Archive for August, 2018

“Da hell?”

Everyone is familiar with the social media folks who are always pulling the old humblebrag schtick, amirite? I wrote about this in the blog Facebook, Twitter and the Art of the Humblebrag  and yes, it was a classic. Here’s an excerpt from that gem:

Here’s a humblebrag I read the other day:

“Took some homemade cookies over to the Snortlik’s this morning. I know they’re grieving and food always helps.”

This one is fairly common. Somebody is going through a terrible tragedy and you get humblebraggers trying to inject themselves into the situation to get attention. And guess what? It works. You usually see responses from unwitting enablers saying things like, “Oh, you’re so sweet for doing that!” which is exactly the response the humblebragger was looking for. And oh, by the way, if you were a really good person you wouldn’t announce what you did on social media. Another common humblebrag is when people post things like, “I feel so ugly today!” or “I hate it when people stare at me. So rude!” Uh, it’s pretty clear what sort of responses they’re looking for, right?

I recently noticed another phenomenon has reared its ugly head, and that is the “blessed” social media user. Everywhere we look we see it:

“Check out my new Hyundai Accent!” #blessed

“Blessed to announce I’ve decided to accept a scholarship to Southeastern Texas University of South Dakota South Central after narrowing it down from 27 schools!”

[posts photo from beach in the Dominican Republic] #blessed!

I got a 4.0 this semester! #blessed!

[posts photo of rock hard abs] “Hard work pays off!” #blessed!

“Today I gave a homeless man a sandwich, volunteered at a leper hospital, and rescued a homeless baby kitten from a drainpipe.” #blessed!

But have you been “blessed” or are you “bragging”?

If you say you are blessed, I’m assuming you believe your situation has been all a part of God’s plan, right? That God has blessed you? That you’re being rewarded for being a good person?

But aren’t people sometimes just lucky?

“Hey! I hit the lottery!” #blessed

Really?

I guess what these people are saying is that the all-powerful, all-knowing absolute deity of the universe has focused on their well-being more than others because they are just that terrific?

I also wonder about the person who worked just as hard as you did and didn’t get that big reward—if you’re so blessed, is he or she cursed? Because in order for you to be so special there must be people who are not so special. That means that you must consider your life to be better than others in some way, right?

No?

And if being able to get into those old jeans again make you “blessed” doesn’t that minimize more meaningful blessings like the birth of a healthy baby or recovering from a disease? Hell, I once saw a Twitter pic someone posted of her ass with no comment, just “#blessed”. Really? I guess God doesn’t bless a woman with a small booty?

And really, if you truly care about others and wish to add value to their well-being, why is there a need to proclaim that you’re blessed? Is anyone following me here? Bueller? Bueller?

Bueller?

Finally, are we even using the word “blessed” correctly? Do we really even know what we’re saying? Let’s take a look at what the word actually means:

 

Oops. That sort of changes everything, doesn’t it? So you were made holy by that new condo in the Ozarks? You were consecrated by your new rock hard glutes? No, I didn’t think so.

So let’s pump the brakes on all this “blessed” talk, everybody. Maybe throw in a “grateful” or a “thankful” instead. Sweet mercy.

#yourewelcome

So damn true. Here are 20 teacher memes for your perusal.

[click on a photo and scroll]

On June 11th, 1776, Thomas Jefferson was asked to articulate the thoughts of the American delegates in a written document. If the congress is to vote for independence on July 1st, this “declaration” will explain the decision to the world. It was noted badass John Adams who recommended that Jefferson write it.

Thomas Jefferson was shocked. “Why me?” he asked. “Reason first,” Adams replied. “You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second, I am obnoxious, suspected, and very unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third, you write ten times better than I do.” Jefferson responded, “Well, if you are decided I will do as well as I can.”

At that point Thomas Jefferson went to his rented Philadelphia house, sat down, and began to carefully write the 1,337 words that would change the course of world history. After just a little input from a few other delegates, the “Declaration of Independence” was born.

Included in the second paragraph were the most earth-shattering, amazing words ever written for its time – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That’s right. ALL MEN. And although no country in the world believed the tiny American colonies could defeat the most powerful army in the world, that’s exactly what they did.

The perfect length of a vacation is 8-days. Longer vacations have little benefit. Experts say more vacations are better than long vacations.

So Rain Price was a 16-year old sophomore in Utah, and on his first day of school his dad Dale casually walked out the front door and gave him a wave as he got on the bus. Greatly embarrassed, that evening Rain begged his father to never do it again. This was a really, really big mistake. I’ve only posted a few photos here, but for the next 179-days of the school year dad stepped out the front door to wave at his son. Take a look. That’s gold, Jerry. Gold.

Listen, I love animals but holy Hell that’s a monster. Actually it’s an Australian Flying Fox, which is really a big ass bat that has come to have somebody for breakfast. Seriously, can you imagine walking out your front door and seeing that beast staring at you? Sweet Mother of God.

A suicide bomber had planned on detonating in Moscow on New Year’s Eve in 2011, using her cell phone as the trigger. On her way to the city her mother called her to tell her to have a safe New Year’s Eve. The bomb detonated, killing her and only her instantly.

This dog, this fence. On a related note, yikes.

Kingston: A Jamaican man has been hospitalized after having a part of his penis bitten off by his neighbor’s dog.

The man, named locally as Neily, had been chatting to his neighbor over her gate in Stony Hill, north of Kingston, Jamaica, when her dog attacked.

He told a Jamaican newspaper that the dog had pushed its nose through the metal bars of the gate and snapped its jaws around his genitals. “The dog pushed its mouth through the metal because I was standing close to it, and it bit me on my penis,” he told The Weekend Star. “I will not be going near that dog again.”

Having a bad day, boys? Tough day at work? Boss being hard on you? Wife picking at you over those beers you had with the boys last night?  Perhaps the kids are being pains in the asses? Well, I don’t want to hear it. Why? Because you’re not Neily of Stony Hill down in Kingston, Jamaica, that’s why.

PS- Ol’ Neily handled this whole tragedy well, didn’t he? Just matter-of-factly telling us what happened. And good call Neily – I wouldn’t go near that dog again either.

Ok, maybe 10 or 12. Still a pissy day for all involved.

PS- Solid work by the camera guy there. Stood his ground while chaos ensued.

Aw. Look at Marshmallow.

Wilmette, IL: Just after returning home from a walk around the block with her dog, Marshmallow, an 8-year-old Wilmette girl expected a visit from a playmate. Instead, police officers arrived at the family’s door. An anonymous caller had contacted police after seeing the girl walking the dog alone, said her mother, Corey Widen. The seemingly common activity launched an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigation to see if Widen was neglecting her children. Widen said the girl’s walk around the block — most of which Widen says she can see out her windows — is the only time her daughter is unsupervised. 

Oh for the love of God. When I was a 8-years old I used to get up and leave the house without telling anyone, come home for a can of Vienna sausages at lunch, leave the house, come back at 6:00pm for supper, then Mom would tell me to come back when the street lights came on.  She had no idea what the hell I was doing when I was gone. My only rules were to stay out of Paint Creek, don’t get into a car with a stranger and don’t go into old widow Snodgrass’s house over on North Alley Street. In today’s world an 8-year old can’t even take her dog Marshmallow for a walk. Sadly, the Wussification of America is alive and well.

Note: Sanity prevailed. The Police never pursued charges. 

A bride in Canada has launched a foul-mouthed tirade against her friends and family after blaming them for the cancellation of her dream wedding.

The unbelievable story went viral after shots of the bride’s ridiculous rant were posted to online, showing her slamming guests for refusing to give her $1,500 to attend the wedding.

The bride, Susan, took to Facebook to announce the cancellation of her wedding 4-days before the event, blaming guests for not funding her event.

The post starts with Susan announcing the cancellation of the wedding and that her and her partner have split due to “recent and irreparable problems”.

“Before I begin this mini-novel, I invite all of you to put yourselves in my shoes,” the jilted bride wrote.

“For once, let me take the stage and voice the most painful few months of my life.” She then goes on to explain how she had always dreamt of having a huge “blowout” wedding but as her and her partner had only saved $15,000 they turned to their guests to fund the $60,000 event. They told guests they had to send $1500 if they wanted to be invited to the wedding and were absolutely shocked when hardly anyone coughed up.

“I SPECIFICALLY, I mean SPECIFICALLY asked for cash gifts,” she wrote.
“How could we have OUR wedding that WE dreamt of without proper funding?”

The bride became increasingly upset when people weren’t giving them the money they requested. Eventually all of the bride’s friends and family turned on her, including her fiance, over her obsession with having a huge wedding.

She ends the rant by telling everyone she is cutting off all the friends and family who refused to give her money and that she will be in South Africa backpacking for the next two months to get away from this “awful society”.

I’m rarely at a loss for words, but I’m seriously at a loss for words right now. Just kidding, I’m never at a loss for words. Anyway, $1,500 to attend a wedding? Were the Foo Fighters playing and do I have a backstage pass? Because if not that ain’t happening, sister. What in the holy hell happened to getting the happy couple a toaster? Maybe a personalized doormat? May I suggest a Magic Bullet Blender from Best Buy for the low price of $29.99? Honestly though, this may be the most delusional, entitled human being I’ve ever heard of. Here’s hoping Susan has an encounter with a Green Anaconda whilst backpacking in South Africa.

PS- Seriously man, people should be paid to attend weddings, not vice versa. Watching the wedding party dance into the reception makes me cringe every time. I hate forced choreography.

Happy National Dog Day, Sparky!

Posted: August 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

As you can see, The Spark’s life has been well documented. If you want to read about Sparky, hit the link up top or type “Sparky” into the search box on the left!

1990 is closer to the JFK Assassination than it is to today.

PARTY!!!

Astronomers estimate a mountain-sized 1,300-foot wide asteroid could hit our planet in 2032.

It was discovered moving through a nearby constellation and stargazing chiefs in Britain, Italy, Spain and Russia have added it to list of potentially dangerous asteroids. If it did hit, an impact could flatten a massive area of land and trigger earthquakes and tsunamis. It was spotted by Gennady Borisov from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in the Ukraine.

He warned: “The first observations show that it moves quickly and is relatively close.”

The asteroid has been named 2013 TV135, and if there is an impact, it could cause an explosion equivalent to 2,500 megatons of TNT – more than 50 times greater the biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated. Scientists say we really shouldn’t worry too much though. The chances of the asteroid actually striking the planet are 1 in 63,000, although scientists will reevaluate the chances of an impact in 2024.

Do these people think we’re idiots? Hey, we’ve all seen Armageddon. Nothing to worry about my ass. Nothing except a rock the size of a freakin’ mountain hitting the earth at 30,000 miles per hour with the energy of a 1-million megaton bomb that will flatten a massive area of land and trigger earthquakes and tsunamis. Happens all the time.

Fun Fact: If an asteroid the size of a house crashed on Earth at 30,000 mph. It would have an amount of energy roughly equal to the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. Woohoo!

And I can hear the news in 2024. “W-e-e-e-l-l-l-l, the odds are now down to 1 in 6,000. We’ll reevaluate in 2028.” Chills, man.

So yeah, everyone can relax here on the Big Blue Marble. We have 14-years left before we’re all obliterated by ol’ 2013 TV135.

PS- Thanks Gennady Borisov of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. I had no idea that asteroids “moved quickly.” That’s some deep science stuff right there.

PPS- Stargazing Chief is an awesome job title. Sounds way better than Nerd Scientist.

PPPS- Lame name, man. 2013 TV135? Really? I’d have named it something like Death Star 3000 or Butch or something. Maybe Maximus.

PPPPS- Imagine you knew the planet was going to be wiped out next Friday. Can you think of anyone you’d exact revenge upon before the end? Yeah, me too.

 

Brutality.

According to studies, 84% of vegetarians eventually go back to eating meat.

Check out the Velella Velella, man. Dude has a sail appendage like you read about, just gliding over the ocean like a slippery little schooner. He’s also known as a Sea Raft or the Little Sailor, which are both pretty cool names in my book. This little guy uses that fin/sail or whatever the hell it is to let the wind take him wherever it’ll take him. Sounds like a pretty good life, amirite? Velella Velellas are free floating Hydrozoans, which sounds like a cool group to hang out with. And oh, by the way, the Velella Velella will sting the living hell out of you so stay away. Anywho, Velella Velella.

I have a few observations here. First of all, there are creek eels in New Zealand? That’s sort of freaky, bro. Secondly, people take their children to feed this writhing black mass of giant worms? Like, for recreation? The caption reads, “We were on an outing feeding Eels at Battle Hill Forest Park near Wellington, New Zealand.” Da hell? A family outing? Finally, those ducks give zero damns, amirite? Just mixing it up with those giant slime worms without pause. New Zealand, man. It’s like another planet or something.

Key Largo, FL: A crocodile had a little support while crossing a canal in Key Largo, Florida, earlier this month — a yellow pool noodle.

The creature was caught on camera resting on the pool noodle as it swam across the water near mile marker 105 of the Overseas Highway, a 113-mile road that runs through the Florida Keys.

“I saw the croc off my balcony swimming up the canal,” local Victor Perez told Fox News on Wednesday.

And so the world takeover by the animals has begun. The Great Adaption if you will. Bears walking upright. Goats screaming like humans. Dolphins guarding nuclear missile sites. My dog Sparky conning me out of my recliner. The list goes on.

Now, crocodiles are learning to use pool noodles. I’m telling you man, next thing you know the ducks will be using Uzis and at that point we’re all screwed.

PS- Anybody wonder what happened to the person on the noodle?

 

First, the tweet:


Listen, I have no idea what caused that tweet outburst but Goldberg is pissed, man. Listen Donnie, you can piss off the Democrats, the failing New York Times, the NFL, Obama, anyone on Obamacare, Mexicans, women, Snoop Dogg, the Boy Scouts, POWs, Crooked Hillary, disabled people, Muslims, immigrants, John McCain, African Americans, Catholics, Bernie Sanders, most of the US Allies, the Pope, Germany, the entire Bush family, Saturday Night Live, England, Hollywood, the United Nations, me, or anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual In North America, but damn it you’d better not piss off Goldberg. That’s just cray, man. I mean, have you seen this guy? Dude is a jacked up, steroid infused man-beast. You Big Orange Tweeter, what have you done now?

He’s coming for you, Donnie.

PS- Seriously, he’s pissed all those people off, and I narrowed down the list. People he hasn’t pissed off? Multi-Millionaires and White Hillbilly Racists.

PPS- Goldberg is now saying he was hacked. Disregard.

What? Why? WHY? Why would anyone enjoy walking across this invitation to death? Wanna die? Sure, head on across, kids! The steps are only every two damn feet apart! Oh, and the bridges often have 100-mph winds! Woot!

PS- Seriously, nope.

[click and scroll for the high anxiety]

Listen, I don’t know if this is a setup or not, maybe the drone operator and the guy on the wind turbine are buddies. What I do know is I don’t give a damn, that guy’s batshit crazy. He’s 200-feet up on a Wind Turbine in Rhode Island with no railing and one wobble of that thing or one gust of wind will send him over the edge where he deserves to be – squashed on the ground below. Idiots like this guy deserve what they get.

Update: Apparently this nutcase is a Benedictine Monk who went up there for “some solitude.” What the hell? Don’t they lock the doors to wind turbines in Rhode Island?

Damn it! Who left the seat up again?

30% of Americans don’t drink alcohol. 60% have less than one drink per week. The top 10% have 74 drinks a week.

Note: I know some people don’t understand how I can write about the personal life experiences that are often the subject of my writing. I understand not everyone is comfortable opening up about such things. However, writing and articulating my thoughts is therapeutic for me. It helps me, and I’ve also been told by others that it has helped them on occasion. That said, if it bothers you go ahead and hit that back button up there. Totally your call.

As some of you know I lost my Dad on August 13th. What follows are some memories of one of the most amazing men I’ve ever known . . .

Some of my fondest and earliest memories of my Dad involved sports. Dad was a great athlete who pitched for Ohio University and once outdueled the future major leaguer Harvey Haddix in a game when Dad was just 16-years old. Haddix went on the be a 3-time Major League All-Star who once threw 12 perfect innings in a game that is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in major league history.

So yeah, Dad was good.

I can recall many times where Dad and I were out in the driveway shooting hoops. He even had a light installed, and our house hosted many a late night game with a bunch of local kids participating.

We also played catch in the front yard on a thousand warm summer evenings after dinner. Dad would be the catcher as I pitched, giving me pointers as we threw back and forth. I’ll never forget those evenings.

I recall Dad and Uncle Myrl or Uncle Paul loading up 6 or 7 of their kids and assorted friends in the back of a pickup and driving us to Cincinnati to a Reds baseball game or a Royals basketball game. Somebody would inevitably lose a shoe or hat, and it’s a damn miracle somebody didn’t get shoved over the side of the truck bed on Columbia Parkway. Hell, today a parent would be arrested for transporting kids like that.

Note: You’d be amazed how cold it could get going 70 mph at 1:00am on an August morning in the back of a 1963 Chevy C20.

They’d also take us to Ohio State football and basketball games, and even the old Columbus Checkers hockey games.

Sports was a huge part of my life, all because of Dad. But sports weren’t everything. There was much more.

Back when I was little, Dad was a smoker. It was the winter of ’60 or ’61, maybe even ’59, I don’t really remember. I just recall it was winter because there was a fire in our fireplace. It was in the evening, and I climbed up on Dad’s lap as he sat by the fire burnin’ a Lucky Strike. At one point I reached up and tried to grab his cigarette, because hey, I was a kid. I got my hand slapped, and it was then the following conversation took place:

Dad: “Hey, what are you doing? Stop it.
Me: “I want to try it!”
Dad: “You can’t. You’re too young and besides, cigarettes are bad for you.
Me: “Then why are you smoking one?”

And really, that was all it took. At that point Dad paused, looked at the cigarette in his hand, and flipped it into the fireplace.

And he never smoked another cigarette in his life.

I asked him about this recently, and he too remembered that evening. He told me he just didn’t feel he could justify smoking while at the same time telling me how bad it was for you. So he quit to prove a point, on the spot, for himself but mainly for me. And guess what? Although I’ve had a cigar or two in my day, I never took up smoking.

Dad was one of the toughest people I ever knew. When I was around 14 he was sharpening the lawnmower blades in our driveway as I watched. He had the push mower tilted on its side and was using a wrench to tighten the bolts that held the blades on. As I watched, the wrench slipped and his hand was sliced by the blade. He then grabbed his wrist, held up his hand to have a look, and there was his thumb basically hanging by some skin. You could see the bone and everything. As I stared in horror, Dad calmly said this:

“I probably need this looked at. Nobody else is here so you’re going to have to drive me to the hospital.”

Wait. What? First of all, “probably”? Second of all, I was 14. And the emergency squad was not an option for Dad, man. Couldn’t appear weak to the locals, ya know. Next thing I knew I was driving the old 1967 Buick Sport Wagon at a brisk pace to the ER. Oh, we did have to stop 4 or 5 times so Dad could wring the blood out of the towel that was wrapped around his hand, but somehow we made it safely.

And what did we do after Dad’s thumb was attached back to his hand? We went home and mowed the damn yard, of course.

Dad also had a pretty wicked sense of humor, something that a lot of people didn’t realize. Once he and Mom had installed an electric fence on their property, and I pulled in just as they were finishing up. I was probably 18. Dad was standing by the fence and Mom was doing something a couple hundred feet away. I asked Dad if it was working and he said yes but they hadn’t turned it on yet. At that point I absent-mindedly reached down to touch it and got the living hell shocked out of me. After I screamed like a cat on fire, Dad yelled this:

MOM! It works! I KNEW he’d touch it!”

This was followed by a maniacal laugh.

Yep, Dad had used his only son to see if the electric fence was working, and he thought it was hysterical.

Another time Dad had a friend at his house and they were building something in his workshop. I happened to walk by and the friend asked if I was going to help. Dad said, “Are you kidding me? Dave thinks Manual Labor is the president of Mexico.”

Real funny, Dad.

Dad was really a man ahead of his time in a lot of ways. He was a strong Democrat, albeit a conservative one, but he was pretty liberal for his time regarding civil rights. I remember driving in the south on vacation around 1961 or thereabouts and Dad pointing out to all the kids how terrible it was to have segregated bathrooms. He would often say this loudly, right in front of gas station and restaurant owners. I remember once we’d all gotten out to stretch our legs at a little store and had loaded back up in the car, only to have Dad come back and get me. He took me around back where the words, “WHITES ONLY” was painted on the bathroom door. Beside the door was a sign that said “COLOREDS” with an arrow pointing down a small hill in the woods. Dad took me down a path and showed me a log bench with a hole cut in the middle of it, which was used by African-Americans as a toilet. I was shocked and confused, which was the whole point of him taking me there. My father had followed the arrow, gone down to explore, was disgusted, and thought it was something I needed to see.

And to this day the image is still burned into my mind.

Another time we had an African-American kid move into our school from Detroit, I think around my 3rd or 4th grade year. Bourneville, Ohio wasn’t the most racially diverse area in the world, and I hadn’t heard the n-word in my life. The day this kid walked in my classroom that changed, as I heard some other kids whispering it at recess. Later that evening Dad was sitting in his recliner reading the paper when I casually walked by and informed him that we had a new kid in my class, a ****** from Detroit. In the next instant Dad had risen from his chair, given me a swift kick in the ass, and was looming over me:

“You will NEVER use that word again, do you hear me? It’s a a bad, bad word!

Then, as he pointed to his chest, he said this:

“You judge a person by what’s in HERE, not by their color, whether they’re a man or a woman or anything else.”

Got it, Dad. Crystal clear. And since that day I’ve tried my very best to do just that.

I can still recall the first time I saw Dad cry. I can remember the exact day because it was Friday, November 22nd, 1963. I got home from school, and I can’t remember if Dad had come home from work early or it happened after he got home a little later. Anyway, I’d been outside playing and walked in to see Dad looking at the television. They were talking about the Kennedy assassination a few hours prior and were showing photos of Jackie and the Kennedy children. I saw that Dad’s eyes were watery, and then he wiped them with his shirtsleeve and just got up and walked outside. That made a big impact one me, seeing my father showing (for him) what was a lot of emotion.

I’ve written about my Dad on this site before, including the time he wouldn’t let me quit Cub Scouts and when he taught my very difficult Junior Achievement class at school. Click on those links for some more insight on my father.

My Dad and I didn’t have the best of relationships during my middle years, and it was mainly my fault. I was a rebellious, stupid kid. Oh, I was fine until I was 13-14 years old, but then things went sideways. Dad was a tough, old school parent. We fought over the length of my hair, how I dressed, and a million other things.

This continued for years. It was more often than not an awkward, difficult relationship. I knew he loved me but I never really saw evidence of it. He certainly never told me. There were no hugs, no proclamations of love, none of that soft stuff from Dad. I realized later of course that it was a generational thing. Guys like Dad who grew up during the Great Depression wanted to make their sons tough. This meant being hard on you, and by showering love upon you made you weak. He was trying to prepare me for the future, and it wasn’t until I was older that I realized this.

And I wasn’t the only kid with a father like that. Many young men my age had fathers who were very similar. Not all, but many. For me, all this would change later in life, but trust me when I say that from the age of about 14 to 28 Dad and I could barely be in the same room together.

One day I ran into one of Dad’s friends, one of the guys in a group that Dad met at McDonalds every morning for breakfast. He mentioned that Dad had talked about me one day and I said, “Uh-oh. I bet that was interesting. What did he have to say?” The guy replied, “Are you kidding? He never stops telling us how proud he is of you.”

I was shocked. Dad, proud of me?

It was then I realized how he really felt, but coming from his background he just didn’t vocalize it to me.

As for the grandkids, great grandkids, kids at church or any other kid Dad met in his life, they have absolutely no idea of this side of him. As my son Kip put it, “Growing up, I always heard stories about Pap and his tough love but that was not the man I knew. He was slow to anger and quick to tell you he loved you.

And Kip is absolutely right. For a couple generations removed it was different. And our situation wasn’t unique. Many people my age will recount the exact same experiences between themselves, their parents and their children.

So yes, the truth is that Dad and I had an up-and-down relationship over the years. Those early years were great and full of amazing memories. The middle years were a little tougher, as I was trying to find my way and decide what I wanted to do with my life. Looking back I totally understand why my father was frustrated with me. As a father I’d have felt the same way. Thankfully I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, got at least a little grounded, and things between us improved a lot. We still hadn’t had that breakthrough though, and I was pretty sure I’d have to be content with a friendly, yet not really close relationship.

But as Dad advanced in age and started to slow down, things began to change. Cracks started to develop in those old walls. I think we both sort of realized it wasn’t worth it. Maybe he knew he didn’t have a lot of time left, I’m not sure.

Then at one point about a year ago we were sitting on his front deck, overlooking the lake. I’d began asking him questions about WWII because I was trying to keep his mind sharp and I’d read where stuff like that helped. He was telling a funny story and started laughing, I mean really laughing, and I soon joined in. I suddenly realized that I’d never really laughed with Dad like that, that we’d never opened up together so much before. It seems like such a simple thing but believe me, it was not.

When I left later and fully realized what had happened, it hit me really hard. A wave of emotion came over me, and I rest my head on the steering wheel and cried. We’d just been laughing and talking just like regular guys.

Like friends.

So yeah, in the end we came to an understanding, patched up and healed old wounds, and made up for a lot of lost time.

And on one of his last days, as I said goodbye before leaving his bedside, he told me he loved me.

I guess the point is no matter how hopeless things may seem, how entrenched some behavior may feel, it’s never too late for change, never too late to make things right. Somehow, someway, Dad and I figured it out.

And I’ll be forever grateful that we did.