Saturday, September 21, 2013


I readily admit that I've discussed many horrible and depressing bits of my past on this blog. Hey, that's the purpose of this creative outlet -- to get rid of all the emotional weight that's been dragging me down for years. If you'll let me, I'd like to concentrate on some of the great things in my life.

That's right -- I'm going to be positive for a change.

I'm thankful for the family that is still in my life.

My two brothers -- Josh and James -- you're the two best damn brothers a guy could ever ask for.  Josh came along when I needed a little brother the most. I was already a miserable wretch in elementary school; you helped to socialize me. You were my confidant, my ally. Remember when we fought an entire school bus full of kids? Remember how we would put rocks in our snow balls? Remember the late night drives and silly antics on the highway? I sure do.

James has always been a better version of me. A free thinker, a rebel, a master of the tongue -- you are an improvement upon me in every way possible. You've always been my little buddy, though. Believe it or not, I always looked forward to you sleeping in my room at night for comfort and security. Oops - didn't mean to embarrass you there, kiddo. You've grown into a man I completely respect in every way. Now we've just got to get you out into the world so you can spread righteous change to the masses!

My little sister Julie -- goodness, you've grown up so fast. Though I have a hard time seeing it now, I'm sometimes lucky enough to catch a rare glimpse of the sweet little sister inside you. I'm reminded of the endless loop that was your Daisy-Head Mayzie video tape. Or... how about when I taught you how to defend yourself against brash little boys in grade school? I seem to recall some boys wishing they never met you. Though you sometimes credit me with making you tough, I disagree. You were born tough. I just helped you see it a little more clearly.

I'm thankful for the aunts and uncles that have stayed in touch with me, even throughout the turmoil with my folks. My Aunt Jackie - ever the fighter. You have been the voice of reason so many times in the past. You were there for my little sister when she desperately needed someone. I won't forget that.

My Uncle Billy and Aunt Kathy -- my beacon of hope in a desert far, far away. Do you two know just how great you are? I appreciate the text messages, the emails, the little gifts in the mail. You're a connection to my preceding generation that I lost somewhere along the way. I appreciate you more than I may let on. Here's to us seeing each other soon.

Last, but certainly not least, I'm thankful for the love of my life. Crystal -- you're the lemon in my tea; the cheese on my pizza; the hot sauce on my beans. You make everything about me better. I've been pretty damn miserable for a long time. For many years, you've stuck by me, supported me, carried me. You even convinced me to go into business for myself. I've lost count the number of times I've cried on your shoulder. (Yes, real men cry. Deal with it people.) I'm not perfect, yet you've stayed anyway. Often times, I've expressed how guilty I feel for keeping you chained to me. Yet, you always reply with love and compassion. Though you tell me otherwise, I'll never believe I fully deserve something as perfect as you in my life. You've taken this big, grumpy lug of a man and turned him into a slightly less big, somewhat less grumpy lug of a man. Progress, right?

Crystal... I'd write you a love letter, but there aren't enough words in this universe to finish it.

Quite the contrary to my disposition, I'm grateful for so many things in my life. Many of you (even if I didn't mention you by name) have been there for me when I needed a friend, a lover, a companion. The best way I can repay your kindness is by living my life to the fullest. My life must be long and full of success. Thanks to my steady exercising and improved diet, I've dropped thirteen pounds and regained much of my muscle mass. I recently had an annual blood screening come back with great numbers. My cholesterol is quite low. I'm not at risk for diabetes or heart disease. Believe it or not folks, I'm the healthiest overweight guy you'll ever meet! I'm on track to live a long time... and that's good.

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