I might be a little all over the place in this blog post. We’ll see…
Who am I? Good question! Well most of you have been reading my blog and you already know some things about me. I am 55 years old and I live in Oregon, although I grew up in San Jose, California. I served in the Navy and that is where I met my sweet wife of almost 35 years. We served together. I also worked in Aerospace and Defense for years and now work in the Aviation field as a mechanic. I have a wide range of interests. I like professional and college sports but they are not everything to me. They are just entertainment. I work pretty hard at working and I really enjoy my time off with my two peeps, Rosie and Benjamin. I am an avid reader. Mostly, I love reading military history. Especially the books that are being written by the brave individuals that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter how you feel about the wars, you have to admire the courage of those who have served while also appreciating their sacrifices. I read myself to sleep every night with the stories that are being told by them.
My daily activities consist of the usual. That being, waking up early each morning and commuting to work. I work ten hour shifts most days and I have to admit that it sometimes takes its toll on me. I come home, eat dinner, watch television if something of interest is on. That’s not that often anymore. Then there is all the other usual stuff. You know, yard work, wash cars. Yuck! I break up the monotony of life with Scuba diving on occasion, exercising (on occasion, lol), and now blogging. I haven’t been blogging that much lately but it is something that I really enjoy doing. I haven’t been blogging long and I am still figuring out the ins and outs of it.
You know. Things like figuring out what’s of interest to people? How to increase viewership? I have to say that it is not that important to me that I have a huge audience. I only care that people receive something from reading what I have written. I also have to be concerned with staying within Fair Usage Law guidelines. You can’t keep everybody happy but it’s nice to try.
There are challenges to blogging for me. For one thing, it’s time consuming. I am thinking about what I am going to write about all week. My job is often kind of repetitive so it gives me opportunity to think about things as I work. I often find myself going to the note pad on my phone, especially during breaks, as I think of ideas. I arrange my notes after getting home at night and sometimes start on my blog. Most of the time the work is completed on Saturdays. When Saturday comes around, it takes me most of the day to do the blog. All of a sudden I am like a newspaper reporter working on meeting a deadline. It’s crazy but I am usually happy with the finished product. I am by nature kind of lazy at times and have to be motivated to get things done. I am also a passionate person. What do I mean by that? It means that I like to write about things that I am excited about and I have to be motivated or moved by something to get things done. I am prone to move from one thing to the next as if I were A.D.D. or something.
Things, like our yards suffer, but that’s okay. That stuff gets done in time. It is mentally taxing for me to write. I am always thinking about it. Like I said earlier I want to write about things that I feel would be interesting to people while also sharing things that are of interest to me. You remember the show Seinfeld right? I didn’t watch it much but I know that it was referred to as the “show about nothing”. Of course it was a raging success. I don’t want my blog to be about nothing, so I believe in quality over quantity. I am just an average American guy in most respects. There’s not too many exciting things going on around here but I have some common interests with people that I am acquainted with, and that helps.
I recently made some changes in my blog and I think that it left some people confused. Don’t worry, I have been confusing people for most of my life, lol. Why the changes? Sometimes I am prone to make rash and reactive decisions and I felt it necessary in the moment. I’ll try to do a better job with continuity from here on out.
There are things that I want to share of course in my blog. Maybe some of the things that I have experienced. I love sharing about my kids. So far I have talked about Benjamin but have also mentioned my other two boys. I would love to share more about my family later. I have said it before but I consider all three of my boys to be exceptional people. Benjamin gets a lot of attention because he is dependent on us and is a big part of our existence. I have shared pictures and comments about him on Facebook and people have expressed to me how much they enjoy the posts. I really appreciate each and every comment and ‘Like’ that his posts receive. Thank you all so much!
There is my career of course. One time I was talking to a friend in the Navy and he was talking about the medals that he received while serving in Vietnam. He remarked that “the medals and fifty cents will buy you a cup of coffee”. Well coffee costs a lot more now. Working in aviation and the defense industry has provided me with some great memories and some interesting conversation. But I think that for the most part, “that and four dollars will buy me a cup of coffee”, lol. Still there is some things that might interest you there.
You know, I think that in this day and age that being married to the same person for 35 years is significant. As a couple, I think that me and Rosie have been through an awful lot and I might like to tell you more some time. I have to say that our relationship is better than it ever has been and there is a little bit of a story there. I know that everyone has their own story to tell. I wish that all five of us could be living in the same place but it’s just the three of us for now. We are like the Three Amigos and I am happy for that!
So like I was saying earlier, I have a big interest in the stories that are being told by our veterans as they return from these wars. I read most of the books on my kindle and many of the chapters have quotes from the book underlined to draw attention to them. I wish that I had written them down and cataloged them for future use because they are just incredible. If applied, these quotes are so useful for leadership and just handling life in general. There is nothing that I have seen in there military training that I feel is in conflict with my world view. I am a veteran myself and that helps to fuel my interest. I did not serve in a time of war though and have a profound respect for those who have.
I also have a profound sensitivity and interest in people with special needs and those with rare and or terminal diseases. I love these little critters! Probably because I have raised one of my own. Benjamin is the center of our attention! I especially love the little people. They are like little warriors to me. Just like our warriors in the military, these little people live to fight the enemies that would seek to destroy them. They are so brave and although frightened at times, they face their enemies with great courage and strength. This is where the sensitive side of me comes in. I look at, for example, a young child facing cancer and think about all they go through on a regular basis as they battle. I especially think about kids who are terminal or have no hope for a cure. This is just heartbreaking to me.
It was over two years ago that I first learned about Batten disease. I had never heard of it before. I have now seen so many pictures of children with Battens who are either in the thick of it or who have gone on to “gained their wings”. These are perfectly beautiful children who go through a series of degenerative stages and eventual succumb to the disease for which there is yet no cure. A cure needs to be found.
It has been some time now since I had heard about a family facing Batten disease with not just one of their children but with both. Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray are two of the most beautiful little girls that you are ever going to see and they both have this disease. Their parents are in a position in which they can have a large influence in the fight and they have chosen to take up the cause. They are doing this to save their own daughter’s lives but also to help all kids who are facing this battle. There are so many families that have now taken up this cause and there are great organizations that have been formed. This week, I chose to give financially to the Charlotte & Gwenyth Gray Foundation and we are considering becoming recurrent donors. The family has assembled a team and is seeking to raise the ten million dollars that they feel is needed to fund the research to get this done. I would encourage anyone that reads this to check out the foundations page and to consider giving to this cause in one form or another. You can go to the foundation's page by clicking on the link provided below. Please do! The page is full of information and tells you how you can donate towards finding a cure.
There are so many causes out there that are worthy of our attention. There are causes for those who are facing illnesses like I just mentioned. Make sure that they are worthy of your support. There are also charities that support wounded warriors that need our help. Both types of organizations are important to me personally and they deserve our attention. I chose to highlight one organization this week and may bring them up again. I know that we can only do so much by ourselves but every little bit helps and we can all work together.
I ran across this picture that was posted by a Facebook friend named Kelly the other day. Hi Kelly!! When I saw this, I was thinking that it really nails down how I feel about things. This is what is important. What defines us as people? Tell me what you think!
That’s what I want my blog to be about. Contributing to the lives of other people. Sharing things that will lift others up or help them in some way. I like writing about things that inspire me. When I do this the material just flows out of me. It is almost effortless. Yes, I have to be inspired to write.
I have been told that I write well by a few people but I promise that I won’t let that go to my head. I have way too many character flaws that plague me. I am not a very good verbal communicator. I am too wordy and have problems getting the point across. There has been a number of times when an individual, say my supervisor at work, looks at me as if he is wondering why I shared so many unneeded details with him in a conversation. And I in return think to myself that I have done it again! It all makes sense now, lol. I like describing things in detail I guess.
So I said that I was going to be a bit all over the place in this blog post and I like to keep my promises so I’ll share this with you in closing. There are some sentiments regarding friendship that I wanted to share in a Facebook post but then I thought to do so here. It is a little redundant to what I have already said but I choose to keep it in tact. Here it is:
“So I was thinking that there are some friends on Facebook that I have really begun to appreciate. You see, I don't get out a lot during the week due to my work schedule and social media is the way I socialize. I also like getting involved in causes. Sometimes I've gone a little overboard, but overall, I think my heart has been in the right place.
The people that I appreciate are those that are genuine and are interested in me for the right reasons. For example, they see my posts concerning members of my family, like my son Benjamin or my sweet wife Rosie and they respond. Some people hit "Like" continuously and some people leave really thoughtful and kind comments. I watch these things and I know who you are! You're not interested in me because of my association with any one person or group of people. You just like me because you see something in me. You are very genuine and you are so appreciated! Some of you are parents of special needs children like we are. Some of you are fellow patriots like I am and you love those who serve to protect our freedom. Some of you are just really nice people or some of each of the above. Either way, I want you to know that I really value your friendship!
Why am I interested in being your friend? It's not because of your social status or standing in a particular group. It's not because of your physical appearance or any particular talent you have, although I appreciate talented people”.
And I’ll continue here by adding the following:
I genuinely care about people. I love my country and those who serve it in one way or another. I love my God and my family. I also love people that to some are less lovable, although there is room for improvement there. I have tried to let people know through comments and instant messaging, on Facebook, that I really appreciate them. It gives me an opportunity to “hang out” with people that I have things in common with. I probably haven’t done an adequate job of telling you all this, but I hope that you understand that you are important to me! I am not after your friendship based on your gender, your appearance, or your age. And it's certainly not on your social status. While it’s nice to know some people with “status” I am interested in being your friend because I value you as a person. You automatically have “status” with me because you value the things that I value. I am after you just because you are who you are!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my big long blog post. I am not sure where this all will lead me but that is a big part of the fun of it!!
Is it them or is it us? Is it the feelings that they produce in us or is it that there is something truly special about them? I think that the answer has to be all of the above. It is them, but they also do something to us. Once you give a little piece of your heart to these kids and their families, they come close to taking all of it. Let it happen!
I would like to welcome to my blog Sanfilippo families, as well as, families in other MPS communities. I am grateful for every opportunity to write about those who battle an MPS disorder. This, of course, alongside their special children. This is a labor of love that is extended to each one of you! Scroll down to see MPS family titles.
Highlighting a previous blog that might interest you:
Journey Unexpected - The Rich Family
One child in a family with a rare disease is a challenge. What if there is two? Heartbreak multiplied you pick up the pieces and will yourself to do your very best. A love that is profound and a bond that is stronger than any other is formed. Two little beauties in one family is two, too many but you seek to make a difference! A journey unexpected...
Take the titles listed below and go to month and year listed in the archives.
January 2017 -
*The Story Between The Lines
February 2017 -
*I Know Just Where You Are
*My Kind Of Royalty
March 2017 -
*The Caring Type
*Face to face: A Fairy-tale
April 2017 -
*No Ordinary Love
*A Rare Friendship
May 2017 -
*Tyrell and The Rare Love Story
June 2017 -
*Seth and The Healing
July 2017 -
*Little John and The Reason
*Sands and The Scottish Princess
August 2017 -
*A Rare Kind of Devotion
*The Giggle Box
September 2017 -
*Sweet Montanna and the Status
October 2017 -
*The Blog About My Blog
November 2017 -
*Lydia, I Love You!
*Kayden And The Change In Plans
December 2017 -
*Those That Are Like Them
January 2018 -
*Nora Skye - I Know Just Where You Are
*Brock and The Priceless Memories
*Jamesy Boy and The Treatment
*The Priceless Princess From Beyond
*Forever Royal - Part One
*Forever Royal - Part Two
*That Kind of Love - Conner's Story
*What I See (She is a Butterfly)
*No Longer Alone - Kristiina's Story
*Things We've Talked About - Oscar's Story
*The Reason Why - Hannah's Story
*Kayla's Perfect Princess - Breanna's Story
*Where Do I Go From Here? - An information only blog
*Warriors Unaware - Mia and Kaleb
*Her Little Story
*Someone Like Raelynn
*Forever Royal - The Final Version
*Awfully Beautiful - The Life of Noah and Laine
*A Lifetime of Love - Tegen's Destiny
*Forever Beautiful - Gabi's Story
*The Miracle Baby - Amelia's Story
*Dylan's Life - A Small Town Story
*Princess Grace and the Challenges
*Anything for Tessa - Her Story
*Haley Bug's Battle - A Family Story
*Journey Unexpected - The Rich Family
*My Life, My Everything - Lydia Rose
*A Love That Hurts - Shashka's Story
Sanfilippo Syndrome and other MPS family titles -
*The Beautiful Light of Haidyn Grace
*Any Distance Traveled - Reagan's Story
*The Missing Someone - Kiernan's Story
Archives - Use title listed above with the applicable month and year.
Highlights from the beginning of gregster60.com -
Benjamin's Daddy - March and June of 2016 - Revised May 2017. Titled Benjamin's Daddy Revised.
My Fearless Adventure - April and May of 2016
A Different Type of Warrior - January 2017
Larry - February 2017