Poetic Love, Tuxedo Fitting, True Happiness, and The Family Cookout
This visit with dad just keeps getting better and better. I woke up this morning and found dad resting so peacefully, I decided to let him sleep while I handled my regular morning routine. We had already decided that dad would join me tomorrow on my radio show, today—he would stay at the apartment while I worked. I don’t know how to fully express what it feels like to me, to have him here—it’s been a very rewarding experience.
I enjoyed breakfast, coffee, my morning non-weighted strength training exercises, and answering a few e-mails before heading off to work. Today was set to be extremely busy—add to that the threat of severe weather coverage late in the day, and wow---this could’ve been a sixteen-hour day easy. It wasn’t sixteen hours, thank goodness. We had plans for tonight and Mother Nature cooperated nicely, but more on the cookout in a moment.
I attended a funeral this morning after my show. Gayle Williams, a longtime co-worker of mine, lost her mother Saturday. Gayle’s mom was 92 years old, of sound mind and body, and lived independently until just a couple of weeks before her death. She was an amazing woman who lived a long productive life---staying busy, reading books, and helping others. Maybe these are the secrets to living so long with such a high quality of life?
After the funeral, I rushed home for a quick lunch with dad. Dad was napping---so I decided to start cooking some chicken breast and green beans, thinking the aroma and sizzle of the grill might gently nudge him awake naturally. As I made my way to the kitchen---I noticed a note from dad on the table. It wasn’t just a note—it was a poem. After spending this time with him, I’ve discovered dad is a good philosopher and poet. I picked it up and read his words written in red ink. It really touched me. He was communicating how wonderful our reunion makes him feel and he was doing it through poetry. As dad peacefully napped and lunch cooked, I read his words:
It is a great thing
What love can bring
To feel it in your heart
Of you, it becomes a part
The warmth engulfs you,
And shows in what you do
The world is brighter
Your step is lighter
I will always remember that day
That this newfound love came my way
It will carry me through life
And ease any pain or strife
That time and day
In my mind will always stay
Till my life is done
When I looked into the eyes of my son
I wondered if the emotion spent writing that poem encouraged the nap he was enjoying. I folded the poem neatly and put it in my pocket—I’ll keep it forever. I walked over to the door of the room where he laid, and quietly tried to stir him without success. I decided to let him rest while I prepared and enjoyed my lunch. I left his lunch wrapped and on the stove---and just sat there at the table, thinking about how wonderful it is to be in this place of harmony in our relationship. The cleansing of past animosity, regrets, and anger---that stuff being gone…oh my, have you ever felt this before? As much as I would always dream of losing weight successfully, I would also dream of knowing my dad like this. Both dreams are gently and consistently unfolding at the same time and now I know without a doubt—I’m one of the most blessed young men. I give continuous thanks for that. This is real happiness my friend.
I returned to work while keeping an eye on the sky. We planned a big cookout at the apartment and the weather forecast was calling for a 50% chance of thunderstorms---if it happened, our plans would be dramatically affected. I worked through the afternoon, getting off at almost half-past 4pm. No storms yet---and none developing…yet. I was certainly hoping the atmospheric cap would keep a lid on these things, long enough for our cookout plans.
Before I could head home, I had to stop at Sprays Jewelry for a tuxedo fitting. After my extremely casual dress at the last Poncan Opry—and the humorous remarks it attracted from the lead guitarist, we decided to go big for this Saturday’s show. I’ll show him what a tux can look like! This will be my third tuxedo occasion in the last 14 months—but this one will be the best yet! I walked in and found different people running the shop. I was asked if Ted had fit me before, and I told him yes. He then said, “Well, it’ll be easy, I’ll just use the measurements from last time.” I immediately spoke up, “Uh, that’s not going to work---I’ve lost much more weight since last time.” To which he replied: “We’ll measure again, no problem!” Yeah---this is fun. I never thought I would think getting measured was a fun thing—but really, I’m thrilled to see the measure.
After taking careful measurements, he determined I needed a 44 Long. A 44 long? Wow---me? We settled on a 46 long, but that wasn’t the best part. The best part was when he had me try on a shirt. It fit in a very snug way---not really too horribly small, but just a touch. I asked him what size it was and he said, “Oh, that’s a large---and you’re just a hair from fitting perfectly, but we’ll go with the XL, you’ll be more comfortable.” What thrilled me the most, was the fact that this guy just measured me and thought a large would do the trick. My brain has a very hard time processing the size issue. A large? Really…me? How flattering. The XL will be more comfy---and it will absolutely fit perfectly. I’m so excited! Get ready for some more tuxedo pictures this weekend! We’ll compare them to last year’s shots…oh, that will be so much fun!
I just received a wonderful message from a regular reader that just filled me with joy. Congratulations Kevin! I’m so happy for your incredible success. Kevin writes:
Sean-I just wanted to drop in and give a huge THANK YOU to you. On march 1st I weighed in at 256 and after many failed attempts at losing the weight, I bet my brother a steak dinner that by june 1st I would be 200lbs or less by following your program. Since we were both going to Rocklahoma we weighed in on the 27th and I was so proud when the #197 came up. So thank you brother not only for your inspiration but teaching me that you can enjoy the foods you love, ya just gotta make better choices. I hope to meet you in person one day and thank you personally, but till then I will be cheering your success and preaching the Good Choice method. I realize you started your blog to hold yourself accountable but I think you need to know you have helped many others and for that I say: THANK YOU brother---Kevin
That’s the coolest feeling in the world. It’s all you Kevin—it’s your understanding and commitment to change that has transformed you. I’m honored that my story and approach has given you some inspiration and clarity. You must feel amazing right now! I’m so happy for you my friend. Enjoy that steak dinner!
Dad and I traveled to Wal-Mart late this afternoon to do some grocery shopping for the big cookout tonight. I found some 40 calorie fat free hot dogs from Hebrew National, some all beef regular dogs, and some 85/15 hamburger patties for the grill. It was an awesome get together. Amber and her boyfriend KL, Courtney and her boyfriend Brad, plus her best friend Dylan, and Irene was even here with a friend. It was all good, very enjoyable---from the visiting to the incredible 160 calorie hotdogs---yeah, those fat free Hebrew National dogs were great out of hot water. I don’t grill the fat free dogs…without the fat, they just don’t cook right. But in hot water, they’re amazing! On a bun, with mustard and even sweet relish---160 total…now that’s a great calorie value hot dog! Thank you Mother Nature for not raining on our parade!
Oh—by the way. My workout plan today was spinning and weight training. When the workday got hectic, that plan was out. I had already left dad at the house alone for 11 hours---I wasn’t leaving for another two. It was fine, today would be a rest day, and given the circumstances, I was completely cool with that idea.
By the time I hit the pillow---I was completely spent. Physically and emotionally---I had to crash, and did relatively early for me. What an amazing day! Tomorrow—dad is scheduled to co-host my show, and then tomorrow evening we’re headed to Stillwater to visit with mom and the rest of the family.
Thank you for reading. I know I say that everyday, and I hope the frequency doesn’t lessen the sincerity---because really, I sincerely appreciate you reading this trip to freedom. Goodnight and…
With dad on my bedroom balcony
Courtney with her “new” grandpa
Amber and grandpa Haynes
Irene with dad---Irene was 8 months pregnant with Courtney the last time she saw him.