Posts Tagged With: parents

The Priceless Population


As a society it seems as if we value just about everything as it ages. Things like…

Wine(Paul Masson “We will sell no wine before its time“) There seems to be a general belief that when it comes to wine, older is definitely better. People have paid out extraordinary amounts of money to own rare and highly sought after spirits.

And houses: Although most houses fall into the “decrepit” category after 100 years (or less in some cases), there are still many houses (even older) that are considered “vintage” and sell for a premium, especially American Craftsman Style homes if they have all or most of their original “built ins” or have been designated historical landmarks.

And of course, baseball cards: One of the most expensive baseball card in the world is one from 1909 that was sold for a staggering $2.8 million!

Now, while I certainly think all of these aged-collectables are nice, the most notable and surprising exception to inclusion in this time-established ranking of seniority… is people.

It’s really sad to me that as people get older, instead of treating them with respect and dignity, many of them are treated like a nuisance. An inconvenience at best. We cast our elderly aside like yesterday’s newspaper. Maybe good for recycling, but more likely to be used as lining in bird cages. Where is the honor many of the aged among us so rightfully deserve? When did we become so careless with our ancestry?

I’ve purposed to simply record conversation with my older relatives, especially my parents. I sit and ask questions about a bygone era that shaped the people they eventually became. People who fell in love, got married and gave me life. I realized a long time ago that there is so much to be learned from their lifetime of experiences. I learn about our country’s history from a first-hand accounting of events. I learn about the transformation of what constituted entertainment. And I learn about our community both large and small, as well as its victories and its defeats.

So just remember, by the grace of God, we’ll all get old eventually. Make the time to give your elders the time and attention they deserve. Because the hearts of this extraordinary population, and the wisdom-laden information they provide are in a word… priceless.

Categories: family, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Results May Vary


You don’t know me.

And I don’t know you. I mean, not really.

You may know the things that I choose to reveal about myself. It’s usually the best parts of me (though I’ve been known to be quite transparent with the not-so-best parts of me as well) that I share. But if someone were to ask you to tell them about me, you really wouldn’t be able to rattle off much more than what I’ve listed in my profile. Sure, you could browse my blog or stalk my Facebook account, and maybe make a few guesses about what my taste in music or movies must say about me. But they would only be guesses. And more often than not, you’d be wrong.

For the longest time I’ve been rather careful about getting to know people and allowing them to get to know me. See, I have a history that includes a pretty severe wounding of the heart. So I’m not very keen on putting myself out there in a way that might reopen that wound. Unfortunately, my passions run deep and I tend to be, what one friend calls “emotionally progressive”. Rare in men, so I’m told. Among other things, this means that my heart can become vulnerable to the inconsiderate actions of others if I make an effort to get to know them. I’ve done that with very few people over the years. It amazes me how the pursuit of friendship can be liberating on one end, and weaponized on the other.

Interpersonal relationships should come with a standard label that states, “WARNING: Result may vary.”

Some of these people have become like siblings. Some of them are like my kids. And some of them are… well, something altogether different. But all of them have had an impact on me to varying degrees. My affections are at times painfully genuine. Sometimes to my own detriment. So I’ve learned to protect my heart a little bit more fiercely than I did before. It’s not that I don’t want people to know me, but sometimes I’m not entirely convinced I can afford to allow them.

I’m not a fan of heartache, confusion or misunderstandings. To avoid such calamity, it would make more sense to just keep everyone at arm’s length. It’s sad to me because many people I’ve met are deeply intriguing and I’d love to discover more about them. But this has brought me to the dispirited conclusion that the further away from them I stay, the less likely I am to get hurt if/when they implode.

I don’t know what bevy of circumstances has made them the way they are. They could’ve grown up in abject poverty, or could be the spoiled product of wealthy hands-off parents, raised by a bilingual nanny. They could be a recent parolee from a botched extortion attempt, or an as-yet-to-be-captured professional con artist. They could literally live across the street, or across the ocean. My point is that I won’t know them all that well, and they won’t know me. Unfortunately, past experiences have a tendency to make people gun shy. So I may never know them the way that I wish I could.

Hmm… I don’t even know what the point was of this post. Venting? Purging? Meh. That’s all I’ve got for today.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blue-Eyed Disappointment


After reading a friend’s post about her eye color, it got me to thinking…

My gorgeous wife has the most beautiful green eyes. When we started having children, I had this small inkling of hope that perhaps one of our children would get her green eyes, or maybe even her father’s blue eyes. As it turned out, all six (6) of my children have brown eyes. Not that there’s anything wrong with brown eyes. But I thought it would be nice to have at least one kid who took after her and got those beautiful green (or blue) eyes.

Yeah, didn’t happen. confused

Who knew my genes were so strong?? So I did a little research and came upon these neat little calculator that takes into account not only the parents’ eye color, but the grandparents’ eye color as well. This is what it returned:


As you can see, even with her parents’ blue and green eyes and the fact she has a sibling with blue eyes, there was really no hope of any of my kids getting them. Well, I guess, unless I had a 7th kid?

Uh, no. whatevah

Here’s the link if you’re interested in checking your own eye color probability: http://genetics.thetech.org/online-exhibits/what-color-eyes-will-your-children-have.

Categories: family, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Letter To My Parents…


This was part of a 30-Day Letter Challenge. I made it to Day 3. lol

COUNTDOWN: 10 days until Father’s Day…

Dear Mom & Dad,

Thank you for being the kind of parents that any child would be proud to call their own. I consider myself extremely blessed and most fortunate to have been raised by two amazing people who know how to love God, love each other and love their children in such a remarkable way. I’m inspired by the fact that you celebrated your 48th wedding anniversary this year! 😀 While I personally know so many people who have given up on their relationships, you’ve proven yourselves to be stalwart advocates of marriage simply by your lives. It’s the stellar example that I live by and strive to emulate.

Mom, your love for me through the years has been a source of strength and healing. You’ve supported me in everything I’ve ever tried to do.  Even when I’d make mistakes and fall down you never condemned me, but rather encouraged me to get back up and keep trying. I know that I can always count on a hug from you that is full of genuine love and complete understanding. Andrea is like you in so many ways. It’s one of the reason I knew she was the perfect one for me.

Dad, you’ve always been my hero. I’ve written about you many times before. Your selfless acts have not gone unnoticed by me. I hope to make you proud of me as your son as proud as I am to have you as my father. You are the standard against which all other fathers are measured.  If my children grow up to admire me as much as I do you, I will consider myself to have been the best father I could possibly be to them.

Thank you both for being two people on whom I can always count. That means more than mere words could ever express.

With love,

Your son, Riis

Categories: personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DOVE NOTE #39: The Thought Should Count


Conversations between men and women are nothing less than miracles.  We are fascinating creatures who are so alike and so different at the same time.  I marvel at this reality on a daily basis.  Whether it be my parents, my friends, or my co-workers, there’s just something about men and women talking to each other that doesn’t always fit snuggly.

I don’t know if it’s the same for women, but for some men… we don’t usually say anything until we’ve repeated it at least 100 times in our head first.  I’ve heard that women prefer to think out loud, and work to a conclusion as they talk.  But for men, I think we feel more comfortable speaking after we’ve tried to predict every possible outcome (preferable those that don’t result in increased anger and/or lack of sex).

Of course, as experience has shown, this will not always guarantee the best results.  But still we try.  Women sometimes misunderstand our silence during this process as ignoring them, but we’re actually thinking about what you said and what we should say.  So if we seem to be staring off into space, consider it an acknowledgment that what you’ve just said is of grave importance to us, and deserves the amount of time it takes us to respond.

Categories: Dove Note, Series | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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