Tag Archives: Family

Eleven Years Gone

Hi y’all!  Long time no talk.  Trust me, I’ve started and erased a few blogs here and there with all the crap that has been going on in my life, but in retrospect, I guess it’s good that those rants/ideas/what-have-yous went unwritten and unpublished.

Today brings about a sad day for me.  Yes, I am very much aware that today is D-Day, but for me today marks the day that my life changed.  Today, 11 years ago, my mom passed away quietly and peacefully surrounded by her brothers and sister, my grandparents (dad’s parents), my sister, father, and I.  Just typing that brought me back to that moment having to be gloved and gowned up in her room, telling her how much I loved her hoping that that was the last thing she heard before going to purgatory.  Shit, I’m crying now.  Gotta keep it together.

Well, 11 years have passed since then and many things have changed.  Dad got remarried, I have gone through a few horrible heart crushing relationships, I became very much closer to God, and sister and her husband had two boys whom I love to death.  Those are just some of the things that have happened.  Of course there’s a lot more, but the overwhelming hurt is still just as fresh as it was that afternoon in that hospital room in Lubbock, Texas eleven years ago.  Maybe I should have talked to somebody like my dad was forced to do (and didn’t really get anything out of it, mind you) because the minute that I really give it thought, I break apart.  Maybe that’s normal?  I don’t know.  It’s my normal.  There’s still so much that I wanted to share with my mom and have things to learn from her.  49.8 years on Earth is all God had lined up for her and 27.5 of my years with her is all He gave me, but I’m grateful for every one of those.

So, with that said, even though I’m booked up after work today for a bit, I’m going to take some time out of my day when I get home to think of her and remember to try every day to be better so that I can make her proud of me.

Keep me in your prayers, y’all.

Advertisements

Give Life a Chance

Hi y’all!  I’m back with more fun and thoughtful words that have been swirling around this dome of mine for a while.  It’s about a topic that is pretty much almost taboo to talk about in certain circles and will definitely get arguments going with most as well.  That topic is pregnancy and the decision to terminate said pregnancy.  After reading a blog post by one of my favorite follows about praying in front of their local Planned Parenthood location, I started to think about why I haven’t been brave enough to do so myself.  In searching for an answer, I guess I can boil it down to not wanting to cause a scene even though it is for a great cause, and I’m just generally non-confrontational in all respects of the word.  I have strong personal beliefs about things, but I really make an effort to try to not push any agenda, lifestyle, etc on other people.  I know it may seem cowardly to some of you who may read this knowing that, but you know what?  That’s ok with me.

With all of that said, the main point of it all is that this got me thinking about just how tragic abortion really is.  I’ll be honest, in my earlier days I was all for the personal choice that people would make to end a pregnancy.  Honestly, I was just too young to comprehend the true meaning of it.  Let’s call it what it is.  It’s legal murder, y’all.  You’re ending a life by committing the act.  Nobody ever actually thinks of it that way.  The usual excuses are things like “oh, it wouldn’t be fair to raise a child in this world.” Or “I just can’t afford another child.” Etc… Truth is, if that’s so, then give the child up for adoption.   I know it may be easier said than done, but to just kill a child because it doesn’t fit into your life’s plan just sucks.  You know what else sucks, having to be reminded that people terminate pregnancies is the fact that there are people like me who will probably never have children of their own for one reason or another and would do nearly anything to have one.  How messed up is that, right?  It just breaks my heart.  At least with me, I have my life to blame for my problems.  I just haven’t found the mother of my children and chances are I probably never will, but there are plenty of married couples who try and try for children with no luck, yet there are countless women going to clinics every day killing their kids.  It just sucks.  I know, nobody said life would be fair, but things need to be done to stop this unfairness.  It can and should be stopped.

Anyway, more to come another day, my friends.  Stay safe out there in this crazy world of ours!

Getting At It

Good morning y’all!  I’ve been thinking about a question lately.  What motivates you?  And what are you motivated to do?  Without even knowing it, I find myself motivated to be better in many different ways by many different things every day.  These things have changed over the years, actually.  As of now, and lately come to think of it, I’ve been motivated to live a generally better life by a few different factors.

First thing, and this has actually been on ongoing thing throughout my entire adult life, I’ve been motivated to live the best Christian life that I can thanks to my ever growing knowledge of my Catholic faith.  There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not either reading articles from the various councils throughout history, or a church doctor, etc. about my faith OR I’m listening to one of my 3 favorite shows on ETWN Radio (being Called to Communion [which I recommend to any non-Catholic AND Catholic alike], Open Line Monday & Thursday, and Catholic Answers Live).  I’ve learned so much and am still eager to learn about how to become a better Christian and a better overall person.  All of us can improve.  Nobody is perfect.

The second thing that I get motivated about is my health, specifically my weight.  Ever since the age of 7, I’ve had a weight problem.  I don’t really know what changed from that age, but it’s been something I’ve been trying to get a hold of for the better part of 15 or so years.  I had a great run about 6 years ago where I was well on my way to get down to my goal weight and got down to my lowest weight ever as an adult.  I messed it up by rewarding myself a bit too much, then going through personal situations and before I knew it, I was worse off than when I really decided to be serious about losing weight.  I always wanted to get back to that feeling of craving doing an hour or more on The Arc Trainer at the gym and seeing the number on the scale decrease every week, but I just let the good times take over.  It was only until I really maxed out in December of 2017 that I decided to say no more AGAIN and get myself back on track.  I had a 12 month kinda warm up, but I’ve really ramped it up this month and have gained that hunger, desire, and craving to get on that Arc Trainer every day and spend an hour doing cardio.  It’s gotten so good that I’m actively shunning cheat meals; cheat moments all together come to think of it.  I don’t want to get derailed for anything, and I’m feeling great about it.  I’ve already lost 15 pounds this month and each one of those pounds has motivated me to push even harder to get down to that lowest adult weight and break through that and get down to my goal weight.  It’s all motivated by the way my clothes are fitting, the way the numbers on the scale go down, and the way I mentally feel about it.  I feel awesome and I want to maintain that feeling.

The last thing I feel motivated about is my status amongst loved ones.  I have people that I care about and they motivate me to be a better person too.  I know that may sound strange to say that it takes another person or other people to make you want to improve, but it’s true in my case.  I have things to look forward to and the desire to be the best version of me that I can be motivates me to want to be better every day.

What motivates you?  Are you even motivated?  Or am I even weirder than I already knew I was?

Have an awesome rest of the week, friends!

Caeruleum Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody!  I hope you spend baby Jesus’ birthday filled with love and joy.  Mine, initially, wasn’t very loving or joyful I must admit, but things turned around for the better at the end.  That’s what matters, right?

It was such an odd buildup to Christmas for me too.  The weekend seemed to be just an odd blur.  I know I got stuff done on Saturday and watched Christmas movies then too, but it feels to me like I must have been in a coma or something because the days flew by so quickly.  Since I was out of touch with my football watching, I spent all Sunday watching the various NFL games too, so my Sunday flew by as well.  Before I knew it, Christmas Eve was here, and I was awake and getting ready to drive the 30 minutes to my grandparents’ house.  It was a quick visit, however, because everybody in my small family had places to go aside from my grandparents’ house, me included.  It was cool to catch up with my cousins and see my family together again, but I felt a little guilty for having to leave my grandparents in order to sleep to go to caroling at 11pm and High Mass at midnight, but I departed anyway.  I was still the last one to leave, so there’s that.

That’s about the point where things started to go south for me.  As soon as I got home, of course I was wide the hell awake.  I could not fall asleep for the life of me.  To make matters worse, I think my neighbor upstairs had kids or something visiting him because all I heard was the pounding of feet and God knows what else hitting the floor making percussive thuds down onto me.  Normally I tune those things out, but this time my brain was still working in overdrive so I couldn’t fall asleep.  I think I only slept about 45 minutes before I got up and got ready to go to my parish.  As soon as I got into the church and sat at my normal pew I started to feel ok until the choir started singing.  Apparently, I was so relaxed that I started to feel myself slowly wanting to go to sleep.  I fought it all the way through until Mass started and thankfully I was very much awake for the entire Mass.  I didn’t think I’d make it, to be honest.  So, after Mass concluded and I walked down the aisle to exit the church, a bit of sadness came over me.  And this is going to sound stupid and narcissistic and for that I apologize, but I started to feel sorry for myself.  Actually, I started to feel this before Mass even started, but of course as Mass takes place I tend to focus on that.  Anyway, the reason I started to feel sorry for myself is because a wave of loneliness took over.  Normally, I prefer to be alone, but there are certain days and activities where the bad light of being alone hits and this happened to be one of them.  I started to feel pretty worthless, actually.  How sad is it that there were a lot of families there celebrating the birth of our Lord ready to celebrate even more as soon as Mass ended in whatever way they were going to choose to, and there I was attending Mass alone, going home alone, to an empty house.  The emptiness of it is the part that bothered me, actually.  I’m used to being alone and as I just mentioned, prefer it most of the time, but that 10 minute drive back home was the saddest I’ve had in a while.  There are a few questions that go through my head sometimes like “Why is it that my life is this way?”  “What the hell did I do to deserve this?”  They were sure dancing through my head then.  Where did I go wrong?  If you want me to be honest, I don’t think they’ve ever been right in my adult life.  How sad is that?

I don’t want to be misunderstood, though.  I’m not seeking sympathy or anything; I’m just merely stating the facts of my life as it’s stood for 20 years.  I always have the worst luck in trivial things, but trivial things that make the most emotional impact.  I think I’m the only idiot alive who wants to have a family life that currently doesn’t.  I know there are probably a lot of men in family situations that would kill to have my life too, so I guess it works both ways.  There have been a lot of blessings in my life likewise that people would die to have blessed onto them.  It doesn’t change the emotional feelings when you’re right in the middle of them, though.

Anyway, I got home about 1:45am and decided to watch The Polar Express since I wasn’t going to go to my dad’s house (as I found out we weren’t getting together at all on Christmas day, which was a first for me) for Christmas and I doubted that my nephews would want to see it as they’ve never been interested in it, so even though I was going to see them later on in the day I knew I’d only have this opportunity to watch it.  I made a cup of hot chocolate and tried to cheer myself up.  It only masked the hurt because I still felt lonely and just empty, and of course the exhaustion I had still was lingering so that made things worse.  Well, I only lasted about an hour until I was in and out of sleep before I decided to shut the movie off and go to bed.  A heavy sleep brought the morning quickly and for as much as I was hoping that my Christmas blues would kick rocks, of course they didn’t.  I opened my cards like they were pieces of mail because nothing about it felt special.  I appreciated the gifts and the cards, but it just felt… what’s the word?  Ordinary.  There was no Christmas spirit there at all.  I went back to bed since I felt like I had a hangover even though I didn’t drink and when I woke up again still feeling bad, I had no choice but to get up to go deliver the Christmas gift I gave my dad as he was at work, then I drove back home to wait for my sister to show up.  By this point, it was 1 or so in the afternoon, my head was pounding, I was starving, and I felt pretty bad emotionally to boot.

When my sister finally showed up about an hour later, things really turned around for me.  Seeing my nephews made all the difference.  I was glad to have them over and I was glad to watch a few Christmas films and other films with them too.  The loneliness was gone and I was just glad to spend time with the kiddos.  I’m still not playing with them as much as I’d like, but that’s because I’m so busy always catching up with the adults that time just slips by.  That’s my fault too.  The need for solitude that I have means that I have to get in all my catching up when I do see my sister in person, so that kinda leaves the kiddos in a bind.  I gotta do better with that.  I will.

So, there it was.  Christmas.  The good and the bad.  At least it ended on a good note.  I’m relatively happy today, and I have a short week so there will be nothing to complain about.  I’m looking forward to a visit I’m getting on Friday and to go through with my traditional New Year’s Eve festivities too, so no more reason to be blue.  Let’s finish off 2018 on a high note, y’all!

Merry Christmas and may God bless each one of you!

Birthdays and Trips

Hello all and happy December!  Now that we’re in the full swing of things, I think it’s safe to say that we are heading towards the home stretch of this holiday season.  I’ll be honest, I’m still not fully feeling it, but not for any bad reason per se.  I mean, yeah, I’m pretty broke at the moment, but I have so many other things going on right now that I can’t even think about setting myself up in the Christmas mood.  December is typically a crazy month for me because my birthday is on the 9th, so I’m generally setting things up for that first and before I know it Christmas comes and goes after that.  This year was no exception.  Funny thing though, is that I thought it would be.  I wasn’t even feeling my birthday this year.  Go figure, right?!  I turned 38 this past Sunday, so in birthday years wise, it’s lost its significance.  When you think about it, the ages that matter (at least here in the U.S.) are 18, 21, then the 5’s and 0’s after that.  I added 37 to that thanks to Writer/Director/Comedian/Podcaster/Nerd Kevin Smith, and I celebrated that last year with a little film festival, but this year I really didn’t have much to look forward to.  I mean, yes, it was my birthday and I was looking forward to getting bombarded with wall posts on Facebook, but in reality all I wanted to do that day was stay home, watch football, and relax on my couch.  Maybe have a celebratory meal of steak or Whataburger (oh man… Whataburger… THE BEST ever!) and call it a day.  Nothing special, you know?  Just stuff that I love.  Instead, I ended up going to my dad’s house to eat a meal that although was freaking awesome, wasn’t something that I was craving.  I didn’t even get to decide whether or not I even wanted to stay home instead and have my family come to me instead.  I guess I’m just that much of a pleaser.  Oddly enough, I was actually giving more gifts than I received on my birthday too as I bought Dallas Cowboys stickers and plain white candles to make Dallas Cowboys velas (look up Raymond Orta to see the reason I do these things) for myself, my dad, and at the end of the night, I ended up buying one for a friend of mine!  Go figure.  She even said it too, “It’s your birthday and you’re still doing things for me…”  Yes, I was and no I didn’t even get a choice as to how I was going to spend my own damn birthday because that’s just who I am.  I’m always putting myself last when it comes to other people.  Even on my birthday.

In other news for the busy-ness of it all, tomorrow, I’m going to embark on an insane journey with my heterosexual lifemate.  We essentially called a bluff on moving a vehicle and some small items from a temporary home in Annapolis, Maryland back here to El Paso, Texas.  We got the “Are you guys serious?  You’d do that?”  “YES!” we replied and here we are.  We got a paid flight and a per diem to get said vehicle back here by next Monday night.  It’s going to be my first time ever in the northeast, first time ever to be able to visit our nation’s capital, and my first time ever seeing the cities we’re going to pass through along the way.  I’m super excited to experience it all.  All told, we’re going to drive over 2,100 miles in 4 days.  A crazy feat for sure, but a once in a lifetime experience for sure! I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell and a good blog to post about it too, so look for that possibly next week!

Speaking of travel, another form of travel has really taken over my interest lately.  Travel via rail.  It may be something that is still a normal way of traveling in other places, but here in the spread out southwestern part of the United States, rail travel isn’t such a big thing, especially after the dawn of the national interstate highway system and the blossoming of air travel.  Locally, we had Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe (better known as simply Santa Fe) Railway and Southern Pacific Railroad to service us and we had passenger train service from each, but now since the 1970s, we’ve had Amtrak (which is the consolidated national passenger railroad service), but only 2 or so trains come by a week.  Granted, you can get to just about anywhere on said trains, your options are limited on the days you’re able to go.  In any event, during my last vacation this past July/August when I went to Oceanside, California, I noticed the abundance of commuter rail travel that takes you from Oceanside down to San Diego and passenger rail that takes you up to Los Angeles available from there.  Amtrak is kinda a big deal in southern California and being a lifelong railfan, I was loving seeing all of the passenger trains go by as the rails go right along the beachfront.  Anyway, all of that got me thinking about going back to Oceanside and instead of driving, I’d take Amtrak.  Sure enough, there is an actual station in Oceanside itself, so the need to jump on the commuter train from San Diego is not needed.  The route there would take me from here, westbound stopping in a few places in New Mexico, Arizona, and a few more in California until reaching Los Angeles.  Then from L.A., I’d get on another train that goes down to San Diego and back, so I’d just get off in Oceanside.  How cool is that, right?!  Now, the travel time is 20 hours, but seriously, I think this would be the coolest thing EVER to do.  I’d still have that road trip experience without actually being worn out from the road itself, I’d be able to relax and watch shows on Netflix, read, or listen to music, and get to Oceanside ready to relax on the beach and do my thing.  You can’t beat it!  The great part is that its costs just as much or a little less than air travel or driving, so aside from the time benefits of flying, it’s the best deal.  I think I’m going to aim to do it sometime next year if I can and if not, for sure in 2020… God willing, of course.

So, here we are my friends.  We’re 2 weeks away from Christmas Day and 3 weeks away from 2019.  I’m looking forward to what lies ahead!

Future’s End

Salutations, y’all!  I hope you are having a great day.  As I write this, it is December 6, 2018.  Yesterday, a State funeral was held for our 41st president, George H.W. Bush.  Now, I’m not going to get into politics because well A) I can’t, and B) I don’t really want to share my personal political beliefs and frankly I don’t want to hear yours, so I won’t do it.  The one thing I do want to say though, is leaving politics aside, from most accounts George H.W. Bush was an awesome dude.  He was a funny, kind, caring, loving person who put family first and didn’t take himself too seriously.

I had the opportunity to see the entire funeral yesterday and I was just struck by it all.  The reverence that Washington, D.C. showed towards this man was moving in itself.  The eulogies were moving, and I was surprised at just how Novus Ordo Catholic the Episcopal service was, or maybe surprised/saddened at how much the Mass of Pope Paul VI was protestant in its nature.  In any event, the thing that moved me the most was President George W. Bush’s eulogy of his father.  As has been discussed at length over time, President Bush (43) is an emotional man, as was his late father.  What I knew but didn’t think I needed to hear, however, was just how much he meant to him.

Let me backtrack a bit.  Even before he mentioned that, another thing struck me.  “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”  Man, how true is that phrase, right?!  I mean, really?  I know I just spoke of this a few blogs ago about me being too grown up to play with my nephews and now that quote.  That’s so true.  Do young people things and you won’t grow old, man.  It’s as simple as that!  Then another thing, when President Bush mentioned that his father made sure to cherish the gift of life and live each day to the fullest thanks to his two brushes with death early on in his life struck another chord with me thanks to my near suicide attempt 7+ years ago.  Yes, my brush with death was self-inflicted, but it was a brush nonetheless.  After those few dark days, I purged the darkness and let light flood me and I made sure to shine that light on those whom I love and cherish to this day.  Some people think that I’m putting on an act, like I’m really some sort of a jerk, but honestly I’m not.  I’m always trying to go out of my way to help my friends in need if I can, let them know that I am there for them, even if it’s just an ear beating they need to unleash to a waiting person.  That’s what I do best.  I hope my friends know that.

The things that got me, however, was President Bush speaking about how great of a father President Bush was, giving unconditional love even when his kids tested his patience.  It got me to think about two things.

First off, I thought of my parents.  I know I put my parents though some things in my teenage through mid-20s years, and even though I had sort of “Come to Jesus” talks with them, they knew that I knew I messed up.  They didn’t need to tell me that I was messing up.  But not once did I feel they gave up on me or didn’t care.  If I think about it hard enough, I can go back to the handful of times I hurt my mom and even though we have a deep love for each other, sometimes I feel like I never actually got the chance to let her know just how much it pained me to have been an idiot and made her feel bad.  I know it’s too late now, as she’s passed away, but I would hope to think that she knows now just how bad I feel for my mistakes in my youth.  As far as my dad goes, we have a great relationship.  There’s nothing on my end that I need to tell him that he doesn’t already know.  I don’t know what his expectations were of me when I was born 38 years ago, but I hope he knows that I’ve tried my best at everything I’ve set out to do.  He taught me a lot and I love him.

The second thing that I thought about as President Bush continued to eulogize his father was that I wondered about legacy and the things we’ll leave behind when we die.  I know, it may sound morbid to some people, but death is something that none of us can avoid.  We all have to think about it.  In giving that some thought, I wonder what I’m going to leave behind.  As it stands now, not much.  I mean, I have this visual record of my last 7 years writing down my thoughts about the good and bad in my life.  I also have the 2 recordings I made with my band that will live on forever.  I have the memories that will live on with my friends and family as well.  But the one thing that, as of this writing, won’t go on will be any legacy of children.  I’m one of those weirdos who actually wants to be married and have children.  I want to raise children to follow in the faith in Jesus Christ as I do, to love everybody unconditionally, to be that kind soul that a friend or family member may need from time to time, to not care about worldly possessions, to appreciate the arts, everything that I love and stand for.  As of now, that is probably never going to happen.  It hurts, but you know what?  That’s ok too.  Let God’s will be done.  The thing that worries me though is who is going to bury me and give me the proper Catholic Traditional Latin Rite rosary, requiem Mass, and burial?  I’ll have nobody to trust to ensure that happens as it stands now and honestly that scares me.  My soul won’t be at rest with some sort of protestant “service” *insert nauseous chills here* or some sort of offensive guitar/percussion music filled novus ordo Mass at a protestant looking Catholic Church either.

I don’t know.  Maybe I’m over thinking it.  But I do like to know at least of a few things that will eventually happen in my future.  Perhaps I should start looking into preparing my funeral arrangements to ensure that what I need, I’ll get.  I know it may sounds nuts considering my age, but the future is never guaranteed for any of us.  Might as well make sure your last wishes are respected while you still can plan them out.

Until next blog, y’all!

Happy to be Sad

It’s currently Friday night and inspiration has finally stuck to put finger to keyboard.  The past week has really just kicked my ass up and down.  I’ve been so busy that I realized that my tether from ok to being pissed off because I haven’t been home long enough is less than a week.  I have been going nonstop since thanksgiving and it finally got to me on Wednesday.  I was in a horrible mood and I was not nice to a lot of people.  I couldn’t really pinpoint it until I remembered that I just haven’t been home to do my thing.  And by my thing, I mean relaxing.  Alone.  Some people just don’t understand my need for solitude and my need to be home the majority of my free time. Things finally turned around yesterday as I just had to make a quick pit stop at my sister’s and I got to see the kiddos for a minute then I got home to spend quality alone time.

Today brought along new old adventures.  I was my heterosexual lifemate’s plus one at a holiday party just like last year and our walk through downtown to get back to our vehicles was just beautiful.  It’s so amazing what transformation is currently happening in downtown El Paso.  Granted, there are still buildings that are big-time eyesores and I don’t mean this to sound bad, but there are some stores with cheap merchandise that just look bad in and around downtown too, so there is still some work to be done, but the area around the newish-ly renovated plaza that acts as the unofficial center of downtown is thriving.  I work there, so I am getting to see the changes first hand, but I’m hardly ever there at night.  During the day with all the construction going on, it’s just a maze of madness.  Currently at night now, the streets are blocked off and the plaza is blocked off, and the plaza is lit up with Christmas lights, there are families and couples everywhere enjoying the city, and the new businesses and condos that have opened up are all open and thriving too… it’s just a beautiful sight to see.

I mentioned the thought to my heterosexual lifemate that it looked like a perfect place for a date.  Take the newly refurbished streetcars from uptown into downtown, stroll through the park all decked up with lights, maybe go into one of the many bars or restaurants for a cocktail and/or meal, take the streetcar for a ride through the downtown loop, and call it a night.  The thought of doing that seems so cool… then the reality hit me.  I got nobody to do that with.  Sheesh.  I’m not gonna lie, allowing myself to think about it makes me a little sad about it, but you know what?  It’s ok.  I have an otherwise happy life, I have friends and family that care, and I got my place to come and get away from everybody and recharge when I need to.  And by the looks of things, I can’t leave my place for more than 3 days until I start getting pissed off.  It’s good to know these things.

I hope you have a great weekend.  December starts tomorrow.  How crazy is that, right?!