Happy Thanksdoing

When I was little there was a boy who lived up the road and along the next one from me, four or five years older than I was. I don’t remember getting directly bullied by him, but I do remember giving him a very wide berth and thinking he was a bad tempered bastard. We never really had any connection beyond his sister being in my class.
About twenty years ago though, I learned he had died of a brain tumor when he was 26. My feeling then was that he probably deserved some kind of karmic payback, but that karma over delivered by quite a large margin.
As small as our connection was, I do think about him once in a while. Now I’m just appalled by the randomness of it all. It’s one thing being elderly and dying of a brain tumor, but 26 it’s just freakish.
Of Jennifer’s and my parents, my father was the healthiest and most active. He was racing go-karts very competitvely at 62 years old. As in 3rd in the nationals in his division. I would have bet serious money that he would have been last man standing. He died last year at 65. A bit unlucky is all.
Or maybe he was lucky. He met Mum on a blind date and they were married for 45 years.
I get email once in a while from someone Jennifer and I very affectionately call “Church Lady”. Church Lady had a wonderful vibrant marriage to a great guy. House, kids, the whole deal. When she talks about him I can feel the same vibe between them as Jennifer and I have between us. She taught marriage classes in her church and was generally the go to girl for advice. Coming home from a business trip though, there was a car accident, and he died.
A few years later she remarried. It’s been a disaster and if even half of what she tells me is true, she needs to leave and leave now. I am willing to put the effort in to helping anyone save their marriage, but with her I have pretty much begged her to divorce him from the get go. But she won’t because of her religious beliefs about divorce and the social shunning that will occur in her church. She no longer teaches marriage classes.
So some wonderful luck and some terrible luck.
I know a guy who was a wonderfully nice guy, but just a little socially awkward. I’m not sure he had a serious girlfriend in his life before meeting the girl who became his wife. But then she was gone with breast cancer within two years of the wedding. Just appallingly bad luck.
I worked with a girl for a few years, one of those rare girls that somehow managed to be a party chick, but still have a genuinely warm personality and charm. Driving to work in the morning at 5am she stopped at a red light and was hit from behind at over 60 mph by a drunk driver. She spent two days in the ICU at St. Mary’s and died in a panic stricken anguish at age 25.
My life primarily involves eating nice food, living in a nice house, spending time with my kids and living with a wonderful woman who loves having sex with me. For sure I’ve put some effort in, but it’s really not bad at all as an outcome.
Jennifer and I have had two brushes with breast cancer scares. We’re 2 for 3 on successful pregnancies. We’ve come close to losing our house twice. These are in retrospect, merely stressful near misses compared to what has happened to others.
I get to teach what I do about marriage, because of Jennifer. I am profoundly grateful for her allowing what she does of her life be discussed on the blog.
So anyway…

I hope that at age 41 I’m somewhere around the halfway point in my life. I’ve been very lucky about a great many things, I’m very grateful for it, and I would like that to continue…

… I also wish the same good outcomes for you. Though I cannot really offer true spiritual comfort for when bad things happen to good people. I’m limited to things such as making suggestions like keeping the medicine in the downstairs bathroom so you can get to it faster…   (time 5:55 – 9:58)

…my truly sincere apologies if my advice came too late to stop the bad things happening for you. I did take too long to really start writing.

Thanksgiving is usually when people talk about how they are thankful. I would like to think of myself as finally starting to act thankful.


  1. God Bless you Athol. I know you don't beleive in Big Guy anymore, but God Bless you all the same.


    A guy you've helped anonymously more than once.

  2. These posts are always good.

    Unrelated, but if you didn't know assanova opened another blog: realmademen dot com

  3. "Thanksgiving is usually when people talk about how they are thankful. I would like to think of myself as finally starting to act thankful."

    As a big fan of both gratitude as well as action over discussion, I gotta say that combining them is a great idea. Strong words indeed, cheers.

  4. You give great advice and I'm sure you have helped many people. Putting yourself out in the public in this way is risky, but no guts-no glory. Very touching anecdotes. May you and Jennifer and your family enjoy long, happy and healthy years together.

  5. Man, that was hard to watch. My Dad died in my arms of a massive cornary when I was fifteen, there was nothing I could do… I find I'm still not over it.

  6. Mike – I helped both my parents die – you never get over it I think.. Take comfort from knowing you did your best and he did not die alone. Live a good life to honour him. Find a positive outcome – such as motivating others to take care of their heart health.

    Athol – you can only do your best. You would have always been too late for some. Please try to focus on all the good you can do and banish all those negative thoughts.

    hugs Candice

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