Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Outside Looking In

Wrote July 7th and 8th, 2012

I traveled to California July 6th, 2012 to see my mother (Step), knowing this might be the last time that I ever got to see her. How do I call her my mother, very easy. 
     When I was a young, yes, I had a maternal mother but it seems now that as I look back that I was just there for my maternal mom not the other way around. I'm sure there was love excreta,  I was a child and I did not know the difference. As I grew more mature, I knew the feelings but I just did not get that that from my maternal mother. When my parents divorced, I chose to stay with my mother. Still being young I thought it was the right thing to do in my mind. But as the years went by I felt I was more of a convenience than a son. There in my eyes was no love. Long story short, I went to live with my father and step mother. 
     When I moved in, there was something that I had never had before. Loving and caring people. I look back now as unconditional love that I received from my step mother. My step mother had become my mother that I never had. I'm not being hateful just honest.
     My maternal mother (Dixie) passed away July 1st, 2010, two days short of her birthday. I was sad that she passed and I shed some tears, but the thing that really stuck in my mind was that Agnes was the only mother I had now. Agnes had raised me for the most part most of my life but living under the same roof from 16 to who I am now. Fearful was the only way I felt. I knew someday would come when Aggie would no longer be there.
     Wounds that were cut into my soul from Dixie were cured by Agnes. She helped heal most of those wounds. To better help me understand that she had the love that me being a son had always needed, she had it and gave it to me as I were her own.
     Agnes has cancer, the type that spreads like wildfire through the lymph nodes. To see her now, I wish I could have come more often to see her. My step sister Joann said that she felt selfish for moving her out to California. The plan was to come back to Montana in July but being that frail she would not handle it. I told Jo that she should not feel that way. She got to spend it with her mother. Something a mother and daughter should do. Aggie would not have went if she did not want to.  I am happy for both Aggie, Jo and Des. They all got to see that old lady in Cali. I know she had a great time. With the sight seeing and such and Aggie mentioning every plant she seen. 
     I wish I had come out more, but work and money always play a roll. But dammit I made it this time. We talked. We talked about Chris and Erik. We talked about Morgan and Tonja. We talked about my and Tonja's work. But we never talked about the now. what was going on now. But sometimes when she was sleeping I would sit next to the bed and weep because I knew this would be the last time I would see her. I shuddered in my chair and knew that I would miss that unconditional love. And that my step mother WAS my real mother.
     I have thought clear minded and with alcohol on board and the results are always the same. It always led to tears. I will miss her when she is gone. Wanting to hear her laugh, talk about basketball on the radio, her garden and yard, the birds, and everyone that she loved.
     I considered myself lucky that I had the life I did. Two mothers and a father. 
     Agnes passed away July 29, 2010 from her fight with cancer. 
     I hope that when my time comes that I am met on my departure by my Dad and Aggie with the open arms that led to where I am. Comfort and love. I hope as I write this that my step siblings will know that she was my mother as well, even tho not maternal. And that even tho I am an outsider looking in, that you will all consider me a brother.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quit Chewing (Dipping) Not a how to but a personal log

Todays Date: January 7th, 2012
I was looking through iTunes when an app caught my eye. It was an app to quit smoking. It seems that are a bunch of things out there that give smokers the ability to quit but not smokeless tobacco users. It seems funny that with chew which is more addictive that there should be more programs out there than just a few. I looked through the apps and found one that had a web site TobaccoQuitter.com. I went to the website put in my state (Montana) and it came up with the 1-800-QUIT-NOW. I have seen the ads on TV and all around the hospital where I work and as well as the Dr's office. I have decided this is going to be the first step in my life to change me and to try and quit for good. This blog or personal log (POET) will help me and for if you are reading this a personal glimpse into my addiction with tobacco. Quick background for those who do not know me. I have chewed off and on since I was 8 years old. And probably started smoking off and on when I was around 12. Both my parent smoked. My dad quit when I was young, but my maternal mother smoked to the (pardon the pun) dying end. Neither died of cancer. Mother had heart problems and my dad had diabetes.

Time:0730 Called 1 800-Quit-Now and set up a profile. Set up first time with coach to Monday in the morning around 0700. Was given the option to talk to someone now but have to get ready to go to hospital since I am on call. Case at 1000 but will go in early. Might call later when I return. I have to say when I was talking with the person at the other end I took a chew.

Date: 1/8/2012
Will finish my last can of chew today or tomorrow. Told my wife that it will be kept as a reminder of what I left behind. A symbol of what I have been doing for the past 30 plus years. I could not believe I have been doing this for that long. My biggest fears are as follows:
1. My mood. Hopefully I will stay on a narrow line where I am now. Meaning that I will not be BIPOLAR. Happy and sad that is my number one fear.
2. Eating to replace my habit. I am already over weight and plan to loose some weight but with this I hope it does not plunge me into a big weight gain. My aunt Hazel when she quit smoking, always had licorice Nibs laying around the house. I think I will have to find something like that. Gum chewing is a go to thing but I do not see that happening. My jaw gets tired after a while.
3. Stress is a big thing. Like a cig, I will chew when the stress level gets high.
4. Water will have to be my friend so I can flush the nicotine out of my system. 30 plus years of chewing I'm sure there is a bunch of chemicals left in my body. Maybe my body will help itself to the feast and get rid of it I said sarcastically. Soda/Pop will have to slide away to moderated levels. I weigh enough those will kill me. Coffee on the other hand will give me energy. Vitamins will have to help as well.
A short list but a BIG list that will help me out I guess. If you are following this, please feel free to leave comments below.
I was sent through my Gmail account a PDF file of a work book through the Quit Line. It is funny, that even though I read through this, Most of what is listed is in my list up top. ie 1-4. I already have told a couple people wife and boss will have to let a few more people in on the "Event". Today or tomorrow, Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The future of this endeavor will depend on me and me only. I want this to happen.

Wow been almost 2 years since I posted

On this day I took a step to change my life and others around me. So many things happened in the last few months. New job, cancer in friends, family, and co-workers. School, dance, and other for my children. So many things to write but never the time to do so. Lets change that and maybe turn to a new chapter shall we. Remember my song "Turn the Page".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Poems For The Normal Person

For some of you who might know me a tad bit I like to write poetry. If this your first time to hear this I hope you do not look at me in a different light. I am a man that has been given a talent to write his thoughts in verse.
In the days to come I will be adding poems to my own piece of the web. If you like to read poems enjoy, if you would like to leave comments please feel free to do so. I have in the past started to write a book and well as far as that dream comes I might as well publish it on here. If the book does come around I will be the first to know !!!!!
I hope that you all enjoy the fun, love, hate, everyday and stories that the poems will bring you. I will try and keep the typos to a minimum and please again leave comments. Sometimes that will encourage me to write more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Years Passed (November 15th, 2007)

It's funny how days just pass by so quickly and your so involved in what your doing and your thoughts always seem to wander aimlessly in their own direction sometimes. Days fly by, kids grow an inch or two, you find a gray hair or many, you shave your head because you know the inevitable is going to happen, you gain a few you loose a couple and you walk into work with your head held high and then return home with an aching back and legs from getting your ass run to the ground.
I work at one of the local hospitals in town and see people come and go and always even for a short time I wonder about their lives, and I even ask sometimes because there seems to be a resemblance to someone that I once had known. Shooting the bull so to speak trying to lay at ease that they are in the hospital for something that might be minor up to a very serious surgery. We connect for some reason. On that note I will begin: Two years passed.
I find myself looking at patients in somewhat of a different manor. That of my father. Some of the patients that I have encountered over the past two years seems to parallel his health. I seem to glance into their eyes and see my father in their eyes staring back at me. The pain that I'm sure he was going through and knowing that this might be it.
I've kick myself in the ass everyday that he is gone. And wished he was still here. The love for that man that raised me up to the sun. My mind always seems to wind up here. I have not in the past year and a half visited his marker/grave. I promised that I would spread his ashes in my favorite spot and help my step mother with the rest of his ashes. I keep putting it off and I do not know why. Something deep inside of me just pulls me away from those commitments. I'm sure that there is something in my psyco self. I have not really grieved until now and really I think has been to long. I'm rambling err typing.
Two years have passed almost to the day that I walked into the ER, and stared at my father as he laid on the gurney lifeless, two years since I laid my hand on his forehead, two years since my last words to him were "Take care I love you", two years since he called and wanted me to come to the hospital and chat with him and help him walk around the nurses station, two years of my life that have passed by so damned fast that I cannot fathom, two years that we made plans for his funeral, two years that my kids gave a hug and a handshake to their grandfather, two years that I have grown up to be my father. I loved him even in the darkest of days between us.
This day I will grieve and remember him not as a patient but as a man, my father, my hero, my mentor, my friend, hunting partner, fishing buddy, and a friend that i will never come across again.
I love you, you are missed by many, your new daughter-in-law misses you and her father (hopefully you will meet him) and I promise that with in a year there will be a picture or video of the ashes that are scattered. Then you will be free to roam and sore with the black birds that pissed you off so much.
You are missed ........

Leland F. Sharpe

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kermit the Frog

Ahh yes Kermit the Frog. So many things are going through your mind right now. I'll clue you in.

Many years ago in the early 80's there was "The Muppet Show". I was an avid watcher. I would singing along with the tunes and laugh at all the jokes that were being said and done in the background. I had started down a road of an unusual thing. I started imitating the voices of many of the characters on the show. But one of my best impressions, is that of Kermit the Frog. I would break it out once in a while to amuse little ones that were around but that was it. Later in life I broke the voice out for my 2 boys and found another thing that I could imitate..... Elmo.

A full grown man that could do the Elmo voice was not really what people expected from me. We had purchased a Tickle Me Elmo figure for one of the boys and I could do an almost dead on imitation of him giggling and laughing with the high pitched voice. Yeah that's me.

More that a few times I would talk to people on the phone in the Kermit voice and do Elmo every now and then but didn't really have any use for it. Then the time came.....

I'm hooked on karaoke. I like to sing (not very well mind you) but it is a good stress release for me. A few beers and in my own mind I'm the greatest. Like we all think. We have fun and that's the point.

One night after a few too many I decided to sing "Puff the Magic Dragon" I started to sing it in my normal voice but a few lines into it I switched my voice to Kermit. The bar went dead silent as I sang. I had never experienced that before. People were listening to me sing. Ohh my god. I changed back to my normal voice and finished the song. If people were not already standing they stood up and well lets say I was embarrassed to say the least. I quickly sat down.

From then on I was known as Kermit around the small town I lived near. When I would go to the bar to sing there were more than a few people that would ask me to sing Puff the Magic Dragon and I would sing it and have fun with it. But the song that I knew that the D.J. had to get was Rainbow Connection. I would ask him to try and get it and he looked and looked, then the night came that he announced that he had a special treat. He called my name and I walked up and he started playing the song, my jaw dropped, but of course out came Kermit. I was on cloud nine. I finished and I think there might have been a tear in my eye. So from that day forward that was my song.

We went to another bar just down the road from us and they were having karaoke that night and low and behold they had Rainbow Connection. The D.J. there was an actual radio personality that I had listened to off and on. When I came up to sing it he was laughing because I had been the only one ever to request it. As I sang it the people in the bar would turn around and look and get a better view of who was singing. Yup it was me. On occasions at that particular bar they had a cafe off to the side and I would walk over to the cafe and see if there were any children. If there was I would walk up to the table and ask if the kids had heard of Kermit the Frog. If they said yes I would have the D.J. play it for me then I would sing it for the kids. As i looked into the cafe I would see the kids be surprised, light up at the familiar voice, and laugh as they heard Kermit. And the parents would then Begin to tell them that they knew who Kermit was. It was nice to give everyone a smile, and It still is.

On one occasion in the ER when I worked there I had to assist with a little one of about 2 years old. He had to get stitches and was really not being very cooperative. As I held the poor little guy down I started in on the Kermit voice and talking with the child, it was like hitting a light switch. He stopped crying and looked at me and smiled. The doctor had to stop because he started to laugh and the mother was shocked, but it all worked out.

Well in the near future I will post a sound clip for all to hear of one of the performances that was recorded. And remember kids....... "Some day we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers the dreamers and me..."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

R.I.P. Don McGuffin

Don McGuffin was taken yesterday to the world of beyond. May he sore with the eagles and walk again with angels and crochet with his mother again.
You see Don was married to my sister for a long time. 29 years of marriage would have come this year. Don lived life and experienced many things. And one thing we had in common was Janet.
Don was a welder, a mechanic, truck driver, heavy equipment operator and many other things. He liked to tinker and just be there in the mix. I didn't know Don as well as I should because of the distance that they lived but when we were together there was never a dull moment.
The reason that I'm this is that I am frustrated with the government system and the way that they have treated some of the veterans of conflicts and wars gone by.
Don served his country in Korea during the Vietnam war. He put in his time so to speak as well as so many others. But it seems that Don and so many others have slipped by never get all the help that they deserve. Don suffered from Parkinson's disease, nerve damage, and other undiagnosed things that were slowly taking him away. The red tape and the hoops that they had to endure was too great for the challenge of this man. Help came too late. They filled out paper work, more paper work, Don had tests (medical), paper work there, driving to and from this place and that place. More paper work. He even had a device in his brain that was placed to help with his Parkinson's. But it was to late.
There seems to be alot of this going on. Some are getting the help, and some that the help comes too late. I can see in Don's case that most of it came along later in life and was rapidly taking over his body. But that is no reason. The vets have served their country and the government has been slow to respond. The men and women that are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan are they going to get the help they need later on in life or is the government going to be as slow for them as they were for Don ?
My dad refused to see anybody from the VA because he knew that it would be forever for something to be done. He has seen it in so many of his friends that he served with that have not really got all of the care that they deserve. Am I ranting, you be your sweet bippie.
I think the VA and the government need to take a long look at the men and women that have served this country in the past and get in touch with them and ask them. I'm sure that the answer would be similar to mine. That there needs to be a BIG change on how they are treated medically. There are so many program for the veterans out there that have helped with getting houses, jobs, loans, help with other things that they need, but medical is far at the bottom of the list. Health comes first I would think then the rest of it needs to fall into place.
Don will be missed by many MANY people. Friends from the race tracks where they worked and lived, the mine that he worked at, and many of the other lives that he crossed. He is a fallen Hero that the government let slip by.