These are turbulent times my friends. I took a moment to shut off the news and reflect upon my journey in life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I have become much more aware of that fact as life continues to pass on by. I was an only child and I was a handful. I challenged everything someone would say….a trait that continues today. I had wonderful parents…thankfully Mom is still alive today. Times were different back then. There was no such thing as “time out.” Each of my parents had their preferred punishment weapon. Dad liked the belt and Mom knew how to work that wooden spoon.
I still shudder at the sound I would hear from the kitchen when I would push Mom too far. The opening of the drawer beneath the microwave…then the sound of her fumbling through the kitchen utensils….suddenly the noise stops…..she has found her weapon of choice….THE WOODEN SPOON!!!
She spins like Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral….we make eye contact….she raises her weapon (which oddly enough was being used to stir spaghetti sauce just twelve hours ago) and makes her approach to “teach me a lesson.” I immediately run towards the circular dining room table. I use the table like a blocking sled to stay away from her boisterous advance. Suddenly I trip in my “stocking feet.” Mom straddles me like a LA cop. All of a sudden I feel like “Rodney King Light.” Good thing I ran Mom around the dining room table to tire her out. She only beat me for about ten minutes. Then she stood up and said “I’m gonna reheat yesterday’s spaghetti…want some?” Compared to 2020….that seems pretty normal to me.
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Times are very strange right now. Go in the basement. Wear a mask. Bars not open. Bars open. Fifty-percent on restaurants…you know what I mean. I’m trying to move my mother from West Palm Beach to Cleveland to be with family. The Chinese Virus has caused delays. Mother has some health issues. My Mother is my rock….she’s my very best friend…I am lost without her and not ashamed to admit it. Mom is all alone….going through the Chinese Virus lockdown and health issues all by herself. As I write this mother is waiting for the results of a biopsy she had on Friday. This battle has been going on for awhile. The results of a bad x-ray were not expected.
My mother has never played the victim. She has never blinked an eye or shed a tear. Her only concern has been for the health of me..her only child. It’s the the ultimate sacrifice of unselfishness. Do not judge courage by appearance or stature. I’m 6’2 and 265 pounds and my mother is bent over at 4’11 but stands much taller than me in soul and character. If you believe in the next level, which I do, concentrate on the soul. You can go to the gym to work out your body yet the soul is eternal and needs the same attention. Make every day and moment count.
So my mom is gonna return to work tomorrow and stop babysitting me. For those that don’t know I died and came back. Saw two more doctors today that were fascinated about heaven and what I saw. I told them I was embarrassed that I needed to see to believe and I have much work to do to fix what I did in the past.
We all make mistakes….problem for me is that I did not learn from my mistakes….I kept on going not acknowledging the blessings I had received. I saw a good friend of mine tonite. First time since I hit rock bottom and died. He looked stunned….he said “You look great!” I laughed and said “ I don’t look great….the fact that when you last saw me I looked lost.”
The greatest strength you can gain is admitting your greatest weakness. My mind is on fire. I am finally back on the road I always wanted to be. What I want to tell you is that you can do the same. Being weak only leads to being strong. We need to constantly evaluate ourselves. Never underestimate or fear the laughter of others when you admit to faith and prayer. I don’t wanna come across as a bible thumper but I do feel I need to share what happens when you die. I can tell you that I need to improve and I hope you join in my journey. Thank you for reading. Tomorrow on the podcast we have plenty of people to make fun of .
I have stated in the past at how disappointed I am in the world today. No one is nice anymore. No one says “please” or “thank you” or holds the door open for the other person. Something happened today that has stayed with me all day and hopefully will for quite some time.
I had a minor accident on the Harley over the weekend and there was some minor damage done to my pride and joy. I only take my bike to one place, Nicky D’s, so I rode it there and dropped it off this morning. Since the shop is six miles from my house I needed to arrange for a ride home so the plan was Mom would drive to get me on her lunch break from work. To make it easy on mom I told her to meet me at the CVS nearby but this entailed that I walk from Nicky D’s to CVS. The distance was maybe a quarter of a mile but I was wearing long pants and it was about eighty-two degrees so by the time I got to CVS I looked like a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”
I found a bench in front of the store, sat down and called mom. As usual I was early and she told me she would leave work in about a half hour which translates into me sitting in the direct sun for about another forty-five minutes.
I could feel the sunlight hit me directly and make me sweat like Johnny Manziel at last call. I knew that if a producer for “The Bachelor” walked by I would not be invited to be on the show. I started to smell like someone who should be behind the wheel of a Yellow Cab. Then a very strange thing happened that left me stunned and speechless.
An elderly woman, probably early eighties, stopped in front of me and said “Would you like an iced tea I just bought?” I respectfully declined but was stunned by her offer as it was something I had not seen in such a long time: unselfishness and kindness. She didn’t know me. She didn’t know what I was about yet she put that all aside and was willing to make a sacrifice for someone she didn’t even know. Isn’t that the way we are supposed to live life on a daily basis?
I may have declined her kind offer of a drink today but what she gave me meant so much more than just a quench of thirst. She restored my faith in mankind.
For the past four days I have been fighting a pretty bad cold. Mom has been all over me to “go see a doctor.” This comes from a woman who is losing sight in her left eye and doesn’t have a primary care physician because “I need one to be close to the house.” Evidently that means for her to have one living in the spare bedroom but I digress….
The next question from her was “Are you using Vicks?” If your mother is like my mother than Vicks is the greatest medical invention of all time. I remember as a child that at the first sign of a sniffle she would reach for that bottle, grab a spatula, and lap that stuff on my chest like she was frosting a cake. Then she would wrap me up like a mummy, grab a safety-pin to secure the gauze that she had affixed to my person to insure that all that “vapo rub” was absorbed into my entire being. When I would fart I would automatically clear the room of all bacteria. She would put so much Vicks on my body that it would affect my taste buds. I could stick out my tongue and it would glow like ET’s finger.
When I was in my motorcycle accident that resulted in six broken ribs, a broken nose, broken collar-bone, dislocated shoulder and a ruptured sinus cavity the first thing she asked the doctor was “How many times a day does he need Vicks?” Some may argue that Michael Jordan is the greatest commercial pitchman of all time but I would put my mother and a bottle of Vicks up against anyone.
I’d go on but the UPS man is at my door asking me to sign for a 55 gallon drum of Vicks my mother just sent me.
So my mother has been spending a lot of time at my house as I figure out what to do with the next stage of my life and I find our conversations quite amusing as we really don’t communicate at all. We were in the grocery store the other day and she asked me “Do you like apples?” I said “Mom, ya know me. The only fruit I really like is watermelon.” I think my mother has tried to get me to eat apples at least a hundred times in my lifetime so I just laughed it off.
The very next day she is in the kitchen cutting up a salad for me while I am in the office next to the kitchen on the computer. Our conversation went like this: MOM: “Ya know what’s really good in salad? Apples.” ME: “Mom….I don’t like apples.” MOM: “Ya know I could get some and cut them up in your salad.” ME: “I don’t like apples.” MOM: “I saw some at a really good price the other day. Next time I’m at the store I’ll get some.” ME: Mom…I like watermelon. I don’t like apples.” MOM: Well watermelon is not in season right now so I’ll get some apples.” ME: They’ll go to waste. Again….I don’t like apples.” MOM: “Really? I thought you just didn’t like biting into them (not kidding).” ME: I HATE APPLES! FOR THE LAST TIME, APPLES SUCK, I GAG, I PUKE, I ABSOLUTELY HATE APPLES!!!MOM: “Geez…..I’m just trying to feed you.”
I’m actually convinced that there is a school that mothers go to AFTER their kids leave the house so they have the ability to drive us nuts. Hang on a sec…..Mom asking me a question. “Do you like pears?” ARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
I talk on the radio for a living. The last time I hosted my morning radio show here in West Palm Beach was January 19, 2011. This time off may have been a bit of a financial burden but it has also been the greatest gift of my life. I’ve really gotten to know my mother.
Mom moved down here in 1987 and I finally made my way down here in 2004. The irony was that I was close in distance but the time I put in at the radio station kept me from spending a lot of social time with mom. I should have MADE more time for mom because she’s quite the remarkable person. I was so caught up in MY world that valuable time slipped away. There is an amazing moment in our lives when we look at our parents as “people” and they truly do become our “best friends.” I lost my father twelve and a half years ago and we were already on that level and in the past nine months I’m happy to say mom and I are on that level as well.
I found out even without a college degree my mom is a remarkable businesswoman. She’s much more stronger emotionally than me and she actually does possess a sense of humor. This is all in addition to what I already knew about my mom: no one will ever be able to have a garden like hers, she makes the BEST salad in the world (she says the secret is to squeeze a bit of lemon around the bowl before ya toss), and she will ALWAYS over cook a pork roast because “If it’s pink inside, you’re gonna get worms.”
Mom spends a lot of time at my house because we both love to cook. When she makes the ten-mile drive home I tell her to give me “one ring” when she gets home. Suddenly the child has become the parent. I learned a valuable lesson in my time off but now I think its time to get back to work……I really think I’m getting on my mother’s nerves.