Mike Tyson once said – “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Tom Brady with his smug grin and Bill Belichick with his dismissive attitude both scream we’re better than you. They are arrogant beyond belief and feel they are above the law that is until they are punched in the mouth. The New York Giants proved that not once but twice when their defense stood up to pretty boy Brady and the Patriots and punched them in the mouth. This Sunday the New England Patriots will arrive at kickoff full of arrogance and with a plan. The Seattle Seahawks will punch them in the mouth. Seattle 27 New England 10.
I am strong enough to miss you now. For so many days, weeks and months I told the world that you were just a faded memory, that I never even think about you anymore and I really tried to make that true. But when I wasn’t carefully guarding my subconscious there you were, popping in to say hi each time I passed a restaurant we had dinner at or smiling at and laughing with me in my dreams as I slept. When this occurred I did my best to push you back out. The pain of remembering you and me and what I thought we were and would always be was simply too much. I needed to move on, as you so quickly did, and to do that I couldn’t let you hang around my memories. Others have come and gone since you and I said goodbye. None has worked out. I often ask myself why that was? Was it because I subconsciously compared them to you? Was it because I was trying to replace what I thought we had? That would be ironic because in retrospect I guess we never did have it did we? Was I being too protective of my heart? Closing it down so no one could ever take possession of it like you did only to break it and walk away.
I was doing all those things and more.
But I needed to. I had to move on so I vowed to block you and all things us completely out of my mind, or as much as I could. It was a daily grind that literally became a chore and I came to realize that consciously trying to forget someone you loved is well…impossible. But each day I got a little stronger. Slowly I remembered who I was before you and hey wouldn’t you know it I’m a catch. I picked up the pieces and slowly but meticulously put them all back together. There’s a scar where you once resided in my heart, a very vivid reminder of us. But that scar is not a sign of pain anymore; it is a sign or rebirth, proof that I’m ready to move on. Now I am strong enough to remember the good times with you and how much I loved you. The thought of us still brings a smile to my face, I won’t pretend it doesn’t. But it no longer holds me back from moving forward and opening my heart to that person out there who will love me as much as I love them. I’ll always love what we had and you’ll always have a special place in my heart behind that scar. You and what we had were special to me. I’m strong enough to remember that now.
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you’re doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief,
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
When Queen’s lead vocalist and pianist the incomparable Freddie Mercury wrote those words as the opening to the song Somebody to Love he may as well have been speaking for the millions of people who find themselves alone at this time of the year. We survived going to the family Thanksgiving dinner solo. The empty feeling of waking up on Christmas morning knowing there would be no smile, no hug, no I love you from our significant other as they unwrapped their gift. No special person to kiss as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. We did it all with a smile, a smile that hid the tears that we let only the mirror see. Now comes our last hurdle, Valentine’s day. It’s seemingly everywhere. In the drug store card aisle, on the radio and television, we swear if we hear one more advertisement for 1-800-Flowers or Kay Jewelers and that annoying every kiss begins with K jingle we’re going to scream. The worst reminder, our own e-mail because not only does it remind us that we’re alone but also that we weren’t always. It reminds us of what once was because we forgot to cancel that reminder from 1-800-Flowers that Valentine’s day is coming up and we should make it a special one for (insert name) by placing our order early this year. We thought we would be over this feeling by now. We thought we had done everything right. We focused on ourself. Dropped a few pounds, brought some new clothes, went back to school or got a new job. We followed all the self-help books right down to the letter, hell we even stopped going to that psychic who we had hoped would tell us that (insert name) was coming back. To everyone else we are doing just fine; we’re doing so much better they all say, I don’t even think about them anymore we say. Yet when no one is around and we’re alone in our thoughts we still ask ourselves why? Why can’t I find someone to love? We thought we had showed them how much we loved them and we thought they loved us back. We ask ourselves every chance we get why and yet as Freddie Mercury said we just can’t get no relief. Is it so much to ask to have someone’s hand to hold, lips to kiss, someone to lay down with every night and wake to every morning, someone to love we ask. In many ways our lives seems so empty we wonder will it ever not be. But next time we look in that mirror and see our tears falling down remember our own heart, remember our own soul. Remember who we are and what we can give. Remember we have someone to love and that person is ourselves. As corny as that sounds it’s truer than we could ever imagine. I won’t pretend that it will make the pain go completely away, I won’t pretend that it will completely fill that void of wanting someone to share our life with. I know it won’t because it didn’t for me. But it did help me take a step back and remember just how special I really was and with that realization I came to understand as you will also that one day you’ll have two people to love yourself and that someone special.
In life I’ve been blessed with family and friends who have always been there for me in good times and in bad. One of those friends is a little different from the rest. I’ve know him for 8 years he’s my roommate and one of my best buddies. He’s a big guy but not fat by any means he’s all muscle. He struts around in his brown fur coat all the time. Because of his size and his brown fur coat everyone calls Chewbacca, you know the giant brown wookie from Star Wars. One of the best things about Chewbacca or Chewy for short is that he has never judged me. Now he also has never offered me words of wisdom yet despite his silence I know he cares about me and that he will always be there for me. Chewy is an orange tabby,
All my life I thought of myself as a Dog person but 8 years ago I adopted Chewy and in those 8 years my life has gone through huge emotional swings. I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been, the saddest I’ve ever been and all emotions in between. One thing however remained constant whenever I’ve had a tough day he always seems to know, he’ll pops up next to me and though he can’t talk it’s pretty clear what he’s saying. Hey Carl tough day? Want to talk about it? I mean I can’t answer you or offer you advise but as you know I’m a great listener. But before we begin as always full disclosure when we’re done here you’ve got to put pull it Together for a couple of minutes and fill my food and water dish. I mean those things not going to fill itself.
Animals are cool like that, they don’t judge and they’re always there for you. You should never under estimate how important they are in your life. Here’s to you Chewbacca my cool cat friend your dish is filled.
I may not get there with you
Those are just seven words out of the four thousand one hundred and seventy-one words in Martin Luther King’s Jr. I’ve Been to the Mountaintop speech. Ironically the last speech he would ever deliver as he was assassinated at the young age of 39 the next day. But those seven words have always personally resonated with me for what they stand for. On the night Dr.King delivered those words he did so in a speech to support a strike by 1,300 sanitation workers, mostly African-American men, who were protesting the horrendous working conditions, poverty-level wages, and the refusal of the city to recognize their union, sadly issues still prevalent today. With those seven words Dr. King told the world what it already knew, that his own life may very well be cut short because of his leadership position in the crusade to see that America lived up to the noble words on which it was founded.
That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
With those seven words Dr. King told the world that he was not afraid to die. Not because he embraced death, not because he wanted to die. But because in his own words our lives begin to end when we stay silent about things that matter. So on the night before an assassin’s bullet would cut his life short he stood in front of a group in Memphis, Tennessee and let them know that now was not the time to turn back but the time to continue down the path of righteousness even if that path was fraught with inherent dangers. Because to turn back, to stay silent would be to accept an injustice perpetrated on an entire segment of society and to that would be unconscionable. Looking back at that speech in particular and his life in general I often wonder what humanity could accomplish, what heights we could reach, where we may already be, if each of us had just a tiny bit of the resolve and courage that Dr.King had to do what was right despite what it may cost us personally.
I may not get there with you – just seven words but seven words that still resonate loudly today
It was just me and her again on a beautiful summer Saturday like so many we had shared before, but on this Saturday that familiar look in her eyes was gone. That look that greeted me on so many mornings and said good night on so many evenings. That look that said I was her man, her hero and she loved me. That look that I thought would always be mine now was replaced with rage. Her voice the same one that used to say I love you was now spewing anger and venom in my direction. To be be clear I was no angel in this encounter, my words back at her were filled with just as much hate and anger as hers. And what had brought us to this ugly place? What was this argument, our last argument, about? A couch, a stupid couch, who gets to keep the stupid couch? There I was standing in front of and yelling about a stupid couch to the woman who all I ever wanted to do from the moment I first saw her was take her in my arms, hold her tight, look into her eyes and tell her I loved her. Looking back it’s pretty clear now what that Saturday afternoon was all about for me, I won’t pretend to say what it was about for her, and it wasn’t about a couch. It was about us and my words of anger that day were in reality cries of desperation. Desperation to hold on to something I loved. Desperation not to see it come to an end. We were something I had put everything emotionally into; she wasn’t just some chick I had hooked up with. She was the woman that I pushed all my chips to the center of the table and went all in on. She was the woman I unequivocally surrendered my heart to. She was the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Together we were what no one could tell me wasn’t meant to be. Then it all fell apart and everything I had imagined, the happily ever after, was no more. I tried to tell myself it wasn’t true but the look in her eyes told me that it was. In the end love is crazy like that it can still hold your heart even when the only thing left is to decide who gets to keep the couch.