Week 21: Memorial Day and Remembrance

Splatter Threshold Portrait

Memorial Day weekend.  This is a time that we remember those who have given their lives for the freedom's that this country offers.  You may not like who is in office at the time, but many people have died to give you the ability to have a voice in voting for that person and you actually have that ability.  To those people who have died so that you and I can have freedom, and might I add that law enforcement fits into this category, we owe a huge debt too. 

Memorial Day weekend comes after another day of memorial for me.  For those that have known me for quite a length of time, May 26th 2002 is a day of remembrance for me.  It is a day that I can never forget because my life changed, forever.   It is a day that I remember as a Mom's prayers were answered.  It is a hard day for me to remember, not because of memory, but because of the memories of who I had become.  If you have ever watched Intervention on A&E, I could easily have been on that show.   It was the start of a long journey where everything was stripped away from me and it was just God and I.  And so began a molding process.  At times it was painful.  At times I would rebel.  But God is faithful and patient.  God is loving and protective. 

Each May 26th I reflect.  Sometimes I remember horrible things I had done (for example in 2000 a haunting phone call to a cousin of mine after a fifth of vodka that I still regret).  But God is quick to remind me that He has changed me.  I am a different person.   My parents just came to visit my brother and I.  They come and split time between my brother and I (He lives in Frisco), but we meet up here in Tyler.  To see the joy on my parent's face as their two sons sit at the same table and talk, and laugh, and share their lives with each other is priceless.  I love my brother to death.  I no longer feel I have to compete with him.  We are both adored and loved by our parents and we each have our unique gifts and talents.  He works at his dream job at a gaming company and I have my dream hobby of photography where I can express myself creatively (and I don't have such a bad job either!  I get to work with my hands, do what I love, and work with people who appreciate my hard work!).  We have both married well and our wives are part of the family.  In fact my wife plays Words with Friends with my Dad daily.  I have a wonderful family, in laws, and church family.  I have a community group that I have grown really close with and opened up immensely, and a group for loved one's of those with mental disorders that has become a Godsend to me.  The blessings I have are immense.  I am healthy.  Though I have been diagnosed with clinical depression I have learned to manage my disorder in a healthy way.   I have a very beautiful loving and faithful wife.  And we live in our dream apartment where creativity just flourishes. 

I do not make a big fan fare of May 26th.  Some think I should celebrate and make it a big deal.   You have to understand that day is a remembrance to me of the death of someone I never want to see come back into my life.  My Mr. Hyde.  I  never want to forget who that person was.  So one day in the year I allow my thoughts to wander, to remember, and to be thankful.  I sent a text to my Mom, because, well, I just feel a special bond on that day with my Mom.  A Mom's prayers were answered.

(As a side note, as I was reading this to Ginger, my lovely editor, I almost made it to through the whole thing and then got to that last sentence.  The tears welled up into my eyes, my words choked, and I couldn't read it with tears in my eyes for a minute.  I told Ginger, well, I guess I wrote the right thing bringing up the emotions it did.  I do not cry often.   I want to write words with meaning so that you, dear reader, can get a sense of understanding with what I write.  God is good.


Side note:  The picture above is a picture of me in my favorite cap (Def Lepard baby!) taking a picture and then playing around in Photoshop.  This is the original shot.  (Mom you will notice the green felt we got works great!).  I had to set up a mirror to take a picture from another mirror.  Used three flashes and you can see my ring flash to the right to light the room.  All that to make a shot!

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