The Whole Secret

The Whole Secret

A friend of mine wrote this in her journal and shared it with us this week.

I liked it so much I asked her for permission to share it with you.

Do you know THE Whole Secret for being happy in life?

Here is how she answered this question:

“I love it when people ask me to tell them my secret for BEING HAPPY because I don’t really have a secret other than:

  1. I don’t think the Universe is out to get me
  2. I don’t listen very long to people who want to convince me that I should be unhappy
  3. I pay attention to things that make me unhappy and I stop doing them as soon as possible

That’s pretty much THE WHOLE SECRET.


Top 10 Rules of Grandfather Club

Another friend of mine joined the GrandFathers Club this week. This club has a specific set of rules that must be followed. I have never failed to follow them myself. If you want to be an honored member of the club, you too must follow these rules. The rules of this club are fairly straightforward and quite easy to follow:

  1. You must change the background picture of your cellPhone to a picture of the kids.
  2. You must tease them about their mother and all the ridiculous baby stuff she did.
  3. You must develop them to be just like you so that their mother will have to say, “Stop being like your grandfather”.
  4. You must teach them all the dumb jokes that your ancestors have said over the past 100 years. (mine is “Rooster, Hen, Pullet”)
  5. You must be able to fall asleep in any chair in the house with one or both of the boys on your lap or chest (recliners work best).
  6. You must be ready to watch SpongeBob Square Pants, Dora the Explorer, and any of the new cartoons that kids love to watch today.
  7. You must want to eat and share candy, popcorn, ice cream, cookies, and cookie dough with the boys, even at 7 am in the morning, despite what their mother says.
  8. You must be willing to stop at a Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King and get 3 Kids’ Meals at a moment’s notice. Yes – you get a Kid’s Toy too.
  9. You must be accepting of going to work, church, a board meeting, or a Rotary with a little baby exhaust on your suit coat.
  10. You must be able to smile like a crazy man any time someone asks you “What’s going on?” Because now you get to say, “I’m a Grandfather!”

Thank you Everyone who made this HAPPEN

This Saturday I had the privilege of “marry off” another of my daughters to a great guy.

We started our celebrations on Friday and a whole bunch of great people helped us make it all happen.

This is a thank you to all who helped make the celebrations Great  & Fabulous!

Rachel, the Bride who is one of the infamous Myrtles, had been planning her own wedding for well over 20 years. She arranged all of the support staff and put together a flawless task list and itinerary. The last few months have been non-stop planning, ordering and arranging for a great team of outsourced service providers. (big words huh?) You did a great job Rachel – thanks

Sid, the Groom and now a member of Boppy’s Stable of Stallions, did as a groom should. He managed his grooms men and gladly did everything that Rachel asked him to do with no disagreements. He never showed any signs of stress or fatigue thru out the weekend. Good work Sid.

Rebecca (aka Bum), my beautiful wife (of nearly 35 years) executed said tasks list and  itinerary thru lots of hard work and staff management. We all knew our roles and tasks. She toughed thru the little bit of itinerary & service chaos and made rapid fire plan changing decisions like a pro. I love you babe!

The other 3 Myrtles (daughters) pitched in on all of the tasks with nary a worry or concern. From the planning & setup phase all the way thru locking the door at the hall. I love you girls.

Marc, another member of the Stable of Stallions, orchestrated a fantastic meal, far better than expected or requested. This guy loves to plan, prepare and deliver fabulous food. He does it with a big smile and a still manages to play Dad to the needy nearly 2yr & 3yr olds boys. Thanks for all you did Marc.

Oscar, yet another member of the Stable of Stallions, managed lots of logistics and made sure the right stuff was in the right place at the right time. If anyone needed something he would jump in and help out. Even make a 120 mile round trip late night drive to the airport to pickup a family friend or chase ibuprofen to squelch a headache. Oscar also pitched in on the rehearsal dinner as the rest of of us rehearsed. You are the Man Oscar!

Francie & Alan, my sister & brother (in laws) and their group took care of lots of stuff at both the rehearsal party & wedding reception. They were instrumental in making lots of tedious tasks go bye-bye. They never asked what we wanted them to do, they just jumped in and made it happen. You guys are great – Thanks

Tony, a fantastic family friend joined us early in the day and turned on dimes as we asked him to take care of this, then that, and then back to something else all day long. You’re a good Friend Tony! Thanks

Gary Whitehurst put the jingle in the event. He spun the vinyls and disks that we needed to sing, dance and have a Freakin Great Time! He never missed a beat and smiled the entire night. Thanks Gary – We really appreciate you.

Thanks a bunch for the great images captured by Megan Summers Photography at the Rehearsal party – Lots of great kid pics, laughing and playing all evening. Thanks Megan.

The professional photography team from Carmon Leigh Photography worked non stop at the scripted and impromptu pics during the wedding. These ladies were a blast to work with.

Jessica, our delightful and capable bartender managed the bar effectively with a constant smile. We are so glad we added you to the team Jessica.

Michael Trivette, Big Bro to Sid and the best man, was there at every move to offer any and all help we either needed or asked for. He was a lot of fun to work with as well. He never stopped helping us even beyond the event when we left items behind that needed to be dealt with. I really enjoyed getting to know you Michael. Thanks for all you did.

Brittany Mitchell used her imagination, artistic flair and fabulous baking experiences to create a beautiful & tasty wedding cake. She had her husband, Tommy & her Dad help her deliver and setup the cake. You guys are the best!

The florist arranged beautiful flowers, corsage & butineers and worked hard to help us deal with just a few snafus that occur with these things. Thanks for your help.

Matt Capps, a long time family friend and Associate Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, provided both an enjoyable and loving God filled ceremony. Few ministers will spend the time and effort that Matt did to get to know the Bride & Groom in order to really share a memorable and meaningful ceremony. Thanks Matt, (Laura & Sol).

The bridesmaids, my girls and dear family friends, were beautiful and fully engaged in making this wedding a fantastic and spirited even.

The grooms men are not only loving friends and family, but a lively addition to the celebration. These guys know how to party and have each other’s back thru life. Good People – thanks guys!

My inlaws, Ray & Reva were non stop in their involvement and engagement with everyone.  Thanks folks.

Lesha & Sidney, (Sids Mom & Dad) were a pleasure to get together this weekend and thanks for Sid.

Jackie Gold – thanks for the quick publishing of impromptu event pics – It was a blast to meet you and your family.

Thanks to the many other great folks who attended & participated and got involved in the celebration.

I am sure I am missing some individuals, please forgive me. I will thank you in person soon for all you did to help us with this

Being the Dad of 4 beautiful, loving and spirited women is a blessing. You can’t be an average kind of guy and marry one of my girls.

I now have three powerful, dynamic, fantastic son-in-laws. My Stable of Stallions continues to grow. I’m a blessed and proud Dad.

I end this post with a confirmation for myself.

I am blessed beyond what any Dad would expect.

Thank you God.

What rewards have you received

I have the privilege of attending a life celebration of a man who has accumulated great rewards during his journey thru life. It is these rewards that helped him to pass away peacefully and provided some comfort for his family.

His life journey has not been captured by ESPN, Travel Channel or Readers Digest.  The life he lived was not awe inspiring, death defying or miraculous. He did not collect a bunch of medals, awards, trophies or plaques from local dignitaries.

The rewards this man has accumulated are numerous and worth more than money, precious stones or gold.

The rewards this man has accumulated are real, yet he is able to take them with him to his grave.

The rewards this gentleman has accumulate thru his life can not be boxed up and put into storage.

The rewards this man has collected do not lay around the house needing regular dusting or shifting to make room for the next great reward.

The rewards this man accumulated are not listed on anyone’s bucket list. And, unlike a wrestlers trophy belt, these rewards can not be taken away by another.

You see, he passed away knowing that the rewards he accumulated are stored in the hearts of all those he touched through out his life.

His wife, his brother, his daughters and son-in-laws.  His grand children, his nieces and nephews, his neighbors and many others.

He knew these rewards existed.  Not that he could touch them or see their shiny chrome and jewels, but because he felt them from the support, help, compassion and care that many shared with him.

My last conversation with this man clearly told me he knew he had been bestowed these rewards.

As we sat in his home, laughing and talking into the night, he indirectly and repeatedly asked one question. To me, I could tell that he was not asking a question, but instead sharing with us that he knew of the rewards he had accumulated.

“I have a Great Family.” Each time he made this statement, in the form of a question. Yet, I could see in his eyes that he was making a statement, not asking a question.  He knew that his family was the main source of  his greatest reward in life.

He received this reward from his wife thru all that she did for him.

He received this reward from his daughters from all they did for him over the years and up unto the last moments of his life.

His son-in-laws and grandchildren bestowed this reward on him thru the tireless help, care and happiness they gave him freely.

He received this reward from the dog who stayed by his side thru his final days.

He received this reward from his brother in part thru the numerous compassionate conversations only brothers can share.

He was proud to receive this reward from his many friends and neighbors.

He knew that these rewards were real and for him to keep, because they were bestowed upon him with no strings attached.

Despite this man taking these rewards with him, they are still visible in the smiles, the tears, the laughter, stories and memories that he leaves behind with his family.

He has been bestowed these rewards because he cared, he gave, and he loved. He did not seek these rewards.

He received these rewards from many who participated in the life of the man who only sought to be, the best husband, father, brother, neighbor and friend a person can be.

For this, he received in return Love, the greatest of rewards.

Love is not a reward you seek, but one that is bestowed upon you when you give it freely.

This reward provides peace to those it is shared with when someone you love passes on.

Love, and you will receive the greatest of rewards.

Life Report Essay – I am blessed

I received a request from a reporter to write this story.  I want to share it with others.

My Life Report Essay

Some people think it was a tough life for me to grow up number two of 15 children.  As a child I wore hand-me-downs from my older brother and was encouraged to care for my clothes so that my other brothers could wear them. My parents worked hard to make a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread serve all of us at one meal. My mother worked hard with the daily tasks of raising 15 children, while my Dad worked hard at a Union job and numerous handyman jobs to provide for us. I’m happy that I was able to learn about giving, sharing and making the most of a little. I am blessed.

I married young. I know I was in love, despite all of the naysayers who tried to challenge my decision. Family, friends and employers tried to talk me out of it. I married well. By this I mean that I married a beautiful woman who loves me as much as I love her. Like many other married couples, we had to work thru the tough times together. Now, 34 years later there are no tough times. Our love is stronger now then I could ever have imagined. We are happy together, share with no second thought, laugh together, cry together and enjoy our lives together. I am blessed.
I participated in raising 4 beautiful, smart, self sufficient women. My careers did not allow me to be home as much as I wanted to.  But, when I was home I played the role of Dad.  Dad of wisdom (maybe), Dad of guidance (praying for guidance myself), Dad of discipline (never quite knowing what to do), Fun Dad (when I did what my girls wanted to do) and provider Dad (we managed to get by). My wife and I committed prior to marriage to having 4 children early in our marriage. We did this knowing we would sacrifice all of our wants until after the children were thru college. This turned out to be a wise thing for us to do. We raised 4 fantastic friends. We did not miss any wants and have realized that they weren’t real anyway. I am blessed.
I worked hard at every job I have had. I have had eight different employers and dozens of different jobs. I committed to learning as much as I could so that I would be able to do the best and to succeed at every job I had. I have been paid very very well for the jobs that I have had. Because of my work ethic, I have never had an interview, resume, background check or drug test.  I have never been fired, riffed or laid off.  I am blessed.
I discovered a few years ago that there must be a reason for being blessed. This discovery changed my life. I quit my job and started a business where I can give back 50% of my time, energy and knowledge. This includes helping our unemployed friends and neighbors on the difficult task of finding jobs.  I am also writing two books. The balance of my time I use to train and consult in an area of business that I am very passionate and excited to be involved in. I have to make money to pay my bills and to feed my retirement, yet my wife supports my decision to give up a great job to chase a dream. We are happy and doing good, despite the significant reduction of income. I am blessed.
In summary, I live a blessed life and did not really realize it until recently. I have only one regret in my life. I wish I had learned much earlier in life that you can do well at giving back, because I have found that I love giving back. I am blessed

A Great Grandfather’s Gift

In the fall of 1999 my Grandfather laid in his deathbed in a hospital in Frederick, Maryland. I drove up from North Carolina to visit with him knowing that soon he would pass away.

During my visit with Pawpaw he seemed to know about his fate and was accepting of it. We chatted for some time over the few days before his death and he seemed to have few regrets. He never said anything about being afraid of dying. He repeated some stories that he had told me previously about his life.

Now, Pawpaw was hard of hearing and I had to lean down really close to his head as we talked so that he could hear without me talking loud in the hospital. Because he knew I was close to him, he did not talk very loud. He asked me how my job was going and he asked me how my wife was. So I answered his questions and gave him updates on everything that was going on in North Carolina.

I told Pawpaw that my oldest daughter, Jessie, was about to get married. Pawpaw had met Oscar once or twice, but I doubt that he knew that Oscar and Jessie were going to get married, so I told him.

I said to him, “Hey Pawpaw, Jessie and Oscar are going to get married.” I continued with, “They hope to get married sometime early next year.”

He leaned over toward me and said, “That’s great Lee. I’m happy for Jessie.”

Then he got real quiet. He seemed to be thinking for a moment about what I just told him.

Slowly and softly he said, “Hey Lee,” and he paused in mid-sentence as he turned his head slowly to the left and then back to the right to see who else was in the room before he continued on, “I hope she is not getting married for sex.”

He said this to me as if to confirm that this was not the case.

I responded back to him with, “No Pawpaw, I’m sure they are in love.”

“Good, that’s good,” was Pawpaw’s reply. He laid there quiet for a few minutes, and then changed the subject completely.

Now to this day, I wonder, what would Pawpaw’s comment been if I had said they were getting married for sex? I also wonder why this was important for him to ask as he laid on his death bed. I’m sure that it had some relevance to his life as he reminisced over his past 92 years. At that time, it seemed more important to me to let him reflect on the question that he posed, rather than for me to inquire why he asked.

I waited until the spring of 2000 to tell this story to anyone. I shared it with a large group of people, at Jessie’s wedding reception. This story became a wedding gift from Pawpaw to Jessie and Oscar.

Not paper, not wood or metal, just a really interesting story about Pawpaw for Jessie and Oscar. Many years later, they still tear up knowing he cared enouwondered about this.

Rapture or ecstasy

One of my many mantras in life is my reply to the ever so regular salutation, “How are you doing?”

My response is always, (not almost always, but ALWAYS) a subset of the mantra, “I am doing unbelievably fantastic, hovering near ecstasy, and right now it’s not chemically induced.”  Once I am good friends with someone, they get to hear this exact reply directly a few times a year.

This morning, May 22, 2011, the day after what Harold Camping again predicted would be the end of the world, doomsday or rapture, I am pleased to say that I am doing unbelievably fantastic, hovering near ecstasy, and right now it’s not chemically induced.

Sitting on my front porch, listening to the birds singing, a beautiful crystal blue sky overhead and the air crisp and clean.  Reading the Sunday paper, (primarily the sports & comic sections), I wondered about the word rapture.  I kinda know the meaning of it, but thought I did not fully know it’s meaning.  So, I looked up the definition of rapture.

Definitions of rapture (n)

overwhelming happiness: a euphoric transcendent state in which somebody is overwhelmed by happiness or delight and unaware of anything else
mystical transportation: a mystical experience in which somebody believes he or she is transported into the spiritual realm, sometimes applied to the second coming of Jesus Christ, when true believers are expected to rise up to join him in heaven
state of great happiness or enthusiasm: a state of great happiness or enthusiasm about something, or words and gestures that express this
Synonyms: ecstasy, euphoria, bliss, delight, joy, heaven, elation

Wow, I’ve living rapture all my life and didn’t even realize it.  Thanks for pointing this out Harold.  I’m not sure about unaware of anything else or the mystical transportation thing, (more about that later today), but overwhelming happiness, state of great happiness or enthusiasm, yeah, I’m there 24x7x365.

Now, my mantra could be, “I am doing unbelievably fantastic, hovering in rapture, and right now it’s not chemically induced.  Join me please.”


You don’t know Boppy

I found this story in my computer tonight, nearly 4 years old already. I have to post it on the blog before it get’s lost.

I gave this speech in August 2006 at a Toastmasters meeting. It was supposed to be a touching story and apparently it was. Two women in the audience started to cry.

As a father of little babies I sang them little songs, danced with them and fell asleep with my babies lying on my chest. But I never told my working buddies about this.

As a young father I played with my little girls, tea parties, feeding baby dolls, having my hair done up and my toe nails painted. But again, I never told my working buddies about this.

When my girls were born, I stayed home with my wife and newborn baby for a week or so, trying hard to be helpful. But again, I never told my guy friends about this side of Teddy.

For years if I showed any compassion toward anything, or displayed the feminine side of my personality – I would deny it or hide it from my buddies.

You can’t be a rough, tough, beer drinking, cigar smoking, pool-playing guy if you act the slightest bit soft.

Now it may not seem apparent, but I am nearly 50 years old now.

For those of you who don’t know it – I have 4 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 1 Grand Daughter – Amanda.

As I have gotten older I have always strived to stick to this persona – “I am a grumpy old Man, I love being a Grumpy Old Man and I don’t want to be anything but a grumpy old man!” But Now I’m a Grand Dad

For those of you who are not Grand Parents, Quasi Adoptive or Stand In Grand Parents – It’s a different world & it will Change YOU!

I have been changed – I am a different Man now – Let me tell you how.

I will never forget the night my grand daughter was born.

While waiting in the waiting room my wife was upstairs in the delivery room with our daughter and her husband.

Finally after what seemed like forever, my cell phone rang. It was my wife.

She was in the little bathroom next to the delivery room – she was nearly screaming at me – “She’s a Girl, It’s a Girl – She’s beautiful. Too bad you can’t see her.”

When I finally got into the delivery room, I admit I had a tear of excitement rolling down my cheek.

My daughter was holding a little tiny baby blanket with what looked like a little doll in it.

Oscar, my son in law was beaming with pride as he nodded his head with a kind of “Look – look at my daughter” kind of a gesture.

My wife looked like she had been crying with excitement as she wielded the digital camera and cell phone camera around the room.

As I got closer to my daughter I could see better – There she was – Amanda Lee Alonzo – My grand daughter.

Dark brown eyes, lots of black hair and a cute little button nose – just like her daddy’s.

I begged Jessie & Oscar to let me hold her. That was a great moment.

I’m telling you right now – When you become a grand pa – it changes your life.

Today Amanda, or Mandy or Manda Panda Bear as we call her is 3 ½ yrs old. She amazes us daily with more and more cute things.

She loves to dance, sing, paint beautiful art and play with all of the toys my wife kept from when we had little kids at home.

But by far the best thing she has ever done is to name Becky and I – her American grand parents.

We all know of grandfather names like – Grand Pa, PoPop, Gramps, etc.

And grandmother names like Nana, Grandma, MeMaw, Granny, etc.

Amanda has come up with a pair of names that I have never heard of before.

My wife is Bum & I am Boppy.

Since Mandy could utter names like Mommy, Daddy, kitty and dog – she has been calling us Bum & Boppy.

And – I don’t think I would want any other name.

Another neat thing about my grand daughter is PICO.

When Amanda was about 4 or 5 months old her mommy and Daddy taught Mandy to give them a kiss by saying, “Give me a Pico”

Every time Jessie & Oscar brought Mandy over they told her to “Give Bum a Pico hello” or they would say “Give Boppy a Pico hello.”

They did the same thing when leaving “Give Boppy a Pico Goodbye”, “Give Bum a Pico Goodbye.”

I learned quickly to give Mandy a kiss hello or a kiss good by saying “Give Boppy a Pico”

One day I went to work and told my buddies there that I knew a new Spanish word – Pico meant Kiss. One of my Spanish-speaking buddies told me that Kiss in Spanish was really Beso (spell it)

When I got a chance later that day, I called my daughter and asked her how to say Kiss is in Spanish – she said Beso.

I asked her what Pico was – she told me it was a pet word for Kiss that Oscar came up with when Amanda was first born.

Today Mandy is 3 ½ and we still get a Pico hello when she comes over.

Amanda lived with Bum and I for almost a year while her Daddy was out of the country.

Trying to stick to my Grumpy Old Man persona, I stuck to the statement that I would not change diapers.

I have already raised 4 daughters and I was done with the diaper thing.

But – I did just about everything else. I fed her, rocker her to sleep, played dolls with her, sang to her and let her fall asleep on my chest in the recliner.

I felt like a Dad with a baby again. I hated to say good bye to her every morning, and I couldn’t wait to get home at night to see her.

It was great to walk in the door at the end of a crazy day at work and as soon as Mandy heard me come in she would come running to the hall yelling – “Boppy’s Home, Boppys Home.” And I would reach down to her, pick her up and give her a Pico.

Now Amanda and her parents live in their own home.

Amanda knows how to use the cell phone to call Bum & Boppy and we talk to her 4 or 5 times a week.

She calls us and asks us how our day was. We talk about her books her cat and her toys.

I send email to Amanda with funny pictures and jokes that a 4 year old understands.

Folks – Let me repeat – being a Grandpa has changed me significantly.

I am no longer bashful telling anyone that I am a blessed man.

I am proud of my 4 beautiful daughters and my beautiful wife.

I boldly share pictures of my family with anyone who asks, or acts as if they are about to ask.

I’m still a grumpy old man, love being a grumpy old man and will always be a grumpy old man, but now – I’m Amanda’s Boppy – and proud of it.

Now you know Boppy.

My 32nd Anniversary Card to BUM

This is the series of Facebook Postings that I started on April 20, 2010 as an Anniversary Card to my Wife for our 32nd Anniversary. Each night I posted the next day’s posting.

It was a Thursday, a little more than a week away from a big day for me. I sat in my car pondering what I had already fully decided was a good move. Is it? Should I back out and leave town? The internal discussion lasted what seemed like forever, but the guy in the car behind me had only honked his horn once or twice. I knew that I was on a new and exciting path and that it would turn into a life long journey that I could not pass up. Thank you God for bringing this fantastic journey to me.

It was a Friday evening.  A lot was going on, getting ready for a wedding.  I had no idea that there would be so much to do.  My role was relatively simple.  I was the Groom.  If I closed my eyes I could see the hustle and bustle of dozens of people doing what it takes to organize and prepare for a wedding.  In my mind, I just stood in the middle of it all as everyone ran back and forth past me.  Wow, look at all of these people working to put on a celebration for me and my fiancé.  This is going to be a great party.  Celebrating the marriage of a beautiful woman to a very, very lucky boy!

It was a Saturday.  The sky was a beautiful blue with just a few puffy white clouds floating around.  I drove to my fiancés house to pick her up so that we could run a few more errands for the wedding we were going to have.  She came running down the stairs out of the house and as if walking on air she bounced over to my little green car. I just stared out the window at her wondering, Why me?  This is a beautiful woman that I am getting ready to marry.  I knew that I was head over heels in love with her and I could tell that she was equally in love with me.  She got in the car, reached over toward me and pulled me into the hug that I have gotten so used to over the past 32 years. The kind of hug that says, “I love you”  I am so lucky – I still get this hug and look forward to it every day.

It was a Sunday.  Again, another beautiful day.  The boys were playing a game today in the local softball league I was in.  I looked at my watch a dozen times trying to pace myself thru the next few innings.  Maybe we would be done in a few hours and I could head over to my fiancés house for dinner.  It seemed like the pitcher was throwing the slowest pitches ever and each time a player ran around the bases it looked like a slow motion movie scene.  I really liked playing softball with the boys, but I really wanted this game to be over NOW!  I wanted to see my beautiful fiancé and to play rummy royal and drink Tickle Pink with her on the floor of her family room.  Come on guys, strike outs – we need more strike outs.  I have a beautiful woman waiting for me!!!

It was Monday, the week of my wedding and I was heading to work.  I loved my job back then.  Lots to do and always something different.  Tonight I had dinner plans.  I was going to drive downtown and pick up the woman of my dreams and take her out to a fantastic dinner.  But, I knew that I could not afford a big fancy restaurant.  No worries – Just sitting in a McDonalds with a Big Mac, Fries and Coke was all we needed.  We would sit there eating our burger and fries while talking and laughing.  Having my fiancé with me, we could turn any place into a fantastic dining experience.  I love looking into her eyes and listening to her voice as I slobbered all over my food.  I am the luckiest man in the world!  This woman is going to marry me.  Thank you God!

It was a Tuesday – I am still working and wondering how the weekend events would turn out.  I’m not sure I was really doing my job because I seemed to be day dreaming a lot.  I was picturing a beautiful sexy white wedding dress moving down the aisle toward me and the veil over her face sort of hiding just a little longer.  I could picture everyone in the church looking at me as my mouth hung open staring at my bride to be.  This day dreaming seemed to go on forever.  I could hear my fellow employees talking to me, but I had to keep saying, “What – I did not hear you” over and over again.  I had to tell myself “Stop day dreaming Teddy – Get back to work”  It was hard to do – I just kept seeing my fiancé in my mind and hearing myself say – Man, I love this girl!

Wednesday, we call this Hump day because we are now heading down the hill toward the weekend.  Since the upcoming Saturday will be the day I marry my lovely fiancé, it’s an even bigger hill for me. I’m still working, if you can call it that, but I am also thinking about what kind of husband I will become.  Even at the young age of 19 I truly believed in the mantra I have today – “You have to be responsible, but you do not need to be mature”  This is the boy in me that has never, and quite frankly will never get away.  Will my new wife be able to handle this?  I hope so.  Please God, let her be able to handle this immature little boy who has no desire to ever grow up. Flash forward 32 years – Thank you God for giving this loving woman the ability to handle the childishness that I have never and still will never give up.  Flash backwards 32 years again.  She can handle it, I know she can.  I love this woman!

It’s Thursday and my fiancé is off work now.  She is with her mother and sisters doing the stuff that women do before a wedding. I am still working, barely.  I really understand cruise control work now.  I’m doing the work, but it is not recording in my mind.  I spent almost 3 hours on this morning just thinking about the change that was about to occur in my life.  I could feel it in my bones while visualizing it in my mind.  The happiness, love and enjoyment of having a women as sexy and loving as my fiancé turned wife.  The many great goals we have planned to achieve together.  Will we be able to have 4 beautiful babies before we turn 30?  Will we get our Yacht built before we turn 35?  Will we be happy and in constant state of love while working hard at a new life? I believed we could and for this belief I had no fear of making this leap.  Flash forward 32 years.  Yes we have 4 beautiful baby girls who have grown to be 4 beautiful women.  Yes we built our Yacht successfully & YES we are happy together and in a Constant State of  LOVE with each other!

It’s Friday and I am not working today.  I have a task list from my fiancé and mother in law that I have to work on.  Lots of stuff that only a Groom can handle.  OK, maybe it’s lot of stuff that a Groom can possibly handle.  I’m riding around town whistling and singing in my car.  I’m in LOVE and getting MARRIED to the Sexiest, Loving and fun woman a man can ask for!  I love this woman’s voice, as well as everything else about her.  Her smile, the way she giggles, the smell of her hair.  There is a lot more about my fiancé that I love but I best keep some things between us.  Flash forward 32 years.  Man, I am one lucky old guy!  I have the Sexiest Loving and Fun women a man can ask for!  Flash back 32 years again – I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can call my fiancé my wife!  I love this women!

It has been a long week and it is now Saturday April 29, 1978.  Today is where I step onto the highway of a new world.  On this morning I have no time to dawdle, I have to get up and get going because today I am getting married.  Fast forward a few hours – Here I am standing at the altar.  My beautiful wife, Rebecca Lee (Hoewing) Burriss is at my side. Wow, what a feeling.  I am now a husband.  What will all of this mean?  Fast forward 32 years.  It means a lot more than I could ever imagine.  It means that thru all of the hard work and fabulous times of the past 32 years my life partner has been by my side and thru it all there has been 1 constant.  I have been in love with Rebecca and we shared our love with our children and family.  It has been this love and our united belief that God will get us thru any chaos that comes our way that has made the past 32 years so rewarding.  Rebecca – I LOVE YOU because you have been my rock, my chair and the light thru the times of darkness.  I LOVE YOU because you have been my dance partner, lover and the straight guy in my comedy acts.  I LOVE YOU because you have passed on your smile and your love to our daughters.  I LOVE YOU because you are YOU!