Yep, it was the question mark that got my attention. What does that mean? Should we question saying “I love you” to someone we care dearly for, every day?

My Grandfather never told me he loved me; at least not that I can remember. He passed away 30 years ago. Do you think I’ve ever wondered if he really did? He never said it so should I have any doubt about it?

Tell someone you love that you love them; before it is too late. We hear it all the time. Especially when there’s been a tragedy. Life can end suddenly and you may not have a chance to say anything to your loved one.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying don’t say it. What I mean is to demonstrate your love for them by loving them constantly. Spend time with them. Talk about meaningful things with them. Help them when they need help; then help them when they didn’t know they needed help.

Tell a child a secret. Show them a magic trick or a short cut through the woods. My grandfather would take my brother and me into the woods to go hunting, plant pine seedlings, or cut firewood. He’d stop now and then to show us where a road used to be. It was overgrown now but you could definitely see where tire tracks were. In that moment, we knew we were loved.

So show people you care about them every day but better yet show them constantly.

George Strait sang it best:

“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,

A secret that my daddy said was just between us.”

He said “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then,

It’s a love without end, amen.”

That’s how God loves us. We should do the same.


Let evening fall and peace stand guard,

Let go of the world and be still.

Leave the voices and endless chatter,

Listen for the music; watch for the fire.

Lift up with what God tells you,

Lay the silence upon your heart.

Do you know a blithe spirit?

A weathered hand holding weathered soil?

A trembling smile of sureness, nearly pure?

Eyes that really see you:  An angel who doesn’t know?

An animal’s soul touches you, from the sky or your lap?

A cool breath of air given as a gift?

Stone given life by celestial light?

A God who will stop the universe, to listen to your tears?

YES, you do know a blithe spirit.


**For my wife, Julie.  My blithe spirit.**

When death separates us from someone we love it is an instant in time that turns love into loss.  Grief is the process we use to turn loss back into love.

Grief requires endurance.  It is not a quick process.

Grief is not pleasant.  It is a masterless savage.

Grief is constant.  Faith is the only refuge.

Anger is the brother of grief; doubt and insecurity are cousins.

Grief will consume wisdom.  It will overturn your world.

Comfort and acceptance escape you.

When grief is new, we cannot think or reason.

Gradually, we find small glimmers of hope.

Eventually, we begin to see a dim reflection of a new life.

Finally, these three remain:  Faith, Hope and Love.

And the greatest of these is love.


Lord, I thank you for my grief journey and all you have taught me.  Thank you for the grace to endure.  Let your message above give someone encouragement along their journey.  Amen.




As human beings, we are prone to fear just about everything.  So much of our life’s energy is wasted by fearing pain, loss, embarrassment, illness, unknown things, things that are not there, fear itself (thanks FDR) and so on.

Recently, I was lamenting the loss of memory.  I was afraid to let go of anything that connected me to a memory.  Ticket stubs, old photos, various papers, etc… Then I realized that those memories will always be a part of me.  We are the summation of all of our experiences.  Even if we don’t remember something.

I believe God made us this way.  To let go those things we may cling to in an unhealthy way.  So I have dowsed my fears of memory loss with the understanding that this is natural.   I will always have what I need to live, naturally.





Most people can tell the difference between the right way and the easy (comfortable) way.

It is the legend who chooses wisely, every day.

It is not an enjoyable experience, but it is interesting when you come in contact with an adult bully.  When you were a kid, bullies were plentiful.  The insecurity most teenagers feel times poor social skills times narcissistic behavior nearly always produces a bully.  But they usually grow up and they learn better ways to express themselves.  They begin to achieve so their insecurities lessen.  And hopefully, they develop more respect and empathy toward others.

Adult bullies are very tragic figures.  They think they are successful, well liked and respected.  They don’t realize that their success is an ill-gotten gain.  They don’t even notice the people they step on while they collect their “rewards.”  The respect and being liked are shallow and short-lived.  Human beings can usually tell when someone is authentic.  They soon recognized when they are being used or lied to.  Eventually, the full aspects of the bully are revealed.  They betray you.  They insult you.  And they will dispose of you if you don’t abandon them first.

I had an interesting experience with a bully recently.  A co-worker, a team-mate decided to unleash her life’s frustrations on me in the form of two insults.  This was not the first time she has revealed her ugly side.  But this time it really hurt and I just wanted to return fire in the same infantile way.  But I managed to temper my emotions and take the high road.  My responses have been completely benign.  I’m 54 years old.  I can act like an adult. Oh i wanted to go Full Godfather on her and leave a horse’s head in her bed.  Or set her up like Senator Geary in GFII  and turn the arrogant POS into a puppet under my control.  Delicious.

I suppose we’ll probably see more and more ABs (Adult Bullies) now that Donald Trump is the poster child for thugs and goons.  To all you hooligans out there I say “Grow Up.”  To everyone else I say “Avoid them like the plague.  Avoid them like the dead rotting corpse of a plague victon

Wise men say, only fools rush in.

But I, can’t help, falling in love with you.

Shall I stay, would it be a sin.  I, can’t help

Falling in love with you.


I had no choice.  You dug the world out from under me.

I had no choice.  Falling was inevitable, the law of gravity demands it.

Or was the law of love, demanding my fall.


Did you know what you were doing?  No.  I think you were as helpless as me.



Because it was Real.

The real thing.  Don’t be fooled by passing whims and futile wishes.  The real thing has a life of its own.  It chooses who and when… and for how long.

And when it becomes surreal it hurts so much for so long.  You wonder why you ever wanted it in the first place.

The joy and elation at the beginning til the pain and sorrow at the end.

I want it again.  Will it ever be real again?

The Greatest Gift – A New Life

What you are about to read is going to require a belief in the afterlife.  So if you’re not confident that life beyond death exists, you should stop reading now.  This is for believers only.

I wish I could take credit for the following ideas and thoughts because they are really gifts from God.  I have had fortunate experiences that left me open to God’s mysterious methods of communication.  These blessings were only made possible by painful losses that seemed like curses at the time.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  … is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?  The Prophet  Gibran

Part 1

I led a bible study some years ago on what heaven is like.  Most people have read the scriptures that describe heaven:  A mansion with many rooms, streets of gold with the river of life flowing through the middle, a peace that passes all understanding and much more.  I presented to the group a quote from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien.  The wise wizard Gandalf is comforting Pippin, one of the little Hobbits, because they are under attack and Pippin thinks that it is the end:

Pippin: I didn’t think it would end this way.
Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path… One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass… And then you see it.
Pippin: What? Gandalf?… See what?
Gandalf: White shores… and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
Pippin: [smiling] Well, that isn’t so bad.
Gandalf: [softly] No… No it isn’t.

Heaven is a difficult concept for human beings to grasp.  We can only imagine it using metaphors taken from the life we know here on Earth.  We use phrases like “no more pain”, “everlasting joy” and “eternal peace.”

I asked the class to close their eyes for a moment and try to imagine what it might feel like to be in heaven.  For about sixty silent seconds the room felt peaceful and serene.  I asked people to share what they saw or felt.  Someone said “Perfection.”  Another said “Pure joy.”  I then brought them back down to Earth by telling them they were WRONG!  The shocked look on their faces showed their disappointment but I only let it last for a moment.  I repeated their descriptions but added what I believe God would say in response:  “Pure joy?  It’s better than that!”  “No more pain?  It’s better than that!”  “Everlasting Peace?  It’s better than that!”  And finally, “Perfection?  It’s better than that!”

How could heaven be better than perfection?  Isn’t perfection an absolute?  Isn’t it “the unsurpassable degree of supreme excellence?” The dictionary definition.

Someone in the group said “Our brains are too small to understand what heaven is like.”  I think that’s a great observation.

Try to combine all the most joyous moments from your own life and all others you’ve even heard or dreamed of;  It’s better than that.

So, how many non-believers, who’ve read this far, now really want to believe in an afterlife?  Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”  Chardin

Part 2

Pippen said “I didn’t think it would end this way.”  That very same thought passed through my mind the night my wife Denise died.  This was not the way we would be separated.

We had been together 4,925 days and married for 3,860 days.  We had just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  We had two boys born out of our love.

I have been in agony ever since she slipped away.

Denise died suddenly, without warning, so we were spared the physical and emotional suffering of anticipation.  But if I had known, what could I have done?  If she were suffering physically, what limit would there be on what I would have done to ease her pain?  If it were possible I would have gladly taken on all the pain onto myself.  To protect her, I would give everything including my own life.

What if I could have saved her somehow?  What would I have been willing to do?

If I couldn’t save her, what would I have done to make her last days on earth as wonderful as possible?  If we could have shared nothing but joy, love and happiness in those last days, I would have done anything to make it possible.  I would have made her last days “perfect.”  I would have made them “even better than that.”

Yet, I was powerless to do anything.  I couldn’t save her and there was no gift I could give that would come anywhere close to what I wanted her to have in those last moments.

But something has happened in the years since Denise passed away.  She’s in heaven.  She now has everything I wanted to give her.  And it’s even better than that!!

I wanted her to feel no pain.  I wanted to give her joy.  I wanted to give her peace.  And now, she has all these things beyond perfection.  Way passed anything I could have managed on earth.

God gave her a new life.  In heaven.  “A far green country, under a swift sunrise.”

And God has given me a great gift.  I have the knowledge that Denise is in his presence and is beyond perfection.  I did say I would do anything, give everything including my life for this to happen.  Now my deep sorrow is her unsurpassable and infinite joy.  My new life has grief interwoven through it.

So ask me now, if my suffering is the price to be paid for her unspeakable happiness, is it too much?  Is the price so high that I won’t gladly pay it?  I’d pay it ten thousand times over.

You pay that price for someone you love that much.  And how long will I make these grief payments?  The rest of my life.  Maybe 40 or 50 years.  That’s quite a bargain when you’re talking about everlasting joy.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Her joy, my sorrow.  The same.  And some day, the grey rain-curtain of this world will roll back for me and then I’ll see her again.  That’s the way I thought it would end.