Invictus

I carry around a copy of this poem in my wallet. It has helped me over the past 4 years, when I have needed to hang on. The title is Latin for “Unconquerable”

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Ernest Henley

Martini Night in America

Thursday night in my world is called “Martini Night in America”, I figure if NBC can have Sunday night as “Football Night in America” and Canada can call Saturday night, “Hockey Night in Canada”. Thursday night is Martini night for me.

The first Martini Night in America was in 2007, shortly after Frankie was born. We had some issues with delivery (see prior post #5) and complications along the way. I promised myself while feeling so helpless that if my wife and child made it out of this and were happy and healthy, I would pause for a moment and give thanks to all who helped make this possible. On February 3rd, 2007 after everyone went to bed, I put on some quiet music and I have raised my glass and gave thanks.

After that night, I always set aside Thursday night for one martini. It’s marks the start of the weekend. Nothing really good is on television anymore. I can be found reading a book, writing in my journal, listening music. One martini is all I have, sometimes with a blue cheese olive or with a twist. Gin or Vodka. Always stirred, not shaken (I don’t like to water down the booze). 

The music aka the soundtrack has always been important to me. Can’t go wrong with the music of The Rat Pack. I do try and find something different every week to listen to. Sometimes it’s mellow jazz (Miles, Dave Brubek, Monk) or other times I go Big Band ( Glenn Miller, Brian Setzer). Lately because I’ve been into watching James Bond movies with my son, I have been listening to James Bond theme songs. Whatever it is, music helps set the mood.

As with the Celebration of the Single Guy, Martini Night in America is about celebrating life, not wallowing because your life has not worked out the way you want due to money issues or not getting the girl. It’s about allowing yourself to smile for a little while even though life kicks your tail sometimes. The Martini is really only an accessory.

Celebrate Life

 

I would rather have a dump truck

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I was almost 4 years old when my sister was born. The story goes that someone asked if i wanted a little brother or a little sister, my response was “I would rather have a dump truck”. I got a baby sister before I got a dump truck ( which I eventually did get for my birthday a couple of months later).

My sister and her husband are my best friends in the world. Their friendship,love  and support over the past few years has been one of the great miracles of my life.

I talk about my sister and how she came to sit with me on my day of days. My brother in law called me that day. I’ve spent many a late night staying up with him talking about my life. He’s listened and given good advice. He’s more then just a brother in law, he’s a brother.

When I was living with friends in a place that was not real conducive for kids to be around, they opened up their doors of their home to Frankie and I on weekends when he would come to stay with me. Spending those weekends, was not only good for Frankie, because he got to be with his cousins. It was good for me because I learned how to interact with Frankie and picked up some really good parenting skills from them.

Even though my brother in law is allergic to dogs, they rescued and rehabilitated Margarita and gave her a home for two and a half years.  A debt which I’ll never be able to repay.

They shared their home, their kids, their food, their friends with us. They helped make us a family. What do you say about two people like that? People that give of themselves like that? You say thank you.