Goodbye old friend



You introduced yourself as a friend, there to listen whenever I was alone and depressed. I would spend time with you every now and then, it seemed to help me cope with life for a time. As time went on, you started coming around more often. I liked it because you always listened. As my life turned south and my stress levels began to rise, you were just a quick phone call away.

You began to show up at my home every day and soon you were everywhere I looked. I couldn’t go anywhere that you weren’t there. Night or day, I found you to be a constant friend. Even when my life turned better and I didn’t need your company, you refused to leave. Every morning, I promised myself I was going to ask you to leave. By the time work was over I had changed my mind and there you were, waiting for my when I got home. Well, truth be told, most times you needed a ride so I would stop to pick you up.

The nights I made dinner for my family I skipped eating to hang out with you. Most times we would sing and dance in the kitchen. Many times, the boys would laugh and make fun of us and my wife would just look disappointed. Remember that time we tried to ride the skateboard together; the boys found it funny, but my back is still not right after we fell off backwards onto the driveway. Yes, we laughed together but that was more you than me.

Remember the time we hung out early in the morning before we were supposed to take the dogs to the vet’s office; yeah, I was stupid for listening to you and believing I was in any condition to drive, let alone try to control both dogs. We shared many nights together. Because of our friendship I’ve neglected spending time with my wife and kids.

Do you realize you are the reason my daughter moved out at 17 years old? Did you know our hanging out has made me unable to be a father to my kids? Have you ever considered why my 14-year-old son has a problem with pot? Yeah, it’s you! Hanging out with you has kept me from realizing it has gotten so out of hand that he’s been expelled from school for selling pot AT school?

Just so you know, something has got to change. Our friendship has become toxic. You always wanting to hang out is costing me my health, my family, and could possibly cost me my job unless I change my ways. So, let me break the news to you as eloquently as I can so that you will clearly understand my intent. You may have noticed I haven’t wanted to hangout in over 2 months, 60 days today to be exact.

At first, I really missed you and wanted to hangout, but I had no way of getting in contact with you. This was very scary, I felt alone, like you do when a relationship comes to an end. But, some very kind and loving people, my wife included, took care of me and offered me the help I needed to deal with my separation anxiety. As the days have ticked by, I haven’t missed you quite as much as I expected. Strange thing is, I’ve enjoyed spending time alone without you. I had forgotten how much I could like myself and as with the breakup of a relationship, there are random moments when I think about you, but I don’t miss you anymore.

So, this is farewell. Our friendship is over. I won’t be taking your calls anymore. I won’t be answering your text’s and I’ve blocked your emails. My house is a place where you are no longer welcome. So, in the clearest way I can say it and I hope you hear me loud and clear; Get the Hell out of my life. I don’t want you here no more, you’re not welcome anymore. I have too much to live for and I’m not going to let you ruin my chance for health, happiness, and the love from my wife, my kids, my grandkids, my friends and anyone who cares about me and those I love and care about.

So, this is it….


Get the Hell out and Stay out!!

While sitting on the side of the road…

As I write this, I am stranded on the side of the highway with a blown engine. It’s 2:00 AM, and my wife and 2 teenage sons are sleeping the best they can. What a way to spend spring break. 
We started this trip on Thursday evening, it’s now Saturday early morning, and about 1.5 hours into our trip, the alternator went out and we had to find a room, then a shop early Friday morning to replace it. $80 for the room and $370 to fix the truck. So we were back on the road by 9:30 AM Friday morning and all was going well until we were driving through the mountains of West Virginia when the engine started knocking. I checked the oil, it was a bit low, so added a few quarts and on we went. Trying to get to Myrtle Beach by check in time. It was driving ok, still knocking, when just south of Ashbero NC a big ole plume of smoke started rolling out from under the car, and then it literally died.
Of course I have roadside assistance, so I called for a tow back to another hotel. Long story short, no tow company was willing to come pick up the 4 of us and the truck unless I could pay them $400 cash up front?!? Yeah, like I have an ATM in my truck, and who carries that much cash anymore? Really, Mr Tow Guy, you don’t accept credit or debit cards? Sounds like a big scam to me. The other option was a tow company who could take 2 people and the truck, leaving 2 of us on the side of the road at midnight to find a cab or walk the 21 miles back to the hotel. So we look for a cab company and the only one in the town went out of business. The only option roadside assistance could find for a ride for the 4 of us was a personal limo company from a town 1 hour away at $94 per hour, minimum of 4 hours, for a trip that would take them 2.5 hours?!? 
So, here we all sit. Waiting until 9:00 AM for the rental car company to open and hope they live up their motto of picking you up. I hope that includes on the side of the road!!!
This has been a vacation from hell, but all be damned if I don’t get them all to the Beach front hotel in Myrtle Beach, even if it’s only for 1 day. As for the truck, don’t really know what to do about getting it fixed, leaving it on the side of the road for whomever wants it, or trying to find a way to tow it back the 900 miles home. A new engine will cost $1000+, only paid $3000 for the entire truck. Maybe cut my losses and leave it….
We’ll see what happens next.
So, after a night on the side of the highway, I called to reserve a rental car when they opened at 9:00 AM. All good… Just needed to request a pickup. After calling for nearly 1 hour and getting no answer, I decided to try and start the truck. To my surprise it actually started so we all jumped in and drove up the exit ramp, still running, turned right started driving down the road. Mind you, the engine is knocking louder than an 80’s rap band, but we make it to the next street and then right heading back to town. We make it about 1 mile and it dies again, nothing..Won’t move. Called the rental car place and still no answer. 
The wife tries starting it and woohoo it turns over. Repeat this process 3x until it just won’t go any further. 
Calling, calling, calling and no answer at the rental car company, wife is freaking out thinking we’re going to spend another day/night stranded. 
Along come a couple of locals, to say they were anything but real locals I’d have to spend the next few paragraphs describing them. They asked what was wring, I told them and they said they were on their way to the local dump. As soon as I mentioned I had $20 for anyone to give me a ride into town, they changed their plans and offered me a ride. Without hesitation I accepted and grabbed my phone, the cash and went to climb in.

The door panels were spray painted pink, the entire dash was duct-taped and spray painted blue. I couldn’t make this up if I tried, but off we went. As he merged into the highway, he said “I haven’t taken this truck on the highway in years”, and by the way it was shaking, I had no reason to doubt him. After a bit of a ride, the older brother said to the younger brother who was driving, “take exit 64, it’s quicker”, so off the highway we went. At the top of the ramp, the truck sputtered and stalled. He says ” I think we’re outta gas”, as he’s trying to restart the truck. 

Heaven or Something else?

The odd neighbor dies and the priest tells everyone at the funeral he is now in heaven. The old school teacher in the retirement home passed away in her sleep and the minister comforts the family telling them they will see her again someday in heaven, so they go on their way comforted.
Almost every religion or culture speaks of somewhere people go after they die. These places are called many different things and are described different but they all have one thing in common, you only get there by dying. Are these places real and are they different places or the same?  
In my recent Psych 600 class, this topic came up for discussion, centered on the main question, is there something else or nothing after death. One question arose asking “is the belief in the afterlife merely a humanistic attempt to make sense out of our existence?” I can see the reasoning behind the question. If there is nothing beyond death, then why are we here and what is the reason for our mortal existence? The flip side is that IF there is something beyond death then our mortal existence can have meaning and our actions can affect what happens to us when we die.
So I pose this question to you in hope you can put forth a worthy argument for or against the afterlife, is there more beyond our daily struggle to survive? Is there a reason you were born, other than to live out your days and die and then that’s it?

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