Category Archives: Just Me

Personal thoughts

A Toast to Mom on her Birthday

It has been so many years since you left this world, but I do not weep because now, as in life, I know you have never left my side. As the years have passed, my love for you has never dimmed; instead, it continues to grow brighter each day. You were special indeed, a mother any son would be lucky to have been blessed to have, and I am who I am today because of the sacrifices you made for me yesterday, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Today on your birthday, I raise a toast to you, Mom, the lady who will always have a special place in my heart.

Happy Birthday Dad – Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

March 4th 2021 and I say Happy Birthday to my father and Happy Anniversary to my parents in Heaven.
Charles and Frances Cooke were not just my parents; they were my heroes. For the first 22 years of my life, I had a front-row seat to their beautiful, loving partnership, and today, I have no doubt they are dancing together in the clouds, holding each other close and shouting, ‘I love you!’ for all in Heaven to hear.
To my father, what can I say to you other than what is self-evident in the way you lived your life – you were a remarkable man. You taught me how to throw a ball. You took me to my first ball game. You showed me how to live my life the right way, not by your words but through your actions. You taught me how to be a man. Yes, dad, you were indeed a remarkable man.
To my mom, when I look at your life, I think to myself, you must have been the inspiration for Maya Angelou’s phenomenal woman. You read to me when I was a child. As a boy, you picked me up and wiped the blood from my knee and the tears from my eyes when I fell. You encouraged and believed in me when I was a teen. You were always there for me even after I grew into a man. Through it all, you put up with my nonsense and loved me unconditionally. Yes, mom, you were a phenomenal woman.
To my Mom and Dad, I say thank you for everything. I love you, and you will always be in my heart.

Things About Me Most Don’t Know

  1. I will often take the opposing side of an issue even if I don’t support it because I find it fun to debate.
  2. I am a master at hiding my feelings when I’ve been hurt, or I’m feeling sad.
  3. I often feel or sense the presence of others around me but not truly near me, and as such, I’m fascinated by the concept of varying planes of existence and parallel universes.
  4. While I’m not all in (I’m no Mulder, but I wouldn’t mind working with Scully), I can be somewhat of a conspiracy theorist at times
  5. Relationships and love are vital to me, and while I have made some major mistakes in my pursuit of them, I refuse to stop looking for my soulmate because I know she out there (hello Halle Berry )
  6. My secret desire is to be a published author, now if I just knew how to write.
  7. I will stick by your side through more sh#* than even you could imagine, but if you cross that last line and really who knows where that is, like most Virgos, I’ll cut you out of my life and never look back.
  8. I hated going bald, but now I realize I wear it well.
  9. I’ve known my oldest friend since 3rd grade; he’s like a brother to me, and we met and became friends by bonding over Star Trek. The original series, that is.

Something’s Missing

The aroma of french vanilla wafted from my coffee mug, and the sound of raindrops dancing on my window filled the air.  It’s another lazy Saturday morning, and I have so much to be thankful for in these turbulent times.  My health, job, home, and of course, my family and friends. Yet I feel something is missing—that special person to share my life with, the sound of children laughing.  Having been blessed with so much, just the thought of feeling incomplete makes me uncomfortable.  Who am I to feel incomplete when so many in the world today have so much less and are suffering? As a result, I keep the feeling of loneliness deep inside, never letting anyone know my true feelings.  However, on mornings like this, keeping my emotions trapped inside me can prove to be incredibly difficult.  As I sit sipping on my coffee and look forlornly out the window at the raindrops dancing on my windows, my mind pushes aside all I have been blessed with and focusses on my feelings of solitude.  I am determined to see my glass as half full, but I cannot lie; it is often difficult.  If only I had the strength to share my feelings, not be concerned with others’ judgment, to not be so guilt-ridden for feeling this way.  If only I weren’t so good at hiding my emotions, perhaps someone would see the tears my smile hides and ask what’s wrong?  I take the last sip of my coffee, sigh, and vow to myself not to let this get the best of me, to concentrate only on that which brings me happiness.  So why do I feel so sad?

My Dad he still protects me

As Father’s Day draws to a close I look back on this picture. I am too young to have any memories of this moment but as I look upon it I feel the love that my father always had for me as he holds me in his arms. Protecting me from danger as he would do until the day he left this earth. Now years after his going home to be with the Lord I can still feel myself being protected by him as if I was still being carried in his arms. I still feel his love and while I miss him every day I have no doubt that whenever the need arises in my life he is there for me spiritually. Guiding me and protecting me.99E85C6E-700F-4984-897D-8F6BF2F5F2AD

A Little Rain Is Not Going To Ruin Our Day

Reposting in honor of my hero, my dad and one of the fondest memories I have of us.

Saturday morning October 1, 1977 the sky is not blue in fact it’s very very grey and the rain has already started to fall. 11 year old Carl looked out the window sadden, after all today was the day he was supposed to go to the big ballpark in the Bronx to see his favorite team the New York Yankees clinch the American League East. But my dad was not about to let a little rain ruin his son’s day. Let’s go he said and we headed out. We waited for the BX55 to 161st Street in the rain and while we waited and again on the ride my dad assured me that a little rain wasn’t going to ruin our day. We got to the Stadium and the tarp was still on the field. The thought that they would play a game was looking bleaker and bleaker. But then my dad said look at the scoreboard. Suddenly thousands of rain soaked fans were mesmerized by the scoreboard. Baltimore was playing Boston and if Baltimore won the Yankees clinched. It was starting to rain harder and my dad could easily have said we’re going home but he didn’t instead he said look at the dot (indicating which team was batting) it’s been on Baltimore for a while, they must be having a big inning (this is how we did it before smart phones) and when the scoreboard confirmed just that we would smile at each other and high five. Baltimore would eventually win 8-7 and the Yankees were AL East champions. My dad and I sat in the rain bonding over scoreboard updates and celebrating the Yankee winning the division without the Yankees ever taking the field. They eventually played the game, Yanks lost 10-7 to the Tigers, we were long gone by then but it didn’t matter because little 11 year old Carl was as happy as can be. My dad had assured me a little rain wasn’t going to ruin our day and he was right, he made sure of it. That why he was my dad!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY CHARLES W. COOKE YOU WERE THE BEST!

DAD1

My Personal Coalition of the Righteous

We are living in turbulent times gripped by a worldwide pandemic, dealing with racial injustice, unemployment levels not seen since the depression, burgeoning homelessness, food scarcity and the lack of adequate healthcare for not only our most vulnerable but more and more the so called middle class. Through it all we are trying to navigate these tough times with a leadership that is bereft of empathy and looks to divide rather than unite.

Yet despite these troubling times the last week has brought something remarkable. We are seeing a significant portion of Americans coming together, refusing to allow themselves to be torn apart by the devise minority that sadly refuses to let go of the hate in their heart. Those that seem to exist on hate. I call this The Coalition of the Righteous and it is growing more powerful everyday. As a people we appear to finally listening to each other . To be willing to put aside our differences and to take the first steps as a society to understand each other.

For myself personally I have been experienced racism and seen the ugly side of policing but I have also been fortunate to say I have friends of all colors, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations.

I grew up attending a grammar school 95% Italian in the little Italy section of the Bronx, during a time when tolerance was not the word of the day. Yet I made life long friends I met there. We do not look like each other, we do not share the same culture but we do share a bond of brotherhood. We have always been our own Coalition of the Righteous and each of us is keenly aware that above all we can count on each other and we are not afraid to say we love each other. In my darkest days, when my heart literally stopped beating, when my recovery was long and hard they were right there. I did not have to ask them to be, I did not have to wonder if they would be, they were my family so I knew they would be.

We don’t look alike
We don’t share the same culture
But
We are brothers
The Coalition of the Righteous – it’s a beautiful thing.