I have fallen way behind on these. So much so that the mental tallies I had in my head for the last several months have filled my memory to its capacity. Following are Shout Outs that I should have mentioned awhile ago. They will be a work in progress so keep checking back.
I have this one obscure memory that I have from childhood that I believe, even if only a small amount, have shaped my mentality towards relationships. I was young. No older than ten when it happened. Being young then, I know now that I didn’t know the whole story. There are just certain details young kids never learn unless they spy and listen from behind corners. My perspective of the story, whether missing crucial elements or not, was devastating. Even when so young, the idea of abandonment and disloyalty were so powerful. Billy played church softball. He was young, fast – a hotshot. His beautiful wife would come to every Monday-night game along with their cute little boy. I remember them being all cuddly before one particular game. Young love. At some point Billy was in a severe motorcycle accident leaving him alive, but extensively injured. His brain would never function normally again and if I’m not mistaken his legs were paralyzed. Like I said, I don’t know/remember all the details. But there is one detail I’ll never forget and that’s learning that Billy’s wife took their son and ditched him moving further south somewhere. To this day the sting of that scenario bothers me. This isn’t necessarily a Shout Out to Billy or his parents that took exceptional care of him, but they all deserve one. This particular Shout Out goes out to a fellow Pequea alumni, Andy Miller. But that’s not all.
Andy recently lost his battle with cancer. Multiple Myeloma. But man, did he ever put up a courageous fight. Separated by two years in school, I knew of Andy. He was a tremendous wrestler and dated my best friend’s sister for a little while, but other than that, we never really crossed paths. Thanks to social media I, along with hundreds of others were able to stay updated on his battle with cancer (both victories and downfalls) and I know he felt all our prayers as did his wife Jill. Andy leaves behind his dedicated wife and two beautiful girls whom right now are undoubtedly trying to understand why their daddy is no longer around. It breaks my heart thinking of how the three of them are having to deal with their loss. I doubt they will ever read this, but I hope they know how much my heart aches for them and how much they are in my thoughts even though I never met them.
Andy deserves one of the biggest Shout-Outs for staying warrior-tough as long as he could and for leaving a lasting impression on so many friends and family. But he’s not the only one. I cannot wrap my mind around how strong and dedicated Jill had been for her husband. Too many in her position would have walked away feeling they didn’t have the strength or the courage to carry on. I never met Jill, but I have a feeling I’m not the only one that would call her a hero. And to all that kept Andy and his family in their thoughts and prayers and followed along with his fight and to all of you that supported them and still do by honoring Andy’s life, a truly heartfelt Shout-Out to you.
The following link is for Andy’s obituary.
…When the stars fall,
A Special Thanksgiving
For Thanksgiving this year, the family and I did something different. For my entire childhood and well into my adulthood, Thanksgiving was always at my grandparents (with the exception of the one year we had it at our new home on Shady Hill). It was a staple. A tradition that you never think at the time of not ever having or being there. Life changes. And with those changes comes new opportunities. So this year, we accepted an invitation to Happy Valley to stay with my best friend, Dustin, and his family for several days. It's a beautiful area and we are always made to feel like home there. He kept us busy making sure the trip was full of memories (that didn't involve a blown tire like the previous visit). During the trip he and I watched Creed and later all of us went to see Peanuts (my wife took an expensive nap). We also went ice skating. My girls' first time. Sophie, my youngest, took one step on the ice and she was done, but still managed to have a good time. My older two had a blast. He and I also took my girls - along with one of his sons and a friend - to a Penn State basketball game. Their first. Mine as well! Being the creative guy he is, Dustin created themed scavenger hunts for the girls that led us through different parts of town. And of course the meal on the big day was delicious. Dustin's parents and brother traveled from Lancaster to join us so it was nice to spend the day with them. A Shout Out to scrumptious food and hospitality...and new memories.
Happy 63rd, Mom!
My mom turned 63 back in October and I wanted to give her a special Shout Out for that. After all, she was the one that taught me to laugh in the face of ridiculousness. Allow me to explain. Back in elementary school, a boy, KE (who later became a friend) and I were having a spat over what I am certain must have been a highly important and worldly-relevant matter. I don't know what I said to him, but I do remember what he said to me: "Your mom wears Smurf underwear!" Now I like "Yo Momma" jokes as much as the next person, but sometimes it goes too far. I was, needless to say, quite bothered and angered by his remarks. Dinnertime later that night looking for some sympathy or something I told my mom about the red-face inflicting remark. Expecting her to be outraged and fuming with disgust she did something very unexpected. She laughed. What?!? Anyway, lesson learned. Eventually.
Our church does two HUGE consignment sales each year. A lot of work and planning go into these events. It takes time, energy and many, many volunteers. Doug and Reby take charge of it and they do an outstanding job. This event raises a lot of money for the church that is used for community outreach among other things. This past October, 123,000 dollars was made just for that particular sale. It was our new building's first consignment sale and how appropriate that we made 123k since we are now located on Route 123. Thank you to Doug, Reby and every single individual that helped make it a great success.