Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tom Hummel

Job: 9; 27; “If I say “I will forget my complaint; I will change my expression and smile.”

It’s interesting to remember that in the beginning there was a warm and welcoming smile.

It was one that didn’t judge, but welcomed in full of joy.

An acceptance of at first being kind in return, and experiencing a fun loving environment, held together by the notion that all was right under his household.

A lover of the Outdoors; Humor; Picnics; Baseball; Scouts; God.

Early in life, afternoons were spent in the home of my best friend, Ben Hummel. Under the watchful eye of Lynn, or Gigi as she was known to us kids, we would play outside, or attempt to reach high scores on this new awesome game called brick-out and wait for someone to pick us up after school. We would enjoy cook-outs by Tom and the backyard grill, and Scotty frolicking around from an unseen and unbreakable bond. (Later on, the mantle would be picked up by Goldie.)

When venturing to King Soopers, it was not so uncommon to see Tom in the deli department, whereupon he would take time to visit and even when busy would give a smile and a wave. Sometimes, I would go to the store and just chat with him – he had that welcoming soul, and kind heart.

When a traumatic event happened to me in high school, my family and I moved to the other side of town. I eventually lost touch with Ben, as when his senior year had ended, he unbeknownst to me also moved to the other side of town to his grandmother’s ranch home.

Having been in a dark place after my event, there weren’t too many people I wanted to be around.

I had the idea to drive by Ben’s old Aurora home in search of reconnecting; alas I found an empty house.

I drove to the old King Soopers in search of that familiar warm greeting – also not to be found.

When my life had got back on track, how odd and at the same time a relief it was to see at the local King Soopers in my new and unfamiliar surroundings across town the warm smile I had been searching for.

It was Tom. Stocking the deli shelves, just as I had ever known him to do. And with him, his trademark smile as if no time had passed at all. A little grayer, but so was I. But a good, kind-hearted smile never fades.

I was able to reconnect with my childhood friend.

If it hadn’t been for the guiding light that was Tom, Ben would not have been my Best Man at my wedding.

But what really constitutes a Best Man?

The measure of a Best Man are the morals and ethics by which he lives: True, kind, selfless, giving, self-sacrificing, genuine, forgiving, accepting – these are attributes of a Best Man; the qualities of which have been passed down to Tom’s sons Ben, Dan, Tommy, Ted, and Chris, all of whom I have considered brothers.

The last time I saw Tom, he was in a nursing home of sorts while his internal suffering was increasing.

What amazed me the most is that without complaint, he beamed his smile to me as if no time had passed at all; no fear, no pain – a smile to carry on, and a memory to hold.

This is Tom Hummel.

Respect is taken, when respect is given...

Namaste and Slainte

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Third of Which: Love

Love. I know, sappy. Especially if you know me, this seems to be true!

There is no way around it! It’s a feeling that supersedes lust. It is more common to have lust at first sight, than love at first sight. It is a rare thing indeed to find someone at the first look and just know this person is the one – it’s love, and it’s just a feeling - you know what I’m talking about and can only explain it if you ever felt it.

I believe animals feel this sense of love, too. You can see it in their eyes and actions of happiness, loyalty, and trust. Rescuing a pet from a shelter or otherwise unwanted environment and letting them know love is the greatest gift they can receive, no matter how short or long may be their time with us.

Sometimes all it takes is a short time to realize what love is; to reaffirm what loving unconditionally means, even in the face of a traumatic event – it’s knowing individually what love is and personally means that draws us closer to this aspect of human conditioning.

A sense of belonging, and closeness.

A notion of butterflies when you go on Date #1 or Date #1000.

The heartbreaking pang of loneliness when a person that you love is not near or no longer here.

Love is as great a thing as it is heartbreaking – and it’s awesome.

Respect is taken, when respect is given…

Namaste and Slainte

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Second Installment...

The Second of which is: Family

What is family? What makes a good family structure?

For me it’s the bond that is shared between groups of people that no matter what, you are there for each other. It’s a love that can only be explained by having roots that form deep in the soul and a sense of belonging in long standing traditions from generations of history.

Family hardens the personal morals and ethics that keep us grounded, and we pass these down to whomever we meet, and to the family we might eventually create.

What if you don’t have a family directly? You don’t know where you came from? Displaced?

Your best of friends are often the best family. It’s still the camaraderie between like-minded individuals; striving toward the ultimate goal of sharing life with the people that make it bearable to live.

It’s the soothing notion that when you drive across town or country that open arms will be waiting for you; the notion that when you pick up the phone and make a call it will be like no time passed at all.

Extended Family gives an all new meaning to the term family. It encompasses a whole new life that is shared with a loved one. The extended family is like a family you never knew existed, yet always knew were there. 

They are the newest edition to life that makes sharing a life with a loved one so worthwhile.

A lot of time has passed since the writing of my first part almost two years ago…

…Including marrying that girl I told you about - 09/13/12

Respect is taken, when respect is given…

Namaste and Slainte