Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Dear Mom


I guess this is goodbye. I thought we still had a little time. Even though I said it was okay to go, I held onto a spark of hope that I could squeeze your hand one last time on earth. Oh, how I wish the flight had been a little earlier.

The past few months have been heart-achingly gut-wrenching. I'm so sorry I took you out of your house. I'm sorry you declined so rapidly. I'm sorry Tyler passed away and you couldn't attend his service.  I know you loved him dearly.

I kept thinking you could get better, if only this or that could happen. I called upon the powers of heaven to help you. But even with all the powers of heaven and earth, the inevitable cannot be forestalled. It was your time to return to your Father in Heaven.

Looking back, we see how truly inevitable it was. There were too many obstacles, and far too few miracles. In the moment, though, we held onto faith. In the very hour of your suffering, we pleaded for progress.

But my dear mom, miracles were present. The veil between heaven and earth was parted, and we received help, knowledge, and guidance as we held your hand on your journey to the next step.

We both know our relationship had its strains. We both know the anxieties of our souls kept us at odds more often than we bonded as mother and son. But I deeply admire the tenacity you showed time and again as you relentlessly cared for me.

I carry that with me, Mom. I have seven children under my care who need me, and I learned from you how to love and protect them. Sometimes, bewilderment overcomes me as I look in the mirror at my 45-year-old eyes and wonder how I was so blessed to have the life I do.

It was because of your choices. All of them. Good, bad, right, or wrong. You beat yourself up so often about the decisions you made. But now, free of the physical pains and limitations that beset you during this mortal life, perhaps you can see, holistically and impartially, how well you did. Perhaps your anxiety and depression can fade away, leaving only the strength that pushed you forward each time those illnesses overcame you.

I'll always remember our drive to Utah with Heather. I'll cherish taking you to McDonald's and feeding you French fries in the car, tearing open the ketchup packet and squeezing a tiny bit on each fry. I told you that's how Sadie did it, and it made you laugh. I loved your gratitude for each bite. It still makes me tear up.

There's so much more I could tell you, Mom, but for now, my last note pertains to my son.

You will never, ever understand how grateful I am for the care you showed Sumner from the day he was born. We were so young and had him early in life. We were still in school and navigating a new marriage, lacking the experience we needed.

Thank God you were there to help us. You helped raise him into the kind, intelligent 20-year-old he is today, a man who cherishes his family and looks out for others. I don't know how our lives would have turned out without you during that time.

I just want peace for you, Mom. I hope your dad was there at the end, helping you cross the bridge into the afterlife. I hope he was everything you remembered him to be. And I hope that when you saw your mom, you gave her the biggest hug. She loves you so much, just like you loved me. That's how I know. That's the funny thing about our family.

The good and the bad, they all add up. They all use the same language of love. Your whole life was a testament to love. You spoke it in the only way you knew how, and while I didn't always understand your words, I now see the love woven into your actions.

Now, at the end of all things, I understand you a little better. And because of that, life can be a little sweeter.

Until we see each other again, Mom. 

Sun, Moon, and Stars, all under the same great sky.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Airport thoughts

My mind doesn’t just race at airports.  It chases every meandering thought down each terminal, back alley, and boutique shop.  Every consonant belonging to every cascading word in my mind takes up residence in the expressways of internal expression.  And tonight, it’s crushing me into the polished crushed granite tile paving the path toward my gate.

I don’t know that I know how to grieve properly.  My brain has erected impenetrable walls and opaque veils between my emotions and my dialogue.  My fear is that one day soon, my inability to penetrate these fortifications will cause me to collapse in unexpected ways.  My hope is that no one is around when that happens.

Anyway.  I am at the airport.  These are my words about being at the airport.  And here’s a picture of the airport.  The end.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Monday, June 05, 2023


Such a loaded word, right?

I have been more active lately in a few things.  Mainly Twitter, for the intent of this post.  Instead of merely consuming the viewpoints of so many distinct and vocally opposite voices, I have entered the mix and started to share some of my thoughts and ideologies.  Not trying to shout this from the mountains; rather, I am simply sharing my happiness that I have moved off the sidelines a bit.

Other news...hmm.

My youngest turned 12 this weekend, and it was a joy to spend time with her.  Having to split time with another parent is hard, but also means you cherish the time you do have a bit more.  Especially with the young ones. My youngest child has always represented sunshine to me. She still exudes it.

Fasting...something many in my faith do once per month.  I did yesterday, and it all fell apart.  Normally, hunger doesn't exacerbate my mood too much. But add in the headache that appeared late morning, and I was set up for failure for the rest of the day.  Any small or large stressor that appeared caused me to emotionally tailspin each time, thereby throwing the brunt of the fallout on my poor wife's shoulders.  

I need to make it up to her, somehow.

Monday, May 22, 2023

These are they

Keep thinking of the adage, "better to be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt".

Anyway; who got to decide these were a weed?

Friday, May 12, 2023

It’s just overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

New spaces

That's all it takes, sometimes.  Just get me out of the norm. Then I can see the world as it should be seen; the lens becomes less foggy.  I do not seek clarity, only normality.

Thursday, May 04, 2023


Tons of people have dogs.  Growing up, my older siblings had one or two, but I don't have much recollection.  Until my brother was about 23, that is.  He brought home the most beautiful white husky that, to this very day, surpasses any other that I have laid eyes on.  The merit of this dog beggared belief.  He was loyal, smart, well-trained at his master's hand.  I never claimed any ownership of him, but he was so damn obedient that he made you feel kinship immediately.

That poor animal was laid to rest prematurely, as he crossed the rainbow bridge when my brother pulled over to assist another dog owner with their own wounded animal.  I don't remember all the details, suffice it to say this beautiful dog was struck by a car as my brother crossed the highway.

My eldest brother has had several dogs since that day, mainly of the German Shepherd breed.  They've been loyal dogs as well, owing mainly to my brother's prowess of training dogs to their potential.  But to me, they've never neared the sentimentality I've felt toward that keen animal.

I got a little ahead of myself in my recollection.  Late in my Bountiful, Utah life, my mom may have felt a little bad for me, so she let me have a pretty cute Cocker Spaniel that she quite forcefully named "Crackers" (I wanted QuikSilver, so who knows). I only had that pup a few months before he got ran over by a car in my front yard.  After nursing him back to health, my parents decided it was best if I gave him up.

And then the long dark winter set in, wherein no dogs came into my life.

There were moments during my first marriage where I felt we were ready, but the kids were so young that we just didn't ever pull the trigger.  In hindsight, maybe the best time ever to have a dog is when the kids are young. But I digress.  Everything changed when, in 2017, we adopted a fabulous Goldendoodle.  His codename from the breeders was "Rocket" (all of the litter had Guardians of the Galaxy names), but we loved the name and kept it.  

Then the walls of life came crashing down; my marriage dissolved, and Rocket stayed with his mom.  I lived out of apartments and rentals and never had him around.  That sure made my 3 kiddos sad, but they were able to see Rocket weekly when they went back to stay with their mom.

Then, in 2019, I bought my own house.  Within weeks, I was hunting.  And I mean, feverishly searching.  I couldn't see myself with a large dog, and I knew I wanted a girl.  My niece had a really fetchingly smart Aussie, so I started playing around with the idea of a mixed Aussie.  Within a few weeks of closing on my house, I found someone in Gilbert who was selling the last of their litter...a 21 week Aussie-poo that was simply not wanted by anyone.  

I met her and that's all it took.  She rolled over on her back and I patted her belly and didn't even question whether I should or not.  I took the rest of my savings (there wasn't much) and bought her.  Within another day or so, the kids and I decided to call her Trillian

My logic at the time, being a single dad, was to have something to keep me grounded. Something to pull me back home when my kids weren't around.  Another living, breathing soul to fill the empty halls of my house with a fraction of the energy provided by my children.  

You must understand that if my kids weren't home, I would wander aimlessly after work.  Some of those nights were filled by meaningless dates with people I had met via online dating apps, spending way too much money for a dinner conversation that invariably went nowhere.  But most of the time, I would simply wander...driving aimlessly through the streets of the East Valley until I was hungry enough to eat alone at some restaurant and call it a night.

It has been nearly four years now since Trillian entered my life, and while there have been plenty of frustrating moments, vet bills, messes, and early destruction, I am immensely grateful for her spirit.  The qualities of a dog are near endless, but her special ability to entangle herself in my emotions and help me sort them out is priceless.  

So, this is a small tribute to my dog, and maybe to all the dogs come into my life.  Each one of them laid a foundation of knowledge that percolated to the top of my mind when Trillian came into my family.  I hope I have trained her well.  And may she have many more years of keeping me company, and out of trouble.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023


One more shot from our trip to Saguaro Lake.  The water was beautiful.  I know it isn't for everyone, but I do appreciate the dichotomy between the stark desert that surrounds the lake, and the water itself.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Lake, Saguaro

Took the opportunity to leave work a little early last Friday and went to the lake with the wife.  While we don't have any toys for the water, as such, it was still refreshing to picnic on the shore and take a few pictures along the way.  

Friday, April 07, 2023

Thursday, March 30, 2023


A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of myself perched atop a small cliff on a beach in Southern California. I attributed a quote underneath this picture, which said this:

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking out new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -Marcel Proust

Fast forward to today, when upon my morning readings I found this quote by Jack Kerouac. Often venerated by swaths of individuals for his immense cultural influence and his ability to draw upon society's innate desire to break free from structure, I too have fallen more than once for these simple yet honest takes.

As I took a moment to reflect and ponder upon this text, I paused upon each word in turn. Especially the word "travel". You see, dear readers...I am not yet a traveller. I haven't embarked on any great journeys on God's green earth. Have I been to a few places, seen a few beautiful scenes? Absolutely. Immediately, it comes to mind a time in my youth when I backpacked 10 miles into the Havasupai canyon. Never before (and never again since) had I seen such wonderful unified structure and chaos in nature. 

I do possess with me an innate stubborn streak as deep as the canyon I visited then. I also feel that to travel now would be folly...I am an addictive creature by nature. And seeing how my means are, at this time, meager...I get the sense that it would become prohibitively expensive and an unforgiving vice.

So I dig my heels into the dirt directly beneath me and stay firmly rooted in Arizona.  For what it's worth, I find great beauty and realize great satisfaction from the smallest of excursions within these borders.  But still, there is a great portion within me that winces with each passing year.  I both do and do not wish to travel.  It's a vexing place to be.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Fresh leaves

Taken with my old iPhone 5s, of course. The weather this weekend was absolutely superlative. 

Friday, March 24, 2023


 There are times when I feel the walls closing in on me. Suffocating my ability to garner rational thought. Rendering my soul into a compressed, fractional portion of what it should be. 

Today is one of those days.  A day when two decade's worth of retrospection yields few positive outcomes in learning from my own mistakes.  When the feedback of a dozen past leaders falls upon my back as the screeching of a legion of malcontents, hell-bent on seeking my endless misery.

My drive into work felt light as a feather; in fact, I remember thinking that exact fact.  How crazy it felt to have all the past weeks' stressors melt away.  They had all felt so intensely heavy not 24 hours previous.  

I was literally lost in the music I was listening to...Depeche Mode's "Memento Mori" album, fresh off the proverbial presses this very morning.  I felt hopeful, jaunty, energetic and full of a desire to replicate this sunny fervor that had captured my vision.  

Several hours later and I am defeated and flaccid.  Like I've spent the last week at the back of the refrigerator, forgotten by my benefactors and waiting for my expiration date. 

Somehow, this silly web site is still around after 23 years.  It's still here to capture and process my thoughts and moods and whatever analog photographs I choose to upload.  Simply having it around is like a warm blanket that softens the daily blows...a balm of healing to ease the friction of an endlessly anxious mind.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023