I lost my mother 6 years ago and it has been 2 years since my dad passed away. The holidays are the time of year when that loss is not easy to ignore. Yet when Christmas rolls around I can honestly say that my feelings are more positive than negative due to an inexpensive gift my parents gave me long ago.
Growing up we didn’t have everything we wanted but we had everything we needed. Looking back there is only one gift I remember getting that really stuck with me & that was my very first Nintendo Entertainment System. The rest of the gifts just blur together into a giant heap of happy moments.
The gifts have faded from my memory but the times haven’t. I remember watching Christmas movies on Christmas eve. We would all be huddled around each other, with the Christmas Tree in the corner, watching our favorite movies until late in the night. I remember waking up way too early and running into my parents room waking them up. I remember my mother always being the one to pass out gifts because she knew the exact order they needed to be passed out in. I remember my father always doing a little dance every time he opened his gift from us & flashing a smile that still brings me warmth to this day. I remember my mother making our Christmas meal while we all played with our new toys and despite the fact we were hungry, never wanting to stop playing with those toys long enough to eat.
I no longer have my Nintendo, despite how much I loved it at the time I ended up losing interest & moving on to other things. All those gifts that I unwrapped all those years ago have either broke, been lost, or given away. It was the gift my parents gave me that I didn’t have to unwrap that has stuck with me all these years, my Christmas memories. I can still look back & feel just as secure and loved today as I did in those moments. My mother & father may not physically still be here but every Christmas it feels like they are. As I prepare for my wife & I’s first child to enter this world it’s my goal to give them the same thing. The gift that never breaks, gets lost, or becomes obsolete. A gift that will be with them long after I have left this earth.
So thanks mom & dad for the great memories……….and for that kick ass Nintendo Entertainment System. I love you.
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Filed under Loss, Writing
We are born believing that anything is possible. As we grow we are taught rules and given boundaries. We start out believing the world is a giant place with endless possibilities, but are then told the world is small, harsh, overpopulated, and we can only go so far in life.
Do you remember the first time you reached up and tried to touch the moon? You did so fully believing it was possible. You hadn’t been told how far away it was. All you knew is that it was there in front of you so you tried to reach it. Once told how far away the moon is most of us step back and never attempt to reach it again. Yet there are people who actually have touched the moon. They didn’t let the distance get in their way. They didn’t let the obstacles get in their way. They kept reaching and fighting until they tore through the binding chains of limitations and touched the very thing that was supposed to be impossible to reach.
We bind ourselves down with our own created limitations. We stop believing that we can achieve what we desire because of these limitations and rules that we have been taught. Unlearn these things. Open your eyes and see the world as we did when we first entered into it.
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One of the more interesting books I read in the past year was Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda. It was a recommendation from Amazon based on books I have read in the past & I was pleasantly surprised. This novel was a finalist for the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. For those of you who follow me regularly you know this is something I’m hoping to participate in soon.
A loner in his all-white high school, Chinese-born Xing (pronounced “Shing”) is a wallflower longing for acceptance. His isolation is intensified by his increasingly awkward and undeniable crush on his only friend, the beautiful and brilliant Naomi Lee. Xing’s quiet adolescent existence is rattled when a series of disappearances rock his high school and fear ripples through the blue collar community in which he lives. Amidst the chaos surrounding him, only Xing, alone on the sidelines of life, takes notice of some peculiar sightings around town. He begins to investigate with the hope that if he can help put an end to the disappearances, he will finally win the acceptance for which he has longed. However, as Xing draws closer to unveiling the identity of the abductor, he senses a noose of suspicion tightening around his own neck. While Xing races to solve the mystery and clear his name, Crossing hurtles readers towards a chilling climax.
The thing that makes this novel stand out is the main character is telling the story & I found myself on several occasions questioning the sanity of the character, and wondering what (if anything) was being left out. Amazon puts it best when they say:
Xing (the main character) stays one step ahead of the reader, the truth of his world kept just out of reach.
I would recommend everyone checking it out. You can get the e-book version for just under $5, or if you have Amazon Prime you can borrow it for FREE with the Amazon Lending Program. Let me know if you read it as I’d like to know what you think!!
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My wife was making fun of me the other day because whenever I’m getting ready to blog about something I go through the EXACT same routine. This of course led me to blog about my blogging habits due to being made fun of.
The first thing I do is grab a cup of coffee, 3 sugars, with a 2 second shot of creamer (This is very important). Then I set up my laptop on the breakfast nook’s table. I have the tv on to something (usually sports-related) but the volume is either muted or VERY low. My giant fluffy Missouri sports slippers are either on my feet or close by, in case my feet get cold. Lastly I have my Kindle Fire as I sometimes note writing ideas down on the notepad in case I need a spark.
I usually only write posts on the weekend. During the work week I usually don’t get off until late & by the time I get home it’s time to eat, spend some quality time with the wife & not a whole lot else. So normally I’m able to knock out @ least 2 posts. One of which I will usually post immediately & another that I will save and post later on in the week. This means my draft folder is filled with both finished posts & “work-in progress” posts.
Not overly exciting but consistent enough that my wife always knows when I’m about to start pounding on the ole keyboard. What about you all, any interesting blogging habits?
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As some of you may know I bought a Kindle Fire when it first came out & was just wanting to let you all know how it’s working out. First off let me just say that I love it! There wasn’t really a definitive reason as to why I wanted one, but I thought some of the features sounded interesting so I grabbed it up.
Let me get the negatives out-of-the-way first. I do wish the screen was an inch or two wider. When reading magazines & some webpages it can be pain to have to zoom in closer or slide over to read the rest of the text. Not a huge deal but in a perfect world it would be 1-2 inches wider.
Last negative is that the touch screen can be touchy at times. I have had cases where it was either too sensitive or not sensitive enough when I was trying to turn a page or play a game. With that said in the few weeks I have had it I have experienced this frustration less than 10x.
Now on to the GOOD stuff! The thing is crazy light as it seems to be just slightly heavier than a paperback book. The appstore is great & everyday gives away a free app. This may not seem like much but some of the free apps are pretty cool. The battery life is decent & despite playing games on it in the afternoon, surfing the web for a few hours every evening & then reading for about an hour at night, I only have to charge it when I go to bed.
Thanks to it I have started to tackle the Twitter-verse a little more. As everyone who follows me knows I am more of a “tweet 1x a day person” vs a “tweet every 15 minutes kind of guy”, but I have been spending more time checking out other people’s tweets & finding interesting people.
Like most things I could live without it, but I really don’t want to. It’s a great mini-portal to the internet & gives me the ability to keep up with my writing pals. If any of you have taken the Fire plunge let me know I would like to see how everyone else is enjoying it!