Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24th, 2015 Remembering

May 24th, 2015 Remembering

This Memorial Day Weekend has kept me fairly busy. Today was relaxed for the most part, including an afternoon nap! I took good care with my food and exercise, too.

I'll be headed to Stillwater tomorrow for lunch with mom followed by a trip to Sunset Memorial Gardens, where my little brother Shane, grandma and grandpa and numerous other family members are laid to rest. I picked out some memorial flowers for each of them today. Shane gets blue and yellow, because that was our high school colors and Shane was a proud Stillwater High graduate. Grandma gets purple because anyone who ever knew her longer than a day, was fully aware it was her favorite color. And grandpa gets red, white and blue because he bravely defended those colors, in the Pacific during World War 2.

Someone posted the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day on Facebook. The post said Memorial Day is a day to remember those brave men and women who fought for our country and are no longer with us. And Veterans Day is a day to honor all veterans, even those we're lucky enough to still have in our lives.

Memorial Day in my family always meant remembering all of our passed loved ones. In that spirit, I wanted to share some pictures with you of several loved ones I'm remembering this weekend.

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Roy T. Anderson-US Navy-World War 2. Grandpa was one of the kindest, most gentle people I've ever known. He was a hard worker his entire life. He was an honest man who kept things simple. All he needed to exude happiness and contentment, was his easy chair, a good western on the TV (preferably with John Wayne) and an apple.

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My older brother Danny was a performer; a singer with a golden voice. In his younger days, he even had a big recording contract in Germany. Before I ever got a chance to meet him, he passed away unexpectedly at 42.

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A more casual picture of Danny. We have the same ears.

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My little brother Shane looked up to me in so many ways. Twenty-Four years old was way too young for him to go. I would give anything to have him back. Anything at all.

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I didn't have a chance to get to know them very well. But I do know my grandma and grandpa on my dad's side were incredible people. When I showed up out of the blue, this long lost grandson they previously didn't know existed, was welcomed with open arms and loving hearts. I'll never forget that.

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"Don't you lose another pound!" My grandma must have repeated that order a hundred times during the final stages of my initial weight loss. I love her so much. Her directive was so loving. It was her way of saying, you're just fine no matter what you weigh.

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When I visited Alabama in November 2010, attending grandpa Haynes's birthday party was a highlight. Grandpa Haynes also served in World War 2.

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Clarke Hodson was my big brother from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Our time together was short, but his influence impacted me in positive ways that still bless me to this day. It was an amazing honor when the family asked me to join them in the family section at his funeral. I wish I would have made more time and effort to see him. It always felt like we had more time ahead of us.

There's a longer list of loved ones not pictured. I'm remembering them all this weekend.

The YMCA is closed tomorrow! I'm planning a Memorial Day 5K, likely tomorrow evening some time. It'll be a good workout and a good time to reflect further on the significance of the day.

A friend and colleague gifted me several lamb chops today from an area farm. It was a very generous gift. It made deciding dinner really easy! I stopped by the store to grab some all-fruit sugar free peach spread. I used it as a topping on the grilled chops. Wow. It was incredible. See the dinner tweet below!

I'm hitting the pillow feeling really well tonight. My nightly checklist is solid, with all goals met today. Oooh...except I didn't take a picture wearing my new size 36 jeans! I'll do that tomorrow.  

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. You said your grandfather Anderson served in the Pacific. do you remember on what ship? My father was on the aircraft carrier, Hornet. I wonder if they knew each other. His picture reminds me of my dad's navy photo. They were so young in those photos...

    1. I could find out. I believe my uncle knows the name of the ship. Oh my, so young, yes!

  2. I would love to hear more about your brothers and why they passed so young. Of course only if that's not such an intrusion. Can't wait to see the picture with the new blue jeans, good for you!!!

    1. Not an intrusion at all. I dedicated my book to Shane and devoted an entire chapter to him. Shane (my younger brother) died unexpectedly in 2001 when he got sick in his sleep and aspirated, basically inhaling the waste into his lungs. When this happens, it's very difficult to recover from...The doctors tried their best. Shane was in ICU on life support for a little while, before passing on June 19th that year, at the age of 24.
      My oldest brother Danny, whom I hadn't met (half brother--same father), died at 42 from aortic dissection. Aortic dissection is typically caused by prolonged untreated high blood pressure. It's the same sudden and fatal condition that claimed the life of actor John Ritter. It was a shock...both of them... I was literally a few months away from meeting Danny for the first time. I wanted to know him so badly. Broke my heart when I realized I would never have the chance.

  3. The memorial tribute to your dear ones is wonderful. You seem like such a nice, caring man. I can't quite tell from the picture, but did Shane have Downs? I have a Downs nephew, he is 39 now, and he is the joy and delight of our family. I can't imagine being without him, and you have my deepest sympathy for losing your brother so young.

    1. Thank you Betsey! Shane didn't have downs. It was determined he was "mildly mentally handicapped." In 1977, the doctors told my mom he was "mentally retarded." Oooh, how I despise the word...and how it was used in so many hurtful ways towards him from kids who were so cruel.
      Shane also exhibited signs of autism, although never officially diagnosed. He had the ability to memorize entire songs after listening only once. It was the most fascinating thing. He would go into a trance like state while listening--as if he was recording it...and that was it...He could repeat every lyric, every time. I miss him every day. I wish I would have spent more time with him. If only I had known how short our time would be, I would have done things differently.

  4. What a nice tribute to some (I'm sure) wonderful people in your life.
    Oh and your strawberries... look... delish!
    :) Rosie

  5. I loved the seeing the pictures and hearing about your family. The pictures and memories are to be cherished. Great tribute Sean.


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