Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lucky Loves TV

    Something new has started to happen lately. Lucky our dog has started watching TV. It is funny because he is getting big enough now that he actually gets in the way. He really loves it when there are animals on TV and really hates it when there are other dogs in his house (on TV). We were watching a live safari the other day and there was a lion eating a gazelle. He really did not like the cat in his house. Lately though it seems that it really doesn't matter what we are watching he just goes to the front of the living room and makes himself comfortable. DOWN IN FRONT!!!  

I guess we are going to have to start limiting his screen time. : )

Your Loving Dad


Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving

    We had a great Thanksgiving this year. It is very nice that I can say that considering everything that happened this last year. We went to Jen's moms house for dinner. William got to meet her niece and nephew. They had a lot of fun playing together and the food was great. I always worry about William and his numbers when it comes time for holidays. It is a free for all when it comes to food and I really have to be careful that I count the carbs correctly and that he gets nothing with gluten. Jen's mom was great about this. She was careful to buy things with no gluten and even got sugar free jello so he could have snacks and we wouldn't have to worry. It felt nice for William and I to be accepted so willingly into this family and to see the effort that they made to make us welcome.

My Deep Dish Pecan Pie
    I made my deep dish pecan pie and helped with the dinner prep the night before. I would have really missed that if I didn't get to help.  The pie seemed to be a big hit. I also got to meet Jim and Sally. Jim was in the Navy and we had a lot of things to talk about. He was on an aircraft carrier. He had a lot of questions about me being on a submarine. William had a great time and asked if we could go back the next day. Funny enough we did. Jen's family has left over night on Friday so we got to go back. William had a great time and his numbers were great. He was very
polite and was very helpful all weekend.

    We put up the Christmas tree on Saturday. William was so very excited about putting up the tree. He helped with the branches and wanted to help with the lights. He and I put the ornaments on the tree. We went and picked out a few new ones for the tree since we did not have as many as we did last year. I really missed having William's older sister there to help put up the tree. She and his brother seemed to always get so excited about putting up the tree.  It was still an exciting night and we started some new traditions together. William was running around the house with garland wrapped around his whole body. It was cute. He wanted to help put it on the tree. He help put that on and then we move to the ornaments. William kept clumping the ornaments together and I kept spreading them out. We got to talk about all of the ornaments as we put them on. It was really nice to spend that time with him and Jen.

    Jen proposed an idea for William of buying books for him to open every night before Christmas. He really enjoys reading so it was a fantastic idea. She and I went to the book store and got him 12 books to read (that is how many days he will be with me between Dec 1st and Christmas). We wrapped each one and put them under the tree. Each night he gets to open a new book and one of us read the story to him. He seems to really love this so I think we will try this every year from now on. Every third day he gets a Christmas themed book. We are hoping that it builds his excitement for Christmas. On the last day we have a special book. 

I am so happy to see you smile for Christmas this year,

Your Loving Dad

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Birthday this Weekend

    It was my birthday this weekend. I had a great time with Jen and William. Jen got dinner for us and we opened gifts. Jen took William out to have him pick something for me and that was a great adventure for both of them. It was the first time that Jen took William alone. That is a little bigger deal in our house with William having Diabetes. Everything went fine and we had a great time together. Jen got me a really nice pair of sunglasses and William got me a new movie and a book. They sang to me and we had cupcakes.

    I found a new cake mix for William that was really awesome. That is a big deal since he has celiac disease. I also used a different method to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes. They were delicious. The last time I made cupcakes the cake was really bad. This new recipe was really good and I think William thought so too.

Thank you for a great day my loves,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to be Happy

    I wanted to put something down today for you but I wasn't sure what to say. I guess I will talk about how to be happy in life. The first thing that you need to know about being happy is that you need to be happy with who you are. I have been with people that get their joy from other people in their lives. The problem with that is that people let you down. If you are insecure you will project that on to others as well. Then you will find the smallest thing in their lives and start hurting them with it so you don’t feel so bad. If you don’t find joy inside of yourself then you will never be happy. NOONE ELSE CAN GIVE YOU HAPPINESS. You need to find a way to be happy with who you are even when things are boring or not going your way. My joy and happiness comes from giving. I feel OK with who I am as long as I am giving to others.

    Happiness is not something that makes you smile or makes you dance. It can do both of these things. Real happiness or inner peace is more of a calm feeling no matter what is happening. It is a feeling that everything is OK. I would compare it to patience in a way. Things might not feel comfortable right now but you can still feel OK because you are breathing and things are good in your life. You are going to have tough times along the way accepting everything that affects your life. It is OK to get angry or frustrated. That doesn’t mean that you are not happy. You can have moments when you don’t feel OK or you cry but that doesn’t mean that overall you cannot still find happiness.

    People are going to lie, cheat and steal. They will think it is OK to do these things as long as it is not happening to them. Your happiness does not depend on them. They can take what they want because your happiness comes from you. If you are insecure about something you need to learn how to deal with it. Taking it out on others will only make you feel dead inside. I have lived that first hand. It is not pretty when someone is not willing to try and understand who they are so they keep hurting others and blaming them instead. It is much easier to see faults in others than trying to understand yourself.

Love yourself more each day,

Your Loving Dad

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Learning to tie my shoes

    Life has been tough for you lately. You are struggling to show your feelings when you get angry about things. You really like school and you are one of the sweetest boys. You love to help and you love to care for others but when you get mad you do not handle it very well. I wish I could be there at school and hold your hand. I wish I could be there to tell you that we can still be happy. I wish I could take all of the pain away that you are feeling right now. I feel so helpless in trying to help you understand what happened. I'm not sure that I understand everything that happened myself. There will be pain for a while. I hope it fads for both of us and we grow past the hurt.

    You are my little man and I see big things in you. When we took Lucky to the vet on Monday and you told me that you wanted to be a vet and help all of the people's animals and the wild animals too. You have told me that you want to be a cop so that you can help people. You also told me that you want to build things just like me. All of these are great things.

    I bought you a new pair of shoes yesterday. They had shoe strings because the last pair of shoes that you had fell apart after a couple of months. I figured it was hard to mess with the old standard. We sat in the kitchen for a couple of hours and tied shoes over and over again until you got it. The smile on your face was electric. I made you tie your shoes until you just couldn't do it again. When Jen came over you were so excited to show her that you could tie your shoes. You were so proud when we went back to school for parent teacher conferences that you were telling all of the teachers and the principal. I am glad that out of a bad thing came a new good feeling for you. I want you to grow up and not be afraid of trying new things even if you might get hurt. I want you to be able to jump in with both feet knowing that I will be there to catch you when I can.

Don't be afraid of saying yes to the things that scare or intimidate you,

Your Loving Dad

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Where the Red Fern Grows"

    My favorite story of all time has to be "Where the Red Fern Grows". I remember having my third grade teacher Mrs. Summers read this to us each day at school after lunch. I could not wait to see what happened the next day. This story has inspired and touched me over the years. When William's sisters and brother moved into my house seven years ago we sat down each night so that I could read them the book that had touched my life so much. We would read one chapter each night and I really knew that William's oldest sister would identify with the main character. She wanted a dog so much that I could tell it hurt.

    As we progressed through the book each night I could see that the kids were really waiting to see what happened next. They identified with the character and wished they could have been there watching him with his dogs. The best dogs ever. I remembered that the end was sad. I never knew as a kid why the end was sad. As I have grown older I have come to respect that the author showed us that ending to show us what real love is.

   I remember having William's brother sitting next to me the night we got to the end, and as we got to the ending, I started to cry. I remember him seeing me cry and seeming puzzled that a book could touch me that way. I also remember that night that an eight year old girl told me that she was glad I was going to be her step dad. William's mother that night told me that she was glad that he got to see me cry. She was glad that he had someone in his life that wasn't afraid to show how he was feeling. I am glad that I could give that to his brother. Now when I read that book I will have those memories to go along with one of the greatest stories of my life.

    I gave the copy of the book I had to William's oldest sister so this week I bought a new copy for him. I bought a hard copy of the book so that William and I can have that same adventure too. I hope he grows up loving this book and he hands it down to his children. Our adventure will begin right after we finish the book we are currently working on but I can hardly wait.

I hope to have many more adventures with you,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween for US

    So this week is Halloween. In our house that is a fun day for William but not so much for the parents. William has type 1 diabetes and if that wasn't enough to deal with with all of the candy that he gets with no labels that tell you how many carbohydrates are in them, we have celiac disease to deal with too. So not only do we have to worry about the carbohydrates, we have to worry if the candy that he gets has gluten in it as well. That is all on top of screening for the dangerous stuff too.

    William was very excited about going to pick out his pumpkin. Jen and I took him to pick it out and there where too many choices for him to choose. He originally wanted one that probably weighed more than my car. After being told he need to find one that could fit in the car, the real hunt began.

Look the nose is the saw. Isn't that funny daddy.
   We try to have some fun along the way too. Here is William carving his pumpkin. I was helping him cut out the face. I heard him start laughing and when I looked up this is what I saw. The knife was poking right in the pumpkins face and William saying isn't that funny daddy.  Jen was scooping out the guts and William and I were carving away. William's pumpkin has a ninja turtle face. Jen and I went with something more traditional. Jen even added ears to her pumpkin. I tried to make mine look a little more scary. We all had fun and then it was time to put them outside.

Adding the lights
    William lugged the pumpkins to the front porch. We bought some little strobe lights to put inside of the pumpkins. We were worried that they wouldn't look good but they actually look great. William wanted the multicolor strobe and it looked a lot better than I thought it would. In the picture it only shows red but it is also blue, green and white. lighting them up for the first time was a lot of fun. How about the ears on Jen's pumpkin? They turned out really cool.

What they look like at night
    My Pumpkin is the one on the left with William's pumpkin in the middle and Jen's on the right. Do you see the ninja turtle face on William's pumpkin? It was a little funny when I took pictures with my phone William's pumpkin was always green and when Jen took pictures it was always red. Now if we can just keep lucky from eating the lids. When we looked out a few nights ago all of the lids were missing and lucky had them in the front yard. I guess he likes Halloween too.

Look out for me on Halloween
    William couldn't wait to show off his new look for this year. A slight difference from last year. Last year he was a blue ninja. This year he got double swords though. A much cooler pose don't you think. He did tell me that he didn't like his new costume because it made his tummy look fat. Funny coming from a six year old ninja. We are looking forward to passing out candy and going door to door. This year will be a little different but the fun is still there. We will get all of the candy. Sort it all out. Figure out if William can eat it and then use it as treats when things are going well. 

    Halloween is fun for us all we just have to take time to let it all sink in and just enjoy it. Letting go of what might scare us and looking into the future. I guess our future is going to be a ninja.

Happy Halloween my wonderful son,

Your Loving Dad

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unless

    This morning I was standing looking out my bedroom window just before going to work. I have a tree in the front yard that has been there for twenty years. I remember when I used to look out my window and see it in the bottom window. My bed room is upstairs so I used to look down on it. Now when I look out my window I have to look up to see the top of the tree. It never really hit me until today that tree is very close to the same age as my oldest son.

    The thing that came clear to me this morning as I stood there was that nature really doesn't care what happens in your life. The tree just quietly keeps growing unless I change what the tree is doing. I have had many good times and many bad times and that tree still grows. It just seemed to remind me that no matter what happens in my life that time will keep going. Every day that passes is not up to you. When you are gone that tree will still be standing watching over that yard. It will be keeping someone else cool in the summer and what you did in your life will not matter any more unless.....

    I guess I am stealing that from Dr. Seuss. The unless in this case is unless you make a difference in someone else's life. There may not be many people that remember who I am when I am gone but I do hope that the peoples lives that I have touched changed who they are and in turn made them better people and they change others lives for the better. We have one life to live. We can choose to be selfish with our lives or we can choose to give even when the other person does not deserve it. Just like choosing to care for the trees in the story, you can choose to care for the people around you or you can chop them down. I just hope that I change at least two lives in my life. I love you boys.

Are you going to choose to care for your trees?

Your Loving Father

Friday, October 24, 2014

Just trying to get everything out

    With everything that happened this last year and a half, my goal has been to put my feelings here for you to read. I hope that one day you come back and see the pain and the joy of your life through my eyes. I want you to see the pain and joy of my life too. I want you to see how much I care about the people around me. I want you to see the sorrow of the ending with your mother and the love that I had for her. I also want you to see the new beginnings that happen for us too. I want to put them here so in a few years you can look back and see them from a different perspective. Your brain is 6 years old and processes things different than it will when your 16 or 26. I want to give you my perspective on things that happened in your life so you can look back and laugh at some of the things that you had totally wrong in your head.

    My greatest gift to you other than loving you is to give you my heart. I put it out here every time I sit down to write. I want to tell you the things that I am afraid to tell you in person. I want to tell you the things that you would not understand right now. I just want you to be able to look back and read through these words and get to know the man that is your father and your friend once you are an adult. If you sit and read even one of these entries and you can say to yourself "I never knew that about my father". Then I was successful. If you can say that "I never knew you felt that way", again I was successful. If you see the pain that lives inside me because of my father, my uncle and your mother, then I was successful. If you see the joy that you brought into my life then I was successful.

    Life is like climbing a mountain. Every person has a mountain to climb. Not everyone makes it to the top. Some people have bigger mountains to climb than others and you started with a bigger mountain than most. Sometimes you fall down the mountain and slide down its face. You will get bumps a bruises. You might even get a scar or two along the way or you might even get broken along the way. Some people fall off or give up on climbing and that is sad to be a part of. The struggle to get to the top is overwhelming at times. I have seen big boulders fall toward my head. I have had days where I didn't want to climb any more but I pushed on anyway. I have had people try to push me off of my mountain but I am still here and I am still climbing. There have been times when it was cold and it felt like I was the only one climbing. There have been times when it felt like no matter where I grabbed I was on ice and was ready to fall, but the summer will come. The ice will melt and you can continue your climb. Your mountain is going to be high. Your struggle will be tough too. Just don't be afraid to keep climbing. I'm sure if you look around you are going to see me pulling you up for as long as I am alive. I'm not sure if we ever get to the top and enjoy the view or we just die climbing. I want to see if there is a top and I know the times in my life when I have looked to see the view it has always been better.

I hope to be standing on top looking at the view someday with you,

Your Loving Father

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What would I want you to know today?

    There are so many days that go by where I wish I could tell you the things that I know and show you the things that I have learned. There are many days when I would gladly let you see the pain that I have been through so you never have to live it yourself. I hope that you will never have to feel some of the pain that I have felt. I know our life experiences and what we do with them is what makes us who we are. I have tried my whole life to take the horrible things that have happened to me and try to use them to make someone else smile. I was not always successful but I still try.

    This year I met someone that seems to have been through some of the same pains and tribulations that I have been through. I have learned a lot about me and her at the same time. This year I have also had someone in my life that I loved and trusted show me how little everything I did mattered to them. In both cases I have learned to be a better person. One taught me to love, the other to forgive. Love is a natural part of who I am. It was easy to love even when I was being hurt by the one I loved. It seemed that the more she hurt me the more that I gave and none of it ever mattered. This is where the forgiveness comes in. I had to first learn to forgive myself for feeling bad about unintentionally hurting her. I had to forgive myself for letting her hurt me. Then I had to forgive her for hurting me so many times in the most horrible ways possible. This is one of the pains that I hope you never see. I know that you have a different perspective on this pain and I wish I could take that away.

    I guess if I could tell you one thing today it would be...... that even though everyone tells you things will get better, part of that pain will follow you the rest of your life. The pain is like sandpaper. If it rubs off one layer of skin maybe there is no scar. If it digs in and remove a big part of you it will heal but there will be a scar to remind you to be smarter the next time. I guess it is good we don't wear these scars on the outside. I am afraid that I would not be so pretty but maybe more people would understand me.

You choose who you are going to be,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life with Diabetes this Week

    This week has been a really tough week for diabetes control. On Friday morning around 7:30AM William's blood sugar was very high. When school checked him at 10:00AM for his snack he was good and then when they checked him at 11:30AM for lunch he was very low. It made for a really bad day for William. With everything that is going on in his life, having his blood sugar jumping all over the place was tough on his little body and mind this day.

    When he got home His blood sugar continued to be high. Normally his blood sugar control is very good and way below the target for his age group. This is a very unusual event. After a few readings over 300 and correction doses that seemed to do nothing, I decided that it was time to take action. I started on the normal routine. I replaced his site and gave him a correction dose and checked him. His blood sugar just kinda winked at me and stayed strong right where it was. After a few hours of that I tried new insulin and a correction dose but there was that wink again. Blood sugar was continuing to stay right where it was in the upper 200's and low 300's.

    Sometimes when his blood sugar is high it means he is getting sick so I checked. I could not find a fever. Sometimes when he is growing his blood sugar is high. He has been eating a lot lately and is complaining about his legs hurting. That must be it. I really hate to make big changes on his pump when there is a sudden change like this. Most of the time these changes have been temporary so making a big change on his pump is only troublesome. I decided to give it one more day to see if things started heading back the other way. I made a few changes to his numbers that I would have made anyway. I sat back and waited. After a day and a half of being high I finally saw his number starting to drop back down. He was near normal for his 2:00AM check but back to 212 for breakfast. He has been hovering around the 180 range for a while. I am still going to refrain from making changes until after his site change tonight to see if thing are still getting better. If not it will be time to make some changes on his pump.

What a crazy world to live in,

Your Loving Dad

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trouble at School

    The last few weeks have been trying for you at school. You have punched your friends and have turned over desks. I talk to you everyday to see how you are feeling and I know that you are mad about everything that happened. You have told me that you are mad at mama and that you want things to be like they were before. I wish I could tell you the right thing to make your pain go away. I am mad at mama and her choices too. I wish I could just hug you until it didn't hurt any more and I wish that you could do the same. We didn't choose this pain but we will get through it together. I love when you cuddle on the couch with me. I love reading to you and you reading to me every night. It is so exciting to see you reading things. I really like it when you asked me what that said on TV when you could not read it quite fast enough or when you point out something that you have read. I thought is was awesome that you and your friend were reading the map when we went to the zoo last week. You got most of the words correct and were very close on the ones that you didn't.

    I am excited about meting Ryan when we went to the zoo. He is your age and also has type 1. I am glad that I could help out and help take care of him so he could go. He parents seem very nice. I am hopeful that we will get to schedule some of the play dates that they suggested. It will be nice for you both to have a friend that understands what you feel. Someone that you can talk to and knows what it is like to have diabetes. He has other problems like being allergic to peanuts and grass just like you and celiac disease.

   Things will get better. I hope better choices are made and your life gets better soon. I know the hurt will not go away soon but I will be there holding your hand and crying with you until we get better. You have the right to feel mad. You deserved better and so did everyone involved. I love you and I will show that to you everyday for the rest of my life. Make smarter choices at school. Choose joy not hate. Choose friends and not enemys. Choose to forgive and not anger. Choose peace and not fear. Choose to love and not hate. Choose to be big and not small. Choose to hold on to the ones that show you love and let go of the ones that take you for granted. Choose to hug and not hit. Choose to smile and not cry. Choose to fly.

See you in the wild blue yonder,

Your Loving Dad 

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Ghost in my Head

The Ghost in my Head

I know that you are not dead but your ghost still hunts me, and it feels like it is there just to taunt me.
I feel it slide past without a trace, and then without warning it shows me your face.
Sometimes it bring a kind memory of joy, other times it hurts and feels more like a ploy.
It is there just lingering inside, waiting to sneak out and remind me you lied.

It takes the smile away when I'm feeling happy, it takes away that and makes me feel crappy.
It makes me think about things that should have been done, but there never was a doubt that you were the one.
It shows me the ring that I got for your finger, but it didn't stop you from using your stinger.
It reminds me of the hole that you left in my heart, and the hurt and destruction that ripped us apart. 

It sneaks in when I lay in bed at night, when I think my heart is safe and out of sight.
I see flashes of it when I hear a song, and reminds me of how the day is long.
I feel it holding my hand and the cold hollow feeling, and it is hard to believe that my heart is still reeling.
I see it in William's eyes as they are looking at me, and I have no answers for the questions I see.
I see it in the pictures that hang on the wall, and the sad lonely feelings as I walk down the hall.

I really don't know what to say, but you left your ghost to haunt me that day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Moments of Crazy

    I get those moments when I know that I should not care about missing someone that you know is bad for you. The horrible things that I experienced over and over again at their hands and then the way things were left just seems impossible. I want to remember the person that I loved. The person that I gave seven years of my life for. I want to remember that day in the hospital when you were born. I remember that night when you and her were snoring together and it sounded alike. I remember the kids putting the reindeer antlers on your head. What an awesome memory. I want to remember the camping trips and the motorcycle rides. I want to remember holding her hand as we walked along the pier and watching sunsets together. I remember going to the beach and having fun. A day of sailing with the whole family. I remember having her lay on my lap. Those where the times when I got to feel close to her. I remember all of the campfires where we talked to each other. The hobo pies and s'mores. I remember the day we spent in the hospital finding out that you had diabetes. I remember all of the Christmases we had together as a family. I remember building the rooms for the girls in the house so they had their own space. I remember building a doghouse for lucky with your brother. I never saw him that interested in working on something or work so hard. I remember the robotics competitions and your brother getting so excited to go with me when we were building the robots. I remember the first time they let him drive the robot. What an amazing smile that he had that day. I remember going to Rosy Mound park and walking the steps with the family to the beach so many times. I remember picking blueberries and your older sister eating most of them before they could make it into the freezer. I remember that you would take the blueberries from my bucket and tell everyone that your bucket was full. I remember painting the rooms in the house and the crazy colors that the kids picked except your big sister. The blue for her room was very nice. I remember being part of the group that found out her dad had brain tumors. I remember telling him that I would be there to take care of everyone. I remember holding her hand and hoping that things were going to be OK even after I found out. I remember I wanted to believe even after she told me she would not do it again. I remember fixing Thanksgiving Dinner while they where at the hospital so we would have something to eat. I remember looking for the wedding ring we found. You really liked the blue and you told me that mama would love it. I remember it had six blue sapphires one for each one of our family. It was supposed to mean that all of us were coming together as one family. I was hoping that it was a healing moment in our life. I remember having to return it with tears in my eyes. Thank you for helping find it. You are a great helper and people noticed that all of the time. 

    I know right now remembering these things only hurts me but they are things that I think you should know about. I call them moments of crazy. I call them that because I remember and it still feels crazy how everything turned out. I went camping for the first time because of your mother. I found out that I liked it. I remember going to uncle Wally's cabin and being part of the crazy group that got together. I really enjoyed cooking and getting to know your mothers relatives. I loved your mother very much. It always hurt me that she never took the time to see it.I will try to jot down memories of us together every once in a while so that you have them to hold. We both love you never forget that.

I hope you read tease moments from your life and smile someday,

Your Loving Dad


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Letters from Dad (Giving of Yourself)

    I have one thing in my life that I enjoy doing so much, that is giving to others. I gave to your mother. I gave to your brothers and sisters, your grandparents and I give to you. This is not the type of giving that I am talking about however. You are always going to be a priory in my life and I am sure that you will get more of my giving than anyone else in my life but I want to make sure that you understand the joy of giving to others. I want you to understand that small acts of kindness pay back more than you realize. It might take years before you see some of the things where you changed someone's life. Those days will come and the joy inside will flood your soul.

    Before I met your mother I coached hockey. It was something that I loved doing so very much. It gave me friends and relationships with the kids that I coached. I still see some of them today and they still come by and say hi or thanks. I coached hockey because your older brother wanted to play hockey. I had never even ice skated before all of this. I learned to skate and then I taught your older brother to skate. He started playing hockey when he was five. When he turned 12 he went to live with his mother. It was one of the darkest times in my life. I kept coaching hockey because I didn't want to miss him so much. At first it didn't help me forget about your brother. In fact it only made me miss him more. There was a day toward the end of the first season that I had one of the kids I had been coaching all year skate up to me during the game and asked "did you see that coach? I did exactly what you told me to do and it worked." That was the first time when hockey became mine and not a memory of me and your brother. It was that moment that made coaching something that I loved to do without the guilt of missing your brother. I got to coach for eight wonderful years. I always missed coaching but family came first. When I had to quit I got a letter in the mail. It was handwritten by one of the kids that I had coached. He told me that I had changed his life, that he appreciated everything I had tough him and he hoped that he would play good enough that I would be proud of him. He told me that he hoped that someday I could coach again and that he would get to play for me again. Getting that letter made me cry. I sure hope he knows I would have been proud of him just for loving the game of hockey and being a a good person.  Just receiving that letter in the mail let me know that he got what I was teaching. I hope to get you into hockey soon so we can have the wonderful memories too. Coaching was more about the kids and experiences, teaching them to love the game and being a good person than winning games. I will count my coaching experience a success if just one student goes on to give back and to love the game enough to give it to one kid. If they teach that kid to love themselves first and respect others. If they teach that win or lose your friends are the most import part of hockey.

    I love to work for Habitat for Humanity too. I love learning about the families that I am helping just by volunteering my time. I learn about how to take care of our house too so I guess it is a win for everyone. I have done so many different jobs over the years and I love seeing the progress of the house over the build. I get to meet so many wonderful people and listen to their stories too. Give of yourself and it will come back to you.

    A few years back I started helping out with F.I.R.S.T. robotics. I really missed coaching and it was a way for me to reconnect with the joy of seeing kids learn. I love solving problems as an engineer. I have experience with the programming language, so it seemed to be a perfect fit. I do enjoy seeing these highly motivated kids learn and try things on their own. They take ownership of what they do and are proud to display it when the judges come around. I give to these kids but get so much more back in return. I am happy that I have met someone that supports me in being part of this group and I look forward to being part of this organization for a long time.
 
    I hope that you find things like this that you can be passionate about too. This is where you are going to get the best rewards in your life, helping others and giving back. I will continue to take you so you can see and I hope that you learn to give with all of your heart in every thing that yo do. I hope to retire and become someone that helps others in need. I have had a great life and I have many rewards for the hard work that I have done. I want others to be able to say the same. I want to inspire others to give because they were given to. That is what makes the world a better place.

Find your joy in the life you give,

Your Loving Father

Monday, September 22, 2014

What I am Really Thinking

    You are six so you will not understand what I am about to tell you until you are much older. I know you think I am strong and that I could fix anything. I know that you love spending time with me and you think that your mother leaving us didn't hurt me. I hope that you always think that but you need to know that it hurt me more than you could possible understand. I still have days where I think about what happened. I think about her getting married just five months after leaving. I think about her not taking the time to get to know me and how she made everything my fault. I think about all of the things I have learned about myself since she left and the wonderful things that have happened too.

    There were so many times that you were sitting next to me on the couch when I was falling apart inside and having my arm around you was the only thing that brought me peace and kept me together. It was in that moment that I could sleep where I hadn't in weeks. There where many times when you said things that I could not explain to you and it made me just want to go to my room and lock the door and cry. I want to tell you I am sorry for the pain and the confusion that was caused by all of this. I wish I could tell you I'm sorry that you will miss out on a lot of things. I want to tell you that I'm sorry that you do not get to wake up with your mother being part of the family everyday anymore but how could I ever make you understand?  I want to make sure that you understand that I loved your mother so much and I hurt inside that she never took the time to see that. I know that I hurt her too but I never meant to.

    I will keep a smile on my face for you until it doesn't hurt anymore. I will pretend that everyday is a happy day and smile for you until you believe it. I will carry on with the same routine everyday just like nothing ever happened for you. I will play games and watch you grow everyday and hope that you never know how much I was hurting through all of this. I will love you even more to make up for the things that you are missing. I hope that you forgive me and your mother in time. I hope that you can find peace in your life and know that we both love you very much. I do wish things had turned out differently but time cannot be erased. So here we are today and I am smiling for you.

    I have let someone new in my heart. It scares me to let go and trust that she will not hurt me. I know you like her and I am happy for that. I know that you look forward to her coming over and again I am glad that you can. I know that you told her that you love her. I am not sure if you understand what that means but I hope that you do. I do love you and I want you to remember that too. I'm not sure where our lives go from here but I will be there for you until the end.

You make me happy and I hope that is enough,

Your Loving Father 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Philosophy for Blood Sugar Control (Maintaing a Schedule)

    One of the first things they told us when we first found out that William had type 1 diabetes was that we needed to keep him on a regular schedule. You learn really fast that diabetes has a mind of it's own and that you never get the same result twice. I guess the goal is to try and get yourself in a window that allows you to function with the lowest A1C that is safe. No matter what you do you will never find the secret answer that gets to the promised land of perfect control. You need to find every small advantage that you can and when you put them all together you find a place where you can live with some consistency.

    William is on a schedule that works for him. He gets up in the morning and has breakfast around 7:00 am. He then goes to school where they check him at 10:00 am and give him a snack. He is checked at 11:30 am for lunch. He is checked again at 2:00 pm and given a snack and one extra check before gym if it happens to be a gym day. William gets on the bus and goes to daycare where they check him at 4:00 pm. I pick him up from daycare and we go home where I make dinner and check him again about 5:30 pm. The next check isn't until 8:00 pm when be get his snack before bed. One more check at 11:00 pm to see where he is before I go to bed and one more at 2:00 am for assurance that he will make it through the night. It seems to work with William. That is right nine times a day he gets his finger poked and he never complains for a moment. Talk about brave and strong.

    Let me talk a little bit about why I chose some of the points that I did. Breakfast is kind of a no brainer but some of the others have real reasons. The 10:00 am check and snack is three hours after breakfast. It give me a good idea of how his breakfast ratio is and is after his insulin on board and carbs are all gone. This allows the pump to make a better correction dose calculation because nothing should be changing. This also gives him some carbs to keep in his system. The 2:00 pm check is for the same reason but is at 2:00 pm to try and match up with his school schedule. The 4:00 pm check just allows us to see how school affected him that day. Some days there is more activity with three recesses or gym so he might be lower than usual or it might have rained so no recess and he might be higher. 5:30pm is before dinner. The 8:00 pm check is about three hours after dinner so it fits into the same reasoning as above. the 11:00 pm check is three hours after the 8:00 pm check and snack. I get a real idea of where he is at with no carbs or insulin on board. The 2:00 am check is there because William has a huge twilight phenomena. From 8:00 pm until 12:00 am he get twice as much basal insulin as he does for the rest of the day.  It drops a little at 12:00 am but at 2:00 am the basal rate drops really low. My reasoning here is if his number is good at 2:00 am we should be safe for the rest of the night since the basal rate is lower. It seems to work well for his case.

    This is the life of a diabetic or parent of a diabetic. You think about numbers all of the time. How can you make them better without fear of putting him at risk of lows. You always look for a new trick or some other advice that can get you closer to normal and keep the A1C as low as possible. I hope this information helps someone that is confused see how someone else has done it and give them a little light in the darkness.

Shinning a light for you,

His Loving Dad

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Remembering your Grandfather Pendergrass

Hello my son,

    I wanted to tell you about your grandfather Pendergrass. I met your grandfather back many years ago.I knew him even before I met your mother. I had bought a motorcycle after your big brother left to go stay at his mothers' house. Your cousin Julie introduced me to her parents Karen and Guy and then I met your grandmother and grandfather on a few of the trips that we used to take. A few years later I met your mother. I loved riding on the motorcycles with him and your grandmother and having your mom along for the ride was awesome too. Your grandfather would get in front and just go. Sometimes it was hard to keep up but you always had fun getting where you where going. It was always about the stops along the way and the food and the people that were with you. I will miss that the most.

    Your grandfather Jack or Kenny as most people called him was someone that could talk to anyone. He smiled a lot and really loved to tinker on things. I would not have wanted him working on anything that belonged to me but I appreciated his ability to make things work. Your grandfather took me into his family and made me feel like part of the family very quickly. I knew that I could walk into the house and he would be there to welcome me in and offer me a cup of coffee and a story. He loved just being part of life around him and it made people that loved him want to be around him.

    I believe that your grandfather respected me and respected what I did for your mother and your brothers and sisters. I know he saw the family that I created with your mom. The extra rooms that I added to the house so that your sisters had a place to call their own. Taking the kids back in forth to school everyday while your mother was in school. The weekend camping trips to grandpas house and all of the fun that came from that. It was true that if you got in a boat with your grandfather that you never knew if you would be paddling back to shore or not but I guess that is what made life interesting. There were so many weekends when we would pitch the tent and just hang out at grandpas house for the weekend. Fires and smore's  talking and cooking hobo pies. Everyone enjoyed those weekends together. It was always nice for me to see Your big sister fishing off of the shore or the pontoon boat. She loved going on the annual fishing trips with grandpa. I am sorry that you will never get to do that with him. When I talked to Taylor about those weekends with grandpa she made it very clear that it was special because of the time that she got with grandpa. I think she will miss him the most. We used to tease her that is was more about the doughnuts and ice cream then fishing but I don't think it matter to her what they were doing as long as grandpa was there.

    Your grandfather had a way of touching everyone around him with love. I watched how he reached out with ease to everyone around him. I watched and tried to learn his ways. That was one place where I had so much to learn from him and I will miss getting that chance the most. Grandpa loved you and spent a lot of time with you. He watched you grow from a baby and held you in the first few minutes of your life. He saw you grow and learn to walk. He saw you play and ride your bike through the puddles. He watched you poke at the fire pit with a stick and learn how to just have fun with what was around you. He let you help drive his truck when he was moving things around in the yard and I think you liked sleeping in the camper more than you like sleeping in your bed at home. 

    You got to watch your grandfather die and I am sure that you didn't understand most of it. Why grandpa didn't answer you anymore at the end or why he couldn't get up and play with you anymore. I really hope that you never forget him. He loved his grand kids very much and I am glad that I got to meet this man before he died. He made my life better having known him. Kenny died on Thanksgiving morning 2013. He left an empty whole in many peoples lives that day.

Here is to you Jack Pendergrass. You will be missed,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Heavy Things on my Heart Today.

    Today is a hard day for me. Things happened that I expected but I thought would take a lot longer. Our lives have all changed again and I have to pick up the rest of the pieces and move on. Your life has changed more than mine and I hope the decisions that were made this weekend last and do not hurt you. The decisions that were made were made with hast, anger and purpose. I just hope that there is enough there to hold things together for the kids sake.

Keep in mind, my son, that I love you and you will always have my shoulder to cry on and to lean on when things get tough. I have found out how strong I can be this year. It is more than I expected but I am still here and still fighting for you. I hope that we can all learn from what happened this year. I hope that joy and peace for all of us is just around the corner.

I'm holding you tight and hoping that you never get hurt but if you do I will be there,

Your Loving Dad

Monday, September 15, 2014

Remembering your Grandmother

Hello William,

    I wanted to take some time and tell you about your grandmother that died last year. I want to do it while it is fresh in my mind and before you get too old to not remember her any more. Your grandmothers name was Nancy Carol Easterling or grandma Easterling as you called her. She and your grandfather were married for 49 1/2 years together. It was a rocky road for them but somehow they stayed together and made it. If it hadn't been for the liver problems I know they would have made 50 years and probably more.

    Our lives were simple growing up. We never had much money and rarely had new clothes. We didn't get to go on fancy trips or really have much to call our own. We lived in the projects and grandpa worked at GM on the production lines. Your grandparents we not really very good with money but we had a few things that were fun. I remember taking trips to see our relatives in Tennessee and sprinkled all over the South. We would pile into the station wagon and off we would go for a week or two. Like I said life was simple. No seat belts and no worries of safety. We played Putt Putt golf a lot too. Mostly it was your aunts and me playing in our rooms with our toys.

    When I was young I remember that your grandmother smoked. I remember going into gas stations and buying cigarets for my mom before that was frowned upon. Grandma Easterling was also not very healthy. She had many things that kept her from really enjoying life. She had thyroid disease and back surgeries. She had her knees replaced and was always sick. When she was close to the end she spent a lot of time in wheel chairs and on the electric scooter. You enjoyed riding with her on the scooter. Grandma always had small dogs. I remember mostly toy Pomeranians growing up. She had a few other dogs types later on in life but they were the dogs that I grew up with.

    I wish I could tell you about the story of when grandma came to see you in the hospital when you where born but that never happened. Grandma did come to see you at our house for Christmas that year. You were still only a few weeks old. It was only the second time she ever came to our house and as it turns out the last time she ever came to our house.

    I am not sure what else I could tell you about grandma. Her mother died from leukemia when she was 17. I never met my grandmother. Her name was Cathrine. That is where your aunt got her name. I hope that you  remember her a little. You were very young when she died last year and you didn't get to spend much time with her. I know she would have liked to see you grow up and I know that she loved you in her own way.

Remembering Grandma,

Your Loving Dad

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Letters From Dad (School)

    Hello my wonderful boy. I know that you are only six today but I hope this letter finds you before you enter high school. I know that you are excited about starting high school and you should be. It is the launching point to the rest of your life. I hope you take a moment to realize that it is a very short moment in your life and it will have a small and large effect on the rest of your life depending on the choices that you make.

    The small effect on your life is that most of the people in high school are not who they are going to be when they grow to be adults. Some of the most successful people in high school will become some of the least successful people in life while some of the people that were picked on now become the bosses and are quite successful. Your friends in high school may be there for a while and if you are lucky you may have a few that you keep for the rest of your life but most people in high school will not matter in your life in just a few short years.

    The big effect on your life are the choices that you make while you are in high school. You can choose to be a smart person and do all of your work study hard and finish at the top of your class. This will open doors for you to choose the college of your dreams and find the career that you always wanted. The other choice is to do what it takes to get through. This will close many doors for college and you may not get accepted into the program that you want to study. Your life will not be as interesting or fun but you put out less effort, so you get what you work for. I always told your older brother that you can get paid for what you know or get paid for what you do. Getting paid for what you know is a lot more fun and interesting and lends itself to a career that you enjoy everyday. Getting paid for what you do can be rewarding but more frustrating as well. You have time clocks to punch and a lot less flexibility to do what you want everyday. to give an example with my job today I can take time off to take you to the doctor without having to worry about how many personal days I have taken. I can make the time up when I need to but I can do what it takes to take care of you. When your sisters and brother lived with me I could go in late and leave early to get them to school as long as I worked on the weekends to make up the lost time.

    I hope that you make good choices in life that give you the most options. What ever you do I will be there still holding you close and being as proud as any dad could be that you William are my boy. I hope to see you get married and have children. I am looking forward to getting to know them and being part of their lives. Make yourself proud and be a pillar and a good example to your family and friends. Be the kind of friend that you want someone to be to you and you will find those friends in your life too.

Can't wait to see you graduate and become the man that I know you can be,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Philosophy for Blood Sugar Control.

    I am an engineer and I love to solve problems. Having said that, diabetes is not a fun thing to troubleshoot. I design and build equipment that is used for testing parts. Each time I build something it is different than the time before. I do spend time trying to figure out why something is not working or why it is not working correctly. I have drawn from my experience of trouble shooting machines and use some of those principles to make the decisions for the changes that I make in William's care.

    I never make a change based on one number. I want to see a trend before I make a change. I want to see many numbers above or below to make an informed decision. I also want to see a trend after a change. I want to see things move in the direction that I made the change for. If he was running high I want to see him come down. If I get one high number I can see that it could be many things that have caused the number so do not over react. You will find that you chase your tail when you do. William's numbers for basel rates and carb ratios have been same numbers for the most part for the last few years. I make small adjustments when a number starts to drift high but he has been the same for the last few years. I do expect that he will need more insulin as he gets older. If you are making changes all of the time something is not right. I spend a lot of time studying William's numbers to see if I need to change his bolus number or the basel rate.

    One other thing that I have found was the his carb sensitivity was originally 100 to 1. I noticed that after a big correction dose that William would always go low. When I bumped it up to 200 to 1 the doctor originally told me this was a bad idea but after this change his numbers were so much better. A few years later we are at 180 to 1 and William is still doing great.

    If you are just starting out you might also find that when you give your young person 15 grams of carbs like the doctor says when he is low that they now shoot high and end up at 500 which is just as bad. One thing that I have found is correcting a low or a high takes a little time. If I give William candy to correct a low it might take an hour to see the real change in his number. When they say check and give more carbs after 15 minutes if you are correcting a low can cause you to over correct. In 15 minutes you might just start to see the beginning of the correction take place. I also find that it really depends on what his number is as to how many carbs that you need to give your diabetic. I have written a paper for William that instructs his school on how many pieces of candy to give him when his blood sugar is at an interval below 100. You must also keep in mind that if your diabetic is active you may need to give him a little more than normal. When the office does call for advice I always ask what William's schedule looks like for the rest of the day so I know if I need to add more candy to a normal correction. After he is given a correction I check in 30 minutes to make sure that he is heading in the right direction. It will take a little time to figure out what your diabetic will need in their lives but it will vary on how far off you are and many other factors.

     Night time checks have made a big difference. Some people do them and some don't. I check William every night at 11PM and 2AM. Immediately after I started doing this night time checks Williams A1C dropped significantly. It is worth the lost sleep to make sure that I give him the best chance at a healthy life as I can.

    William has had A1C's well below the doctors ranges for almost two years straight now. You need to pay attention to everything that you do and the result of what you did. Look for the things that cause your diabetic to go out and try to understand what happened. Try not to over analyze things but pay attention to what is happening. The doctor is there for advice, but you are the one that lives with the disease every day.

Looking for trends and making changes,

His Loving Dad

Monday, September 8, 2014

School and Diabetes

    With the first week of school under our belt, William is doing great with his blood glucose numbers at school. They have been between the 80-130 most of the time. There was one check where he was at 65 but overall his numbers have been great at school. Given how much they are going outside right now that is a good thing. I have been tweaking his numbers a little over night too and things are really starting to fall into place. I have had a week and a half of numbers in the 100's and only one 300 range number. What an amazing week.

    The new teacher is falling into the schedule and William is being checked as required. We also have a new class room helper this year. The ladies at the front desk that took such great care of William last year are back again so no new training for them. His teacher has asked a few really good questions like does William need to go to the bathroom more than the other kids. That is a tough answer but most of the time the answer would be no. If his blood sugar is high he needs more water and his body tries to get rid of the extra sugar and possible ketones. So he might. Then there is the question when William acts out in class. Is that blood sugar related? That too is a possible yes and no answer. When William gets high, short temper is something that can happen. They usually check him and then give me a call.

    It has been a great start to a new year from the school and diabetes realm. William is still excited but I think that will change this week when homework starts coming home. We will keep plugging away and he will continue to learn. I am glad to see him excited about school again.

School is strating right,

His Loving Dad

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lucky Turns Two

Lucky's 2nd Birthday
    Lucky Boy turned two this week. I got lucky this big bone and a squeak toy that was supposedly a durable toy. I guess they don't market test with 102 lb Alaskan Malamutes when the test for durability. Lucky had this bone for two days and now all that is left is a few small pieces on the floor. He demolished the bone and then turned his attention to the squirrel squeak toy. It only took him a few minutes to have the squeaker out of the squirrel and about an hour later the head was off and stuffing was everywhere. I wish I could say this was unexpected but it was no surprise as this what happens when you give lucky a toy with a squeaker in it. : )

May you rest in peace
    This anniversary also means that William has had celiac disease for almost two years now. That anniversary comes at Thanksgiving along with grandpa dying. So we celibate the fun things in our lives now. Celiac disease is not a severely life threatening disease as long as you take care of it. It is an inconvenience that really messes with every day life. There are no simple stops at the store. Forget fast food for the most part, and going to restaurants is a challenge. The food cost two to three times more for everything you buy. Some of the food is good and some really sucks for lack of a better way to say it. The last time we had William's blood tested his numbers for celiac were well below normal. That was good as his number was off of the charts when he was first diagnosed. Some things in life change and some stay the same. No matter what has happened over the last year the fact still remains that William needs extra attention and that will not change. We can hope for a cure but we need to plan for his life as it is today.

Happy birthday Lucky,

His Loving Dad

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Letters from Dad

    Hello my son. You had your first day of first grade yesterday and your first day of me being your full time parent. Life has changed so much for us in the last few months and I am trying to do the best I can. I am sorry for the pain that all of this has caused you. I hope that I live up to your needs of being a good father. I hope that when we get you to an adult that you still want to hug me. I just want you to get there healthy both mentally and physically. You had a great day for the first day of school and the hand off with your mom was not too bad.

    When I was taking care of your big brother, I always told him that you could get paid for what you know or you could get paid for what you do. It is a lot more fun to get paid for what you know so I hope that you make school a priority in your life. I'm not saying that working for a living is not worth while, but from my experience having a job where I get to solve problems and create things is so much fun. I can not imagine having to work on a production line or do something where I'm not challenged everyday for the rest of my life. I am going to work with you and help you as much as I can what ever path you take. I am going to work through the frustrating times with homework and be there for the celebrations as you move through school. I just want to be there next to you when you graduate from college. So I will tell you now congratulations for making it to college and for making it through. I am proud of you even if you chose another path in your life. Never forget that. I will always be proud of you.

   Always keep learning, it will keep things interesting. Learn at home, at work and school. One thing that I have learned over the years is that you do not need to be the smartest person in the room you just need to know who those people are and make sure you are willing to ask when you need help. It is nice to be one of the people that people come to but there is no way for you to know it all.

Here is to you learning for the rest of your life,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School

    Today was the first day of school. I got up and got a shower and got dressed then I went and got William up. He was a little tired but not bad. I reminded him of his new shoes waiting down stairs and then he got right out of bed. His new shoes blink when you walk. He was very adamant that he had to have shoes that blink. He also had his new backpack and lunch box waiting too. He ate breakfast and them ran over to put on his new shoes. He was ready to go 10 minutes before we needed to head to school. That was a great way to start the new school year. We got in the car and he was delivered on time.

    I am now the full time parent for William. She visits him on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other weekend.  I still cannot believe that all of this happened. I still feel sad for William and the other children. His care will be on my shoulders once again. So I guess we are back to where we were before she left.  I had to go to the court house today to file all of the paperwork so that we can have a hearing to have everything moved for custody and child support. Life has changed for both of us. We begin the new year of homework and learning. I am worried that she will not make him get his homework done on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am worried about her getting him back on time. I am worried about what all of this means for him and how he is going to take it. There really isn't much I can do about most of that. I will address that when we get there. One day at a time is all I can do for him right now. Hope things get better for all of us.

A good and sad first day of school,

His Loving Dad

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meeting the new Teacher

In Front of the class
    Last night we went to meet the new teacher for 1st grade. We had a scavenger hunt and William got his picture taken. He found his desk and learned about all of the kids in his class. His "girlfriend" from last year was in his class again. He ran over and gave her a big hug. It was so very cute. There were many friends from last year so it should be a good year not having to make so many new friends this year. He has homework already. He has to find one item to put in a red bag to bring to school to tell everyone who he is. It is a show in tell of sorts.

My New Desk
    William found his desk easily. It is nice that he is starting to read. So now he can see what things say. His desk is right next to the teacher so that should help with all of his care. We met his new teacher and she seems nice. We have been working hard on reading all summer long. I am hoping that this will pay off for him when he get into class this year.

    With all of William's special needs, we got to stay late to meet with the teacher to go over his schedule and the special care that he will need for the school year. William starts school each year with and instruction manual. It is a document that tells how to take care of him when his blood sugar is off, when to check him, troubleshooting his diabetes equipment and emergency phone numbers. I am trying to send him to school the safest way I can. I want his teachers to have as much information as I can give them to best take care of my son.

William is excited about going to school and keeps asking if today is the day he goes to his big school gain. We are counting down the days and I am glad that he is excited about going.

Kicking off 1st grade,

His Loving Dad 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Letters from Dad

    I want to keep this as an ongoing section for you my son. I want to tell you the things that I can share just in case anything ever happens to me along the way. The first thing I want you to know is that I loved you with all my heart. You and your brother were the best things that ever happened to me and I thank you and him both for all of the smiles along the way. I am proud of you both.

    You are six now and you know how to do everything. You know how to drive a car, play a guitar, find a job, have a house and many other things that are going to come in your life. I can't wait to be a part of that. I want to be there to show you how to drive. I would love to hear beautiful music from your guitar. I know you will work hard at your job and be happy and I will be there to help you move into your first house. I can't wait to see you grow up to be a man but I hope you don't mind that I want to have you as my little boy for a while. The selfish part of me that wants you to hold my hand, have you sleep with me at night when you are afraid, teaching you to read, seeing you play video games, going to school, playing sports, helping out at robotics and just being a kid. I hope that we can take trips and have many adventures together. I want to see you go to Disney before you are too old to appreciate it. I want to have camping weekends together. I want to explore and become friends over our lifetime. I know that you have many struggles that most people don't. You need to be healthy and take care of yourself and don't let diabetes win the fight. You will need to be there for your kids someday and I hope that you are a better father than me. I just hope that I gave you enough of an example to have a good start.

    School is getting ready to start. You are excited today. I know when the school year starts and homework is plenty that you will not like school so much. I love seeing you learn and become a young man. You are smart and I hope that you understand when you get older that I pushed you out of love to be the best person that you can be. We will take one day at a time and we will make it to the end together. I will always be proud of you and you will always be in my heart.

Six years old and a man already,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sleeping with Dad

    Everything that happened this year has been tough on everyone involved over the last six months. William has mostly good days but occasionally a bad one pops up. Last night was a bad night for him. I put him in bed and read him a story then kissed him goodnight and went down stairs. After a few minutes I heard him crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he missed grandpa (grandpa died last year). He went and got in my bed and I crawled in bed with him and pulled him close. I knew today was a day when he needed me to hold him and make him feel safe. He laid on my chest and put his hand on mine. I have never felt so strong as I did at that very moment.  My son needed me to be strong for him that night and I felt so good that he felt safe enough to fall asleep on my chest.

    When William sleeps with me it has always been an adventure. You never know if you are going to get hit with a hand or a foot in the middle of the night. If he will snuggle right up with you and not give you an inch of bed to sleep on or if he will take all of the covers or kick them off because he has his blanky to keep himself warm. There is an advantage to him sleeping with me. I do not have to go so far to do his nighttime checks. I put his meter by the bed and do the check and then go right back to sleep.

    I woke up this morning with his hand across my face and wondered why his hand was across my face but then inside something said remember this moment because there will not be many more of these times for you to remember and I smiled. My little guy will be graduating before I know it but I can look back today and see he was still there looking for strength right next to "Daddy".  What he doesn't know is that "Daddy" will always have his hand out for him to take. His shoulder will always be there to cry on and his heart will always be warm and loving.

I feel like Superman for just a little time and I hope that you get to as well,

His Loving Dad

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend at the lake

We had a great weekend this weekend. We were invited to a friends house for a team building event for the robotics team. There were many things to do like playing in the water and swimming and riding on the boat and tubing. There were also games to play and good friends to talk to. William had a great time. He got to swim all the way to the dive platform and hang out with the big kids. He was not afraid to speak up and tell them that he did not want to be pushed into the water. Then after he had been on that platform for a while he swam over to the trampoline that was also in the water. A few times he got a tow from one of the other team mentors in a kayak.

Swimming to the trampoline
   William is really excited about the robotics season this year and I am glad to see him get excited about that kind of stuff early in his life. I want him to learn early that if you are willing to learn and push yourself you can do amazing things. You have to be smart and you have to be willing to work hard to get them. Just like him swimming to the dive platform and then to the trampoline. It takes the same faith that if you keep swimming and you do not give up that you can reach it and it will be fun when you get there. I guess we start with life lessons early in our lives. We just don't know that they are life lessons when we are young. I know that I would not have thought about this being a life lesson when I was six.

I found a frog
We also had fun finding frogs along the lake. The one that William is holding is black. It really liked to hop a lot. He was pretty happy when the other boys asked him to come help to find the frogs. He also went and got water for the frogs after they were put into the bucket. He had a friend there that he got to play with. They played in the sand and played with the swords and shields and with the big foam airplane. It was like I remember when I was young. The foam airplane didn't last long. We ended the night with another boat ride and a campfire. William had a s'more then it was home to get in bed. School is starting soon so we need to get him back on his schedule. What a great weekend of fun. Meeting new friends and meeting the team that we are going to be spending the year with.

We are looking forward to a great year with the robotics team and what a great way to end the summer. We got to do all of the things that you should do all summer. I love seeing William smile and he did that a lot this weekend. He needs a lot more of that to help make up for the rough year that we both experienced.

We are waiting by the fire,

His Loving Dad

A Story by William

William's letter about Lucky     William sat down yesterday an wrote a letter about Lucky our dog. He wanted me to publish it. So ...