Tybee

May 31, 2010

It’s the one place I think my wife loved more than any other on Earth. For the past several Memorial Day weekends, we’ve gone as a family to this island. This year is different. We still made the trip to the island. We’re still here as a family. But one person’s missing. And because she’s not here with us, this trip isn’t as fun as it always has been. It’s more like a chore this year. But somewhere in the sunrise, I see my wife’s face. And I know she’s telling God to create a beauty for her “lovebugs”.

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My wife was a huge fan of the TV show “Lost”. My kids grew into that same obsession, and so naturally, all five of us sat down to watch the series finale that just wrapped up a few minutes ago. We’ve been really missing Mom today. The girls have been teary off and on. My son was quieter. What is just a typical Sunday can turn into a sad reminder very quickly. Anyways, for six years, the TV series has captivated my family.

At one point during the 2 1/2 hours of coverage, Zoe turned to me and said, “you think Mom already knows how it all ends?” I nodded that I agreed, and we went back to watching. I admit I am completely confused with the entire series. I have my theories like the rest of the world, but I don’t think any of them ultimately make sense. But tonight, I started to understand just a little bit; toward the end. They all had a reason for being there. They all had a destiny. They weren’t put there as space fillers; they were needed. Sorry if you were wanting to watch and I’ve ruined it for you here, but one comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Jack’s father, Christian, told Jack that “all of us die, kiddo. Some went earlier than you, and some will come much later.” I really didn’t concentrate on the rest of the program. Something about a church and moving on, but that one line struck me very deeply tonight.

We do all die. And yes, some have already gone. My grandmother, an aunt, a cousin, a father-in-law….my wife. They have gone on that journey I’ll one day face myself. They didn’t escape it, just like I won’t be able to escape it either. I don’t like not having those people here with me, especially my wife, but it’s all part of this life down here.

And then there are those who will likely come after; my kids, my grandkids, and on down the line. They’ll take that journey too one day. I pray they will have long and healthy lives, but that last breath still awaits them too. I guess that’s the lesson I learned from watching Lost tonight with the kids. We can’t escape death. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to capture us all.

Learn to accept what you cannot change. I’m not there, but I’m working on it. I can’t change the past, and I can’t predict the future. But I can love on my kids while they’re here with me. I can keep my wife alive through the four greatest gifts God gave us. Because if my last breath comes tonight, I want to take that journey with a smile on my face.

When I was 12, I told my mother that I was going to be the first man to walk on the moon. Three years later, in 1969, Neil Armstrong beat me to it.

I broke my thumb sliding to catch a pop-up in Little League. I begged to stay in the game, and I did. This day and age, don’t know if that would happen.

My brother and I fought tooth and nail growing up, but he’s still my best friend to this day.

I did so many things to try to make my father proud of me, but it turns out that I really didn’t have to do anything at all.

I stole a piece of gum once from a convenient store when I was a kid. I felt so bad about it on the way home that I went back and begged the owner to forgive me. He ended up giving me the entire pack because of my honesty in owning up to taking it.

I watched my best friend’s father drink himself to death, and I never once did anything about it. I still regret just letting that happen.

My first kiss was in 4th grade. Her name was Kathy Mekler. She’s now known today as Sister Kathy. Yes, that’s right. She’s a nun. I often wonder if I had anything to do with it..

I grew up in Michigan, and I’ve never played hockey.

I’m putting together a list for my kids one day: Just a few of them on it…

Came out breach with the cord wrapped tightly around my neck.

Third word (behind “mama” and dada”) was “gof”; (golf).

When I was little, I wanted to be a member of the show Bonanza. I even wrote them once; asking them if they’d come to Michigan to do a show from my backyard.

Grew up idolizing Al Kaline. Wore #6 on all my sports teams.

Hit a kid for kicking his dog. Dad found out and scolded me nicely, then he patted me on the back. Said sticking up for what can’t stick up for itself is important, but so is self-control.

Watched Bobby Jones play, and fell in love with golf.

Best childhood round: 77.

Best adult round (to date): 62

Eight or nine at the time: Pushed my brother out of a tree once on accident. He broke his arm. I got scared that Mom would punish me, so I fell out on purpose . Broke my ankle. We told Mom it was an accident. Never told her what really happened, until now..

Hated piano lessons, but now glad that Mom forced me to take them.

Day I got my driver’s license, I got a speeding ticket.

I thought high school was never going to end, but now I really miss those days.

Went to college at Georgia Tech and fell in love with Georgia in the process.

Didn’t realize the ‘intern’ opportunity in Hawaii after graduation was set up by my father. Didn’t know that until a couple years ago.

Perfected my chipping game on the beaches of Hawaii…

Knew I was going to marry my wife five seconds after meeting her…

May 21, 2010

Caroline and Zoe (2006) before the flood…

May 21, 2010

Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears.  ~Bobby Jones