Sunday, December 27, 2009

Six Months

Today is December 27, 2009. This means that my dad died exactly six months ago today. It was the first time in my life that somebody really close to me passed away. This is what I’ve experienced. - Everybody mourns differently.

- My worldview has changed completely. Nothing is quite the same anymore. Words have different meanings. Movies have different messages. And I feel different somehow.

- Sad stories are a little sadder. Painful stories are a little more painful. Everything is a little more poignant.

- I’m not as happy as I used to be, but I am more at peace. This fact has made me realize that true knowledge and understanding only come with a price I suppose.

- My parents’ house is still peaceful and beautiful. When my dad was sick I was afraid that it would turn into a depressing place. It hasn’t.

- I don’t regret things I could have/should have done differently with Dad. I’m only sad that he won’t be around in the future to see the things I accomplish.

- My mother is amazing. I do not understand her pain (to suddenly be without somebody you spent everyday with for 30 years is hard for me to comprehend), but she handles it brilliantly.

- I could not handle death without the Gospel. If my dad died and I didn’t believe in God, I would be devastated beyond repair.

- Looking back, I can’t understand why I wasn’t happier when he was around. After all, I can’t think of anything that would make me happier than to see him now.

- I think there have been other trials in my life that have been just as painful in that moment. The thing with death is that you can’t fix it. If you lose your job or get fired, you can go look for another. If you go bankrupt, you can start making money again. If you get your heart broken you can start looking for somebody else. But death . . . there’s no getting around.

- The kindness that people showed my dad and my family was truly inspiring. People are good: from my students to people I had never met before to the ward members.

- “The aching may remain, but the breaking does not.”

- There are worse things than death.

- I have much more respect for those who have experienced this before I did. The way they handle it so gracefully helps me to also endure.

- My dad is here sometimes. . . somehow.

- I can't wait to see him again.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A few things to note:

- I am tired. The last couple of days I’ve spent every free moment correcting my students’ research papers. Correcting papers is easily the worst part of teaching. No contest.

- The worst part of coaching? Ridiculous parents who think their child is God’s gift to athletics (which they obviously can’t be since I’m that). How otherwise respectable parents can be so obviously biased and not recognize it is beyond me. Maybe when I have my own kids I’ll understand, but until then I remain amazed.

- I still don’t like the snow.

- However, I do like potato chips, Welch’s grape juice, rice krispy treats, pickles, and Monday Nite Football.

- I also really like the song “Remember When” by Alan Jackson

- I know 2009 isn’t quite over yet, but I think I’m safe in saying this is definitely one of the hardest years of my life (and not just because the Yankees, the Lakers, and the Steelers all won their respective championships this season, although that definitely added to it). I’ll tell you, as far as pure difficulty goes, it’s right up there with ‘92-‘94 and ‘05. It’s sure been a doozy, I’ll tell you that right now (could someone please spell check “doozy” for me).

- I have a speaking part in the Goshen Ward Christmas sacrament meeting this Sunday. I’m pretty sure I’m going to dominate; I’ve been practicing all week (and I would just like to say right now that if my voice cracks I’m going inactive).

- This is a recent exchange in one of my classes.
Me: Class, do you like my sweater? I bought it for a dollar.
Student: Yeah, we can tell.

- I would also like you to know that I really like the song “Raining in Baltimore” by the Counting Crows. Fantastic.

- Have I mentioned that the heater doesn’t work in my sweet minivan? Yeah, it’s not quite as sweet anymore. But no, it is not for sale, so don’t even think about trying to buy it off me. NOT FOR SALE.

- Finally, let me end on a positive note. I would just like to you to know that I won a basketball three point contest the other day (yes, it was with a bunch of sophomore girls whom I coach, but I still won and that’s all that matters).

Monday, December 14, 2009

I do not like the snow or the cold or the ice or the more coldness. In fact, I can’t think of anything good that comes with snow. Nothing. However, as you know, my sister K-Dawg will not allow me to complain too much, so I’m going to write about the one good thing that does come this time of year: Christmas.

What I Like About Christmas

- The fact that I get to watch the Muppets Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life (I used to hate this movie by the way). I mean, I obviously can watch them anytime, but it’s just better when it’s the actual season.

- Making fun of people with icicle lights on their house (which includes my mother's home).

- All the good food.

- Christmas Presents. Some people will try and tell you they would rather give than receive. Not me. I mean, giving’s okay, but come on, does anything is this world beat waking up Christmas morning and opening presents.

- Christmas music. I should clarify this “Christmas Music”. I actually really dislike that pop Christmas music nonsense (hurts my ears that stuff). But give me some nice Christmas songs sung but a respectable choir and I won’t complain.

- College and professional football. I know it doesn’t actually have anything to do with Christmas, but it is at the same time and I love it.

- The Christmas Spirit. People always complain about the commercialism of Christmas, but I’m not one of those people. I think, compared to the rest of the year, people are still a lot more caring and considerate (even if they are a little bit obsessed with getting the best deal).

- The Hansen Christmas Party. I still love going to Grandma's house.

- Our family Christmas party. I generally don’t hate my family.

- The First Presidency Christmas Devotional. (Although this year I was sitting watching with a bunch of people who would not stop talking. I wanted to knock them all out, but I wasn’t too sure that would be the most effective way of paying better attention to the speakers).

- That fact that it means the semester is almost over.

- Charlie Brown's Christmas.

And that will do for now I think. Actually, let me show you some pictures.

This is me being crowned Mr. Mistletoe in high school at our Christmas Dance. I dislike dances about as much as I dislike snow.

This is me and big Stew. From the looks of things, I think we hated the snow even then, especially big Stew