Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Sad Delivery...

 ...yet a joyful reminder...of my son Ryan's current home in heaven.

His ashes arrived today in a very elegant urn, and once again I shed some tears for a life ended too soon.

It wasn't the driver's fault, but apparently there was some kind of issue with finalizing the delivery.

While she was checking details on her computer I mentioned the box she had contained the ashes of my 2nd son's cremated remains.

Without looking up from her computer she mumbled distractedly, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that..."

Her comment - intended to be kind no doubt - had all the sincerity of a milliner's compliment on how fabulous that $200 chapeau she's trying to sell you looks atop your bony noggin.

It reminded me of this stark reality:

Everyone has their issues, so you can't expect the world to be emotionally invested in yours.

Eventually she got it sorted, handed me the box, and went on with her day.

For my part, I've decided to keep Ryan's remains front and center...

...atop the focal point of the best room in the house.

It's too little too late of course, but for the time being they will serve as a reminder I need to pay less heed to the noisily urgent and more to the quietly important.

Something, regrettably, I did not do those years Ryan was daily in my care.

Some of the grandkids headed south recently... warmer climes for a break from Michigan's chilly weather...

...where they enjoyed some sport fishing...

...and some pool time...

...and a whole lotta relaxing.

This is normally the part where I, as the pater familias of our wayward clan, trot out some lame stories about how tough things were when I was a lad...but I'm even less interested in doing that than you are in reading about it.

And that's saying something.

For whatever reason, I  have quite suddenly stumbled upon some creative energy...or perhaps more accurately, some creative recycling energy...

...and am in the process of turning one of my short stories into a novella.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I'm just plowing ahead - striking while the iron is still hot - in the hopes this actually leads to a decent story when all is said and done.

In any event, I am once again writing, which in my world is a good thing.

And that, dear reader, is going to have to suffice for this edition of the...

...I like that picture because I like old fashioned diners...all that shiny chrome with bright red stools and meals with names like Harry's Heartburn Heaven...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Life Goes On...

...but we'll never forget.

The company I work for was kind enough to send flowers in memory of Ryan...very thoughtful.

His remains were cremated this past week, his ashes to be shipped to me soon.

After that we'll plan a memorial service, when we'll pause and celebrate the life of our son...

...and brother...

...and then?

Life goes on.

And speaking of the progress of life, you can see the steady blossoming of nature all around us now.

We're still a couple of weeks away from the big explosion when everything bursts into bloom, but it's delightful to experience warmer temps and the greening of the landscape all around us.

Recently got booted out of my home office and relocated to a distant part of the living room...

...don't know if I was late on the rent or what, but as it turns out it's still a pretty good view...

...and though I'm loathe to admit it, the dining room table does look better now that I've been evicted...

...and who am I to argue with progress?

That's going to have to do it for this low energy edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Tough Week...


...but we soldier on.

What else can we do?

As my oldest son said the other day, "This really hurts, but Ryan's not coming back."

True enough, and it reminds me of what King David said when the child he had with Bathsheba died.

And that is true; we can't bring Ryan back, no matter how much we fast and weep over this loss.

We shall, however, join him when our time comes and we go the way of all flesh.

Until then I will always remember my little almond eyed boy...

...laughing and playing with his brothers.

Though at 6'5" and 270 pounds he grew to be a formidable presence...

...yet he retained a quick wit and a love for his family.

And while there is great comfort knowing Ryan trusted Christ as his Savior when he was a little boy, there is still a very heavy sorrow blanketing all of life right now.

Of course I’m stricken by memories of my failures...those times he needed compassion more than discipline and mercy rather than judgment.

But even if I’m not, he’s past all that now.

As I told a friend, I know Ryan is happy and whole.

He wouldn’t trade his new life in heaven for his old, pain filled earthly existence.

But getting my heart to feel what my head knows is my current dilemma.

I'll spare you a descent into the maudlin sentimentality of a grieving father.

Suffice to say this one's going to hurt for a while.

And so, in the "stiff upper lip" department, we continue on with the daily routines of life.

These include mundane details, like replacing a defective GE dishwasher with a used one made by Bosch...

...and selling the Giganta-fridge we removed from our kitchen...

...when we replaced it with Phil...

...such is the warp and woof of our quotidian existence, I suppose.

In the evenings we continue mining entertainment nuggets from foreign lands.

Having marched through Foyle's War, we then made our rounds with Dr. Finlay, the Scottish TV series based on characters created by A.J. Cronin...

...and starring David Rintoul as the good doctor.

It also features that great Scottish character actor Ian Bannen...

(be sure to see him in Waking Ned Devine) Dr. Cameron...and who, as expected, steals every scene he's in.

Set in the post-war years in Tannochbrae, this is a lovely series that aired 4 years, from 1993 through 1996.

Unlike American TV, they felt no need to tie up every show with a neat little bow, choosing instead to leave the details as they often are in life...messy and uncertain at times.

The final episode, about their snowbound Hogmanay celebration, is a touching and fitting farewell to the series.

Definitely recommended.

We're now investigating selected seasons of Poirot...

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

...the long running British series about Agatha Christie's quirky but brilliant detective.

In the visual delights department, every episode features an abundance of elegant 1930's art deco architecture and design.  Love that era.

With good acting based on great writing and high production values you can't go wrong.

God Save The Queen, y'all.

A few parting shots as you drift toward the exit...

beautiful daffodils decorating the early spring landscape

decent smoke, love the name and the box is cool

mr. groundhog makes his debut

tulips just in time for Easter

the bright promise of a new day

On this Good Friday, as we prepare to celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Christ, I am especially thankful for God's promise of eternal life.

Previously, heaven was a distant dream, an ethereal theological truth based on the teachings of Jesus:

"In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."   

- John 14:2-3

Today heaven is no longer a philosophical abstraction; it's my joyful expectation.

Someone special lives there now, and I long to see him again.

later, mcm fans.

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

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