ODE to Dad – He Always Had a Patient and Empathetic Ease in Connecting With His Children

Ode to dad. My dad always took the time to spend with each and every one of his kids, in a very special and unbiased way. As I sit here reminiscing about our conversations, plenty of jokes come to mind. Followed by internal giggles and sometimes crying spells is what would happen to me when my dad was in an extra comedic mood.

I remember, all too well, the many times and the hours that I spent talking to my dad on the phone; as if he was sitting across the room from me, in a lounge chair, within eyesight. I would spare no expense to call him, whether state to state or internationally, In later times, I did take note, that dad got tired a lot quicker, than he used to, and that dad was not participating as much in normal everyday activities and networking anymore with friends or family members,as he had in his earlier days, when he was active and feeling energetic and well rested.

I would try to think of an easier time, before my father retired, our long drives discovering new places, roads, and restaurants, sometimes in strange or new cities, that neither one of us had ever been to before. The novelty and the excitement, in these events, was like a rush of adrenaline before a marathon race. Looking at dad’s face light-up is one of the things that I miss the most. My dad was a very gregarious and expressive speaker and could be just as easily engaged, because he was also a great listener.

Almost six years ago, dad went home to be with the Lord;I thank God for the time that dad was my dad; Dad was a gift from Heaven, as far as I’m concerned! “Thank you dad,” with love!

Everyday for me is a day to respect and remember my father: Everyday, in my mind, there are subtle,though constant reminders, of my dad, and of course, of our Father’s Day celebrations. Father’s Day, and my dad will always be like a reminiscent beat in my heart that gives me comfort and strength. “Until I go home to the Lord, to see you too dad, this is not good-bye, it’s see you when God is ready for me, because as you know, I am headstrong and full of words and energy!”

Remember your Heavenly Father on Father’s Day; know that you are not alone, there is the Father Abba, in Heaven who truly loves you. “Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there, show your fathers how truly special they are to you!

Iran Nuclear Deal Falls On Its Arse – Yes, That Was Predicted

The timing of politics and world events is often too canny for me. Here we are in the middle of a Presidential Election 2016, less than 100-days away. President Obama is standing on his record and claiming a robust legacy, achievements. Amongst other things, the economy, ObamaCare and the Iranian Nuclear Deal – and while wallowing in this stated success; President Obama says; vote for Hillary and she will continue our work – chanting 4-more years. Okay but, the main points of the Obama Administration appear to be falling apart. Let’s take the one about the Iran Nuke Deal.

You see, The New York Times had an interesting article on August 1, 2016 titled; “Iran’s Top Leader Distances Himself from Nuclear Pact, Which He Once Supported,” by Rick Gladstone. The article stated:

“Iran’s top leader distanced himself on Monday from the nuclear agreement reached with major powers a year ago, accusing the United States of failing to honor pledges in the accord and citing ‘the futility of negotiations with the Americans.’ In blunt remarks prominently featured in Iran’s state news media, the senior leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the talks that led to the nuclear agreement in July 2015 should be regarded as an instructive lesson on the dangers posed by interactions with governments he regards as enemies. The Ayatollah has the final word on Iran’s national security and other vital issues, did not suggest that he wanted to abandon the agreement, which took effect in January and sharply limited Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of many Western economic sanctions.”

What happened Obama? What a complete farce and the Obama Administration lists the Nuclear Agreement w/Iran and ObamaCare as their two top achievements – along with the economy which had the worst economic recovery since 1949. All is not quite as pretty as the Democrats would have us believe, none of their policies have resulted in positive outcomes, and now they want 4-more years of leadership – and have anointed Hillary Clinton as Queen Bee? Well, I am not so sure that is a prudent choice in hindsight of the last eight years.

The worst thing about all this – is that once Iran has a nuclear weapon – we automatically enter the age of “nuclear terrorism”. You see, even if the terrorists don’t have a nuke, the chance that they might allows them to use that fear to propel their agenda and since Iran is known to sponsor terrorist groups – Houston – we now have a problem and the solution isn’t four more years of attempting to “win hearts and minds” and engage is fakery and hollow nuclear agreements with anyone.

Dads and the Dreaded Baby Blues

I am a mother of four beautiful children. Don’t get me wrong, before the birth of our daughter people would wish my husband well, or extend the occasional congratulations. All in all though, most people that have experienced the joy of childbirth know, it’s about the baby and the mother.

Babies, cute little round balls of kissable deliciousness. No one can resist a tiny little copy of two people. No one can wait for their arrival. No sooner than your partner announcing her pregnancy, the countdown begins. 40 weeks of preparing, being nervous, plans, and redecorating, all in the name of your unborn child. You will do many things during this period you never imagined. You have this realization pretty early on in the pregnancy, as you watch that once beautiful woman, leaning over the toilet, throwing up this morning’s breakfast, and hair all caked to her face, you’re in this together. She needs you. You become her runner. Out at 3 am to buy her that gallon of chocolate milk she can’t live without. You become her piece of reassurance. She counts on you to tell her she’s beautiful when her ankles look like bowling balls. You two become closer than ever.

You go with her to that first doctor’s visit. It all becomes real when you see that fluttering heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. That little peanut will grow into your son or daughter. At this point you’re so excited you can’t contain yourself or you’re scared to death. After a few months pass and you get a bit more nervous, the days get shorter. If your partner is being induced the longest night of your life is the night before you have to take her to the hospital.

Eventually that day will arrive. Your little bundle arrives. Adrenaline kicks in, because you’ve watched your partner endure an insane amount of pain. More pain than you’ve probably ever watched another human being go through. You weren’t expecting this. You’ve watched t.v. shows and read tons of articles. Childbirth wasn’t the beautiful experience for either of you. T.v. lied! It was gory, gooey, and stinky. You look down at what’s supposed to be your beautiful baby. It has a cone shaped head, it’s pink, bald, and it cries, a lot.

Despite all the emotions, and your not so pretty baby, you’re dad and you’re going to be a rock star. Those first few days are a blur. You and your partner are sleep deprived. You’re still in the hospital though. If she’s not breastfeeding, sending baby to the nursery isn’t the end of the world. You’re paying these people to help you. Take full advantage. You and your partner can both benefit from the rest. All the real fun begins when you strap that baby into its tiny car seat and head home. At this point mom might be a bit emotional. Encourage her, she needs it. Reassure her by letting her know she isn’t nuts and that everything will be normal soon enough.

Now, about you. When you arrive home you’ll finally have a few minutes to think. It might be on the toilet, maybe when you’re grabbing a turkey sandwich, or maybe when you’re fueling your vehicle. It’s going to hit you. All those emotions you’ve put aside, being strong for everyone else. These emotions don’t just hit those who’ve watched vaginal birth, they can hit anyone who’s added a child to their family. Yes, this means adoptive parents as well. You’re going to realize you didn’t leave this experience unscathed. Some dads float through the experience with little emotion. So if you aren’t super emotional don’t feel like there’s something wrong with you. If you are emotional, like my husband, who was a hard ass before witnessing the birth of our daughter, that’s OK too. I guess as mom I didn’t really consider his emotional well being. I didn’t realize one night a week later he would break down. Watching that 6 foot 4 inch giant man cry was by far one of the toughest things I’ve ever watched. I took that opportunity to have “the talk”with him. It’s OK for dads to get emotional. They, just like mom’s, get built up for a huge event. That event ends for them also. Unlike mom though, they don’t get to look forward to things like being able to fit into their old clothes. Dads don’t always have to be the strong one. Sometimes they just need a moment to reflect. While they didn’t feel the pain, they had to watch their best friend go through it. Guys tend to take over painful tasks so their partners don’t have to do them. This is one thing he couldn’t do for you. Dads are also worrisome creatures. They worry about money, why is baby crying, why is her poop green, and many other issues. Dad, take time for you. I know this might sound impossible, but even if it’s just a shower or a bathroom break. You must recharge in order to allow your partner to also recharge.

If your emotions are getting the best of you for longer than a few weeks or if you have thoughts of harming your partner or the baby, speak to a professional. Just remember it’s OK for dads to feel emotional too after the baby is born. Don’t feel ashamed about talking it over with your partner. Sometimes they are the best person to help you feel normal again. Before you know it you’ll look back at this experience and try and remember life before baby. For now though, take care of yourself.