September 11, 2016

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Today is September 11, 2016. It has been 15 years since the terror attacks on America. Every day I think a lot about the day and what it means to me and to our country. Each year I try to think about a different angle in regards to the event. Today, I thought about how kids that are now 15 years of age (or close to it) were not born when the attacks occurred. For my generation, this event is our “Kennedy” or “Lennon” or “MLK” or “Vietnam.” I wasn’t alive during these events and while I understand the significance of the event and what occurred, I can’t feel it. I can’t feel the grip it had on the nation or experience what it meant in that moment. And neither can these kids for 9/11. It is an event in a history book. Talks of terrorism of Al-Qaeda and Isis is all they have ever known, even if they are too young to understand the concepts.

As time marches on, we will move further and further from that fateful September morning and more and more people will pass on that were once alive during that day. At some point, much like the Civil War, World War I, and the like, these will be events in a history book we read about. We won’t be able to feel the power of these events. But, it is important to keep alive the memory of those that died on that day and the many, many heroes including the first responders at all locations and those passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who fought to divert the plane from its intended target and sacrificed themselves for the greater good of the Nation. We honor heroes and their memory and legacy lives on long after their lives have passed. We may not be able to understand the context of an event in history but we always understand heroes – that never passes.

We honor your memory, sacrifice, and bravery. May you rest in peace.

Stock photo

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Through My Mother’s Eyes

I had a very interesting revelation a few days ago.

This year, I will be 9 years older than my mother was when I was born.

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My mother and me at Disney World. I’m probably 7 years old here.

I thought about what year my mother was the same age as I currently am, and of course, the age I was at the time. I then did this for each year to where I could vividly remember both myself, my parents, and life in general. For each of these, I compared my mother to myself at the age we would both be. I thought about our experiences, the times we lived in, and how we faced challenges and situations.

I’m not really certain what I wanted to obtain out of this exercise. And to be honest, I am not even sure what conclusion I arrived at. But, it is interesting. We always see ourselves as young – no matter what age we are. Case in point? My grandmother, who just turned 94, told my father a few years ago that she doesn’t care to go down to the pool at her complex because there are “too many old people there.” Right.

I’ve never thought about being the same age as my parents because my parents always seemed “old.” Well, because they were old. They have obviously always been older than me. But it seemed like they were from a different time. And now, I am from a different time. Recent events have found me working with individuals in the theatre that are young enough to be my children. And it is clear to me they don’t see me as a peer but see me as “old.”

It is amusing though that, being the same age as my mother once was, I saw her as old at that time but still see myself as young. Everything is based upon perspective and our experiences. Have you had this experience or ever thought about this topic and if so, what conclusions, if any, did you arrive at?

Those Days

Jack and the Beanstalk

I remember those days. The world was like my oyster and a wide-open hinterland to the depths that even Cousteau could not go. But, I was ready. The pearl lay ahead and it gleamed just like the light in my eye. Those days were filled with hope and Great Expectations were more than the words on a page but a promise that had been laid. Getting high meant just one more rung of the ladder left to climb. In those days, everything was done as a way to the golden egg.

These days remind me of how we are a slave to the grind. These days, my candle burns faster and my pearl has been translated into sand. The sand runs through my fingers and no matter how quickly or tightly I grasp, it escapes from the palm of my hand. In these days, I don’t long for those days. I long for the hope and anticipation held that would make these days the product of the dreams that were laid in those days.

Image courtesy of pinterest

Dear Santa – 2015

I wanted to share this letter with all of my readers that I sent to Kris Kringle, aka Santa Clause.

You better not pout! You better not cry! Shit...

You better not pout!
You better not cry!
Shit…


Dear Santa,

I hope this finds you well. I have been a very good young man this past year. (ahem, why are you laughing – I am still VERY young) Because I was so good, I wanted to kindly ask for a few things for Christmas. If you could oblige me, I would be eternally grateful. I will itemize them for your consideration.

1.I need a fresh start in life Santa. I had some really bad things happen to me and I made some mistakes in life. But, I have grown and spent the last three to four years cleaning up my mess. I feel like I am ready to take the next step forward in my life. I’d like to start over in a new area and begin from square one.

2. I’d like to have my own home again. I really miss my first home that I gave up in the divorce. I took very good care of it. I always did. I loved working in the yard. I had earned it and it was mine to call home. I’d love that again.

 

My first home.

 

3. I’d like a first generation Mustang. I’d really love a black 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback. It would be great if I could get the 302 cubic inch engine (you know, the 4.9L one) with the 4 barrel carburetor. That would be really awesome. I’d take really good care of it. You know I would. Oh, and I need a a place to put it. Maybe, like, a garage? (Please see item number 2!) I took such great care of my beloved Mazda 626. Look how great it looked on the day I sold it and it was 13 years old!

My beloved Mazda 626 I had from 2000 - 2013.

My beloved Mazda 626 I had from 2000 – 2013.

Though it is three items, I know I am asking for a lot. If I can only have one thing, I’d like item number one please. It would mean a lot to me.

I don’t have a chimney so I assume you will use the front door. (I only have one door but it is still the front, I guess) Anyways, I will leave you some cookies but I can’t leave any milk. For one, I have a cat and she will get into it. She gets into everything. Two, let’s cut to the chase here – we are all adults and you will be tired as going around the world in one night is tough. And I am sure Ms. Clause will be blowing up your phone wanting to know why you weren’t home at a certain time and if you are out drinking with the elves, blah, blah, blah. So, I will be a pal and leave you some bourbon. The cat doesn’t like bourbon. Oh, how do I know? Well, um, things got crazy one night..and well, never mind, it isn’t important. Anyways, I will leave you some good stuff too – some Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, or Bowman Brothers and with some whiskey stones to keep it cold and not watered down.

Um, Santa?

Um, Santa?

Also, please keep the front door closed cause the cat will run out. She is a sneaky little shit very sweet little girl and it is tough to catch her. I had to chase her outside one day and it was a challenge. And with the reindeer, and it will be cold, and you might spill the bourbon I leave, I mean, it just sounds bad – really bad. So, just please close the door. Trust me on this. Plus, if you make too much noise I will wake up and then I’ll be mad that you didn’t listen to me and the cat got out. Well, when I see the Mustang, I will be happy, but I will still be agitated you didn’t listen to me. Plus, we will still have to go find the cat. Let’s just avoid all of that, okay? Awesome!

Santa, keep an eye out for Dandelion!

Santa, keep an eye out for Dandelion!

Well, Merry Christmas and thanks again for taking the time to read my letter!

Sincerely,

Jarrod

P.S. Here is a picture of me with my friend from Christmas 1983 when we met you!

Jarrod and Kelly

Crying Santa and Kids Image

Drunk Santa

All other images from my personal collection.

Forever

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They told me to wait,

But I’ve been waiting forever,

How long is forever?

Cause forever never comes,

To truly live forever,

Means that you’ve died young,

I’ve put my ear to the ground to listen,

But the silence speaks louder than any words,

Footsteps no longer point in any direction,

There is a cessation in the air,

Cause blind faith isn’t faith at all,

When you no longer seem to care.