Category Archives: Life

Addison Rose

As of 2:38pm EDT, July 13, 2015, Addison Rose was born.  She was 7lbs 10oz and 20 1/2 inches long.  She is the daughter to my oldest daughter Kaitlyn and her husband Chris.  She effectively made me a grandfather and my wife a step-grandmother.  Or as we will be otherwise known as Pa-paw and Gigi.

Addison Rose

To Addison Rose,

I want to say you are such a beautiful little baby girl and I know I live far away from you but I plan to do my best to spoil you as much as I can.  I know you will grow up loved, happy, and into a beautiful young woman.  I hope you excel in all you put your mind too, excel in school, work, and that you know no hardships in your future, only joy, love, and financial success.

Love,

Pa-paw and Gigi

It’s Never Too Early To Plan Your Funeral

Arlington National Cemetery

My wife posted a blog last week about what she wanted when she passed as far as cremation, song’s played, funeral, etc.  It got me to thinking I should do the same thing.  I’ve talked about it numerous times but never really laid it all down in writing.  It’s taken me a long time to redo my will since my divorce but I finally got it done except a few minor details.  Once that is done mine and her wills will be ready to send to the attorneys to be processed.  No matter how young you are I highly encourage you to get a will done, especially if you are married or have children.

After reading her blog I realized we wanted a lot of the same things with a few variations of course, even one of the songs she has that she wants played I want played too.  Now despite having a huge family on both my mother and father’s side of the family I doubt there will be a lot of people there to see me after I am gone.  About 98% of them all have pretty much written me off.  I don’t fit into their mold, despite being a 20 year Air Force veteran and working for the government as a civilian, apparently, I cuss too much, I talk about sex too much, I joke about sex too much, I post pictures with my wife’s approval of half naked women too much (or used too, that’s a different story, nothing to do with my wife disapproving or anything), I don’t go to church, and the list goes on. Hell about 3 years ago one of my sisters blocked me on facebook, quit taking my calls, and won’t see me when I visit Florida and to this day I have no idea why.  If she doesn’t want anything to do with me while I’m alive, I doubt very seriously she will want to see me when I’m dead so I doubt she will be there either.

First, I want the gathering posted on my facebook page so it gets to everyone who may want to be there.

Second, I want it to be a party, and I mean a real party.  One with food, beer and liquor, people getting loaded, having sex on the couch (if they choose), total debauchery, and I don’t want it to stop till the last person leaves.  Start it a 7pm Friday and leave it open to last till Sunday.  People can crash on the couch, floor, spare room, wherever, I don’t care.  Keep the party going.  BYO Alcohol to keep the party lasting if you want.  Also, I don’t want to be laying in no coffin either.  Sit me in a comfortable chair beside my coffin looking out at the room, dressed in nice suit that fits me perfect, put a glass of crown and coke in my hand, and leave the coffin open for people to put what they want in it to be buried with me, as they come up to talk and take their last picture with me.

Third,  I want it to start with people coming up to talk and getting that out of the way first.  If anyone wants to say anything they can but I don’t want anything that will make people cry, I want it to be happy or funny memories or memories they know I would have thought were happy or funny even if they don’t think they were themselves no matter how crazy the memory was.

Fourth, there are a few songs I want played when people are done talking as the party starts. After they are done, then go through and play from my CDs.  No country.  Yes I like country, yes I own country, yes I even have a country song on my list but no country.  My wife knows what I listen to the most.  Below is the list and the order I want them played in.

1.  Metallica – Fade To Black

2.  Metallica – I Disappear

3.  Motley Crue – Home Sweet Home

4.  George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today (I feel like I should explain this one.  I know this is about a man who’s wife left him and he loved her until he died and when he died he stopped loving her.  The reason I picked this one is not the wife leaving part but 1) I love this song 2) I love my wife and I will never stop loving her as long as I am alive.  The day I die will be the day I essentially stop loving her)

Fifth, I want to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  As an Air Force Veteran I am afforded the opportunity to do so.  I know most likely none of my family will ever be able to visit me but I don’t want them to remember me like that anyway and I will be buried by my brothers and sisters in arms.  To finally be at peace with the men and women that plague my nightmares while I am alive, memories of things I have told no one and won’t tell anyone, of those things I have seen while in the military, be it peace time or war.  My wife knows only a little, my parents, children, siblings, and other family members know absolutely nothing of and I have no intention of ever telling them either (at least not at this time anyway).  As far as they know life was uneventful for those 20 years and I will let them continue to think that.

Sixth, as stated earlier I have a will and my will states who gets what.  I tried to be as fair and reasonable as possible, giving to those what I thought they would want the most.

That is it, that is what I want, there is nothing in this that is a joke so don’t take it that way.  I want it done as I ask to the best possible means as can be done.

Looking At The Positives

Pros and cons

Since I hadn’t been around for awhile there are some things I haven’t been able to keep everyone up to date with.  I thought this post I would go over some positive things happening.  The list may seem short but every positive thing counts right?

First up my oldest daughter who is 22, married 2 years now, is pregnant and due in June.  She found out in February that it is a girl.  Yes that means I am going to be a grandfather for the first time.  As happy as I am for them, it did catch me off guard when she told me back in October.  I struggled up until probably last month what to be called.  This is an important decision you know.  I think I finally decided on pa (p-ai) paw (not pronounced like pa pa the a similar to an ai together, that’s the best way I can type it.   So pa paw it is.  So to be the best grandfather I can be I have started buying pacifiers, onesie’s and bibs.  Books and toys will come soon.  I warned them both, just as I did with her, her brother, and her sister, I will ensure this grandchild will be a Steelers fan, love Star Trek, Star Wars, and Zombies.  So what was the first bib I bought?  See below.

Bib

Next positive is I talked to my son, who is in his 2nd year at University of Florida and he told me he got a promotion at his job to Training Coordinator.  Congratulations to him.  I’m very proud of him.  I have always been proud of him.  We’ve decided to set up chess boards and e-mail each other our moves.  So I’ll move his piece on my board when he emails me.  Then move my piece then email him what move I made and he will do the same on his chess board.  Something we can do while being apart.

Next up, we will be celebrating our 6th Anniversary May 4th.  With limited funds we can’t do everything I want to but the fact she stuck around with me for this long is a positive in and of it self.

I’m sure if I tried I could think of more but it’s 1:40 in the morning, I’m at work, and I’m just trying to keep from falling asleep so I will end it here.

What’s This Life For?

Image

Yes, yes, I know, it’s been a very long time since I have written anything.  There are many reasons for this, life, work, other projects, not in the mood just to name a few but tonight while sitting here at work I felt the need to write.  I really don’t know as I write this what this will shape out to be about but I want to write about something so I’m just going to let the words flow from my brain, through my fingers, to the keyboard onto here.

We have been having a really rough time as of late, my wife had to quit her job and file for disability so she could focus on her health.  This means one less paycheck.  She has had a very rough time this past 4 years and it has had an effect on everyone.  I do my best to help her, motivate her, keep positive, and strong for her but sometimes I don’t think I’m doing enough.  She has started painting in her off time and is now selling those paintings on etsy.com if anyone would like to take a look.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/Shanpagnes?ref=l2-shopheader-name

She is very talented and I believe it is very therapeutic for her.  I’m very proud of her and her work.  It provides something for her that I cannot.  We are getting by, slowly paying of debts one by one but that is not enough.  We have been doing this for the past 6 years.  There comes a time when enough is enough and you just need a break, something to go your way and not have something to swing around and knock you back down.  I love my wife very much.  I would do anything for her.  I may not vent my anger all the time or get pessimistic when things go bad, or throw my hands in the air and say fuck it but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about our situation or my wife and how she feels.  It just means I have to be strong, be positive, and be that person who is there to encourage her so she can keep looking forward even if on the inside sometimes I don’t see it myself.

I myself have just wanted to give it all up lately.  I’ve had medical problems myself for years.  Some 6 years, some longer than that.  They may not be the same issues as my wife but they are no less devastating and tiring to deal with.  There are days you just want to give up.  I try to do things on my own in hopes these problems may be getting better so I can go to her and say I think there is hope instead of asking her for help and finding out the negative and ending up frustrated all over again but it never works.  I am flirting with high cholesterol now and high sugars.  I had another blood test done and they want another appointment with me which isn’t good.  Mostly likely this means something didn’t go down and just another medicine for me to go on.  I have been exercising my ass off too.  I have changed my diet.  I’m eating smaller portions, healthy snacks, drinking more water, this week, I even cut down from drinking alcohol every night to limiting it to only 3 nights a week.  Yet, here I am, not losing weight and the Dr. wants to see me again.

My youngest daughter from my first marriage doesn’t want to visit anymore.  I can never get a hold of her on the phone when I call.  She’s either with friends, working, or church.  I leave messages to call me back and no call.  This I think is probably more painful than anything, even anything I may endure with my PTSD.  My step kids hate me.  They think I am mean and don’t love them when everything I do is out of love.  All I want is for them to learn to show respect not just for me but for anyone they encounter.  Follow rules, do what they are told when they are told not when they get around to it, no matter how small what they were told to do is; and to want more out of life then what someone else can give them but what they can get themselves through hard work and dedication because those are the things they can be most proud of.

Life.  What can I say; life sucks.  I’m ready for it to be over with.  I’m 42 years old and never owned my own home.  I live in an apartment.  I have no savings, even though I have been paying off debts each month for the past several months I still have a lot left to pay.  I have no legacy to leave my children or my wife.  Nothing I have accomplished in life is worth anything.  When I am gone, no one will remember me.  I won’t be talked about in the history books.  I won’t be mentioned on the news.  No song’s will be sang of my heroic deeds.  Shit, most people don’t even know most of what I have done other than vague references by me because it’s to painful or lurid to describe.  I’ll be a fleeting thought with my family before I’m even forgotten by them.  I was born no one and will die no one.

My wife deserves so much better than me.  She could have been better off when she left her husband, if I hadn’t gotten in the way, even if it would have only been for a few years.  She at least would now be living a better life and taken care of.  My children deserve a better father than me.  My step children deserve a better step father.  My parents deserve a better son.  My sisters deserve a better brother, which is evident by the fact one has cut off all contact with me the past 2 years with no reason why and I rarely hear from the others.  If my Grandmother (mom’s mom) was still alive I would have to say I would probably be a huge disappointment to her as well.  If I could say fuck you and good bye to life right now I would.  But I know I can’t.  So I’ll just pick myself up.  I’ll put on my happy face, find my positive attitude, lift myself up, tell myself it will be okay and everything will work out and things will start to get better, and go back to being the optimist I’m known for being.  This is my pessimist moment and I guess I’m done.  Sorry to bring everyone down and hopefully I’ll be back on here more with more uplifting, sexually perverted posts that I have been known for in my past.

Is It Time To Give Up?

Held On

I’ve been fighting a battle for several years now, my wife for even longer.  Sometimes you want to give up and other times you don’t.  It’s difficult when you try so hard to help someone to make the right choices but instead they don’t listen to your wisdom, your experience, basically don’t want your help.  We all, have this need to be there for our loved ones, to support them, to shield them from the failures you know will come from making the wrong choices.  When the person your trying to help continues to refuse to listen, you find yourself asking, “Is it time to give up?”

Well I’ve asked this question more than once and everytime my heart has said no.  But I believe we all hit a point when you can do no more until they ask you.  So I ask again “Is it time to give up?”  Well I still believe the answer is no.  What I have realized though, that sometimes, you can’t keep the one your trying to help from failing.  That being there for them is why they can’t succeed.  I think there comes a time where you have to stop helping.  Your not giving up, your just letting them do it themselves.  There comes a time when that loved one has to fail, on their own, in order to learn how to succeed.  If your not there to catch them, eventually they will learn they can’t do it themselves, and if your lucky, will realize they need your help after all.  You have to fail in order to learn how to succeed.

No one goes through life making all the right choices, never getting it wrong.  We all fall short sometimes, we all make the wrong choices on occasion.  What is important is that moment when we realize what the right choices are.  Sometimes it takes a failure to show us how to succeed.  Some, it takes many.  I believe that time has come, to let that loved one make their own choices, even though I know they won’t always make the right ones.  If that loved one fails enough without us being their safety net, eventually they will see the road to success and hopefully realize we were only trying to help all along and just maybe make the choice on their own for our help.  I believe it is that time for us to drop the safety net, never give up hope, and let this person make their own choices, even if they are the wrong ones.  Let this person know you will always be there to help if they ask for it but your not going to catch them when they fall until they do ask for that help.  I think after enough falls, this person will finally see how to stand up, learn the right choices to make to succeed and that you can’t always do it alone, that they can ask for help.

Fail

Merry Christmas

Christmas

Well it’s that time of year, Christmas Day.  The day adults have been waiting to hurry up and get here so they can stop worrying about buying gifts, so they can get past all the wrapping paper thown everywhere, so they can make Christmas dinner and just get it over with.   It’s also a time when kids wake up before the rooster crows, asking to get their stockings and see what santa brought.  It’s also a time when everyone sits down together as a family and open gifts.

Now if you are christian or even if your not but you believe in God, then this is also the day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  A time of reflection and renewal of the spirit.  Though whether you believe in him or not it’s also a time to gather around the tree as a family, open gifts, and give thanks to everyone.  In today’s high paced, electronic society, this can be a rare moment for most families.  It’s a chance to bond, laugh, eat together and drink some spiked egg nog for which the rest of the year there never seems to be enough time for.

Unfortunately over the years we have gotten so worried about offending people and those who don’t believe in God that most have gone to saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.  It’s the only holiday we do this too.  Personally I don’t subscribe to this.  Those who do believe have as much right to say “Merry Christmas” as those who don’t believe say “Happy Holidays” and no one should be getting offended because someone’s beliefs are different from their own.  Last I checked it was a semi-free country.

So in closing I would like to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone who believes in God and to those who don’t.  I hope everyone has a blessed and joyful day with your family and friends.

5 Tips On What To Do When Your Marriage Is In Trouble

So my wife posted this blog and I thought I would repost it with my responses as well.  We got married in 2009 and I honestly thought it would be easier than what it has been.  I never anticipated the money issues we have had nor the issues I have with my ex and even the child support office, who seems to think all fathers are deadbeat dads if you are divorced and paying child support and alimony.  They don’t consider if it was the father who left or if the father pays faithfully or not.  As for my ex, after 15 years of marriage I asked for a divorce and left in Jul 2006.  The divorce was final in Dec 2007.  It is now Dec 2013 and yet she still acts like I’m the worst father ever for the sole reason that I divorced her.  She doesn’t work with me on anything, she excludes me from the kids lives, I have to counter it by being the best father I can by calling every week, ensuring I get them every visitation, even if it puts us in the negative financially.

Then there is the issue with my step children and their father who has not been in their lives for 4 years now.  The oldest has a lot of hate and anger because of it and unfortunately it gets directed at me.  I know its unintentional and he doesn’t realize he is doing it but after 4 years it can wear you down.  I have always had simple rules, don’t argue or smart mouth me or their mother, do what your asked when your asked and keep your grades up.  If you do these things I’m more than willing to expand privileges, let them stay up later than normal, extra time on electronics etc.  If you don’t then you don’t get rewarded.  But because they, like their mother are so outspoken they think they have the right to argue everything and wonder why I argue back.  This has led them to think I hate them unfortunately and it couldn’t be further from the truth.  I raised 3 kids from my previous marriage, 2 are adults now and one is 16.  I didn’t have these issues with them so to have it with these 2 can be very frustrating and hard to manage. 

She made a comment about us being introverts and them being extraverts and how I don’t understand how children can question everything and how they don’t understand how people can be quiet and follow the crowd with no questions.  I think there is a misconception here.  While I agree I don’t see how children can question everything it is because I believe and was brought up that when your parents say something you don’t question it, argue about it, or smart off.  That is considered disrespectful.  You can question what people “say” all you want but you don’t disrespect your parent or elders.  As for being quiet and following the crowd, that’s not how I would put it.  Because I don’t always argue a point or question something doesn’t mean I’m following the crowd.  More often than not I want to argue something I disagree with but I don’t.  I believe there is a time and place to raise questions and when someone who is either in charge or your parents say to do something, that is not the time.  It’s a matter of knowing when to speak up and when to keep your mouth shut.  Those are times when you keep your mouth shut.  After you are done if you want to ask why it had to be done right then or a certain way then that is fine but you don’t argue it before hand, you just do it.

As she said the past year has been really difficult.  Arguments have been at an all-time high, money has been bad, with two cars constantly needing repairs, bills, and I’m in a job that pays $10K less a year, it’s an adjustment to say the least.  There have been several times when I said to myself I don’t have to put up with this.  I don’t have to deal with kids arguing with me or feeling like I’m failing my wife and the family.  However, I stay.  Why?  Because I am committed to making things work and making things better.  I love my wife and more than that I’m in love with my wife and though I may be slow to respond or to fix the issues may take longer than what either one of us would hope for, I’m sticking it out because I know when it gets better it will stay better.  So below is an article my wife found and as I stated blogged.

http://davewillis.org/5-things-to-do-when-your-marriage-is-in-trouble/

1. Confess everything.

You’ll only get through this tough season if you move forward with complete and total honesty and transparency. Be willing to humbly admit fault and seek forgiveness for every past and present breach of trust. Hold nothing back.

To be honest, I feel I do this one pretty easily.  If I messed up I’ll admit to it.  I do like to try to explain my thinking behind it in hopes she won’t be as upset and hopefully understand but I do do it.  That isn’t to say that there are occasions when I honestly believe I was in the right or at least not at fault for something and when I feel strontly that I wasn’t at fault I will defend myself.

2. Recognize the difference between Forgiveness and Trust.

Forgiveness and trust are two different things. If your spouse has broken your trust or you have broken theirs, forgiveness should be given instantly because grace can’t be earned, but trust has to be earned and it can only be earned slowly through consistency of action. Fight the urge to punish each other.

For myself, I forgive pretty easily and depending on the infraction will likely forget about it within a couple days.  Some things are harder to forget especially if it is repeated over and over, and trust is hard to give when it is broken but because I want to I do try.  I do have issues with fighting to hurt.  I try very hard not to be mean when I argue but more so just try to express my side, how I feel, and how I see things.  Calling names and all that does nothing to help, it only makes things worse.

3. Be VERY careful where you get advice.

When your marriage is in crisis, everyone is going to have opinions about what you should do next. Choose up front to only listen to people who love you, love your spouse and love God. If they’re missing any part of that list, their advice will not be balanced with wisdom.

I have never really had anyone I could go to when I had problems to ask advice.  I have always had to figure it out on my own.  I have heard some of the advice given to my wife and I’m kinda glad sometimes I don’t have people advising me.  However if I did I know I would start it with I need advice to fix things not end things.  I agree with her statement about divorce. It has become too easy.  I was miserable with my ex for 15 years.  There were good times but over all I was miserable but I stayed hoping it would change.  I finally had to realize it wasn’t going to and leave.  So many people today don’t give it that long to try.  They don’t give it a month before they are filing for divorce.  That’s not how all your problems are solved, divorce is a last resort.

4. Get help.                                                          

When our car is broken, we don’t have a problem taking it to a mechanic and when our arm is broken, we don’t have a problem going to a doctor, but for some reason, when our marriage is broken, we think we need to figure it out on our own. There are great resources out there, so take advantage of them! Making those investments into your marriage will pay off huge dividends. A great place to start is SaveMyMarriage.com.

Like my wife said, it costs money and right now we just don’t have it.

5. Don’t give up!

The road ahead won’t be easy, but your marriage is worth fighting for! Take it one day at a time, lean on each other, and trust God to take care of the rest.

I have been divorced once.  I tried for 15 years to save it and couldn’t.  I believe with all my heart that any issues we are facing in our marriage now can be resolved with time.  There are no quick fixes, ever, just quick reactions.  Compromise is a difficult one, we both have certain values and thoughts that don’t differ a little bit but differ drastically.  That makes for difficulty when trying to compromise.  You don’t want to feel like your compromising yourself or your beliefs when you feel so strongly about something and when you do you feel like you failed yourself and others.  Our biggest issue has always been communication and I believe we are both trying to fix that issue.

I think these tips were easy things to remember and do and definitely can help your relationship.  Good advice and anyone reading I hope thinks so too.