My father retired from the Army in 1987, so my family moved from Germany to Alabama. We bought a house in East Limestone and after living there only one week the house caught on fire. It also happened to be on Halloween.
The roof collapsed and the house sustained major water damage in several areas. We spent the next three months in a rental home, while our house was being rebuilt.
Every Halloween, we would talk about the fire of ’87. We would reminisce about the amount of damage done by the fire, about how lucky we were that nobody was hurt, and about how so many people helped us during our time of need.
Over the years, the emotional sting diminished and we started to do fun things to commemorate the day. Sometimes, we go out to eat at Firehouse Subs or Smokey’s BBQ. Sometimes, we roast marshmallows.
That’s how a family tragedy became a fun family tradition.
Ben was only six months old, but he would collapse during a walk. He had to be carried home. Our much older dogs were able to complete the walk, so I assumed something was wrong with my poor little puppy.
I took Ben to the local veterinarian, but they could not determine what was going on with him. The doctor thought it could be a genetic heart condition.
Ben was sent to the animal cardiologist in Birmingham, Alabama. We were sitting in the waiting room and Ben fell asleep. When our named was called, I had a hard time getting Ben to stand up, so I started to slide him across the floor. Eventually, Ben stood up and walked into the examining room.
The doctor wanted to do an ultrasound of Ben’s heart. Several workers came in to help get Ben ready for the test. Even though Ben was only six months old, he was already close to 70 pounds and picking him up was a chore.
The workers picked up Ben, flipped him upside-down, and put him into a v-shaped brace. Then they put the jelly stuff on his chest and started the ultrasound. I expected a puppy to resist or at least have something to say about all this. However, Ben just stretched out and went to sleep.
After all the test were completed and the doctor reviewed the results she told me, “Ben is a very sweet and handsome boy, but he appears to suffer from LPS (Lazy Puppy Syndrome). There is nothing wrong with Ben, but he is the laziest dog I have ever seen.”
Today is Ben’s 4th birthday, so I thought it would be appropriate to share pictures of Ben participating in his favorite activity.
Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death
When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party
Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides
Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one
Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death
About twenty years ago, I was sitting in a benefits meeting at work. The speaker was explaining our new life insurance policy and closed with a time for questions.
The woman next to me raised her hand and asked, “While this life insurance policy cover me if I’m killed while in the act of committing a felony?”
My eyebrows when up and all sorts of stuff was running through my mind. I was wondering what does she normally do during her off time.
That was the strangest question I have ever heard during a business meeting.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable the sharing is probably not constructive. – Brene Brown
Sometimes if you expose your vulnerability, someone else will feel comforted. It’s like we’re all in this boat together. – Tavi Gevinson