Monthly Archives: October 2015

LAWN CHAIRS AND BIRTHDAYS

I cannot believe you would be 63 today. That’s old. You’d think it was old. I guess I didn’t realize how young you really were. Im 43 years old now. FOURTY THREE. You died at the age of 53. Damn that is so young. So. Young. Not sure I can even picture you being 63. Less hair, more sentimental, more emotional, more nostalgic, still riding that Harley and RETIRED. Its sucks shit you didn’t get to enjoy retirement. I mean really. Thats just not cool. You’d have gone on a lot of rides with Dennis Im sure. You’d have taken Mom on more trips. You’d have gotten that damn pool because Mom would’ve won that argument and your grandkids would’ve loved it. I wonder if I would have left Texas.

As all great conversations are held over beer in a lawn chair on a driveway…..we’d have had an hour or so one today. We would have had red velvet cake and beer and turned the garage radio on and sat in the lawn chairs on the drive and solved the world’s problems. Dad there is a great possibility that the presidential race next year will have 2 women. Yes Im serious. I think its badass. I don’t care what your politics are its about time! Its funny I used to care more about politics. I don’t really give a shit anymore. Life’s too short and meant to be lived outside, away from the tv. I just don’t care about that anymore. We often disagreed on political issues but it was so fun arguing/talking to you about them. I have a feeling your granddaughter is going to change the world.

You would’ve been sad about Patrick. More than any of us I think. You were very much the most emotional one in the family. Well, except Kelly…you know that. Poor thing cries if you look at her funny. She got that from you. I’ve cried a LOT in the past 9 years Dad. Brain rot sucks. It so totally sucks. And motorcycle accidents suck. And cancer sucks. I don’t cry as much anymore. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. I do. Every single day. The pain of loss gets less INTENSE over time but it never ever goes away. And the funny thing is the longer you are gone the more I miss you. You would’ve offered advice on the driveway about saving enough money for me and the kids to be ok without Patrick. You’d have said “you’ll always have a place here”. I would have felt that security. I don’t have that now but Im ok. I promise. I often wonder if I’d have left Texas if you had lived. I don’t know the answer. I really don’t. But I do know I am right where I am supposed to be now. I found a strength in me I NEVER knew was there. You’d be proud of that. You would.

When UPS trucks drive by I think of you. When CCR comes on the radio I think of you. When Harley’s drive by I think of you. When Coors is around I think of you. When I open the spare room closet and your 3,000 Harley t-shirts are hanging there I think of you. When I start a conversation with “well lemme ask you this….” I hear you. Its funny. When I find myself standing on my couch with a clenched fist screaming at those damn Dallas Cowboys and everyone is looking at me like Im crazy…yep…I came by that genetically. By the way- you don’t even want to know how its going this season. I like all those little reminders.

Colorado is as beautiful and amazing and awesome as you always said. I wish you’d gotten to live here. Last year I went to where you had your accident. What a beautiful last sight you got to see. I see why you loved it here so much. Im going to climb every damn mountain, walk every trail, stare at every beautiful sight for ya. For Patrick. Because I can. Dad- I climbed Pikes Peak. Pretty sure you knew that. Leaving Texas was hard. Not as hard as it would’ve been to live the rest of my life and wonder. I hope you get that. I hope you know. Im sure you do.

Dad music is still shitty. The classics are still better. I choose Bob Segar and Fleetwood Mac and Zeppelin over current pop everyday. You’d be glad. Somethings just cannot be done better. I still choose beer over fru-fru drinks. I still don’t wear white below the waist after Labor Day. I still let the other cars leave the line first when the light turns green. I still check my oil consistently. I never leave home without money. And my friends laugh but I take toilet paper on every hike. I learned the importance of that from you and your sock story!

Maddie & Andy are amazing. You’d love watching them play soccer and watching Maddie cheer. I can hear you saying a thousand times how much you “loved watching me cheer” and this is “deja vu” and “time flies so enjoy every minute”. I am. I am.

I know you’d also say work less and play more. Im working on that. I get it now. I hope there’s a long winding beautiful road where you are and access to a low rider today. I hope you get to have a Coors too. I will. Happy Birthday old man. Until next year.

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THANK YOU

I am seldom at a loss for words. Last Friday night at a football game I was left that way. My daughter’s cheer coach secretly organized a surprise for my family. In all my life I’ve never, we’ve never received so much love and support. It is beyond over whelming.

The shit that comes with brain rot or any chronic, degenerative disease is enough but when you add the medical bills it only adds to the stress. To be honest I don’t think about the bills anymore. We try to concentrate on LIVING. And laughing and loving and traveling and appreciating the moments. Because when I think about the asshole at the Insurance company who decided Ataxia didn’t really require MRI’s or CAT scans or blood tests or a spinal tap or any of the other plethora of barbaric tests Patrick had….that this asshole gets to decide they wont pay for this stuff because its just not really necessary and they have no fucking clue what Ataxia is…I’d like to punch him or her in the face and ask how they can live with themselves. I cannot go there. I just can’t. No room or time for that and it does not promote a peaceful heart.

I instead focus on the fact that we have an amazing, caring doctor and time. TIME. More precious than I ever imagined it could be.

As I age I have let forgiveness come easier. I let “thank you’s” roll off my tongue without pride now, I let the little things go, I choose to concentrate on the good. But receiving is a new one to me really. To us. The amount of money that was raised for Patrick’s trike in such a short time is beyond description. And for both of us it is uncomfortable and weird and strange and joyous and crazy. It can seem a tad uncomfortable when people are GIVING to you. We are slowly learning to gracefully receive.

And we cannot express how grateful and appreciative we are. This trike is a physical way to have freedom for Patrick as well as a mental one and we’ll never EVER be able to express how kind , thoughtful, loving and appreciated this trike is. THANK YOU!

I may sell workout DVDs and Shakes and help people get fit but I know my job is much more than just a “coach”. That lives change and confidence grows and clients battle and win against depression when their physical body is healthy. That woman with major food issues come to ME for help in overcoming that. That fitting into your “skinny jeans” is much more than just “wow Im skinny now”. Its why I do what I do. Because it changes people much more on the inside than it ever does on the outside.

And a little cheer squad in the middle of Colorado might go unnoticed in most circumstances. We are not much different than the million other cheer squads in small town America. Friday nights, football, pom-pons, hair up in ponytails, tumbling, parents watching in the bleachers. But to me this little cheer squad is much more. Im betting most of them are. They are family and amazing and gracious and self-less and a major support system for my daughter. And together, in just over 24 hours, they raised over $7,000 for a trike. So one guy could taste some freedom again.

Inside most people is much more than you’ll ever see on the surface. Thank you to our community, family, friends, and to Jessica & the Palmer Ridge Varsity Cheer Squad and their parents! Ride On, Patrick! 🙂

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