*st*risk (the misplaced update)

While reviewing my blog, I discovered this post from a couple of years back which I failed to publish. It obviously is dated and doesn’t match the calendar, but it’s still applicable.


Father’s Day.

It’s been an awesome day filled with love and joy. Surrounded by my loving wife, beautiful daughters, awesome son in law, and two granddaughters – one of which is only 1 week old – we have loved and laughed.


I have carried with me an asterisk. There in the back of my mind. There in the scar tissue part of my heart. The * ties itself to everything I am and attempt to do. The * that changes the way I’m viewed.

A faithful husband – with an * of past failures. A nagging memory that won’t go away. I know she feels it, too.

A good dad – except for that awful * that haunts my efforts to lead my family. I fear they feel it, too.

Well, * is what * is. This “holiday” has been a tad tarnished. For me anyway.

Tomorrow will be a new day with new mercies. I will trust that He will bring some new healing and strength.

Maybe in time the * will shrink in its influence and power over me.



Moving Past The “But”

Growing up, I learned God loved me. A whole lot. I was special, gifted, and He had a plan for my life.

Growing up, I learned that my family loved me. A whole lot. I was special, talented, and they had high hopes for me.

But…except…well, you see…there’s this little thing.

I could make God and my family love me more.

I just needed to try harder. I had to fit into the mysterious shaped hole in the human atmosphere that had been predetermined for me and left for me to struggle to discover and conform to. If I said the right things, did the right things, dressed in the right way, joined with the right people, claimed the right experiences, and avoided all the “wrongs” of those I would be loved more.

These days, I’m finding great freedom by relenquishing my hold on the “but.” I’m living in a freedom of just being me.

Well, at least to a point.

With God, nothing is hidden. I believe that God knows all about me, and nothing that He knows could possibly make Him love me any less. Period. Here, the “but” is nonexistent. No need to carry it.

With my family, many know all the good, bad, and ugly. And I believe they love me unconditionally in spite of all that. Others of my family, if they were to know all the bad and ugly stuff, would still love me, but that love would be strained and its expression forced. Here, the “but” is always in play. It is a constant.

I probably won’t ever be able to fully move past the “but” in this life. But, I believe, at the dawning of the next it will have faded into obscurity.



Signs of Life

Setting up the old camper and pitching the tent.

Large trees providing a canopy from the summer sun.

Leaves rustling in the breeze.

Songs sung by countless birds.

Airborne beauty provided by fluttering butterflies.

The aroma of cooking bacon and sausage.

Roasted marshmallows over a smoky campfire.

Cool humid nights.

The insistent song of the cicada.

The sleepy swing of the hammock.

The joyful exploration of a toddling grandchild.

Hot coffee on a dewy morning.

Fruit pies baked over hot coals.

Swatting mosquitoes.

Raccoons venturing to investigate for tasty morsels.

Avoiding poison ivy.



Listening to The Beegees and ABBA.


No agenda.



Getting away. Awesome.

Camping with the family. Priceless.


Fried Chicken Happiness

I love to cook for my family.

I’m really not much of a cook…I have two specialties – fried chicken and chili. Well, maybe three – I will occasionally make a mean meatloaf. I’m sure in the grand scheme of things, they aren’t that great, but the family seems to really enjoy them.

So, tonight it was fried chicken, fried potatoes, and corn for the eldest daughter’s birthday.

Fried chicken satisfies my belly.

I’m sitting here typing this out listening to the joyful sounds of my happy family.

That’s what fried chicken happiness is all about – family fun.

My family satisfies my heart.

It really could be just about anything…anything that brings us all together to show each other our love.

I love them each with all my heart.


That’s what makes my life worth living.



I love my family.

I love being with my family.

I love celebrating the holidays with my family.

The last two days have been wall-to-wall family gatherings.

Today….its real quiet and a little lonely.

But, it’s also a little nice.



The melancholy hit me during my work shift last night. It was my dream last night. It is my companion this morning.

It must be horrific to be my wife. Lost faith. Trust destroyed. Devastated security. Intimacy defaced. Friends and family questioning. “Will it ever be ‘happily ever after’ again?”

It must be embarrassing to be my child. Daddy cheated on mom…and all that goes along with that. Enough said.

It must be terrible to be my family member or friend. At best awkwardness. At worst abandonment. My list of those who “know” and who have stayed by my side has gotten quite short. Even some that I believed would never walk away have done just that.

I am a fairly quiet and introverted person. I tend to be on the shy side. It takes me a while to build healthy and meaningful relationships. And when I got to the point that I could trust enough to share this most hidden part of myself with those that I grew to love and respect, sadly some of them moved on and out of my life. It makes my already small circle of intimate friends even smaller. I get it. For them, I’ve become rather untouchable. It makes me feel lonely. It makes me very melancholy. Actually…sad. And angry. But, I am a really nice guy. So, in spite of how deeply I feel their absence, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. And try to move on.

I know that it is not easy living with me.

I have to.