Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Dear JJ,

Today is Memorial Day - the last Monday in May, when we honor those who died in the service of their country. Some of us choose to remember those who have died and who served - like my brother - the person you are named after.

Jimmy served in the US Navy - and there was a period of time when his battleship the USS Henderson went into silence. He never talked about what happened - but after Jimmy died we discovered he had three metals for his service.

More important than military service was the type of person he was: he loved kids (and had he lived to know you he would have spent hours playing with you) - he loved dogs (the photo is of him with Chili ) and when he died, at age 55 -- at his Memorial Service there were so many people who knew him from high school (the Memorial Service was in Oregon, he went to high school in Alaska). Jimmy had a smile, he would lend a hand to any, and if you felt bad Jimmy always had a way of making you feel good.

Jimmy and your uncle Ron were best friends - they grew up together-- I came along six years after Jimmy. But Jimmy had a way of making everyone feel like they were his best friend.

So, son - I wanted you to know something about the man you are named after. Know this- there are a lot of people who want to meet you - who love you already (besides your mom and I).

While I don't want to discount Memorial Day - and those who gave their lives serving - what I have learned is this: it isn't how you die that makes a mark on this world - it is how you live. It doesn't matter how much you make-- your riches are your friends. And at the most inconvenient time for you to help someone - is often the time they need it the most, and will remember it the most.


Monday, May 24, 2010

This will be JJ

It was that good

Dear JJ,

Yesterday was your dad's 53rd birthday. Your mom and I flew to Oregon where my mom made me dinner.

My mom, your grandmother, is a great cook - and yesterday I remembered how great a cook she was.

While her vision isn't what it use to be, she was the usual mistress of the kitchen and made a wonderful dinner of pork roast, asparagus, roasted potatoes --- and gravy.

Mom made some great gravy and as she was pouring it into the gravy bowl she spilled a bit. I got a napkin to wipe it up and she said, "no, its too good." She used a rubber spatula and put the gravy into the bowl. Mom's counter tops are clean- I mean, clean. But I was a bit squeemish.

We sat down- blessed the meal - and the gravy was amazing. Your grandmother's gravy is so good, if it had fallen onto the floor I would have used a squeegee to gather it up and eat it.

So, son -- I look forward to you meeting your grandmother-- and you should look forward to her gravy. Oh, and your granddad -- well, your mom says I have the same sense of humor (which will no doubt be passed on to you). Yup-- you've got some pretty neat grandparents



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Crib

"Who me?
Oh nooooo.... someone else assembled it...
I can sutcher a colon but I draw the line at cribs."

(Me overhearing Terry on the phone... lol)

He makes me laugh everyday... and our crib is assembled!

Thank you Papa Bear!

xoxo apey

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The important things

Dear JJ,

So your mom and I went to a store called "Babies R Us." We were looking for a crib, that will someday be your bed. We also looked at everything else in there-- and then I came across gliders.

Gliders are like rocking chairs, but can go back a bit. So I sat in them, and tried a number of them out. The one I liked was comfortable and yet it was the ugliest of them all.

But here is the thing- when you wake up at night- well - I will put you on my shoulder, and rock you to sleep - and maybe me too. So ugly doesn't count when comfort is involved.

It is like a lot of things. I had kind of a bad week- and some work things were on my mind a lot. But when I came home and your mom showed me her belly with you wiggling all over-- well, it made me smile.

Life is like that -- might be ugly, but with some love and the perspective it can be comfortable.

Perspective- and son, you have given me the best perspective of all.



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bet on the Ponies

Dear JJ,

There are a lot of people who are anxious to meet you- but one you haven't heard about yet. Scott- my good friend for 30 years - and you will know him as your uncle.

Today I think of him because of the Kentucky Derby, and Scott loves horses - just like his dad loved horses.

Scott and I met at The University of Chicago as undergraduates - we became good friends almost right away. He is kind, compassionate, sweet, honestm, intelligent, loyal - and will fall in love with you right away.

So today - the day of the Derby - I think about Scott-- and how in a few years you will be sitting by him as he teaches you to bet on the ponies.

Yup son, you have a lot of people in this world who love you already.