Love, Life, Family and Acceptance

Family is important to me….. so is Love, Life (what I have worked for, what I am, and what I have).  Acceptance is important also.  I try and accept people the way they are, don’t ask for changes, and generally try not to be biased or prejudiced.

Washington State recently had a vote to legalize marriage between same sex individuals.  I had a tough time with this but after researching the law decided that people needed to have protections….. basically I said, “Why not?” and because I could not come up with any good reasons why not I voted for “gay marriage”.

This may come as a surprise to a lot of my friends but ask yourself “Why not?”  What does it hurt you or me if two people who love each other (even though we may not approve of the lifestyle) get the same benefits (shared insurance, hospital visiting right, and many other benefits) as you or I might get?

Family is important.  After losing Dad (and while losing Dad — during his illness) our family went through some difficult relationship adjustments.

You should read the above paragraph again and understand that we had fights, we argued, and things were said that were hurtful, not really meant and very much a result of the different emotions being felt by all.

I am the oldest child, have always been the oldest child (funny how that works) and have been through a lot as we were growing up.  Mom tells stories about how I took care of my three siblings in South Carolina when she suddenly got sick and had to stay in bed.

Evidently, I was about 10 years old and had to cook and help my two brothers and sister get ready for school, eat meals, and do things around the house.  I remember some of it but not a lot……  although I do remember beating back the bushes and scaring the snakes as we walked the trail down to the dock so we could go fishing.

Anyway, during Dad’s illness a lot fell on me.  I gave freely of my time (spending ten weeks of sick leave in Arizona), my money (Dad had messed a few things up and I helped by paying the previous year’s property taxes, a mortgage payment, and other stuff), and I suppressed my emotions and became a “crisis manager” writing this blog and dealing with a wide array of problems.

Almost everyone understood that I was doing stuff because it had to be done.  I’ve always been like that and, when there is no leadership I seek to find a way to solve problems.

I am not apologizing nor am I trying to explain myself but it has been a tough road that our lives have taken………… and while my life has not been super difficult I have made mistakes, missed opportunities (I should have invested $1000 in 1982 when I was told a little software company was going to be HUGE, Microsoft, what is THAT?) and I have been misunderstood.

Mistakes happen, we correct them.  Missed opportunities are missed.  They rarely come back.  Misunderstandings can be corrected with communication.

I am grateful for where I am today.

My brother, Jack, and sister Julie and I talk regularly.  I’ve invited each of them and their families to my home, as well as made an effort to try and visit them whenever possible.

Recently I had a birthday and Jack and Sandi brought some of the best clam chowder I’ve ever tasted as well as cupcakes.  But, it was the clam chowder that I loved the most.  We had a great visit.

Julie could not come to our home on my birthday but we went to Marysville and met her and my Aunt Patty for lunch.  That was also a great visit.

I am grateful that my daughters and I have a fantastic relationship and I am grateful for a special woman in my life.  I am also grateful for my mom, even though she drives me a little crazy at times.

Sometimes while writing these little “missives” I get caught up in writing what comes from my brain.  I may ramble, I may be very lucid but I have tried to just write and not worry about what I am saying and about who I may be saying it about.  I just write…… and I am learning that writing frees my mind of the emotions that may be bothering me.

I’ve never really thought about my life but it seems like I put myself into positions of leadership (either getting elected, volunteering, or being a person — personally or professionally — that someone or an organization can count on) and sometimes I get burned.

Leaders get burned for doing what they believe is right.  Leaders also need to be able to understand that the person “burning” may feel slighted in some way.  We don’t have to fully understand but we do have to be able to look at ourselves and try and modify our message so that we can continue to lead while bringing people in who can help us.

There’s that rambling again.

I guess I am trying to say, “I do what I can, when I can, and I hope what I am doing helps.”  If I hurt you, make you feel like I’ve stomped on you, make you feel stupid, or inferior then please let me know.

I may be able to say “I’m sorry.”  And, I may mean it.  Then again, I may say “I’m sorry” and wonder “Really, that bothered you, WOW, why in the world would that bother you?” and then I would try and make you feel like I meant it because I value you.

I hope you can never see the difference….. because if you are in my life than it means I want you in my life…. and I value you.

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2 Responses to Love, Life, Family and Acceptance

  1. Jack Challender says:

    Mark Very well said, i’m glad for all that you have done especialy your sacrfice for all your time you have given up. You have allways done for everyone I can think of Helped me out more than once dont feel people are mad you have made the right choices Love ya Jackie lee

  2. says:

    Mark, Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list. I really what you have to say. I talked with your Mother the other day, she sounded real good for the little time since your Father went to another course, I hope he has had an opportunity to play a round with his Higher Power. Keep it up!!!!

    Cordially, Trig

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