ways I miss the ignorance. Now I feel left in a fog with how to deal with these things.

On Thursday morning I went for a run, which have been few andfarw between for me since my back injury. I was a beautiful Missouri fall day. The leaves were blowing across the streets, crunching under each stride. The clouds looked like pillows placed on clear blue sky. The hills caused my legs to burn in a way thatstrangelyy invigorated me. It was cool autumn day and consciously let the airdeeplyy fill my lungs and I breathed every aspect of the beauty and life around me. I will always remember Kyle every time I experience that moment.

On Friday, Grandpa had another heart attack. They moved him from the rehab center that he was in back into the hospital. I got to visit with him some on Friday and Sat, but had to leave early Sunday morning. When I left we thought that Grandpa had a minor heart attack (although at 88 any heart attack is serious), but after hearing from the doctors on Sunday we found out that it was more of a major one. I'm somewhat at a loss right now. It seems like death is all around lately. I just found out yesterday that Janalee's grandfather passed away over the weekend, another friends last weekend, and Jordan's a couple before that. Some on my team lost a relative over the weekend and a co-worker lost a close friend unexpectedly. What once seemed a distant thought now seems to be all around me.

Its good to be back on the blog. I'm making no promises, but I hope to write often again.

Cheers, Tom

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Shout Out To My Peeps 

Okay, so several of my friends have big things coming/done in the past & coming weeks.

First Jeremy finished up his JD/MBA Degree. 4 more years of school after the BBA - God bless you and thank you for helping me realize one thing I don't want to do with my life! But, seriously - HUGE CONGRATS!

My sister bought her first house! I'm avoiding that one at the moment. I don't like moving.

KP! DUDE- YOUR NAME IS ON A BOOK!!! CONGRATS!! Body Prayer - comes out in Nov!

Craig is starting his first book. Seriously people, you are writing books! Yeah, the blog is about as far as I get!

Jana - Finished her first marathon! CONGRATS! Trust me - its addictive and if you'll go watch the last few miles of one and see the runners' faces at the finish line, you'll sign up.

Blair & Jeremy both have HUGE tests coming up, so keep them in your prayers. Bar exam and comprehensives for BB's Phd program. Once again, thank you both for helping me realize 2 things I don't want to do with my life!

A'ight - that's all I've got at the moment.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Still Here..... 

Looks like this is my longest blogging drought since I began this thing last year. I just haven't had the blogging motivation, but thought I'd type a bit anyway.

Went to the Ash Wednesday service at church tonite. For many of my Baptist friends this is something a bit new to them, but for me its what I grew up with in the Methodist church. Kyle asked us to think about what we wanted to repent and I spent a bit of time dwelling on this. How I spend my time is one thing, patience is another. In some ways I am a very patient person, in others I seem to have none. One area where I have very little is being tested right now.

About a month ago I woke up on a Sunday morning with a sharp pain shooting down my right leg. I ended up going to see the doctor the next day and after an MRI found out that I have a herniated disc in my lower back that is pinching a nerve. I'm getting a shot on Friday that should hopefully ease the pain a bit, but despite that I'm out of commission when it comes to my running. I basically can't for quite a while to come. I'm not doing too well with that. For those of you who have read this blog over the past year, you know this is my addiction, and I view it as a very healthy one (although some of my friends may disagree with that statement). So, now I'm trying to figure out what to fill this void with, but I haven't come up with much yet. My doc gave me the clear to try a stationary bike, so I went on Monday - no luck. My back was killing me the next day. So, back to square one.

A'ight a painkiller and my bed is calling my name - I'll try to start posting again, but no promises at the moment.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I've been a bit blank on ideas for the blog lately. I keep sitting down to write something, yet nothing comes to mind - just a blank slate. So, I thought I would just start typing and hope for some inspiration to strike, however nada thus far.

Finally watched Napoleon Dynamite last week - good times. I enjoyed it, and now can at least appreciate/understand everyone that quotes it all of the time.

Garden State came out on DVD at the end of December. This is a must own and must see. Don't bother with renting it, just go buy a copy.

Finally finished reading A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius last week. I had started reading it a long time ago, but I just don't think I was quite in the right mood for it. The first part of the book is a little depressing and just wasn't what I was wanting at the time, so I put it aside. Started reading it again while I was on vacation though and really enjoyed the rest of the book. I love his writing style and how thoughts pour out in the story. Currently debating on what to start next. Had someone recommend the Life Of Pi to me today. Think I've seen it before, can't place it though? Guessing Craig probably had it.

I haven't been overly impressed with Alias thus far. Don't get me wrong - its still a great show, but just not quite at the same caliber as the past few seasons. I'm hoping it will get better, but hey Jennifer is still in it, so it can't be too bad! Lost on the other hand is still fantastic. Definitely digging that one!

Birthday was yesterday. 28 now. Hmmm. It was at least a good day anyway! Something anti-climatic about birthdays now.

Scrolling through musicmatch to pick an album - went with a Compilation from KFOG that my cousin gave me. Good stuff.

Needing to do some work tonite, but trying my best to procrastinate on it. So far, so good.

Toothache anyone? Now that is what you call a bad day at the office.

Okay, I'm tapped. Have a good one - Cheers

Sunday, January 02, 2005

A New Year 

2005 is here! That seems weird to me. Is it really 2005? The 5 just seems so odd. That being said, there's no stopping it. I've actually set out a few goals for the year. I'll call them goals, because I've never been a fan of New Year's resolutions. They always seem like a bit of a joke. How many people really keep their resolutions? So, I've made goals. Goals I can do. I don't do well with not achieving my goals, so this seems like a more serious thing to me. I'll not share for now, but I've set them anyway.

Back to work tomorrow. The notebook made the vacation this year, so I'm actually already caught up on the e-mail flow. I hate to travel with it, but I just decided it would be less stressful to take an hour or two a day to hammer out the e-mail. Now I won't have to go in tomorrow morning to about 1,500 e-mails from being out of the office for a week. Yes.... 1500! No bueno.

Hope the New Year finds you well! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Off To DC! 

They finally found my luggage! However, it did take until Sat though! I wasn't too happy about it, but I'll stop complaining for now (unless you work for American Airlines - let me know if so). Now I have to brave the lines and check-in again, but hopefully I'll have a smoother trip this time. I'm sitting in St. Louis right now, but flying to DC in the morning. A few days there and then back to Waco on Sunday.

Can I just tell you how excited I am about next Wed night?? Three hours of some of the best tv out there!! One new episode of Lost AND a TWO HOUR premier for Alias! DAMN!!! That's a good night! What more does a guy need?

I'm actually ready to get back to work (however not before a few more days off), which is a refreshing thing. I usually am not too excited about getting back to the office after a vacation. Got a lot to do and ready to dive back into it.

Okay, that's all I know for now. Catch ya back in TX. Cheers

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