Friday, June 27, 2008

Just Another Day

It was just going to be another day. A day like all the rest. I got up, took my shower and scambled to get ready for work. I took the same route I take everyday and see all the same sights I see day in and day out...and then it happened...

The day suddenly became different. I stopped at red light and she was there on the corner. I sat waiting for the red light to turn green but it didn't happen soon enough, she was now coming towards my car. I started to roll up my window but it was too late she was talking to me.

"Hey...can I have a smoke?" Her hair had not been washed in quite sometime and her clothes were about in the same condition. They didn't fit around her "round" torso and her belly button looked like it had just exploded from underneath the dirty,(what used to be white) T-Shirt. She had on no under garmets, at least not under the T-shirt, that was obvious. I replied...

"No, I don't smoke"... I lied and glanced over to the pack of cigarettes that lay on the car seat next to me. This did not deter her.

"So how about some money?" I couldn't believe this, she was now resting her arm on my car window!

"No, just go on the light is going to turn green." I said with what I knew was a disgusted look on my face.

"How about a ride then honey..." The light turned green I rlled up my window and went through the intersection leaving her standing in the middle of the road. I looked in the rear view mirror just in time to see her giving me the international sign for...well you know.

No this was NOT going to be just another day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I try to think that I am a good father. I've done the best I could do, anyway. My kids are all almost grown now, out on their own. Two of them are parents themselves now, trying to be good parents.
Yesterday I was at my gradson's 2nd birthday party, and I watched the fathers there.

I watched my son, with his son. He was patient, understanding and playful with him in a way I don't remember being with my own sons. At least not that I remember. I mean I was patient most of the time, and extremely understanding and I played with my kids, but for some reason it seemed different watching my son do those things.

I also watched my own father who was there. 69 years old and he still expects a hug and a "I love you" before we leave him. Adoring to my mother (who happened to be having her own birthday as well) He took time out of the festivities to take a look at my sons car to help him with air-conditioning, as his words were "You better not drive around in that hot car with no air, with that baby!" Always the father.

I watched others as they were there with their children and step-children. Then I looked over at DJ. There he sat on the floor with my grandson, opening all of his toys, taking them out of the boxes and putting them together as my grandson hands him the boxes and says "opnit". I looked at him with admiration and respect. He was enjoying being in the midst of the chaos, and helping the little guy put the toys together so he could play with them. He too was being fatherly and thinking of Rylan first.
Something very special happened in that moment as I watched him play with my grandson and watched Rylan's eyes at "Nad" (that is what he calls Dan, he says his words backwards.) I realized not only what a great person, and great man he is, but also what a great dad he is to my own children and grandchildren. Something else happened yesterday that also made me realize how others see Dan in our family. My daughter-in-law was making introductions as there was family members from her side of the family as well. She introduced Dan as... "Joe's dad's husband, Dan" It sounded a little funny at first, but her saying it and introducing him that way, it really made him part of the family.

Fathers Day is a special day and not just because I am a father. It can show us not just who the fathers are, but it also shows is the DADS. Anyone can be a father, just a few moments of pleasure and a child can be conceived and you become a father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy. And you also don't have to be a natural father to be a Dad.

Happy Daddy's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Birthday Month

Our family has a full month in June of Birthdays. Today is my mother's 70th Birthday. We will be celebrating this special day with her next Saturday with a big surprise birthday party. She doesn't ready my blog so I am not giving anything away.

Tomorrow my grandson will turn two. We are having a little celebration planned this afternoon for the little birthday boy. I am sure I will have pictures to post tomorrow.

Many cousins, aunts and other family members celebrate their birthday in June as well. Leads me to believe that many in my family were busy people in the month of September!

Happy Birthday to all in June. (Pictures of the festivities will soon follow!)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Getting Stronger

This has been a very emotional week in our home. So much has transpired that it just seemed to crawl by. Or it may be the fact it was the week after vacation! Anyway, this week was hard.

I'm not going into the reasons why it was hard, but let me say that after this week I take nothing for granted. Especially my relationship with DJ. Things happen inrelationships that either make you stronger, or tear you apart. This week DJ and I became much stronger. I realize that what I have is precious and true. I also know that love can be unconditional, because he has shown me that in a way I have never seen before.

I don't want to get all mushy and sentimental, but I do want to say if you are with the one you love, cherish it. Work with it, keep it fresh and alive. Commit yourself to it because you may never get another chance. Relationships are not easy, even the ones that seem unbreakable. They take work, respect, honesty and most of all real love. Our relationship has always been strong, but I know we have to work every day to make it stronger. The forces of life are out there and many times we loose sight of the one we love the most, but after this week I plan to keep my eyes and heart focused on the most important man in my life.

I love you DJ.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


My niece graduates today. Really hard to believe that she could be old enough to graduate High School and will be starting college in the fall.

Time has come and gone it seems. You realize it when events happen in the lives of you family. As I was pondering my niece's big day I realized something else. She is graduating 30 years from my high school graduation, to the day! Talk about life getting away from you!

Yes, 30 years ago today I was starting my life as an adult and entering a whole new world. I decided while thinking about this to find my Senior Memories Book...and boy what a story it tells!

Think back with me, those of you that 1978. According to my memory book these were the prices of some things in '78;

A Gallon of Milk : $1.29 / Loaf of Bread .79 cents / Prom Tickets: $45 a couple / Dozen Eggs: .87 cents / A newly built home: $65,500.00 and the most amazing...a gallon of gas: .63 cents for regular and .72 cents for unleaded!

I also wrote the answers to these questions: Where do you hope to be in five years, ten years, 20 years (It went no further than that, I guess at 18 30 years seemed way too long to think about) but my answers were as follows:

5 years: graduated from college and living on my own and possible married (in reality I dropped out of college, got married at 20, had my first child at 21 and the second was on the way by my 5th year reunion)

10 years: Married with children, working in my own business and hopefully successful (in reality I was married with two kids, I was laid off in September of 1988 and we were living north of Dayton, Ohio and I was working part-time in bakery making doughnuts...I'm not lying!)

20 years: Who knows! (Yeah that was my answer but 20 years after graduation I was divorced, had four kids and had came out of the closet and was living with my parents again, and working for a mortgage company, and then later that year started working for a Law firm in downtown Cincinnati)

Yes, it is amazing how time flies. Now 30 years after High School graduation, I am in a long lasting (almost 8 years) relationship with the most incredible man I've ever known, I have two grown adult children, two children in the last few years of High School, and three grand kids. A great job, and a great home. Yes, things are good. It took me 30 years, but I think I finally grew up!

So to all you High School graduates, I say congrats and remember... you may not get all that you hoped for or all that you wished for, but things always seem to work out for the best.