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Not A Little Girl Anymore

I had a funny moment with my youngest daughter, Meisha, yesterday. I had ducked into the nearest bathroom in my house, to wash my hands from the outside activities of the evening, and she needed to come in and “use it.”

I told her to come in. She waited outside, with arms folded, and said no Dad. I was like come in, I am your Dad. Her reply, priceless in it’s honesty and sincerity, was that she now has grown woman body parts. Huh? You’re 11 years old.

I teasingly mentioned something about having some hair strings under her arms, and she countered with having other hair in other places….Noooooo. Too much info and too soon for this Father.

Well, I knew that it was inevitable. That one day she will be my daughter, as always, but not a little girl anymore. Why couldn’t this have taken a slower path? One that would wind, and twist, and even crawl. Yet, here she is now, likely at the precipice of her becoming of child-bearing ability…and I smile. Yes, even though I now must be ever-vigilant to teach her about some stark realities of life, painful losses due to death, educational disappointments, BOYS…I am grateful to have this time with her.

Fathers, insist upon being in your daughter’s life. She needs a man’s perspective, a Dad’s ignorance of things only girls understand, and a strong voice to protect her in the night. We must give them all that we have while we have the chance. The days and years sweep through all too quickly. EnJoy the ride.

And hurry out of the bathroom…she’s gotta go without You.

Peace.

Waiting outside Bathroom

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“…with Liberty and Justice For ALL.”

On this morning after the non-verdict was delivered that another unarmed, young Black man’s murderer is not indicted for ANY crime, I am at a loss as to the believability of the words paraphrased above.

In what we have been spoon-fed to believe as living in the greatest country in the world, I wonder how can the young people of color feel anything else but disdain and disregard for this system. We see once again a miscarriage of justice…and ask our children to go to school, get good grades, get a good job…and spend your money on Black Friday.

In my daily trek toward 60 years of living…this morning, I wonder what? What can I do to help my children to survive in this racist society? How can I foster a sense of hope to the young men and women in my community…when many days they are subject to a “pre-judged” mindset that they are second-class citizens?

Will our leaders stand up? Step up? Boycott?

Or, just walk away shaking their heads once more in defeat?

Take a few minutes to read this blog post from Tim Wise, and tell me what you think we must do to pursue justice in Ferguson Missouri and throughout America.

Let us tirelessly strive to make the words of our Pledge of Allegiance real and meaningful to EVERY person in America.

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Ask and it Shall be Given…

Funny how this piece of scripture is so well known, yet, at least for too much of my 59 years, too little utilized.

As I review a number of experiences in my life journey, it is apparent that I have been reluctant to incorporate this into my everyday living. Missed opportunities, people not known, all because I did not have the courage to ask…and possibly risk rejection. Funny, how our minds play such games on us.

So, here and now, in this ramp-up to 60 Years, I am so over that. I can walk up to complete strangers, compliment them on something that I genuinely like, and then engage in a conversation. Or, I can call someone and ask of him or her something that I truly require. Never worrying about their rejections…because, I now get it.

ASK…and it SHALL be GIVEN.

What do you really want to ASK the Creator for?

Do it today…

Peace.

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Truth or Consequences

Many of us who were born before 1960 can remember the very popular game show, Truth or Consequences, hosted by Bob Barker. In retrospect we can now see that the show was a precursor to another popular game show that is still alive today, Let’s Make A Deal. Proving that some things can be copied and even improved upon…

The ending of the show always had Mr. Barker saying, “Make it a habit. Bob Barker saying goodbye hoping all your consequences are happy.”

On this beautiful Sunday morning in Northern California, I am reflecting on the choices I have made and, with very few regrets, am grateful that I have done pretty well in this life-journey. Now granted, I would have preferred to have more money and fewer marriages, if I had it to do over again. Yet, the lessons learned through each life experience have made me a better man today.

And isn’t that one of the most important achievements one must accomplish in life? The ability to love ourselves and learn the lessons that only consequential choices made provides?

So, as I get closer to the threshold of 60 Years, I am smiling more remembering the good times and friends made, than feeling bad for seeing that darn surprise that popped out of the box due to a choice that went awry.

I pray that you, too, will find more reasons to smile and laugh going forward.

Let’s make it a habit. I hope all your consequences are happy.

Peace.

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Find The JOY!

A couple of years ago I saw the movie “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It had a powerful storyline, and more than a few funny lines. One of those was the comment about not passing up a bathroom…for men of our age need to go pee more frequently than ever before. Our ego is supplanted by a weak bladder…or facing the possibility of having an embarrassing accident.

However, there is one scene in the movie that stuck with me…and I find it worthy to share with you all today:

http://youtu.be/iioBwO6vnEs

As I march toward the 60-year celebration of my life, I want to daily remember to find the Joy in my life. Take a few minutes to contemplate what you have that brings JOY….

Peace.

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Fifties and Money Gone…

Is it natural to wonder about the aches and pains that are associated with getting older? It is not so funny anymore that I have a few more creaks and cracks occurring when I move about…what happened? Getting older…Woo Hoo.

Tonight I just watched a 30 for 30 Sports special entitled: Broke. It is about the sad situations that far too many professional athletes find themselves in after their playing days are over. NFL, NBA, MLB…even NHL players who are have filed for bankruptcy protections, even though they have earned multiple millions of dollars when playing their respective sports.

Tonight the Oakland Raiders are playing on Thursday Night Football and one of their former players is being honored for his recent inclusion into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; Punter supreme Ray Guy. This guy revolutionized the role of punting in pro football.

Yet, what struck me even more than the fact that the winless Raiders are leading at halftime, is that during the closing credits from the above-mentioned Documentary, showing the names of many former pro athletes who have filed bankruptcy…was the name of Ray Guy.

Ironies of all ironies, he is elected to the Hall of Fame…and he is likely financially destitute. Imagine the feeling of being feted by your fans…and knowing that you have none of the money you earned while playing the game. Tragic.

What does this have to do with my daily blog? I’m glad that you asked. How many of us who are heading into our next cycle of life are facing similar financial nightmares? Far too many, I am sure. Many friends and associates of mine have retired, and are not able to live comfortably on their current post-employment incomes. What is next? What if we live to be Ninety years?

Stay tuned for more on this matter…because the Baby Boomers are coming into our 60’s, and many are unprepared financially for a long retirement lifestyle.

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60 Days to Sixty Years…

Whoa….

Let me first of all express supreme Gratitude to my Creator for still being among the living for so long. It is not but by the Grace and Mercy of a Loving God that I am still here…no mistake about it. Well, maybe the fact that I replaced eating pork with green salads 20 years ago, exercising regularly and sleeping alone more often than not…these lifestyle adjustments had to have helped get me to this place, too.

Now as I ponder what I must now accept, that I am closing out another decade of living…I wonder what I will face going forward. The days and months leading up to my 50th year was so exciting. Planning a BIG party. Getting well wishes from friends and family…receiving my AARP card.

Alas, it appears that the run-up to 60 is just not that glamorous.

It is my intention to write a blog post each day as I inch closer to that sexagenarian landmark. Maybe it will be an interesting video, message from another 60-plusser who has some advice to share. Maybe a funny story that I recall from a life that has had its share of twists and turns. Will you join me on this new pathway? I hope so.

Here’s a great video clip from the iconic comic George Carlin that sums it all up:

http://youtu.be/2TBc_YB600c

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As I am nearing the gateway to becoming a sexagenarian, isn’t that an interesting word for those who are between the ages of 60 to 69…there are so many things that have me curious. What do I need to begin preparing for as it relates to my health. How will I handle any situations that may require family support and/or intervention.

I also am honored to participate on the Board of an amazing organization in the Bay Area that serves persons who have Dementia and Alzheimer diagnoses, ASEB. We seek to provide a high-level of adult day services to those who are living with that diagnosis and the families who are caring for their loved ones.

Both of my parents are deceased. However, I have friends whose parents are soon facing the possibility of needing long term care. In my daily reading on the Internet, I came across a blog post from a woman who was quite surprised to learn that her mother has had five teeth extracted, without her knowledge, while residing in a long-term care facility. And she is the Power of Attorney for her mother. Who makes that decision? Is that legal?

Take a look at the article and let me know your thoughts.

CLick here:

Peace.

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The state of our nation’s health is directed by industries who profit from the consumption of processed foods. Take a look at this short video and then begin to look at what your family ingests…you will be astounded.

Time to take back our health.

Peace.

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Many of us over the North side of Fifty can recall a beautiful song from the early 1970’s sung by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, entitled “Tears of A Clown.” The song described the challenges that one man faced when seeking to show a joyful persona in the wake of his breakup with his girlfriend. One stanza in the song states, “there’s some sad things known to man, but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown, when there’s no one around.”

The recent death of Actor/Comedian/Humanitarian Robin Williams, at his own hands…has elevated the conversation that no one ever wants to discuss: MENTAL HEALTH DISEASE. It is likely an issue, like cancer, HIV and Alzheimer’s Disease…that has affected each and every family in some capacity. Yet, we all are so surprised and stunned when that person whom we thought had it all together; the life of the party, had the nice car, great family and house…and now they are found to have taken their own life. What sadness and emptiness must they have felt…and we missed.

My family is not unique. We have faced the demon of self-destruction for more than 3 generations. It is still something than we are uncomfortable talking about, yet, we know that it is like the elephant in the room. We all see it…but no one cares to address. My maternal grandfather committed suicide, and it left an indelible scar upon my Mother for the remainder of her life. I have battled depression for much of my adult life…and am grateful to have family and friends who have kept me grounded, and provided unconditional love and support, when my life felt like it was unraveling.

I ask that we all take a moment, and think of someone, family friend or acquaintance, whom has lost the sparkle in their eye. Who has stopped coming around, and returning the phone calls. May we slow down long enough to really listen when we ask, “how are you doing?” It might be a life-saving moment for them. Be present…and loving. Listen with your HEART.

Here’s a fine article that I wanted to share with you, and then challenge you to make the call today. The life you save may be closer than you might imagine.

Peace.

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