Tag Archive: Kerry Tickle


Those Life Lessons

During my early years as a parɘnt I was infused with the thrill of being a role model and instructor. I would teach my children how to be kind, generous, honest, patient, responsible and trustworthy. I only asked that through it all I would retain my humor and ability to have fun. Well, nearly 35 years later, I realize most of those lessons I wanted to teach my children were actually lessons for me.

Their dependence on me for everything has taught me to be responsible and trustworthy. The years of constant demands have taught me patience and generosity. Loving and nurturing them has taught me kindness. But the loss of my child has taught me far more than I ever imagined.

I learned that when you love someone, they never ‘die’. They continuɘ to live in your heart, in your mind and in your memory. The only thing separating me from my Benjamin is my breath.

I learned that it only takes a moment for your whole life to change forever. My life changed forever in the moments it took for the words, “He didn’t make it” to registɘr in my mind.

My intuition deepened and my awareness of the intangible aspects of life increased. Some may call it imagination. I call it awareness. I realized it was always there, but I had only made contact with the fringes of it. For example, last night I had a short, but encouraging conversation with Ben’s brother. After hanging up I went into the kitchen to finish dinner. As I lifted a pot to put it into the sink my shoulder became weak and I nearly dropped the pot. I felt it ‘twinge’ for about 5 minutes. I believe Ben was there, looking over my shoulder watching me prepare his ‘macaroni pie’. Another time I’ve felt that ‘twinge’ was a couple years ago, while driving his ŧruck. At that time I was daydreaming while driving and it was the nudge I needed to get my attention back on the road. I am sure there are other little things I miss, but I don’t want to miss a single one. They are unbelievably comforting.

I learned my God is a tower of strength and a fountain of mercy. And He gave Benjamin to me. When that realization hit me, I was bowed by the blessed gifŧ I’d been given.

But probably the biggest gift Ben has given me is the fact that I am no longer afraid of ‘dying’. I will only be moving into the next realm. And Benjie will be there to welcome me.  That thought makes me smile.

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December 18

It is his birthday! He would be thirty-one. I wonder if he would be married. I wonder if he would have any children. I try to picture them in my head, but all I see are his laughing brown eyes, his cheeky grin and his sun-streaked hair. I remember his sturdy, little sun-tanned body. He was always on the go. He hopped, skipped or ran, everywhere he went.

Only when he entered his teens did he slow down a bit. I remember him once breaking away from his cluster of buddies and ambling towards me. I remember him throwing his arm across my shoulders as we turned and walked towards our car. I’m sorry I didn’t tell him how much that meant to me. Maybe he knew, but he probably didn’t think about it again.

Chocolatɘ cake was his favorite and I baked him one every year. I still do. I will bake him one today with love and longing and a lot of sweet memories. Memories that no one can take from me. And somehow, I feel he’ll be sharing it with the rest of us and hearing our rousing round of Happy Birthday.

Because when you share your body with another and give them life, there is a link between those two people that death cannot touch. That tie is stronger than death. It is love. It is unconditional love. It is not broken by death. Because of that link, I do not consider Ben as dead. He isn’t. He is alive, but in another realm.

I’ll explain more about what his passing on has taught me tomorrow. Today I celebrate his birth and his life. I celebrate his indomitable spirit, his generous heart, his bɘautiful being…..

This song was on his iPʘd. It is one of my favorites.

 

Growing Up

My muse is shaking her head at me. I have about one hour to finish this if it is going to be posted today.

The fire burned a hole in Benjie’s leg and took the skin off his chest and back, but remarkably it didn’t touch his face. He suffered the pain with a stoic acceptance, knowing he had brought it upon himself. While he healed he built kites. His siblings and friends collected the palm stems for him, then kept him company while he sat at the table and glued them together.

As Ben grew older his passion for kites was replaced by motorcycles. He would salvage an old rusty frame from somewhere and tinker with it, adding parts he’d accumulate from who knows where. The first couple of bikes he worked on, he never could get running, but it didn’t dampen his ardor for them.

When he was eighteen, he moved to Texas with his Mom and started riding dirt bikes. He worked at several different jobs and became the proud owner of a 125 and 250. He collected all the gear; boots, helmet, overalls, pads, and goggles. Every Saturday morning, he’d throw everything into his truck, strap his bikes in the back and take off for the track. The tracks were all over southern Texas, from Houston, to San Antonio and the Hill Country. His Mom just made sure he had something to eat and drink. A few times she was able to watch him race. It was exhilarating, but also scary. It surprised her to realize how much stamina and effort went into competing on a dirt bike track. And Ben was very competitive. He didn’t like to lose and started collecting tall gangly trophies. Every time he brought home another one, he proudly showed it to his Mom and let her ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ over it.

When he was twenty Benjie went to Nebraska to help his Aunt and her family. His uncle was terminally ill with cancer and she needed help on their farm. But disaster struck. His Mom got a call at 2:30 one night. It was from a Doctor in a medical center in North Platte. He was calling to say Ben had run into a high tensile steel wire fence while riding his motorcycle and had been thrown off his bike. He’d hit the ground with such force, it had dislocated the ball in his right shoulder and shattered it into four pieces. Ben had been wearing all his gear, but he was a couple miles from the house and all by himself. He somehow managed to get himself back to the house. It seemed like 100 miles away, but was actually only about half a mile. There a neighbor found him sprawled on the floor going into shock. The Doctor was calling his Mom to tell her he had begun to operate and after seeing the extent of the damage, he stitched him back up and sent him to Omaha. So Ben had a not so smooth 6-hour ride in the back of an ambulance with his shoulder encased in ice.

Ben’s Mom flew to Omaha the next day and was able to talk to the surgeon for a few minutes before he started the surgery. He told her at first he thought he’d have to put in a prosthetic joint, but after taking into consideration Ben’s age, overall health and well-being, he decided to try and repair the ball and socket. Ben wasn’t happy to see his Mom. He told her she shouldn’t have come all that way and put herself to so much expense. He told her he was going to be fine. His Mom just held his face in her hands, looked into his angry brown eyes, smiled and told him he was being silly.

The surgeon did an excellent job. He made the right decision. There was a lot of scar tissue, but Ben slowly regained almost full range of motion. Three months later, standing beside his motorcycle, Ben told his Mom he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to ride it again. She felt like telling him he should get rid of it and not even think of getting on another motorcycle. But instead, she said, “You’ll know when the time comes whether you will, or not.”  Six months later, he was waving to his Mom as she watched him once again pull out of the driveway with his bike in the back of his truck. She noticed a new sticker on the back of his truck. It said “No Fear”.

Later Ben went back to Nebraska. He had a job to finish. The day, Ben turned 21, he attended his uncle’s funeral.

To be continued…..

There is always a beginning

This week my muse is telling me I should post every day for the next 7 days. She has been telling me this for the last 2 days, but I’ve been stalling. I’ve been trying to talk her out of this.

Every day?!?!?

“Yes,” she says with a soft smile, while firmly nodding her head.

It is not an easy thing to consider. There’s a lot going on (as usual). I’m traveling (again). I have a job interview on Monday, and if it goes well, I’ll be looking for a place to live and organizing another move.

Please listen to the audio as you read this first installment of my mini-marathon.

So once upon a time….

Thirty-one years ago a little boy was born. He had light brown hair, dark brown eyes, a squished up face and he cried a lot. Poor little guy. His Mom wasn’t ready for her 4th baby. She was only 23 and her first born wasn’t yet four.

She named him Benjamin. She said, Continue reading

Surprising Revelation

Quite often when working on Three Sisters Exclusive, my emotions become involved with the character I’m writing about. I am left feeling the same as the character who has just gone through a terrifying situation, been hurt in some way, or been treated unfairly. As this is my first novel, I never knew this would happen before I began this adventure. These emotions range from joy and thankfulness, to anger and utter despair. So sometimes the going gets pretty rough and I emerge from my writing feeling like a soggy pumpkin, all lopsided and spongy in places. Or I’d shut my computer with a huff and fling myself out of the room like Captain Hook going after Peter Pan.

I realized I needed to control my emotions or I was going to be a basket case long before Three Sisters Exclusive was finished. I didn’t want to be controlled by my emotions. I wanted to able to control them. I found it exhausting and it was affecting my writing.

So I did some research and found  Continue reading

The Tartuffe

People collect all kinds of things, teapots, stamps, coins, chess sets, etc. I collect words. I have lists of them in files on my computer, in notebooks, and in my email account. Something will remind me of one and I’ll have to go back and look it up.

Recently I had cause to remember tartuffery. I am sure not very many of you have ever heard of it, but I bet a lot of you have run into it on several occasions. A Tartuffe is  Continue reading

While working on the About page of my new company’s website I started thinking about the different ‘hats’ I’ve worn. How many different hats have you worn? Not just the hats related to your careers, or work, but those you’ve donned in your personal lives, as well. Thinking about it, I came up with 25-30 different hats I’ve worn. I realized the hats we wear in our working lives are generally our choices, while our personal hats we assume automatically. For example, our daughter, sister, wife, mother, auntie, and grandma hats we wear compulsorily, albeit gladly (generally). I’m using the feminine, but it is equally applicable to the masculine.

My most recent personal addition to my family of hats is the Grandma Hat. For me, this is a wide-brimmed sun-hat. It portrays relaxed, sunny days, walks in the park, swimming expeditions, playgrounds, and picnics. All things I’ve enjoyed with my grandchildren. Before this there was my Mom Hat. This one is a very versatile, but fully functional, beanie or scarf. It covered more than just a bad hair day. It could change shape and direction at a moment’s notice. Continue reading

C

I will start by saying I had no idea what I was going to write about this week. Then… Bing! Bang! Boom! There were three words on my page. I listed them. I looked at them. I said them out loud. Then realized I could and would use all three.

Short, but to the point.

Censored copywriting inhibits creativity.  If I tell the truth, I’ll make a lot of people unhappy. I can’t shock my customers too much or they’ll take their business somewhere else. This article expands on censorship in social media.

Creativity in copywriting may be propelled by censorHow can I take ordinary words and catch your attention, while being morally and politically correct? Instead of, “I really like sitting on the beach and getting drunk”, how about, “Do you like pina colada and getting caught in the rain?”

Copywriting insists on creativity, but is usually censored.  It appears the words “endless pleasure sticks” has been censored out by the anime industry for being too suggestive. Now, I don’t know what you thought of when you read those words. I thought of a tuning fork.

It’s amazing to sit down to write with not a single idea in your head, and then read the results.

Can you share your censored (or uncensored), creative “copy” with us?  Or just let us know what you think.

B – Brethren

Who are the brethren? Where do they come from? What do they believe?

The brethren history began in the early 1800’s among radical evangelicals, who broke from the Church of England. They were generally dissatisfied with the church officials and were looking for a pure spiritual renewal.  The Brethren have continued to be a ‘movement’, because although there are several assemblies with similar tendencies and beliefs, they have generally resisted taking an official name or denominational headquarters, and do not have to do with each other. You can read more about it here.

The brethren’s beliefs is founded on the principle of Dispensationaliam. This is the belief the history of Christians and God is divided into eras, or dispensations. God offers humanity a path for eternal salvation by following his calling. Each dispensation has ended with humanity failing  Continue reading

A

Astrology

Blogging is known to open doors, as well as discussions. Well, today I am starting with an A to Z thematic, weekly post, which will be posted at the beginning of the week. The A to Z posts will be related to a topic beginning with a letter of the alphabet, in sequential order.  Any topic?  Yep, anything at all. How does this tie in with Three Sisters Exclusive? Well, the book is based on my family’s life. I figure anything I’m interested in is naturally part of my life. And as I am writing the story……

But you’re thinking, it is so random. Welcome to my life. Random should have been my middle name.

I’m jumping in at the deep end. I’m going to start with Astrology, the study of the influence of the stars and planets on human affairs. Actually, the Webster dictionary I looked up the definition in has, “The study of the supposed influence of the stars…..”  I smiled to myself when I read it. It is copyrighted in 1995, but I wonder if the editor was, like me, taught the conservative Christian doctrine as a child. I was taught anything related to astrology was heresy and foolish. I did not begin to question this until I was in my forties. And when a person begins searching for answers at that age, they do not accept what is written in magazines and books without first finding out the credentials of the author. This blog doesn’t allow room for all the information (facts, theories, and conjecture) I discovered. But surely the editor of my dictionary wasn’t insinuating the movement of the planets and the stars has no effect on mankind.

This is partly what I’ve learned and partly what I’ve experienced:

  1. There are lunar times that are best for planting certain types of plants. (Farmer’s Almanac)
  2. The position of the planets has an impact on a person’s health. (Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler, & Osama Bin Laden all died between April 30th and May 5th)
  3. Whichever phase of the moon a baby is conceived under determines which phase of the moon he/she is born under. (Wish I’d known this when I was having my babies)
  4. The astrology signs impact personalities. (Do you know any passive Leo’s?)

It would be great to hear from you about this somewhat radical, but still rather common, phenomena. And we can all grow in understanding and knowledge.

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