Hello! I’m still kicking and still have a blog site! Nothing of late has made me want to write. I’ve been all in my feels. But this one….. I couldn’t help but share! I hope you enjoy.
Today’s blog is not about me, Preston, or my kiddoes. I’ll save their shenanigans for another day.
Today is about my brother, Ken. I can’t remember a time that Ken has not been there for me…. or anyone else. He’s been there for every high and low in my life. He is Mr. Fix it. If he can’t fix it, he knows his way around with duct tape.
It’s no secret that our Pop has Parkinson’s Disease. And has had it for the last 10 years. I won’t sugarcoat it, it’s a brutal, cruel disease, and not just on the one with it, but for those that watch it progress in our loved ones. Parkinson’s is not fatal, but the reality of it can be ugly.
What has been kind of a secret is that my bigger than life hero, my brother, has been diagnosed with it for a little over a year. Me and God have battled over this one. I have been through some pretty low trials in my life, but this rocked my world. I could almost justify Pop’s diagnosis with the lifestyle he has had. I could kind of justify losing Joseph to a massive heart attack – he smoked. I could justify Preston having a brain aneursym – he smoked. Ken has never smoked a cigarette a day in his life. Never been a drinker. He doesn’t eat mayonnaise and walked 5000 miles a day as a city mail carrier. The only fat on his body has to be in his unseen big toe. I couldn’t justify this one. I will add that Ken’s doctor seems to think his may never get worse than the tremors. He seems to think he has a different “version” than our dad.
It was not for me to justify. But for me to sit back in awe and watch God work.
At the last Father’s Day cookout, my niece Cali (the baby girl), read a paper that she had written for school. It was about her daddy. Cali is a quiet soul that walks to her own beat. From birth, she’s always been her daddy’s sidekick. My brother doesn’t have favorites, but she is definitely the one that walks in the quiet harmony of his shadow. It doesn’t matter if he’s wading in mud knee deep, you’ll find Cali in there somewhere. I’ve affectionately started calling her Annie Oakley after the discovery that she can slice a skinny card with a bullet! The following is what Cali wrote. I was going to shorten it for the purpose of this block, but I can’t. She perfectly articulates what and who her daddy is:
“Happy Father’s Deddy. While we had to do our school work at home, I had to write about something new everyday for my English class. Well one day I decided to write about you. I have been going back and forth with myself on if I should let you read it or not. So if you read that last sentence then you’re gonna be reading what I wrote. Here it goes;
I know I’ve talked about a lot of people while doing my daily writing but this is one dedicated to my dad. My dad is the kind of man that will do anything for anybody and won’t ask for anything in return. He is my hero. My dad is who I look up to because he always knows what to do in any situation. I’ve never known my dad to quit at something. I’m closer to my dad than my mom. Me and my dad get along better than me and my mom. I get my personality from him and my grandpa; his dad. My dad always sees the good in everything and he tries to keep everything as positive as it can be. I hope I’m like my dad when I get older.
The thing about my dad is that he always puts everybody before him. Sometimes he doesn’t get to sit down and relax at night because he’s always helping people. He works at the Post Office which is a pretty hard place to work at. Then after work he’s either helping his friend work on cars or building stuff for people. For example, this past weekend he spent it building a shop for his friend. My dad didn’t charge him a dime and he didn’t ask for anything in return. I feel like he doesn’t get the praise that he deserves. Last June he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It can’t kill you but it affects your quality of life. My dad isn’t thetype of person to just sit down and watch t.v. after work. He’s very active and is always moving. Later on in his life he’s not gonna be able to do all that anymore because of this disease.
The day he went to the doctor I could tell that he was heart broken. We went to tell my grandma and that’s the first time I’ve ever seen him cry. My dad is a very strong person so to see him in tears hurts. It took him a while to get used to what is now his new normal.
In 2012 my uncle Bill and grandpa on my moms side died, it was two different accidents in the same year. My uncle died that February and then my grandpa in October. The day my uncle died was very sudden he was only 24 when he died. That night he died, my dad came and got me from the hospital and took me home. He let me sleep with him and he held me tight the whole night. Uncle Bill was a firefighter so at his funeral they called the last call. I busted out into tears and then I felt myself get lifted up. My dad held me and comforted me the whole time.
That was the day when I realized that I wanted to be right beside my dad because I never wanted to lose him. I’m scared to lose him to be honest. He’s helped me through all my hard times. He knows me better than anybody. Whenever he’s helping somebody with something or going somewhere, you’re gonna find me right beside him. He always asks me who’s gonna carry on his legacy when he dies and little does he know that every time he teaches me how to do something or help somebody I’m closer and closer to carrying on his legacy. My dad is my biggest role model and he’s always pushing me to be a better version of myself. I want to say thank you to my dad for everything he has done, not only for me but for everybody else. When me and my sister were younger my mom told us to find a man like my dad and marry him, well I think he set the standards pretty high. I’m my dad’s favorite, I can tell. When I was younger I told him I wanted to go to Disney World. A few years after, when we could afford it he took my family to Disney World. He knows how to build stuff out of wood so if I see something I like he’ll build it for me. He’s introduced me to guns and we love target shooting. One day he got the idea to make our very own shooting range in our backyard. The last time we went shooting we shot playing cards. We sat them up where you could only see the skinny part of the card. I hit it my second try and I could tell I made my dad proud. I like that I can make people laugh and smile, especially my dad because he’s always done that for me.
I could not ask for a better dad. He’s the main person who made me who I am. I truly am blessed to have him as my father. My dad has faced a lot of challenges in the past few years but he has stayed strong and he kept on going when most people would stop and give up. He has supported me with every decision I have made. I think my biggest goal in life is
to be the person my dad has always been.
My deddy has shown me and taught me everything I know about life. Thank you dad for being an amazing father, husband, and son. I want you to know that I love you and I’m glad I get to call you not only my deddy but my hero and best friend all wrapped in one. I’m gonna stick by your side until God has other plans for one of us.”
I’m going to stick by your side until God has other plans for one of us.
That’s a loaded and profound statement. I’ve thought about Cali’s words so many times in the last few months. She is definitely her father’s child because those same words are portrayed in his daily walk.
In the last few month’s, I’ve seen my brother quietly dust off his pants and with his quiet strength and dignity keep on doing what he knows best, helping others. But something is a little different now, he has accepted what is, and trusts what will be. He is serving the Lord, and as Cali perfectly stated, he’s also sticking by His heavenly father until He has other plans.
In just a few days, if you live in our neighborhood, you’ll see a BibleBox that Ken has built that will be stocked with free Bibles on his church grounds. I’m sure Cali’s fingerprints are on it somewhere. If you know someone that needs a little hope, stop by and pick them up a Bible. It just might be the difference between Heaven and Hell. My brother is not going to let a little tremor keep him from warning you.
On a last note, I can’t help but meditate on Romans 8:28 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
All things. Not some.
Even a diagnosis that we can’t justify.
Until next time,