Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Just What the Doctor Ordered

At the end of Tom Baker's last Doctor Who episode, the Doctor lies prone on the ground, one leg twisted cruelly beneath him and almost lifeless after plummeting from a huge radio telescope, and mutters, "It's the end, but the moment has been prepared for."

And so it was with me.

Not the end of my life as it was for this iteration of the Doctor, of course, but the end of a wonderful chapter of my professional career. 

In a nutshell, I gave up teaching.

After twenty-one years in the trenches serving alongside some of the most amazing teachers I've ever known shepherding and guiding children through music and science, it had become abundantly clear to me that it was time for a change.  Teaching had, after all, changed, and I was a dinosaur incapable of dodging the educational asteroid.  Many parents, too, had changed, and some that I had held in the highest esteem and counted as trusted friends turned their backs on me and ignored my outstretched hand of reconciliation.  More painfully, I noticed several years ago that children were changing too, and not surprisingly considering the constant bombardment from a decrepit world.  I could no longer invest my all in nurturing these relationships only to be rebuffed and hurt.   Most of all, though, I simply could not support my family on what I made and I could no longer ask them to sacrifice as they had.  God had blessed me beyond my worth during my time as a teacher and had rewarded my faithfulness many times over, so now it was time to step aside and ask Him to bless my wife and sons through a new assignment.  It didn't matter to me what it was as long as I could do it for His glory and their support.  In March, long before anything came down the pipe as a replacement job, I resigned my teaching position and surrendered the situation to the Lord.

God, as He a way of doing in my life over and over again, showed up in the situation in a big, big way.

Through the unlikely avenue of a dog sitting gig, a client informed me that he was looking to fill a position at his company.

A big company.

A big company that makes lots and lots of money and pays well.

Long story short, on my client's recommendation and God's favor during my interview, I was given a job in information technology at said client's company.  Culture shock and mad dash adjustment quickly became the norm, but adjust I did, and it has been a very pleasant experience.

Chalk dust for flow charts.

Textbooks for business plans.

Science and handwriting for spreadsheets and hard drives.

It has been a mighty change, but it has been good.

God, you see, is good, and even though I no longer teach in a small Christian school setting and find myself every morning behind a different sort of desk firmly ensconced as part of corporate America, I will never fail to recognize His goodness.

At the end of Peter Davison's last Doctor Who episode, the Doctor suddenly regenerates into a new actor in the form of Colin Baker to play the part.  As Colin's Doctor sits up and looks around himself, his erstwhile companion asks him what happened.  With a wry smile and gleam in his eye, he says, "Change, my dear, and it seems not a moment too soon."


And so it was with me.






It's been a very, very long time since I've blogged, and in that time, my life has had more ups and downs than a Coney Island roller coaster on steroids.  I have learned volumes about myself in that span and, perhaps more importantly, the true nature of others, and I've arrived at the conclusion that we humans are sometimes as twisted as we are beautiful.  I've spent countless nights alone in my head with a torrent of thoughts tumbling and cascading end over end as I've tried to make sense of it all, and I have witnessed emotions spewing forth bruised and raw like a carcass straight from a slaughterhouse.  There were times I questioned my own sanity (and that of many others) and seemed to have only a toe barely dipped in reality.  There were times I wanted to check out.  There were times I wanted to run.  There were times I wanted to secret myself away from the world and just wither like a potted plant deprived of sunlight.

But I didn't.

I didn't check out.

I didn't run.

I didn't hide.

Instead, I laid low, quietly licked my wounds, sought the love and affection of those I knew truly cared, and healed.  Now, several months after I first sat in that run away roller coaster car, I'm a different man-- stronger, healthier, grounded.

So.  Much.  Better.

I can look back on those depressing days, face them, stare them down, and move forward with a lightness of step that I haven't experienced in ages.

I am free.

I hope to share some of my journey with you.  I hope I have something important to say again, and if I don't, I'm going to talk anyway because it's how I process.  It's good for me.  The new me.  The better me.   Aron 2.0.


Thursday, May 29, 2014


When I was a kid, I loved playing with my LEGOs.  I didn’t have many, and mine were the basic block and flat panel varieties that would bore kids senseless today with all the cool shapes available to them, but they provided me with hours and hours and hours of creative bliss.

That sound they made clacking on the floor as I dumped them out of my cardboard box.

Those favorite pieces with the teeth marks where I used my incisors to pry them apart a thousand times.

The opaque wedge piece that ALWAYS covered the “cockpit” of my LEGO space ships.


Whenever I went to my happy LEGO place, I quickly adopted the persona of Master Builder.  I was an architect, an expert engineer if you will.  I built and built BIG, but I never destroyed my creations.  If I assembled the world’s tallest LEGO tower (or at least the tallest one in my bedroom), I never purposefully let it topple back to earth to be smashed into smithereens.  If I built a gnarly new space ship (and I was a prolific space ship builder), my ships never crashed or blew up because mine were the good guys and the good guys always won.  Of course, I would have to disassemble my precious blocks to build new creations, but that always took place after play was over and there was never a hint of wanton destruction. 

I was a builder.

Flash forward three-and-a-half decades and I realized something today watching my boys play with their LEGOs.

Words are like LEGO’s: they should be used to build.

As an educator, I know the value of a well-placed compliment.  Few things can make a kid’s face light up like me telling them they did a great job or that I’m proud of them for working so hard.  Outside of school, I can choose the perfect word and instinctually know when to use it to make even the most stone-faced dowager positively sparkle with joy.  Phrases such as “You can do it” and “I believe in you” and “That’s beautiful” will either melt your heart or make swell with pride, and the most powerful words in the universe, “I love you,” can change the course of human history.

In watching my boys, I also realized that I failed at using those uplifting words time and time again.

The object of my failure?

My oldest son.

I have two sons, and both of them are miracles.  The older of the two, the one I affectionately call my “first-born child” on social media, was prayed for and over for years and years by many, and the day he was born is to this day one of the major high points of my life.  However, as much as I love him and adore him and would give my life for him, he is a very headstrong boy, and at eleven years old, I often question whether either one of us will see him turn twelve.  I suspect some of you have children like him and you struggle as well.  Still, it does not excuse my actions.

I am the king of tearing down my son with words.

I’m not proud of it, but I have always been hyper critical of my boy, perhaps because we’re so unalike in many ways.  I was raised to be obedient and was, for the most part, almost always so.  I never verbally questioned a decision my parents made, I worked hard in school and pushed myself to excel to make excellent grades.  I have been fiercely independent most of my life and have always had a strong work ethic having held a job of one sort or another since I was sixteen years old.  I’m “Type A” all the way and will make sure you know it not because I brag about it but because you can see the excellence in my results.

My first-born child, however, argues with us often, and it’s the norm to tell him numerous times to do something before it gets done.  He questions our decisions as a matter of procedure, he feigns helplessness due to a lack of motivation, and getting him to do something that requires hard work is like performing a root canal on yourself-- painful and nearly impossible.  Add to the mix a bad case of the “slow motions” and self-centeredness, and you can see why we butt heads.

Now before you say anything, we’ve tried every course of action you can suggest to “correct” the boy from spanking (yes, we believe in it and it has been effective in short term payoffs) to grounding to time out to the silent treatment to going on strike.  Likewise, we’ve tried the nurture approach, the let-him-set-his-own-boundaries theory, the sit-him-down-and-reason-with-him method, and a ton of positive reinforcement techniques.  Sometimes we make progress, and sometimes we take huge steps backwards.  The fact is, he is simply a stubborn and headstrong ball of “Grade A” 100% kid.

No, we are definitely not alike in many fundamental areas, and as hard as it is for me to say, that’s okay.

What is NOT okay is my biting tongue tearing him down over and over again.

While I do not call him names and I have never cursed at him, I am not kind in how I verbalize my displeasure.  I raise my voice often and “put him in his place”, which is just a diplomatic way of saying I am overbearing in my words and demeanor.  I am constantly on him to “hurry up” and “try harder”, and that is just letting him know that he is not good enough.  Instead of saying “Good job on that project,” I find myself spouting out “You could have done that part better.”  Really?  Man, am I ever a heel.

To make matters worse, for all of his negatives (and who among us doesn’t have a plethora of negatives), he is abounding in positives.  He is wonderfully artistic and draws better than any eleven-year-old I know.  He is musically gifted and can play piano beautifully and has a voice like and angel.  He is caring and nurturing with children younger than himself, a trait that usually manifests as being a great big brother.  He can be amazingly empathetic, and there are times he does something out of love or kindness or loyalty that make me practically swoon with appreciation and pride.  He’s a remarkable boy and a gift like no other.

So why can’t I see and remember the good when I’m faced with the difficult?

Perhaps it’s because I was never good enough to my step dad and he let me know every day how useless I was.  Believe me, that is not the way I feel toward my son, but maybe a bit of that critical nature rubbed off and resides in me.  Perhaps it’s because I pushed myself hard to succeed and just find it difficult to deal with those who do not share my vision of success.  Perhaps it’s an unconscious feeling of unhappiness with where I find myself or the stress of living my life and I’m just a bully that takes it out on someone that’s weaker.  I don’t know, but it doesn’t excuse my behavior one little bit. 

I love my son. 

I love him just the way he is.

There are things I would like to see change with the boy, but those things shouldn’t affect how I show and verbalize my love for the kid.

He is my first-born child, my heir, my birthright, and I need to change my ways before it’s too late.  In really thinking about it, I don’t want him to be like me-- I want him to be better than me. 

It’s time for some major reexamination of the junk that comes out of my mouth.

He’s my son and he deserves it.

It’s time to dust off the forgotten LEGOs of my memory and be the Master Builder again.

He’s my son and he deserves it.

It’s time to use my words to build my boy.

He’s my son and he deserves it.

It’s not going to be easy, but how much of what’s important is?

He’s my son and he deserves it.

I love you, first-born child, and I’m sorry for my words. 


It’s time for me to build you a ship and help you soar.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


We are having a student-teacher kickball game at school today.
Of course, when I say “we”, I mean everyone else.
I won’t play.
Oh the kids have asked me to play repeatedly over the last few weeks (just like they’ve asked me to play in the student-teacher end-of-year volleyball game EVERY SINGLE YEAR even though I always politely answer, “No”), but I keep excusing myself and turning them down.  They walk away sad and dejected, and I’m sorry I send them to that place, but that’s just the way it has to be.  I won’t play organized sports, not even for cute little kids.
Now before you accuse me of being a heartless jerk bent on dashing children’s hopes and dreams, I should tell you that I’m game to do almost anything else other than organized sports.  In years past, I have allowed my students to paint my face green for a day as the result of a lost challenge, I have offered to shave off my mustache numerous times (which would effectively make me appear be twelve again), I’ve ridden countless amusement park rides with countless kids just because they asked me to, I’ve spent thousands of dollars of my own money on experiments and music and supplies to make things interesting and fun, I’ve come in early for STUCO meetings and pulled all-nighters putting together the yearbook, I’ve cooked breakfast for my entire class, I’ve trusted them in the bowels of caves and on the tops of soaring granite boulders (teaching is NOT for the faint of heart), and I’ve learned to rap for them.  I was even a three-hundred-pound drag queen for a class that wasn’t even mine in the talent show one year.  You need something done, no matter how strange or odd or silly or bizarre?  I’m your man!
But don’t ask me to play organized sports.
Oh that’s easy. 
I suck.
At least, that’s what I was told when I was a kid.  Often.  Repeatedly.  By everyone.
Okay, “told” is an understatement.  I was teased and berated and vilified over my pathetic athletic ability.
And those words cut me to the core.
Truth be told, I am admittedly quite uncoordinated.  I have always been that way, and I have always been painfully aware of it without the need of anyone pointing it out to my attention.  I can’t serve a volleyball well enough to make it over the net.  I don’t understand a single thing about football.  I can’t dribble a basketball with my hands or a soccer ball with my feet.  DO NOT ask me to hit a fast-flying baseball with that tiny stick, and bowling was never bowling with me-- it was guttering! 
But the worst? 
The worst was always kickball.
My fear and loathing of organized sports most definitely began with elementary school kickball.
Kickball was an institution unto itself in the little town I moved into and grew up in.  If you were a child of the early 80’s living in Iola, Kansas, you were expected to play kickball.  If the weather was at all decent, we played kickball in PE where Mrs. Yokum tried and tried to teach me how to kick that stupid ball.  I can still see the pitcher haunch over and draw his arm back to deliver the pitch with that evil gleam in his eyes assured that I would miss it. 
And I did.
Groans of disgust from my teammates.
Uproarious laughter from the other team.
Shame and humiliation on me.
If there were reward days, especially in fourth grade, the kids always voted to play kickball.  Our teacher, Mrs. Hawk, would appoint herself referee and hush even the faintest hint of a jeer or jibe with one steely glance from behind her thick glasses-- at least while she was looking.  The moment she would turn away (usually to reapply that garish Avon red lipstick), the ribbing would start and I knew another hellacious game would ensue resulting in anger and shunning from the other kids.
And recess?  Man, don’t even get me started on recess.  Thankfully, at least then, I could opt out and not play the game.  Of course, I’d spend the rest of the time playing by myself because every-stinkin’-one else was playing-- you guessed it-- kickball.
The worst part of the experience, though, was picking teams.  If you’re cursed like me, you’ve been there and know what I’m talking about.  Nothing stinks more than being picked last, by every captain, every time.  Actually, it’s not so much being picked last as it is becoming the kickball equivalent of leftovers-- no one wants you and everyone complains when they get stuck with you.  When the jocks were captains, they flaunted how much they hated getting stuck with me.  When my friends were captains, all sense of loyalty fizzled away as they too realized they were stuck with me.  Heck, in the rare instances when the nerds and other outcasts (the few that I hypocritically perceived as being even lower than the social ladder than myself) were captains, they seized the moment of realization that for once even they were superior and any shred of decency was thrown to the wolves.
Man, I hated kickball.
I STILL hate kickball.
So here I am, forty plus years after those terrible elementary school years where the fear and loathing of organized sports took root in my soul, and I continue to get all jittery and nauseous when I’m asked to play.  I’m sure many of you won’t understand, especially those of you who are good at sports or we’re never ridiculed for your lack of skill.  Some of you may even be reading this and thinking, “Dude, it’s like forever ago-- get over it.”  Hmmmm.  Tell that to the grown man who refuses to sing the National Anthem at a ballgame because he was told he can’t sing.  Tell that to the mom that dreads cooking for her own family because her husband told her she couldn’t compare to his mom.  Tell that to the fat kid who makes up excuse after excuse to get out of swimming in gym class because the other boys laugh at him and point at his belly (that kid was me).  Tell that to the teenage girl who cuts herself because she was told she was ugly.  Tell that to me and I’ll tell you to shut up.
Never think for a moment that words don’t hurt. 
Maybe you’re made of stiffer stuff than I, but I doubt it.
Having said all that, I have actually let go of the animosity I held for every kid that teased me, even though those wounds still persist.  It’s as if the infection has healed, but the scab is still fresh and painful.  I can forgive ignorance, I can forgive with the knowledge that hurt people hurt people, and I can forgive childish stupidity because, after all, children aren’t always mature enough to understand the knife’s edge that are their words.  However, that doesn’t mean for one second that I want to rip the scab off and bleed again.  I will forgive the perpetrator, but still have no desire to revisit the act.
You can ask me, but I will not play kickball.
Okay, maybe someday I will, but not today.
Enjoy the game.  I’ll cheer from the sidelines.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


For most of my life, I did not know my brother well.  We were raised in different households, had vastly different experiences growing up, and were separated by more than the usual number of years between siblings.  Still, he was my brother and I loved him.  My earliest memories of him are of him and his young family living in the apartment above our home, and the thought of my dad banging on the ceiling with a broom handle and my brother banging back as their way of saying “goodnight” still makes me smile.  Soon after, they moved to the country (the suburbs today) and I moved to a different state and we rarely saw each other after that.  Several years later, he moved back home and, during a summer-long visit, I read every comic in his vast collection and would eagerly await the sound of his big blue motorcycle roaring up the driveway so that we could discuss at length the issue I had just finished.  I was especially amazed at how he would stand outside during thunderstorms and watch the lightning like he was some sort of invincible super hero.  My brother was thoroughly cool, strong as an ox, had an awesome perm (hey, it was THE style), and had amazing eyes (it was actually a condition that made his eyes jitter back and forth, but I thought it was NEAT).  Yes, he was MY big brother and I fairly idolized him. 
Then came the stupidity.
After I moved back home as a preteen, and for reasons I still do not completely understand, there was a huge stinking riff in our family and my brother fell on the outs with most of the rest of us.  At the time, I was still young-ish and immature and chose sides rather than be at peace with everyone.  As a result, I did not talk with him for many, many years.  Even worse, after he was hired as the custodian at my church unbeknownst to me, we avoided each other like the plague and made excuses to never be around each other.  To this day, I regret that I wouldn’t even acknowledge that my brother worked there.  It was harsh and uncomfortable and remarkably stupid and moronical, but it was our reality nevertheless.  It cost us what could have been many good years, years that we will never get back.
Thankfully, change happened.  Years after the riff and during a time when God was just starting to deal with me and the unforgiveness I was riddled with, He spoke to me through scripture one evening by hitting me in the head with Matthew 5:23-24 which states, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.  God broke through years of stubbornness and misplaced feelings that night, and the very next day I left a message for my brother at work saying we needed to talk.  A few days later, we sat together in his office, man to man, brother to brother, and forgave each other for those barren years when we didn’t talk.  Years of ice melted in that moment, and that day I gained my brother back and he his.
Just a few years ago, after having reconciled with him and forming a tenuous yet pleasant relationship, I had the unique opportunity to work with my brother as part of our church staff one summer.  For nearly three months, it became my routine to go in early, fill my mug with steaming coffee, and just stand in the hallway and talk with him.  We talked about politics, faith, family, science fiction, and a thousand other subjects, and then we’d refill our mugs and talk about a thousand more.  It was a summer of bonding with one of my siblings the likes of which I had never known before and have never experienced since.  Finally, as a man in my late thirties, I was getting to really know the brother I had idolized eons before as a kid.  It was an amazing time that I daresay I’ll never forget and am very, very thankful for.
Two years ago today, we lost my brother to cancer.  I sat by his bedside nearly every day for his last two weeks, and I held his hand as he breathed his last.  My sister-in-law tells me that he spoke highly of me and loved me, and that is a treasure above measure.  It was an honor to be with him, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. 
I stopped by his grave this evening, laid a white carnation on his headstone, and slowly drank a cup of coffee.  He would have appreciated that.
Life is short, sometimes agonizingly so, and none of us are perfect in how we wind our way through its twists and turns.  Sometimes you have amazing people in your life that you lose.  Sometimes, if you’re very fortunate, you find them again and any loss after that you know to be temporary at best.  I lost my big brother and then found him again, and someday we’ll reunite in the Great Beyond.  Until that time, I’m left with this knowledge that my brother helped plant in my heart: be at peace with everyone, cherish those you love, and be very thankful for those that love you.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand...

Today is school picture day and I can sum up my feelings about this day in one word:


I know-- to many of you it’s an opportunity to show off that new outfit or haircut or teeth whitening, or perhaps you just like having your picture taken (sadists).  For most, it’s certainly no big deal.

Unless you’re me.

For me, picture day is really “let’s torture the fat dumpy kid and draw attention to his swollen pie face” day.

I’m not kidding.

As a kid, there was nothing good about being fat.  Back in the day, there was no “accept everyone” mentality, no political-correctness, no “look at what’s on the inside rather than the outside” philosophy.  Nope, you were fat and that means you were teased.

I can think of few things that bring out the worst in kids like having a fat kid in class.  From what I’ve been told and have observed in my many years of teaching, my fat experiences rank right up there with being berated for a physical disfigurement and being bullied for being gay.  I was called every name in the book as a kid (you’ve heard them all in some context or another so I’ll spare you now) and even had songs sung about my girth (my least favorite was, “Fatty Aron, two by four, can’t get through the kitchen door”).  “Family” was no exception as my step dad started in on me from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed.

School pictures were a lasting epitaph to who I didn’t want to be.  They were permanent.  They were on record.

Worst of all, they were in the school yearbook.

One of the most degrading moments of my childhood came when someone left their yearbook out in the hallway when I was in elementary school.  As I picked it up and began rifling through the pages, I saw scribbles above certain kids’ photos like, “cutie” and “hottie” and “coolest” and “love him”.

Then there was the title I had been assigned.


That’s an image, my bloated portrait with the word “fatso” emblazoned in red ink above it, that will forever be seared into my brain.

I stared at it and wept.

Is it any wonder that I hate school pictures?

Yes, I know kids can be cruel.

Yes, I know that was MANY years ago.

Yes, I know that I lost a ton of weight a few years back and now look nothing like that pudgy kid in all those endless years of school photos.

Yet, every single time I have a photo taken or look at a photo of myself, regardless of when it was taken or in what context, I inwardly cringe because I still see only “fatso”.

I told you, it’s seared into my brain.

So, today I’ll do my school duty and sit there smiling like everything’s okay, and then, when I get the pictures in a few weeks, toss them to my wife so that she can take one to work if she wants and hope the rest are never seen again.

At least by me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dust in the Wind

I’ve often joked that the only thing good thing to ever come out of Kansas is the band, and their best song is, of course, “Dust in the Wind”.  For the past week, my family has spent time with my mom and her husband in the dusty, windy, dying little town of Gas, Kansas, and, especially after today, I can’t help but think of the lyrics to that iconic song and reflect on their meaning to me.

“I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes with curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind.”

I was always a dreamer.  As a little kid on the back side of my parents’ divorce and living with my mom in a neighboring town, life was tough and my dreams were just about all I had.  I dreamed of being an astronautbrainsurgeonarcheologistactorsinger, and my grandma, Daisy Ocie Ketcherside, dreamed right along with me.  Grandma always told me that I was special and that I had big things in store for me.  She made me believe that my dreams, regardless of their audacity, could come true.  I spent every moment that I could at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, a weathered but sturdy old farm house on the outskirts of town.  She was my best friend.  We gathered the eggs from the chicken coop every morning, fried chicken together, played hide-and-go-seek and dominoes, and laughed and laughed and laughed and dreamed of big things.  She came from nothing and had nothing, so I think she dreamed her own dreams through me.  She knew me better than anyone else ever has and her support was unwavering.  My dreams were her dreams, and that was love.

Most of all, I dreamed of getting out of Kansas, and Grandma supported me in that too.

“Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind.”

Mom and I probably could have made it together if we lived closer to my dad (a boy needs his dad after all) and if she had married someone who actually cared about me.  As it is, we lived a six-hour drive from Dad and she proceeded to marry a loser who despised me.  Home was torture, but I always knew there was a safe haven at Grandma’s.  Grandma knew that living in Kansas was killing me slowly from the inside out, that Mom’s husband chipped away at my heart daily, and that any happiness I had was rapidly evaporating.  Grandma protected me, wrapped me up in her plump arms, loved on me, told me that everything was going to be okay, and never, NEVER gave up on whoever I was destined to become.  When I was ten, at my insistence, my dad took my mom to court to get the custody changed and Grandma came out in support of his efforts even though she knew it would take me away from her.  That bid ultimately failed (even in the era of “Kramer vs. Kramer”, most judges simply ruled with the mother as a matter of practice).  Two years later, in the summer when I was twelve and visiting my dad, mom relented and let me stay knowing that the judge said I could decide for myself when I turned thirteen a few months later and that my move was just a matter of time.  I only saw my grandma one time after that when she was still herself-- Alzheimer's began to steal her from me shortly after.

Grandma died on Halloween night, 1989.

“Now don’t hang on
Nothin’ lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind.”

We drove back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house today.


Twelve years after my grandpa passed away, my safe haven from childhood is now a dilapidated old shack with broken-out windows like black eyes on my youth.  The roof is clearly falling in, there are boarded-up holes in the foundation, and the whole house is leaning ever-so-slightly to the south.  The weeping willow my grandpa planted as a sapling when I was a kid now towers over the ruins of their house and catalpa trees grow wild all over the property.  As I stood there watching my memories being eaten away like the termite-ridden house before me, I felt my guts screw up in knots.  So many good times were spent in that house, in Grandma’s house.  So many dreams came and went in that humble little place.  I never became that astronautbrainsurgeonarcheologistactorsinger, but there were big things in store for me and I feel like many of those dreams have come true.  I wish Grandma could have celebrated those milestones with me.  My heart of hearts thinks she’s looking down on me from Heaven and smiling.  Still, my sadness is palpable.  My house of dreams is gone.

“Dust in the wind
Everthing is dust in the wind.”