My Facebook Thoughts

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Rollercoaster Decade

I have been enjoying family these past few weeks. I know many of you prayed when my father-in-law went missing. Those prayers and actions by many helped bring him home safely. To all of you I say thank you from the bottom, top and sides of my heart. He was home for Christmas and we couldn't have asked for a better gift.

I was talking to a co-worker today about just how fast this first decade of the new millennium has gone by. To me it has been a super fast ride. The highs have been awe inspiring and the lows have been gut wrenching. In the end it has all leveled out.

Ten years ago my wife was pregnant with triplets. After many years of trying were blessed times three. We decided to pick out their names well ahead of time;

  • Aubry Mary Rose
  • Jillian Theresa Frances
  • Kristen Angela Dorothy

  • Ten years ago I was working in downtown Chicago on Michigan Ave. making more money then I thought I would ever make and working with the best people I had ever met.

    The new millennium was starting and it seemed like the whole world was getting a fresh new canvas to start making a painting for life. All our dreams were coming true and we were on top of the world.

    Funny thing about being on top of the world, it's a long way down.

    Shortly into the new millennium my wife and I lost the triplets. I also almost lost my wife too. We felt a crushing pain like none I would wish on my worst enemy. Our faith in God truly helped pull us through that dark time. Once again friends and family were there to help us as well.

    Then the whole world changed on 9/11. The U.S. was given a new enemy to fight. I don't think anybody at that point in time would have imagined that nine years later we'd still be looking for and fighting to wipe out that evil stench. Today, we still have no idea when that toilet of human evil will finally be flushed.

    Not long after 9/11 I lost that great job downtown. I knew it was going to happen. Corporations don't need big reasons for cutting jobs. 9/11 was just too big to overcome and many great workers were forced to seek new adventures of employment.

    The saying that when God closes a door, he always opens a window couldn't be truer for the rest of the decade for us.

    When we lost the triplets we decided and were comfortable with the idea of adoption. Donna's parents had adopted three awesome children via foster care so we knew we could do it too. We did all the things you needed to do. And in September of 2002 we had a foster child for 10 days. She was reunited with her father and we hope and pray she is still doing well.

    Almost a year to the day we got our second foster child. A 3 month old infant named Jimmy. His presence has lifted, not only ours but every body he meets, hearts to a new level. For all the pain we felt by losing the triplets, we feel the joy in having Jimmy. He was adopted as quickly as a red taped process would allow, which is a miracle in itself. His life and ours was changed forever.

    When many people were losing jobs involuntarily, my brother-in-law decided to quit his and start a private medical practice. At the time he asked me if I could build him a website for his new practice. Having never done so before, I of course said, "Yes". And Ploch Designs was born along with the precursor to Vista Family Medicine. Both of us are doing pretty well eight years later. I thank him for giving me all the opportunities he has over the years.

    I've had to say good-bye to many great friends and family this past decade. My heart is a peace for my loved ones as I know they are in a much better place. I do miss all of them.

    So here we are. On the doorstep of yet another new decade. If history has taught us anything we know that the next ten years will have its share of ups and downs. And the only thing that will remain constant will be our friends and family.

    Bring on the next decade. I am ready. I am willing. And I've got my peeps by my side. I'll need them too because Jimmy will be driving in ten years.

    Happy New Year my friends, Happy New Decade too.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    The Perks of Parenthood

    Yesterday was an interesting day to be a parent. The day started off with hearing my 6.5 year old son telling us that he didn't have a good nights sleep. Apparently, his dreams had gone to the dark side and kept waking him up. I think he's on Christmas overload as his dreams had involved the Grinch. He's not afraid of the Grinch, as he enjoys both the original cartoon version and the live action one with Jim Carey. I think he just doesn't want him in his dreams. Who could fault him on that one, right?

    Then came phase two of the day, a parent, teacher, principal & specialist meeting about our son. My son has issues that stem from his birth. I wont go into the details, but he is a handful while at school. Fortunately, he is surrounded by people who love him and want the best for him. To get all the help he needs it was important to hear all of his issues from his teacher. Normally, a parent might get defensive after hearing problem after problem. The truth is, we were in complete agreement and know he can be a handful. The thing about our son though, is that when he stops bouncing off the wall he is the kindest and gentlest soul you will ever meet. You go from pulling your hair out to hugging him to laughing all within 5 minutes. He makes life interesting and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Which brings us to the end part of the day. In our house we have a recycling bin for paper. This time of year it is filled mostly with the tons of holiday catalogs and junk mail we get daily. One envelope was from some mission seeking donations for poor families in Third World countries. We have donated to these types organizations in the past, but we can't give to everyone that asks. So this organization's letter was in the bin. Our son had noticed a picture that the organization included with their donation request. It was a boy, close to our son's age, and his mother and father. Our son was moved as to why they looked so sad in the picture. My wife tried to explain about how some people live in poverty. At dinner I noticed my son was quiet and sad looking. We asked him what was wrong and he broke down in tears because of the poor child in the picture. He wanted for us to send him all our money so the boy would be OK.

    That is our son. The pride I have as a parent is unmeasurable. I don't know if other kids are like that and if it's normal for a 6.5 year old to show such compassion at this age for others based on a photograph. Moments like this fill you with hope. Despite all his other issues, inside this little boy is a caring man. Merry Christmas to us, Merry Christmas to you.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    And Furthermore

    I wanted to post a video that explained the pair doing the Ironman race. Their message is very powerful. I do not know them, but I understand them. Do you?

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Do Anything

    If you're like most people with an email account you get TONS of email forwarded from somebody else. I'm talking about the cute jokes, the funny pictures, the prayer requests, the fake stories about Disney, Microsoft and Oprah, and videos from YouTube.

    I see them all. Seldom do I forward them on. I say a little prayer for the sick and/or lost children only after I confirm with that a child is actually lost or sick. Usually the child in question is either a fake or was found or healed years ago.

    I laugh at a lot of them. Although I only laugh the first time I see the joke or funny picture. I mean that Tiger Woods Christmas card was funny, but after 10 times, not so much.

    Then I got an idea after seeing an amazing video. Could I create an email or blog with enough inspiration that it could help somebody? It is the Christmas season and I believe that any actions, no matter how small, can help somebody somewhere.

    I don't have a lot of money. I have even less physical ability. But, I have a desire to help others, I have a mildly popular blog, and I have great readers. What if my readers all did just one small action? Then all my readers forwarded to all their friends and they all did some small action and forwarded on the request.

    By the time Christmas came and we added up all those small actions I'd be willing to bet we would have made a big impact somewhere.

    This is the video that inspired me:

    Now, look. I'm not saying you need to do an Iron Man (4km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run) competition with me strapped to your side. But, If one man could do it, couldn't we all just do something, anything?

    I don't think it is that hard to help others.
    • You could buy an extra bag of groceries this week and drop it off at a local food pantry.
    • You could make an online donation to a variety of charities. There are many listed just to the right of this blog.
    • Visit an elder neighbor and just talk.
    • Answer a letter to Santa via the Chicago Sun-Times.
    • Say Hello to a stranger.
    • Smile.
    So there. I've asked you all to do something. You are not allowed to say, "I can't."
    Then forward my message to others. I want to see if we can make a difference this Christmas season.

    Merry Christmas to all who read these words.

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    If He Hollers, Record His Voice Mail

    At the beginning of the school year my wife, a teacher, had me print up pictures of "Heros" for a bulletin board she was making at school. Three pictures included Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps and Mark Buehrle.

    Generally we don't like to use sports figures as "Heros", but these three had accomplished amazing acts and could be held up, not as role models, but as examples that hard work pays off.

    Ahem {Blogger clears throat.}

    I am not going to bash Michael Phelps. I hope he realizes, by now not to do drugs.

    As of this writing Mark Buehrle has done nothing worthy of being stalked by

    Which brings us to Tiger Woods.

    I want to be careful here. Not to be kind to Tiger, but not to sound like I'm better than him or without fault.

    I heard the rumors of his affair. I didn't believe them at first. Not because I didn't want to, but because Tiger had earned that right.

    Until now.

    Tiger now gets thrown on the pile of famous, wealthy and stupid superstars that think they are beyond reproach. Tiger is just another stupid horny man. Why do these men think so little of their wives and children?

    As great as a golfer as Tiger is, he is as stupid of a cheater.

    If you haven't heard the voice mail yet, click here.

    Tiger removes all doubt of his stupidity by giving his name on tape to his "girlfriend" telling her the jig is up and his wife is on the prowl.

    Tiger's bed caddy is a cocktail waitress in LA. No cocktail waitress in LA wants a career as a cocktail waitress in LA. I'd be willing to bet that most, if not all, young pretty women cocktail waitresses in LA want more. They could be wannabe actresses working to make ends meet while developing their acting craft. Possibly going to school by day and waitressing at night to become a teacher or doctor. Or they are waiting for a rich stupid horny man willing to lose everything just to, well you know.

    I have been married 19 years. I got married because I wanted to be with my partner for the rest of my time here on Earth. That is what a traditional marriage is all about. You don't get into a marriage without respect for that other person. When you have an affair you are saying you do not respect your partner, period.

    The bed caddy is at fault too. It is no secret who Tiger Woods is and that he is married. If you choose to go putting around with a married person you have little respect for many things. Chances are, rich married guy isn't going to give up half of everything he owns just for a "hole in one". If you think your career will take off from here, guess what? You will be asked to "audition" for everything because its known that you have little respect for yourself and will do whatever it takes to get a job. Hope that works out for you.

    Women out there don't fret. There are still good guys out there to be found. I know a few and will set you up if you'd like.