Words on Wednesday

28 Jul

It’s not always easy celebrating someone’s life while at the same time remembering someone who passed away. It’s an anniversary you’d rather forget. 

July becomes a test of mental and emotional strength every year. Finding the right balance of happiness for kids getting older and reaching milestones and fighting back the sadness because grandpa’s gone and he’s missing out on life he would have enjoyed living. No advice on how to tackle that, how to feel happiness and joy, while sadness lingers in the back and creeps up on you when you don’t expect it. You just take it as it comes and give it what you got.

Finding the happiness in kids turning double digits.  That’s 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 10! Remembering Harold and The Purple Crayon and Goodnight Moon like it was last week. Play-Doh and bubbles. Pictures drawn in Crayola Crayons and paints that come in plastic jars. Rainbows, puppies, snakes, flowers, and smiling stick figures. Now she’s using colored pencils and practicing her best Bob Ross skills on sketch pads and easels with fancy paper. Hitting home runs, watching Bear Grylls, jumping off diving boards, and learning everything about penguins. That’s what happens when kids turn ten.

Then you get a kid turning 13. Yup. The teen begins. Random clerks at a store chuckling and shaking their head at you saying ‘oh, 13, that’s gonna be a fun year for you.’ Like they know something, a parent secret, but not telling you because you’re about to find out in a BIG way. 


Sounds ominous.

I don’t remember it being that way.

But then again I was the 13-year old. Not the parent of one. 

Here we go. On a new roller coaster ride and I don’t know where the turns are, but they’re coming. 

Now no more TV shows with animated characters, they got shows with people and issues. Got my own Wonder Years experience going on here with questions about getting cell phones and driver’s permit. Hang on a second! This one is a to be continued … and those three dots right there, that’s what’s gonna make it interesting. 13 and in 8th grade. I imagine a lot of goings on will be going on. It’s puberty. It’s transition. It’s voice cracking, stinky socks, and peach fuzz on the upper lip about to become a full Magnum P.I. style mustache. It’s funny. But it’s not.

But at least sports is still a common denominator and I still rock as coach and trainer and they come to me for guidance and I can give advice and they’ll listen. Through sports I can still teach life lessons, even without them fully knowing it. It’ll sink it.

I hope. 

13 and 10.

I’ve become a life coach to kids in double digits. It happens to every parent, I know. I’m just realizing it’s happening to me while at the same time celebrating someone that would have been 73, but was taken away too soon.

I imagine a lot of untold stories went with him and I feel bad about that, about not hearing the rest of them, about the unfinished life he had and the years as a grandpa robbed from him. It’s sadness and joy. He probably had so many more memories and pieces of life to share with me, about when he was 10 or 13, or the parent of one. But now I can only hold onto what I got. That’s the tough part. Knowing he had more but we never got around to it because unexpected sickness happened and that sucked. 

From one day to the next. Celebrating your kids to grieving your dad. It’s a state of funk that’s difficult to navigate. But you get up and keep moving. That’s July for me. The world keeps moving even if you want it to stay still. It moves with or without you. 

So I found myself celebrating and being happy one day, sad the next, and bumping it up again the following week. 

No rules on how to do it, just finding ways to live through it.  So even though this writing hiatus was unplanned it was probably needed. Sometimes the words just don’t come out and it was probably for a reason. Settling in and coming off my own birthday as well, trying to turn the page and get the creativity going. I got another 365-day journey around the sun, so it’s a good time to start again. So I went off on an outdoor adventure, away from people, away from the city and tried something new.

Sometimes the Outdoors sprinkles a little magic and you feel different. Sometimes not. 

But luckily that day the cloud of funk lifted and the getaway brought perspective.


Buen Camino!




9 Responses to “Words on Wednesday”

  1. beth July 29, 2021 at 3:20 AM #

    such a beautiful attitude

  2. Susie Lindau July 29, 2021 at 8:56 AM #

    The more you love someone, the harder it is to live without them, but YOUR KIDS WILL ROCK! They might surprise you – mine navigated hormones without becoming monsters. While most of my friends counted the days, I had a reeeeally hard time when they went to college! They are truly a gift!

    • The Guat July 30, 2021 at 8:46 AM #

      Hey WildRider! Good to see you! Yeah it is tough with the ups and downs of the month, it’s definitely harder you’re right. But yeah The kids might throw me a curve ball and we might be cruising for a bit before big waves set in here and there 🙂 thanks! But I hear you about college I feel that one will be a tough one for me too. Big time! Hope you’re doing good!

  3. Sorryless July 30, 2021 at 4:44 PM #

    Well I know that I am in for something beautiful and poignant and strong every single time you read about him. When you merge it with the kids . . that double digit super team the Lakers are envious of . . . well, that’s when I’m reminded, once again. I’m reading one of the best.

    Good to see you Cali. So good to see you.

    • The Guat August 2, 2021 at 8:15 AM #

      Thanks so much hermano, had to take a minute there with everything but glad you were able to read and stop by. Thanks so much for your kind words … double digit super team ha! I’ll take it 🙂 Definitely left me smiling. Good to hear from you. Sending you some sunshine and waves.

      • Sorryless August 2, 2021 at 4:06 PM #

        I’m always up for some Guat, served up extra smooth with plenty of inspiration.

        You take care of that super team of yours, you hear me mama? And you take care of yourself too, and uh . .that’s an order? 😉

        Sunshine and waves, hermana

  4. claywatkins August 3, 2021 at 6:34 AM #

    Hey, hope you doing okay on a Tuesday. Lovely post, it’s amazing how life’s external events shape us and the folks nearest to us. Things we have no power over. It boils down to resiliency and persistence and a little bit of reflection. I went back in time myself the other day and looked at the blog and the number of posts by year and month. I could almost track my life’s events by looking at it. I started blogging after a miserable year of teaching May 2010 and almost a full year after my father passed away after a fall. I;ve been at it since. Since then I’ve lost both in laws, my wife’s sister, and my mom. My kids are almost all grown one is getting married next year and the youngest is off to college in less than a month. Time moves on and we are better people because of what time does for us. Stay well, healthy, and be at peace.

    • The Guat August 3, 2021 at 8:44 AM #

      Dude! You are so on point! Resiliency and reflection. That totally keeps us on the persistent track! A lot of life going on in those ten years I imagine the blog helps you reflect and see where you’ve grown and healed. A lot of loss and upcoming joys we need to face and welcome. Sending you strength and positive vibes for your youngest going college-bound. I imagine as a parent that one will be tough. Thanks so much for your support, insight, and kind words. I really appreciate it!

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